Monday, January 12, 2015

Hard work and Happy times

We ended up eating at our house a lot this week, and our favorite food to make: Monster subs!!!! They're actually super super good! Happy times
January 6, 2015
         We had lunch today at a less active member’s house.  She is very nice but during lunch she was talking about how when she was in young women’s, her leader would always tell the girls that they should get married instead of serving missions.  Then she started talking smack about sister missionaries, which prompted me to tell her about my three sisters.  My oldest sister is inactive in the church, the next oldest got her education and married in the temple to a returned missionary, and my third sister just returned from a mission to Brazil.  I told her that there are valuable things that are learned on a mission that can’t be learned anywhere else.  She didn’t really accept it and I didn’t want to offend her, so I just backed off.  That’s not the end of that story though, because Elder D. being the way he is, was goofing around a lot so this member started calling him Elder Chaves (after an elder known for his hyperactivity.)  Elder D. really didn’t like that and kept insisting that he wanted to be remembered as Elder D….yeah, he is definitely going to be remembered all right.  Elder D. started telling this less active member that he came on a mission because his bishop said that he would help him with college if he did.  Then he went on to say that he doesn’t think the Book of Mormon is true and left a scripture that other churches use to prove that the Book of Mormon isn’t true.  At that point I had to cut in and reprimand him.  The members actually said, “ Okay, he’s been in the mission for over a year, he’s got to be pulling our leg, right?” So I say, “Yeah, the sad thing is that he has been on his mission for over a year and he still acts like this!”  Yeah, we had a little talk about that teaching moment afterwards. 
         Anyway, let’s talk about some good things.  We ran into a less-active member who we had just about given up trying to find, but Elder Ferrao said that we should try him one more time. We talked with him and his girlfriend and she actually seemed really interested. We left the Book of Mormon with them and she seemed excited to read it.
January 7, 2015
         Another new couple that we are teaching are doing really well.  They are reading what we leave with them and they are eager to come to church.  However, the wife is very sick and is home bound.  She reminds me a lot of my mom, especially her personality.  After our visit with her, she told us, “When you came here, I remembered the parable that Jesus taught about the seeds being cast into the rocks by the side of the road, or into weeds, or into fertile soil.  I wanted to let you know that the seeds you are planting are falling on soil that has been very well prepared.  We keep everything you two say in our hearts.”
January 8, 2015
         One thing that is really hard about being a missionary is the fact that people feel like they need to confess their sins to us.  It is annoying and seriously wrong.  When there is gossip or something going wrong, we are the first to know, but whenever it is actually something important, we come in last place.
         Anyway, on to another more positive story, we visited with a family who is less active because of a complication following the birth of their child.  The husband is a very nice guy and said that he will teach me some guitar on my p-days.  We were reading some scriptures with them as a couple and they really seemed to appreciate and understand the scriptures well.  It will be fun to strengthen this awesome young couple.
January 9, 2015
         Today I went on exchanges with Elder A. and it was really cool.  He said that it was the best day of work  that he has had since he has been in the area.  His companion is difficult and Elder A. just wants to work hard and be a good missionary.  Our day started a little rough because we had a bit of a Bible bash.  We were teaching the restoration to a lady and out of nowhere this lady’s mom appears right as we are talking about the first vision.  Oh boy, she went on a five minute rant about how “no man can see God ad live!”  We showed her many scriptural examples of how prophets of God have seen him.  She wasn’t accepting anything we said and she even got to the point where she herself said that the Bible contradicts itself. We just decided that it was better to bear our testimonies and leave, rather than to argue with her.  Then after we bore our testimonies, she ‘prophesied’ that we would one day be ashamed of the testimonies that we had born and that we would abandon our religion.  I just couldn’t leave it at that so I read her 2 Nephi 33:11 that says, “An if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye – for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.”  I told her again that there is no doubt in my mind that the Book of Mormon and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s church restored to the earth. 
January 10, 2015
         One of our families told us today that they had prayed and received an answer that the church was true.  They said that they want to be baptized, BUT -  they still haven’t been to church.  The wife has to have a foot surgery next week and then she said that she would come to church after that.  In the meantime, we will continue to teach them and help them. 
         Overall, this week has been great.  We have worked a ton and made some great progress.  I just hope that a few people come to church tomorrow.
January 11, 2015
         Shocker….no one came to church.  Well, actually, a couple of the less active members we have been teaching came and that was great.  We have a lot of work to do in this area to help those who should be in church but aren’t coming.  I am loving the work even though it is really hard. This is our list of members in our ward. There are 22 pages, and there are only 92 people that show up for church each week.

It was such heavy reading that Elder Ferrão and I ended up falling asleep on Sunday afternoon. We had lunch at home, so as it was cooking we were looking at the list, and the other elders were so kind as to take pictures of the result.

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