Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Good, really good, but weird"


This week I will hit the three month mark of being a missionary. And one month in the field. Its still pretty surreal for me at times. I am still often hit with the realization that I am a missionary and this is my life for the next 15 more months, and its still really weird. Good, really good, but weird. Its also super weird, just like you said mom, that I'm not starting school. I can't believe it.

This week has been pretty good. Our investigator, Sergio, who had a date set to get baptized this Saturday, got a new job a couple weeks ago, and we haven't been able to meet with him since. We've been pretty worried, and wondering if he had just flaked on us and didn't want to get baptized anymore. So last Sunday we decided to go down to DeKalb to see if we could find him at home. We knocked on his door and no one was home. So we walked back to our car that was parked down the street and sat in it trying to figure out what to do. Hermana Summers started making phone calls, and I just sat there and prayed that we would be able to find Sergio. And guess what happened! He pulled into his driveway! Of course, we didn't want to look like creepers, so we left and walked around a cemetery (I know we still sound like creepers), and then went back. He was out front working on his car and we were able to talk to him for a few minutes. Turns out that his work really has just been super crazy, but he couldn't take it anymore and actually told his boss he quit the night before. He told us he was going to North Carolina for the next 5 days to visit some friends (who are members), but when he got back he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. Without us asking he even reassured all of our fears that he had some things that he was feeling guilty about and that’s why he wasn't getting back to us. We didn't ask, but he told us that the reason he is single is because all the women who are interested want to break the law of chastity, and he won't do that, and that because he's single people have thought he was gay, but he's not, he just is looking for the right woman with the same standards. He's pretty much the bomb. com. He told us to call the branch president for him and tell the president that he's sorry he hasn't been to church. So hopefully when he comes back we can get everything set up and get him baptized by the end of the month!

Yesterday we didn't have any appointments or anything planned, and we were pretty bummed because we knew it meant a lot of knocking doors. We were planning on tracting our guts out all afternoon. We started by going to a neighborhood that we didn't even know existed to follow up on someone we had met elsewhere, but lived in this neighborhood. It is a newer subdivision, and looked pretty well to do. So to be honest, we weren't expecting very many Hispanic families. But we decided to start at the end of the street anyway, and make our way up to this address that we had to follow up on. The first house we knocked was a Hispanic family, and the man who we talked to had some awesome answers to the questions we asked. When we asked its important to him to follow Jesus Christ, he did not give us the typical wishy washy answers we get, but said that its important to follow Christ so that we can have eternal life! We have a return appointment with him and his family this Saturday. The next house we knocked was another Hispanic family! At home was la abuela, Tonya, y su hija, Fabiola. Tonya was babysitting, but she invited us in and then while she was getting the little boy ready to go home, Fabiola came in and talked with us. It turns out that she was actually taught a little while ago by missionaries (my MTC teacher Hermano Brown) and had been to church a couple of times. She said she had a lot of questions about all of the churches she was investigating and a lot of doubts. We had a really good chat with her about how to resolve doubts and get answers, and then we talked about the first lesson. She was pretty involved, answering questions and everything, she seemed to remember a lot. While we were talking, Tonya was in and out, but when Hermana Summers was relating the first vision she was standing right behind our couch and listening very intently. After we finished up talking about the Book of Mormon and everything we asked Fabiola if she would start reading the Book of Mormon again and pray about it. Fabiola said she didn't know how to recognize answers from God, and she doesn't know how to tell if they come from God or from herself. While we were talking about his Tonya came in and sat down on the couch next to Fabiola. We continued to talk and I felt the Spirit really strongly, but Tonya was really quiet the whole time, kind of sitting with her arms crossed looking like she didn't agree. So when it felt like we were about to wrap up, I asked Tonya what she was thinking. And oh boy, did she tell us what she was thinking. For at least an hour she just talked and talked and talked. But it was all good, if I didn't know I would have sworn she's a member, a lot of what she said she believed can all be found in the Book of Mormon! She talked about the Holy Ghost and the difficulties her daughter is having recognizing it, she talked about how she doesn't like that the Catholic Church has so many saints and idols or "imagenes" (which is SUPER prevalent in the Hispanic community, especially with la virgen) and then she just talked and talked some more. It was really good what she was saying, but geez, it was a long time, and we needed to go do more work! While she was talking though, her husband came in. Usually if a family member comes into the house while we're teaching someone, they'll see us there and then make themselves scarce. But he came in, got something to eat, and then sat down a little bit out of the way, on the stairs, but was definitely listening. Anyway, we were finally able to invite Tonya to read the Book of Mormon, and she said she was bad eyes, but Fabiola is going to read to her (hopefully.) We set a return appointment with them for Saturday, and as we were leaving I made sure to give the husband, Guadalupe, a pamphlet about the Restoration so that he could know what we were talking about. So in two hours of "tracting" we knocked two doors, got two return appointments, one lesson, and at least two new investigators. It was awesome.

We decided to spend the rest of the evening finding some other investigators who we hadn't had set appointments with for that week, and we were able to find Maria y Luis, who are doing awesome. Luis is reading, hadn't prayed about it yet, but reading and he said it’s weird, but good. It’s good that he realizes it is something different, I'm really starting to get sick of hearing, "its the same as the catholic church." Maria even got him to pray with us at the end of our lesson. We talked about prophets and authority, which I think was good. Maria seems to think the idea of a prophet is a little weird. She kept getting the giggles, but it turns out she didn't understand a lot about Biblical prophets either, so Luis got to take a turn helping us teach about that. Oh man, they are such a great couple. I love them. Keep them in your prayers!! It’s helping!

Well. I think that’s all I've got for now. Love you all, keep the letters coming!!

Les Quiero,
Hermana Brown

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