Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"We were able to share some really simple truths"



Another pretty normal week. Except that the mailbox has been painfully empty. Hopefully that will change soon.
Only a couple of exciting things happened this week. One of which included a surprise lesson with a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. A couple of weeks ago we contacted a woman who told us we could come back at a specific time and day. So we came back, and she said she was sorry, she'd forgotten and was busy, but could we please come back in 20 minutes. So we came back, and sat down and started the basic getting to know her, her name is Isabel and she's of course Catholic. Within a couple of minutes there was a knock on the door. Isabel told us, "Oh, its a lady who comes and gives me classes about the Bible! She's a Jehovah's Witness!" Hermana Summers and I gave each other the look like, "oh great. . . " But, I wasn't too worried, we'd be fine. So this woman comes in and introduces her self and sits down, she seems nice, not to confrontational which is good. THEN there's a second knock on the door. And a older gentleman comes in, also a Jehovah's Witness. He was quite forceful. Sat down by me and said, "What do you use to teach?" Of course he knew exactly who we were, so we responded by telling him we teach out of the Bible, and another book, The Book of Mormon. He asked, "Where does this book come from?" I told him what it was and that it is the writings of ancient prophets. He says, "Well, the Bible comes directly from God." At this point I was a little frustrated because I knew he just wanted to argue. I responded rather bluntly, "Yes. THROUGH PROPHETS." He kind of muttered in agreement and then turned on Isabel. "Isabel, what is the purpose of having these people here?" Isabel has only known us for like 5 minutes, we haven't even gotten into anything religious yet, but luckily she is able to answer that she wants to learn about other religions and that we are all there to talk about God. This man then launches into the most forceful lesson I have ever seen. He was talking to Isabel like she was an idiot and ultimately I felt pretty uncomfortable. Its not that he was saying anything incorrect, only that he was saying it in a manner that was not conducive to the spirit at all. He was also going a mile a minute so as not to allow us the opportunity to say anything. But, we stuck it out until they had to go, and were able to give Isabel a nice lesson, and tell her that she doesn't have to what any of us has to say as truth, without asking God what the truth is. It was an interesting interesting experience, to say the least.

This same day, we decided to stop by a woman, Rocio, who we had found my first week here, who we taught one lesson and told us to come back, but everytime we came back she told us she was busy and to try again later. We had kind of given up for a little while, but decided to stop by her again. She let us in, and when we asked her how she'd been, she told us, "Bad. My brother just died." Her 24 year old brother died suddenly in his sleep from sleep apnea apparently about a month ago, right around the time we were trying to find her. She really just wanted to talk about it, and it was good. We were able to share some really simple truths about what we know about the eternal nature of the family. But what really seemed to hit her, was that Heavenly Father and Christ know what she's going through and can help and comfort her, if she asks in prayer. She seemed to really like the idea that she can pray, talk, directly to God, and that she didn't need to pray to a saint. We taught her how to pray, and she really made sure she knew the steps. It was an awesome awesome lesson. She thanked us for listening to her, and set an appointment for us to come back. I hope everything works out for her.

Well, I think thats all I've got for you this week. I love hearing from you, thanks for the emails. And thanks, Mom, for sharing your experience with me about your friend from the accounting office.


Made it through transfers still in Rockford



Well. Made it through transfers still in Rockford. Hermana Summers and I are the only companionship in our district that didn't get changed, so it will be interesting to see how things go.
Well, bad news for those of you that have been following the Maria y Luis saga. Last night they dropped us hardcore. Last Thursday we had a difficult lesson with them, Luis basically just said he didn't believe that the Book of Mormon could be true. We had a couple of members with us and they were a really big help. I think they really got through to Maria, and she agreed to read, which she had been refusing to do before because she was scared. Well, she read. And she prayed. and didn't receive an answer. She said she doesn't like our book. But then went on to say that it says a lot of the same things as the Bible, its just easier to understand, and it could be true, she just already has the Bible and doesn't need anything else. I was pretty sad, because I really do love them. Apparently I just looked super mad though, because Maria told me to stop giving her dirty looks. When I explained I was just sad, and why, she seemed to feel really bad. But its true. I was heartbroken. Sister Summers told me afterward that she has only felt that bad after being dropped once. She said it feels like being dumped. She was trying to figure out what she had done wrong, but I know that we did everything we could for them and we did it in the right way. I don't know why they didn't get an answer. And its really frustrating. But hopefully we planted a seed, that someday someone else will be able to come along and harvest. They did ask if they could keep the Book of Mormon in case something in the Bible was confusing, so they could see if they Book of Mormon could explain it better. Geez.
We have an appointment with Sergio this week. So hopefully he doesn't flake on us again, and we can actually get his baptism underway.
I hope everything is going well there. Sounds like school is well underway.
I really enjoyed the letter I got from you this last week, Mom. I highlighted all my favorite parts.
As for how long they'll keep me here in Rockford. I have nooo idea. I could either be moved out next transfer so that someone with more experience will be here when Hermana Summers goes home, to take over. Or I could stay here until after she goes home in November. I think its more likely that they'll move me out, so that I'm not the senior companion that fast. I also here they don't generally keep missionaries in their first area for that long. But who knows.

About the little girl wearing my name tag in my pictures. Yep, that little girl is in the branch. Her name is Michelle and she is 7, and super adorable. She is also really smart, speaks really good Spanish and English. The other day we went over to their house to help with Family Home Evening. She told me if I had any questions about how to say something in Spanish she would help. So, every time I tried to say ANYTHING, before I could even get two words out, Michelle would start in, "Hermana Brown! What are you trying to say!? Just tell me what you're trying to say and I'll help you!!" It was funny, and also stressful. Her mom yelled at her to let me even get a sentence out, and then maybe they would know what I was trying to say! But this family is great. Michelle has an older brother, Bryan, who one time when we went over was reading the medical book that has everything in it. I don't remember what its called, but I know Dad has a ton of them. Bryan is 13. and reading medical books.

I love you all. Its always so good to hear from everyone!

Les Quiero,
Hermana Brown