Jan. 6, 2014
Well, this year, I told everyone that my resolution that will NOT be broken, is that I'm going to spend this WHOLE next year on my mission. Wow, nobody saw that coming! I know I know, I'm pretty cool for saying that! :D
So, this week.... ha! With the Holidays and such it wasn't a very successful week, but it's a lot like the previous week, just without most of the excitement! :)
To start off the week, we went to the Columbia Employee store. That was cool to see the stuff there, but I love the huge coats that I have already, so they couldn't top them, however, I did see a coat for nearly a thousand dollars. Whaaaaat?! Who on Earth would buy that? Well, apparently some people do, because there were a couple of them... But other than that, Monday was pretty dull! Everybody we went to go visit/see cancelled on us. 5 times in a row after dinner too! Ha! Good thing though, because some of them I would have invited to basketball on Tuesday Nights, buuuut there wasn't any on Tuesday night... so to avoid the embarrassment and spare me, the Lord probably didn't think it was such a good idea to visit them, so they weren't home :)
Tuesday though, we got to go to the Temple to be there to support a lady that we have been teaching (well, teaching her daughters and kind of her non-member husband, but anyways) She went to receive her endowments! And that was a great time! A guy started to have heart problems during the session though, and without going into too much detail (I don't want to say anything wrong) basically he needed a Nitroglycerin tablet (yes, I DID spell that right on the first try haha) to help his heart. But, the Church can't dispense anything, so he ended up having to leave the session before who knows what happened to him. The reason I bring this up though, is there is a lesson to be learned.... the guy sitting just down from him said (after the heart-problem guy left) "Man, I had the feeling to grab my Nitroglycerin tablets before I left... but I didn't..." Peterson heard him say that. And oh man! Imagine that! So, the lesson to be learned here is to NEVER postpone a prompting even if it seems dumb! If you get a seemingly random feeling to go grab something or check one more time, DO IT! Anyways, the rest of the day was pretty ok..... except in the afternoon. Obviously it was New Years Eve, I get that, so people were busy, but we decided to go visit some people mid afternoon to see if we could do anything to help, or cheer them up a little bit, or teach them, etc. But the same thing as the night before. Nobody wanted anything. It was pretty discouraging, BUT the best part of it was though, that out of the blue an investigator calls us and asks to meet with us. He asks if he can meet with us right then, like, a five minute notice! AH! Well, if somebody else had let us in, we wouldn't have been able to meet with him. But, we met with him at the cuhrch and had a wonderful lesson. His name is Robert, and is one of my favorite people ever. You can get to know his life story in a little under a minute if you ask him any question. If you thought I speak fast, nope, this guy beats even me, but, I can understand him fine! Anyways, he has done a lot of searching, and when he was asking us questions, he made it very clear that he KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet, in fact, Robert could relate to him so well! We met with Robert again two days later, and we brought a priest with us, and Robert really likes to meet people in the ward, so we are going to bring a new person to every lesson with him. So that'll be cool! We taught him the Restoration again (a little quick background: he was being taught by Elders from another zone, and they knew he was well in our area, but they did it anyways? I don't know, it was weird! Robert found us and is the one who told us about it....? Idk, I think the mission terminology for it is "poaching" but I'm not sure that I like the sound of that...) so he had been taught the Restoration before, but bless the hearts of the missionaries who had been teaching him, I don't even like to listen to them, so no wonder Robert hardly got anything from them. We have never seen either of them smile. And their voices are kinda dry... so it was a new experience when we saw one of their facebook profile pictures, and of course, they are smiling :P Ha! That was weird, like, a whole new person! Anyways, we used these cups that one of the Sister missionaries in the ward had let us borrow. Basically the cups stack up and represent Christ's Church. With Jesus Christ as the middle in the bottom, with prophets and apostles, and the two priesthoods, and then above them are four other cups (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost) and on top of those 4 are three more cups (church, prayer, and scriptures), on top of them are 2 cups (commandments, and temples) and the very top cup is one that just says "YOU" So Christ's church supports you. The cool thing about the cups is that they have two pictures on them that go with each point. One side is a picture of something from Christ's time, and another from ours. So for example, you might see Noah on the prophet side from his time or something, and Thomas S. Monson on the other side. So when you originally "build" the Church the way he did, you see it all as it was back then, and of course, with the apostasy, as you take away the five bottom cups, what happens? They all fall! And then they fall into groups of three, representing different churchs and the like. However, when I teach the restoration, I typically with use the analogy of a mirror that Christ and his apostles were holding, but as they all were killed, and nobody had the authority to hold the mirror, it fell and shattered, and people scrambled to pick up the pieces and put it back together, so the other churchs out there have pieces of truth, but not the whole picture, and if you used glue or duct tape to put the mirror back together, would you have 100% the same image? Nope, it would be a little distorted (little is the understatment of the year) well anyways, as you talk of the Restoration (back to the cups) you show that Christ's church that he had back then, is here again, and you rebuild it/restore it, but with tthe flip-side pictures. Robert was in a car crash a long time ago, and it gave him a brain injury, so based on what we can gather, giving him something to look at, made things click a lot better, and when he would lead the conversation off into a tangent, he would notice the cups again and then HE would bring us right back haha, it was beautiful! The guy has done so much reading, he knows more about Church history then Elder Peterson and I probably put together. He doesn't work, his wife does, so during the day he doesn't have much to do, so he reads and reads! :) We challenged him to pray about the Book of Mormon, but he pretty much already knows it's true, but his witness so far appears to have been one of those gradual whispers, nothing too noticeable, so hopefully he'll be able to notice the divinity of his witness eventually. Anyways, meeting with him is GREAT! And he said the prayer at the end, and prayed that he would eventually get baptized. Our jaws hit the ground. I'm not sure why, but the investigators we have picked up recently have been pretty golden, and even my first tracting experience went insanely well.... Is the Lord giving me an easy first area so that I learn how to appreciate them more when suddenly the rest get really hard :P but! For the time being, I'm ok with teaching people who want to learn really bad! And who actually pray and do the things they should do so that God can tell them the answer! Don't get me wrong though, we are teaching some people whose desires are not as pure, and who are losing interests fast, and it makes me sad, but all we can do is support, encourage, and invite. Missionaries who are super pushy, and nag and nag over and over again, bug me, and chase people off, so, I take the position of a missionary who boldly (lol, hopefully boldly ;) ) invites people to come unto Christ, that is our purpose right?
Well, Thursday we got our hairs cut. Yup, because we didn't just get 1 hair cut.... The rest of the day was OK, we had this way awesome Korean dinner though! So that was really cool! Oh, and Mom's package arrived! That looked great! I've got a lot of soup to go through, and a lot of candy that I have to figure out what to do with.... ;) So thanks mom! :)
And then, exchanges happened... Yup, Peterson left again, and a new guy came into the area, but the day was actually SUPER good! We double our amount of lessons for the week (well, almost haha) and we got to tract for 2 hours! And it wasn't stressful! It was fun! And the Spirit was with us the whole time! And while the majority of the people didn't care for our message at all, one guy started going at us. Well, he seemed pretty upset but he said: "You have your religion, he has his, and I have mine!" And we told him religion was good and that we weren't there to shove anything down his throat, but just to simply invite him. He stopped, and said: "Oh... well then, continue on! What were you saying before?" My jaw about hit the ground again, but we recovered quickly and talked about the Book of Mormon, what it is, who wrote in it, what's it's history was, and even the crowning moment of it, when the Savior comes to the Americas. Then it looked like HIS jaw was about to hit the ground. We pulled out the Book and invited him to read it, and he was entranced. It was weird. While he wasn't interested in hearing the discussions (yet) when we offered him the book, he went nuts! He really wanted to read it, and while we were still talking, he opened it to the introduction, because we explain that he could read and pray, and then God would tell him (we didn't refer him to the introduction, but eventually he'll read it). It was a super chill experience, and we left on good terms. He even asked where we meet as a Church, and what time. What?! I don't know if he was egging us on or not, but based on his face when we started talking about it, either he is the best actor in the cosmos, or he was really excited to read. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But as we left, we felt like we should have given him a Mormon.org card, so that he could also learn more in a non-intimidating way, but we forgot. We were sad, and felt like we should have, but didn't want to just randomly go back and knock awkwardly and give it to him (sometimes that goes well, but we didn't feel like it) but on our way back to the Carstens to get mormon.org cards, guess who walked outside? Or was already outside. YUP! It was him, and we gave him one, granted we didn't have any with Peterson's and my number on it, so Lundell gave him a card with the Beavercreek Elder's number on it, in case he had any questions, which at that point, we'd get a referrall ;) oh well, the purpose of the card was to show him the website, I don't care if he calls, if he's ready and prepared, the things we told him to do will lead him to God, and that will be through the teachings and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which can only be found in it's fullness and purity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Don't believe me? Read and Pray about the Book of Mormon, and you'll find out for yourself. There was a Presbyterian (whoo hoo first try again ;) ) billboard that said: "Don't read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it... that's how they get you..." Hahahaha what?! Thanks for telling everyone how to receive revelation! Those guys are brilliant when it comes to keeping people away from the truth lol ;)
Well, the rest of the exchange went well! We went to go help teach a new member discussion, and that went... alright, the doctrine got waaaay deeper than it needed to be, and right over the heads of the 88 and 68 year olds we were teaching, but Lundell and I were able to simplify what our ward missionary was teaching (we were the back-ups for this lesson, and for most new-member discussions). It was pretty odd, but oh well, it was good. I guess now I understand the chemistry behind why the Gold Plates are made of gold... :D
Saturday we cleaned out a shed that had mold and the like in it. Fun! And we went to Stake Baptisms for some of the families we had been teaching! The lessons we taught them didn't count as anything, because they were all active or under the age of 8, but we did it just to help them, and to better prepare their children for baptism (some of the kids even requested it). So that was fun. Hooray!
And yesterday was fun too! We had our crepes for dinner! (Crepes on fast sunday woop woop! :)) and we finally got to see the Dornblasers again! Ahh! We have missed them! Something in their house and in their countenances was different from when we last saw them, and we had such an enjoyable time with them yesterday. It was strange! I love those two so much! If they don't end up getting sealed in this life, we will make sure the work gets done for them! Don will need to be baptized, and hopefully we plant a seed enough that when he learns that his work was done, then he'll accept it! :)
Well, that's pretty much it! It was a great week, long, and a lot of walking, but it was great! Despite us not teaching as much as usual, it was still a better than average week in terms of the inspiration and uplifted spirits we gained/learned. Oh man! This work is great!
Until next time,
p.s. and Laura, when it comes to that Rapstoration, what are the odds??? I had just seen that video a few days before. Who knows, I don't think we can top that, but if I've already written a missionary parody of the Backstreet boys, Mr. Grinch, and Pokemon, I'm sure that we can come up with something :), but I hope everything is going well! Hopefully I'll be able to brief you more next week on the ipads that are coming soon! :)