Things you really don't want to hear on a mission
"I was just swinging a sword."
"It was jusht a couple of beersh, I promish!"
"...and then the head blew off!" (actually that one was pretty awesome)
Bike week was pretty cool, I guess. Lots of walking. Elder Clason wanted to walk instead of bike, so off we went. But walking around was really good when it came to finding people to teach.
We found a super interesting guy while walking around named RJ. I'm fairly certain that isn't his real name because he had to think about it for a second when we asked him, but whatev's. Normally a street contact only takes 5 minutes max, but when we stopped at his house while he was outside the conversation took about 40 minutes. He was Pentecostal, and also had a very large quantity of questions, most of which we answered. We will see how that discussion goes.
C*** has taken a turn for the worse. He had been working with a member for income, and the church had set him up for a month in a room somewhere, but one day he showed up to work clearly on drugs, and nobody has seen him after that. I think the wrong crowd got a hold of him again, which is sad because he was serious about changing.
N*** is doing fantastic. She contacted us on Saturday. telling us that she wanted to go to church. She confirmed this again just before church, and then showed up. We are super happy for her. She's been in a much better mood, and has been catching up on BoM reading as well. I'm very grateful that things are looking up for her.
Recently (last week) we found a new investigator. In our phone we have him down as Jason Bourne, because he's a ex-military guy and looks just like him. It also helps that the first thing we saw when he opened his door for the first time was an AK-47 and a 22 with a massive scope on it. Obviously his real name isn't Jason Bourne, but I got on my blog and noticed that all of the names have been removed, so just for the sake of having a name on there that isn't ***'d out, I'll keep calling him Jason. Before he joined the military (army airbourne) he kinda sorta believed in God. After he joined up he did/saw/heard/other some things that made him basically go agnostic (hates god). He was in there for 13 years, and then after he got out he started doubting his own doubts. And guess who walked down his incredibly-scarily-awesome-long-dirt-driveway the one day that he had asked God for proof that He was there? That's right, the Mormon missionaries. #GoTeamMoroni! We introduced our purpose, to bring him closer to Christ, and started him on faith and prayer. When we went to go see him a couple of days later he had said that he had been praying, and also that he had been seeing the help the Lord had sent. He wasn't sure if it was God, but he did notice that things were easier for him after that. The appointment after that (we are taking it much slower with him than usual) we gave him a Book of Mormon and challenged him to read it. Two days later he texted us to tell us he was in 1ne.12.
We couldn't believe it! Most people haven't gotten past the first page by that time. He also defended us to his brother, who tried to drop Anti-Mormon doctrine on him. Not only did he shoot it down, he also invited his brother to take the lessons with him. Unfortunately the brother declined, but still! This is too cool! He also has some of the coolest stories about his army career and what happens to small rodents when you shoot them with high-powered weaponry.
The W*** family, the one who asked us for a return appointment, was unable to meet with us. The father had been in an accident about 2 weeks previously, and went to the hospital. with concerns that arose from it If it had been within out boundaries we totally would have followed them there, but alas for us, it is not. This week or next week we will get to teach them.
We are also teaching a family whose last name I'm not entirely certain of. The father's name is O.B. but the rest of the family is from several different families/marriages/random passerby so it's kinda hard to know one way or another for certain. He kind of found us, identifying us as "prayer walkers" and hoping we can share a prayer with him. We did, and then told him that we liked to do quite a bit more than just share a prayer. He was quite happy to invite us back. His daughter K*** is the only one who attends church and bible study regularly, which is impressive because she's only 16. The family had been taught by sister missionaries about 5 years back, but had been dropped for some reason. The wife, B***, remembered some of the lesson material, and the daughters (I really have no idea how many kids there are in that house) have some positive experiences, so that has helped Elder Clason and I set up a positive connection right off the bat with them. Yesterday we committed two of the daughters, K*** included, plus O*** and B*** to baptism on the 30th. I really hope everything goes well there. That lesson took about 1.5 hours, crazy long by any standard, but the Lord had a hand in it for sure. The Spirit was very strong.
Funny story about two meetings ago with them: we had gone over there with a member to try and teach the lesson we taught them yesterday (sunday). E.Clason and I had known previously that O*** had a bit of a drinking problem, but we hadn't known how bad it could be. When we pulled up with the member O*** ran out of the house, arms spread as wide as they could go, and, while screaming "My new friends!" at the top of his lungs, tried to hug the car. Things only got better as we got inside. His daughters were mortified by his behavior, especially K***, but honestly we were just trying so hard not to laugh the entire time. After seating himself on the ground in front of us in a perfect Lotus position he began to recount to us a story including, no joke, aliens, the orange jersey of his old little-league baseball team, a dead uncle, a weird mole on his back (he almost took of his shirt to show us but his family stopped him), the time he was run over by a car, and how important it was for us three to find a man-cave where we could talk freely. I would be amazed if he could talk more freely than he did during that 30-min interval. It was so funny. That night was basically useless with regards to missionary work, but we needed the laugh to relax a bit.
The weather is finally starting to be nice again to us, which is great because it means more people will be outside for us to talk to.
On March 14 we will be having a program geared to try and get the RCLS's back in church (Recent Convert, Less Actives), and i will be singing in it. THe idea is that having a missionary to sing will invite the Spirit more strongly, but clearly the haven't heard me sing much. We have been practicing, so it should go well.
Elder Jayden Barker