Monday, September 8, 2014

August 25, 2014- It's all down hill.

  This past week was a hot one, and thus rather difficult in talking to people because everyone was indoors and nobody wanted to answer the door. It was especially fun because we just got done with bike-week, but there were some really good things that happened because of it. First and foremost my comp got heat exhaustion. Now before you start calling me a despicable human being let me explain.
  The day after he got a tad-bit warm he had a very hard time waking up in the morning, either unable or unwilling (both?) to do more than roll slightly to find a cooler spot on his pillow. He got up, being a little bit pale, and straight up told me that there was no way he was going to go outside that day regardless of what I said. Me, I was OK with this after I opened the front door to get the junk mail out of our box and about died as the heat assaulted me. So I got a full day of studying the scriptures and taking a very long nap which completely destroyed my rest for the remainder of the evening (totally worth it). I made us dinner, tuna helper from a care package my awesome grandparents sent me, and we washed everything down with several large glasses of water. That time I wasn't sleeping or studying was spent writing letters (They are on the way Mom. Promise!) and cleaning things.
   The next day we were good to go, and it wasn't nearly as hot. Only about 110 on the heat index. We biked up about 5 miles to go and see if we could find any new people to teach. What should we see as we were biking along but the tow-truck that so kindly helped us get our car out of a rice field. As our goal was to find new people to teach we parked the bikes and knocked on the door. J*** answered the door and almost immediately invited us inside. He introduced us to his wife and his kids. As we walked into the kitchen were they all were I saw on the back wall a very large sign, apparently made out of 2x4's, that said "Do you pray about it as much as you talk about it?" Below it was a scripture in Matthew that I can't remember the exact verse for.
   They asked us a few questions about ourselves, our roles as missionaries, and 'what were we possibly thinking biking around in this heat?' J*** soon told us that he was concerned about his relationship with God and balancing his priorities between Family and Work. He had gotten clean off of drugs some years back and was very knowledgeable about how it feels to be close to God and very far away indeed. With his wife being  pregnant and young children to take care of he wants to make absolutely certain that they will have all the material comforts, but he's also noticed that by extensively working he grows away from God and also his family. This lead to an excellent discussion about the Book of Mormon and how studying it and the Bible can provide those family and spiritual bonds he is looking for. We also talked about the power of prayer, and about attending church services. While we were speaking Jonathan got very quiet and just leaned against the back wall, almost the exact likeness of the statue "David the Thinker". As I was trying to find a conversational way to find out what was on his mind he blurts out "Could y'all say a prayer with us right now?"
   Naturally we were more than happy to oblige them. Before we prayed together I suggested that their kids might like to join us. There was a rather comical eureka! moment as they looked at each other briefly and then split, one moving in the direction of the garage calling for the older one with the other moving in the direction of the rest of the house calling for the younger. There was an awkward moment for us as we were left alone in their kitchen listening to them run around looking for their children, but it soon passed as was replaced with a very stong spirit of love as we asked God together for help. They invited us back again later that week.
   We saw D*** again this week. He is to start work on the river today and won't be back until next month. However he is going to take the Book of Mormon with him as well as all of the pamphlets we gave him. With a 3 days on/4 off schedule he should at least have a spare minute or two to read it. From our conversation with him last it is clear he is reading, so perhaps when he gets back he will have read all of it!
   The past two weeks have been really difficult for us to find new investigators to teach. As in we didn't find anyone at all. Meh. This week, however, changed all of that. Finding (officially) J***and his family, and then two more people last minute Sunday morning was a huge blessing for us. All of this heat was also good for us as it went a long way toward making us unafraid to go up to random people on their lawns and ask them for water. This in turn triggered some interesting discussions, mostly about if we are Christian or not. It just tickles me when other people try to tell me what it is I believe. Anywho, those two people are some old investigators of missionaries down in Texas. They just happened to move up here and be walking on the same street as we were biking on at exactly the right moment. We hope to go back tomorrow evening.

I think this is everything. To conclude, please refer to the picture. We look awesome on our bikes!
Elder Jayden Barker

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