Did I mention before how much of a culture shock it was for me that we were actually teaching? Haha, well I think I’ve finally gotten past that, haha. Anyway, so we’ve been teaching a lot this week. This week we now have 10 progressing investigators, which is amazing. Yesterday, we had two investigators attend church for the first time ever (and Elder Peery had been teaching them since the start of his mission – being 6 months ago)
We have a lot of youth investigators which has kind of been difficult because they are totally ready for baptism, understand all the lessons, and want to make a change in their life, but their parents won’t allow it. So that’s been kind of frustrating because we essentially either have to just wait it out until they turn eighteen or just pray and hope that the hearts of the parents are softened. But still, they’ve been coming to a lot of the youth activities every wednesday, they attended church everytime their parents allowed it, etc.
It’s been kind of cool teaching some of the youth though because we have to be a little more creative in how we teach. For example, Mark’s (recent convert) grandson is about 10 years old and has a bit of an attention-span problem so what we do is we play a game that revolves around a lesson. For example, the first lesson me and Elder Peery taught was about the apostasy and restoration. So we had a bunch of cards and threw them up in the air and we had the three kids (one being the grandson, the other two being members) try and grab as many cards as they can. And we would relate to how when the priesthood authority was lost, everyone tried to grab as much truth as they could, but until the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith, no church had all of the truth. So little things like that has been kind of fun since we’ve had to think out of the box to get them to learn.
We also started teaching this brand new moved in family. The husband hasn’t been active in the church since he was 17 and the wife and the two sons are not members. They moved in the neighborhood and started attending church by themself just because 1) they thought it would be a good way to quickly get introduced to the community and 2) they just felt like church could help out their family. And so far, they have come to church three times (their first time coming was the Sunday before I came in the area) and we’ve been able to teach them two lessons. And they seem really interested, so I’m pretty excited with what’ll happen with that family. It’ll be really cool if we could get the dad active again and be able to be worthy to baptize his wife and kids later down the road.
For two days in a row, we actually had Mark go on splits with us as we taught some of the investigators that were having difficulty keeping commitments and it has been really good having him with us. Mark is such a golden convert and just loves the church and because he has been baptized fairly recently, he knows how to relate a lot to these people. One of the investigators brought up the concern about coming to church because she heard about us having multiple wives and all the other rumors about the church and Mark pretty much led the lesson. I think me and Elder Peery said three sentences each that entire time we were there and Mark was just really encouraging and exciting about saying, “Just come to church and see for yourself, it has been the best decision for me.”
There was even one lesson with a guy who we haven’t been with in a while and we tried commiting him to pray every day and invited him to pray at the end of the meeting, but he refused. We asked why and he was just saying he just didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t feel ready and all that. And so we tried encouraging and Elder Peery said, “Okay, how about this? I’ll start by saying a prayer, and then Mark will say a prayer, and then if you feel comfortable, you can say a prayer.” The moment he said that, I was thinking, “Ah, dang it.” Because as missionaries, we’re constantly told to be bold in our commitments and when he said, “if you feel comfortable” I knew those weren’t the right words to use. And so he doesn’t end up praying and we sort of end up leaving the house. Although I don’t blame it on Elder Peery at all because I should have spoken up and said something during the lesson, but I just hate saying things that would either contradict or discredit anything he said (hence when during the prank with Mark last week, I hardly said anything)
Now here’s what was kind of interesting was that I wasn’t the only one who noticed we weren’t being bold enough. Mark got off on us about it and told us we needed to be more assertive and just tell them how it is and started talking about how “no” is one of the hardest words for people to say. So if you say something like, “if you feel comfortable,” you’re giving them the immediate option to back away. I thought it was pretty cool that Mark, someone who was baptized 3-4 months ago, was teaching us how to do missionary work lol. Well, pretty cool in that he knew how we could do better, but also pretty bad since it means we really need to do better if HE noticed that lol.
Anyway, so then yesterday was Mother’s Day and that was fun. Getting to Skype home was pretty fun, although it’s weird to think that my first two Skype calls are already out of the way and now I only have two left. That’s a little weird.
Oh, and today is officially my 6-month mark. On November 12th, 2013 I was dropped off at the mission office and put in with the new missionaries that just got off the airplane from the MTC and was thinking, “What did I get myself into?” So yaaaaay!
Hope you all have had a great week and a great Mother’s day and hope that you have a great upcoming week!
Living In the room Elder Foxx Skyped with us in was a Dr. Who fan. Elder thought it was very cool he had a tardis and sonic screwdriver.
Elder Foxx skyping to us on Mother’s Day!