So I guess for some reason the email I sent last week didn’t send out. No idea how that happened.
So to get up to speed with what happened, January 12th was a lot of fun! Brother Jones from the Seville Park ward has a Platinum membership for Top Golf and that membership allows him to bring 6 other people with them and give them lifetime memberships for free and is able to set a booth weekdays Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM for free. So he approached us at church asking if we’d want to do it. So we invited a few other missionaries and all went to Top Golf. And it was a LOT of fun! The best way I can describe it is that it is almost as if you combined Golf and Bowling together. There are three different floors you can golf from and there is this massive golf course with these colorful holes that you are supposed to hit the ball in and you get different scores and points depending on where the ball lands. And there are different kind of games you could play like you have to aim for a specific section in the course or you have to get your ball the farthest away, etc. It was a lot of fun! And now I got a Lifetime Membership for TopGolf, haha! Unfortunately, I completely forgot my camera today so I don’t have pictures to send right now. Hopefully I’ll get them to ya next week.
January 14th, we had a lesson set with Liz at 9:00 AM. We set up this lesson the week prior. And on January 13th, before District Meeting, the zone leaders said, “Oh yeah, by the way, so zone conference is tomorrow at 10:00 AM – be there 30 minutes early.” Uuuuuum, well, appreciate the last-minute notice guys. But we just called President Nattress and he said just go to the lesson and get to zone conference as soon as we can. So we had the lesson and we tried making it as short as possible so we could get to zone conference soon. So we taught the Pre-Earth Life and the Creation of the Earth as part of the Plan of Salvation lesson. And we followed up with her to see if she read and prayed about the Book of Mormon… and she read it and she prayed about it… and she told us that she just kept getting this thought that she needs to be Mormon…… wait, what? Already? I was totally taken off-guard, I didn’t know what to say! I’ve never had this Golden of a contact before! So we kind of just went on a whim and invited her to be Baptized and she said eventually, but she wants to learn more first. And so we told her “absolutely” and that there are still several lessons that she’ll need to learn and of course that she would need to attend church. And there is where the problem came in. Her work is understaffed and so she is working ridiculous hours and cannot get Sundays off (and she works 6AM to 6PM). So we pretty much just briefly talked about prayer and that when we have a true desire to follow Christ and a desire for help in this life that God can help us when we communicate to him through prayer and just invited her to pray about what God would have her do in this scenario.
So we then show up to zone conference 5 minutes late, just in time for when President was asking the missionaries if they saw a miracle the past week. So we were able to raise our hands and talk about how we just saw one that very morning, haha! So we had zone conference that day and then right after zone conference ends, who do I see? Elder Parsons! He was flying home the very next morning and so he showed up there because he was to spend his last night as a missionary on exchanges with the assistants. It’s really weird to think that he’s going home, but he is past due. He has served for over 25 months and has spent 3 Christmas’s in the mission. If there was any missionary I ever met that loved his mission so much that he did not want to go home, it was Elder Parsons. So got one last picture with him, gave him a hug, and bid farewell.
Then on for some bad news. We lost the family of five that we have been teaching. They are moving a lot sooner than we thought and when we were trying to set up another lesson, the mother texts back and says that they will be moving soon and won’t be able to meet with us any longer. We found out where they’re moving to and it is within the mission boundaries, so we can easily make the transition to the new ward and the new missionaries. But it’s still pretty disappointing because it just came so suddenly.
Then on January 21 of this week, we had another lesson with Liz. This time her mother was in town and for the most part was playing with the 2-year old daughter so she wouldn’t be a distraction during the lesson… but then this time, we had a different distraction for the lesson. Her mother. Just as we were trying to start teaching, she just kept asking really random questions out of the blue like, “How much longer do you have left of your thing?” “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “I’m gonna be the devil of the situation, but what would you say to someone who says that Mormons are a cult and that they’re exclusive to everyone else?” I mean, it wasn’t the worst thing ever, but it did extend the lesson quite a bit and it really threw us off when it came to the lesson. But we taught the Fall of Adam and Eve, Our Life on Earth, and The Atonement and invited her to read 2 Nephi 2. We tried seeing if it was possible to have more frequent and shorter lessons (meeting at least twice a week) and explained to her that it would help her progress and learn more, but she said that with work she just can’t. Wednesdays are pretty much her only day off at this point and work has just been getting worse and worse for her. We offered if there was anything we could do whether it be service or anything and she said no. So I just kind of asked her how her prayers were going and she said they could be better. So we taught a little bit about prayer and how one of the things the Atonement of Christ covers is being able to carry our everyday burdens and stresses as we continue to come unto God in prayer. We then explained how coming to church is a commandment from God and talked about how by attending church, she will be able to come closer to Christ than anything else. We then read 1 Nephi 3:7 and told her that God isn’t going to give us a commandment that we cannot accomplish. So if you truly desire to come to church (and she says she does), then God will provide a way if we just ask and put our faith in him. We’re really hoping that her work schedule calms down soon because other than that one thing, she’s pretty golden.
We then had dinner with the Chadwick’s on Saturday, which has been the first time in a while we managed to catch all the family members at home. After dinner, we shared the DVD presentation we have of the Temple and talked about how the Temple was the next step into their conversion. Brother and Sister Chadwick have been working on Family Search for a little bit, but then it was kind of put on hold lately. So we just got that back into the forefront of their minds again. And then we asked if the two daughters had any questions. The 16-year old asked why there were 12 oxen in the baptismal font and we answered that. And then the 20-year old asked what happens if she and her sister don’t get baptized and the rest of the family gets sealed, what would happen to them. And Brother Chadwick kind of just answered it for us by explaining how they wouldn’t be sealed together, however there’s a chance to make that decision to be sealed after this life in the Spirit world and that it is why we do those ordinances in the Temple. So that was kind of cool that he was able to just answer that. And then we just added to that and talked about how being sealed is something that is best done here in this life if possible and we just asked them “We don’t want to pressure you or anything, but with the rest of your family having been baptized, what are your guys’s thoughts on the church and the Gospel or even Baptism? Have you thought about Baptism or anything like that?” The 16-year old said she has thought about it and doesn’t doubt the church is true, but just doesn’t know it. The 20-year old said kind of the same thing, but that she had concerns with Joseph Smith. She doesn’t doubt that he could have been a prophet, she just doesn’t necessarily think he is. So we just re-commited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and kind of kickstart that again so that it is in the forefront of their minds again. We might show them the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration movie sometime.
Those have kind of been the biggest things that have happened the past two weeks. We have also been trying to just work with the leadership of the wards and get info on any over-aged youth on record or off record so we could have more people to work with. Seville ward has really been struggling because all of the work that was in Seville ward pretty much just cut and moved to Seville Groves. So Seville Groves got all the less-actives and part-member families and left Seville with barely anything. And we have just been trying to figure out what we need to do. We have a lot of people that we’re trying to teach and everything, but none of them are really progressing. We have a bunch of eternigators pretty much. So just trying to figure out what we can do to help these investigators to progress or find new investigators that will progress.
So yeah, that’s everything. Hopefully this email actually sends out. I have no idea what happened last week. Hope you all have a great week!