Well, you'll be pleased to hear that the dried mangos you sent....well, I pretty much ate them all already. I had forgotten how fruit other than apples tasted like, and I must say they were probably the treat of the week!
I now feel a little inspired myself to prepare for the Sabbath as well. Granted what we do as missionaries is pretty spiritual in and of itself, I still try to take some time aside and prepare myself for the holy ordinance of the sacrament.
But, ohhhh mah golly, this week was outstanding. We had more new investigators come in that we are teaching now. I don't know if there's a difference between comfort and work load, but I'm seeing both pretty parallel. Still, I can probably describe this past week with four experiences.
First, we tracted into a gay guy named Andy. Talked with him on the doorstep for a little while. In the end he told both of us we were pretty cute. Riiigghhhtttt, I don't know how to respond to that.
Ok, so the first serious event occurred on Saturday. We are teaching a former member named Bro. Slade. He served a mission and all that, but was excommunicated for some time. He's coming back now. But we learned that he has some major depression issues. When Elder Vajner first met him, we just talked with him. We found that sometimes holding casual conversation with folks is the best way to communicate with them. It was a good meeting. After that we met with Jessica. Her mother had a heart attack, and Jessica's really grown in testimony about prayer as she's seen her mom recover. After we talked with her, Theodis, Gabi, and Lily, her three adult children, just joined in with the lesson (they had excused themselves earlier), and we had a giant Q&A session with them. During it, Jessica actually stood up and defended the Book of Mormon whenever questions of it's divinity (which it is) were brought up. It really made us feel well to see her developing a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. We think talking with them definitely helped build trust with her family. Jessica's going down to San Francisco to stay with her mom for two months, but she gave us her address and we are going to pass that along to the elders down there.
The next day we got a text from Bro. Slade that asked me to tell Elder Beatty that it was a pleasure knowing him. That was a red flag. We called him and scheduled a time to see him that day, he asked for a priesthood blessing. We went with another member, Bro. Unsicker, and visited him. The two connected right away, and the blessing served him well. The next day we got a text from Bro. Slade telling us that bringing Bro. Unsicker was inspired.
The second big thing that happened was with a less active named Bro. Ayling. He's an army veteran who saw combat with the Rangers back in the day. But he's good to us and always lets us come by. Recently he's been coming back to church to! But we were going to read Alma 17 with him, and while explaining the background, I got the impression that perhaps we should actually read Mosiah 27 instead. I had prayed to Heavenly Father to let us open to a specific chapter that would help him the most, and Alma 17 is what we opened to, but I followed what I felt anyway. We started reading in a circle about the conversion of Alma, and Bro. Ayling got to read the verses where Alma glories in his redemption. That's when the spirit hit pretty hard. Bro. Ayling got really choked up as he read it. He told us he was the exact same way when he was younger. We bore testimony and we could tell something even more deeper now resided in his heart than any other thing before. Geeze, that was fantastic.
The last great experience that occurred happened yesterday. It was a beautiful Sunday, and our appointments were falling through again. We were facing an area-long ride to a potential. I usually try to avoid riding to too long, particularly if the appointment isn't set. Oddly though, I felt at peace with the ride. So we started going across town on our usual route that cuts through the cemetery. But while we were going, we noticed a single lady sitting in front of a single tombstone off the path. I felt like we should go visit her. So we detoured to go talk to her. Her name is Birda, and she was paying her respects to her grandson who committed suicide 15 years ago. She asked us what happens to us after we die, particularly under his circumstances. Come to find out that every evangelist she had talked to had told her he had gone to hell because of he committed suicide. We told her that we are all God's children, and that He provides a way for all of us to know more concerning him, whether in this life or the next. This really comforted her, so much so she said that she felt more hope around us than any other preacher she had talked to in the past year. The spirit was strong, and I could tell that her grandson was watching. She agreed to meet us again there at that spot later on in the week.
We were truly blessed this past week. I've come to know more about the divinity of God and His glorious, yet so simply gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that God still reveals to man His will and His knowledge to His prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
Yeah, it was a great week. You know, the only thing I can think of asking for is an English to Spanish dictionary, or language learning device of some kind. In the end, your emails are great enough! Anyway, love you guys, hope all is going well in Hawaii!
Happy Birthday Paul! Great Gatsby said that 30 years old is the prime of life or something like that!
Elder Michael Camit