Hey Mom! May 16, 2016
Washington Rednecks, the most interesting day in the mission, getting the hang of teach-to-needs, and the most gloomiest day in the mission!
Wow, I would've suspected you and Dad to maybe have slowed down after becoming an official empty-nester. Seems like you guys have a whole bunch of other things to attend to anyway, but I guess that's good! One of the things I've come to learn is that if it wasn't for work time, we'd forget the value of quiet time!
Speaking of work time, we expanded our tracting efforts this past few weeks. Ephrata isn't necessarily a metropolis if you know what I mean. So on days we had the car we headed out to the more rural communities and side-streets off the highway to knock on doors. According to RM's who served rural, proselytizers in general aren't seen there, so it's a good place to go!
Well, after getting our of the car and stepping in a patch of bullhead thorns, we began knocking. I'm not going to lie, the run-down shacks and single-wide trailers surrounded by overgrown cotton wood thees reminded me of something Paul probably saw/endured on his mission. My main concern was probably not getting shot. Much to my surprise/relief, everyone there was pretty nice! Sometimes you throw formality out the window just talking normal. Only one family flat-out turned us down (they told us off from their lawn/field as we approached the fence), but other than that it was pretty nice!
Anyway, we found ourselves doing it again to not much luck a few days later. That's when Elder Painter got the impression to drive back to town and tract a series of town homes we hadn't hit before. After saying a prayer to ask if it's what we needed to do, we drove back down to Ephrata. And....things got interesting after that. Turns out, that impression was valid! We ran into a younger guy named Joe who's an auto-mechanic. Set a return appointment, and it was pretty good! After that though, it got super weird. Let's just say we looted the variety bin when it came to the types of people we got around talking too. It was all pinnacled in a conversation we had down in a sketchy trailer park with a young couple. The conversation was going well until her husband stepped out and, after waiting a few lines, started talking to us about the spiritual effects of weed w/o getting high. Yeah...I know. They talked to us about a half-hour about that subject, and to summarize it, they basically wanted us to know that you could churn cannabis with butter or salad for a more "healthy alternative."
Words do not describe how hilarious it was listening to that one. The guy'd obviously ate some "butter" or something before he came out.
Well, on a more spiritual need of things, we got to meet a less active named Steve on Saturday. The lights aren't all on upstairs for him (a result of a rougher past), but he's got a sincere heart and a desire to serve others. We talked to him about the atonement and how that helps us figure out, and then the conversation turned towards keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was a concern with him that he had previously told us about. In short, we helped him recognize that he could appreciate church and the sacrament more if we relied on the atonement to help us overcome our past. We then explained the repentance process and let him know we'd be there to help him out no matter what.
And whaddya know? He was at church the next day!
On Friday we saw Joe. We eventually got to see him a few days later on for a great Restoration lesson. Said he'd be baptized when we came to know the Book of Mormon was true! Go humanity!
And to cap it all off, yesterday we walked around in the gloomiest weather I think I've ever been in. Even the dogs that regularly bark at us were asleep on the door step. Kind of felt like Eeyore to a certain extent. No sun, clouds, a light dirzzle, and dead silence.
But it's been a great week, and your emails always make it better Mom! We had an amazing lesson with Alva and Bev, and we could tell they were truly devoted to learning more about the gospel. But the work rolls forward in the town of Ephrata. God is so good to us that sometimes we may not notice. But when we slow down to realize all He's done for us, then we truly begin to appreciate all that life has for us.
Elder Michael Camit