Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas (week)!

Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of laughter and cheer and other good things. 

This was a very personally meaningful week. Two Fridays ago we had 1/2 mission training and focused a lot on finding. This week I finally realized what it means to teach while you find and find while you teach. Finding and teaching are inseparable activities, one and the same. I felt I had overcome a huge thing when I realized that I really love and enjoy knocking on doors now. 

This week we found many potential investigators and picked up some solid new ones. Most exciting thing this week -  we felt prompted to stop by Franky/Ansley's again on Friday. They are a referral from members, and we've talked to Franky once briefly and he didn't seem very interested and we've tried to contact them several times since then. I was surprised when Ansley opened the door and let us in right away. They were super friendly and we taught them a really powerful Restoration lesson. They are going to read the Book of Mormon together. Way cool. 

We also picked up a former named J.J. - He's met with the missionaries once a week for a year-and-a-half for a long time. He was dropped by the missionaries the same time last year. We talked with him and he is way cool - I think he knows many of the doctrines of the church are true but he struggles to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We're going to try and help him with that - it'll be tough. He's a very smart man and an ex-pastor. 

Funny/long story now. The other investigator we picked up this week is named Patrick. Elder Derricott and I knocked into him two weeks ago and he told us to come back another time because he was sleeping. We went back on Thursday and he let us in. I don't know where to begin with Patrick. He's a 50-year old man with a huge beard and scruffy hair, and it is very hard to understand him. He whispers everything he says and repeats it over and over again. Later in the lesson he whispered to me that he is clinically insane, so that should set the tone for the rest of the story. When we walked in, he sat on his couch and started writing numbers in no particular order in a grubby notebook. He told us he writes code for the military to make money on the side (sketch). He was listening to club music on the radio and was watching Fox News on TV which was a pretty funny mix to me. I asked if we could turn it off and he said that was fine. After that, I asked him some questions and his answers were unintelligible. Elder Peterson and I asked him to speak up and we tried to listen as best as we could but it was impossible to understand him. I asked to use his bathroom (I needed to compose myself). When I came out the first thing I heard was Elder Peterson asking, "So what was it like to see God face to face?" Patrick told us that statues and pictures of St. Peter, Mary, Jesus and God come to life and he speaks with them and we could believe it or not, but it was the truth. We didn't argue. He also talked a lot about Esau and having multiple wives (not sure in what context). We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it. He said he would, and he already believed that Christ's ministry in America was recorded in the Bible (When Jesus was walking on water, he was just getting back from Central America). We said a prayer and got outta there. It was an awesome experience that I will treasure forever. 

Now that that's done with, I had a few other cool realizations this week - Prayers can be guided by the Spirit. I've read so many times that the "Spirit...teacheth a man to pray" (2 NE 32:8) and finally realized what it meant. I did the personal prayer evaluation in Preach my Gospel and have been allowing the Spirit to guide my prayers. My relationship with Heavenly Father has increased tremendously as a result. I've also been praying for charity and strength for obedience. So yeah, that's cool. 

Me and Elder McGraw, my zone leader. He graduated from Timpview a year before I did so my Provo friends know who he is.

Thanks Amy for the mustache/lollipop!

My desk space

Fresh to Death

I thought I'd include a picture of our fun little Christmas tree. Thanks Amy for the decorations and string of lights, they were perfect for the tree.

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