Friday, July 18, 2014

Week 48: Day of Tears

I did the math yesterday and came up with the following:
In the eleven months I've been a missionary, I've invited approx. 300 people to learn about the restored gospel by knocking on their doors.
1 of them has gotten baptized (and it wasn't until after I left.)
Before my mission, I invited approx. 3 people to learn about the restored gospel.
1 of them was baptized.
1/300 : 1/3 = Member missionary work is literally 100x more effective than tracting.
Do you get my point yet?  Ok good.

Last Monday, tragedy struck.  Treason in the district.  One of our elders ran away from his companion.  On his bike.  While the unsuspecting other was getting a haircut.  I mean, he was soon located, but went home the next day.  So now our district is orphaned.  It's kinda sad.  We were pretty depressed for a whole day (a dismal rainy day, too) about losing one of our own (and being abandoned) but we're making it.  People have their agency.  And sometimes they use it to abandon you.

It's cool to teach people who actually do some heavy pondering about life and religion and what they believe (rather than accepting everything their parents taught them). We taught a woman who strayed from "traditional Christianity" and came to believe in a diety that embodies both masculine and feminine because it didn't make sense to her that one would be without the other, and she believes in reincarnation because she can't find any other explanation for why when she looked at her baby girl for the first time, she felt that their souls already knew each other.  Needless to say, we leapt into the pre-mortal life... and other things.  Heavy doctrine.  Yes, I went there.  We'll see tomorrow night whether she accepts our view of the Plan or not.

Speaking of heavy doctrine, we also shared a lengthy lesson on the Plan of Salvation + Restoration with Mr. E and the two young kids who came out of their apartments and joined us without having to be coaxed.  Three birds, one heavy-doctrine stone.  The member with us thought I might have blown his mind when I answered one of his questions by mentioning baptisms for the dead, but I think he could handle it.  You know you're in the ghetto when in the middle of a lesson, a bag of weed ends up on the ground next to you and you have to try really hard not to laugh when he gets up to put it away and says "Man, I know that did not just fall out my pocket!.... ya'll just pray for me."  One of the young men who was there with us seemed to be listening intently and summed up the Plan of Salvation in his own words:  "So you sayin life a open book test...but you gotta read the book."  Bingo.

We finally made contact with our golden investigator from two months ago.  And met her husband/boyfriend person who was more excited about the Book of Mormon than anyone I've ever seen.  He also asked if we knew anything about the Secret Sayings of Christ, and if the Book of Mormon was part of that, and if we'd heard about the archaeological evidence of giants that proves the Bible to be true, and asked us to pray that the government stops putting fluoride in our water because it's making America dumb and lazy and less capable of praying.

So if you're wondering about the title, it's not about the time that we got dropped four times in one day.  I mean, that was not fun at all, but it got better when a 90 year old lady we met tracting asked if she could buy us dinner and handed us $40.  We took the other sisters out to Mexican.  No, the day of tears was yesterday.  As usual, none of ours showed up to church, not investigator nor less active.  And we'd had six that we'd invited.  You'd think the chances of someone coming goes up.  Not here it don't.  So during our correlation meeting, the other sisters are gushing about the family they're teaching that showed up, and then our ward mission leader talks about a similar family that he taught and baptized in Mexico city, and he says the one phrase that seems to always push me and my comp over the edge:  "The field is white."  ".... in Mexico," I added.  And then splash! came the tears.  Poor WML then said all the right things to console me but I would not be consoled.  Not right away, anyway.  You just have to cry it out sometimes.  And then correlation meeting ends, you eat some greek yogurt, and you get back to work.

Same night, we had dinner with bishop and somehow got on the subject of the end of the world.  I don't really know how to describe what ensued, because none of us really understand it, but Bishop who's really into emergency preparedness mentioned food storage, and one of the sister missionaries burst out that she had no food storage at home, that there was no point to going to college after her mission because she doesn't even have enough money for gas to get to Missouri when all the saints will have to leave society, and we can't have our babies in hospitals or they'll all go to hell because the law is going to mandate putting micro chips in their arms and that's the mark of the beast (note: these concerns are only about 35% valid).   Then she burst into tears.  Then her companion starts crying because our assurances of "the righteous need not fear" got her thinking about less-active relatives - we all have em - that are not being righteous and will perish in their sins.  My comp and I had been laughing up to this point because of how excited everyone was getting about it all, but then it turned into cry-laughing because they were scared.  And we were sad for them.  Bishop, who's stoked for the end of the world and has closets full of apocalypse supplies, just didn't know what to do with us.  Except be highly amused.  Then in the car on the way home when the zone leaders call to get our weekly reports and ask how we're doing, the entire scene repeats.  And they don't know what to say except, "Uh.... sounds like ya'll had a good week..."

So here's the scripture Sister Dailey flipped to this week while tracting:

 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God. [Moroni 9]

So we labor diligently.  Whether is blazing sun, or pouring rain, or both at the same time (which definitely happens here), we labor to conquer the enemy, and to obtain that wonderful and well deserved rest that only the Lord can reward.  So are terrible things going to come upon the earth?  Yes.  Is it going to happen soon?  Most definitely.  Should we fear?  No. Labor now, prepare yourself spiritually, and follow the counsel of the prophets.  They know what they're talking about.  Then, pass it on.  "It becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor."  Love you all.  Be good.


Sister Valdez

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