Thursday, August 7, 2014

Week 51: Out The Sky

I'm gonna overlook the fact that none of you commented on anything I said last week and assume that you still see me as the level-headed highly-rational one in the family.  Not a hormonal stress-bomb gone nuts.  I appreciate that.
Right when I thought the highs couldn't get no higher and the lows no lower, we broke some records this week.  First was record of tears shed by one companionship in a fifteen minute period, second was consecutive lessons in members homes in one day - with no cancellations and no knocking-and-no-one-answered attempts.

I ended up in the worst Bible bash of my life - with a member.  A recent convert actually, who I guess never had a solid testimony of the Restoration, believes the Book of Mormon to be true, but is stuck on false traditions of his fathers - i.e. that there is no "one true church" that the Bible is the only everlasting and infallible "word of God" and that nothing can add to it and it's not the doctrine that matters or the way you worship it only matters that you believe Jesus is the Christ.  Anyway.  He ended up basically telling us that "God's closing the door on this one," meaning he's not coming to church anymore, or talking to us anymore.  So much for temple prep.  Soon as we were around the corner out of sight, I threw down my bike, sank into the lawn, and cried.  My companion followed suit.  And then it started raining.  It was like a movie or something.  For a day, I was plagued with the awful awful feeling that I had completely failed as a missionary by doing the exact opposite of my purpose.

Our poor greenie, who last transfer was deserted by his trainer, finally got to return to his area with a new comp.  And then he got pneumonia.  Out of the blue.  The first day.  Poor kids have been stuck in their apartment all week watching The Testaments and playing farkle.  So.  I guess it could be worse for us.  We could be not working at all and asking Relief Society to bring us casseroles.

But then it got better yesterday.  Remember our investigator who was the dad of a member in our ward who was in the process of moving back here from Virginia?  He's back!  We walked into church yesterday and there he was!  Best surprise ever.  Just fell out the sky and into our lives.  He'd gone to church every week he was in VA and met with the bishop there, who was a converted Southern Baptist, just like him, and met with the missionaries as well who showed him the Restoration video.  "It showed the story of Joseph Smith, helped me understand it better.  He was a prophet!"  He also told us he'd read "a little bit" of the Book of Mormon, we we're thinking, okay like two chapters maybe, and he's like "I'm about a third of the way through" and we're like *passes out in disbelief.*  Yep.  He's ready.  August 2nd, here we come.

M-Hall adventures were good as always.  We met a guy who looks and acts a lot like an art professor I had in college - minus the braces - and showed us a five page letter he got from a local prophet named "Prophet Peter" telling him his future with every other line bolded or underlined.  He's like "I sent this guy some money once and I started getting these two or three times a week.  Scares me a little bit, but I don't wanna judge one way or the other if he says he's a prophet." And in our minds we're like "Aha let me tell you a thing about prophets" but instead we assured him that it's okay to question the words of a "prophet" especially when the stuff they do scares you.  In fact, please feel free to pray about this one a lot and refer to 1 Timothy 4:  God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of peace and of love and of a sound mind.  He was a funny guy though, and when he asked for whatever literature we had so he could study up, we gave him a pamphlet about the Restoration.  You wanna know a thing about prophets?  Bam.  Prepare to be mind blown.

We also got to teach the Valdez family (aka mah cousins) and a friend of his who's hanging out there happens to be a former member of the church who starts bringing up all this stuff his bishop told him that "made" him dissent from the church and we're like "awesome there goes our investigator" but then we start teaching Mr. Valdez about the Book of Mormon and the crazy friend bears an unexpectedly sincere and adamant testimony about how the Book of Mormon is true and you can tell every time you read it because the stories are crazy cool and it always somehow applies to the stuff going on in your life.  Afterwards, Mr. Valdez says "Yeah, I'm actually going to read it this week.  Hearing him talking about it made me really interested."  A crazy dissenter's testimony.  Go figure.  These things come out of nowhere.

For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;
 And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand; [D&C 58]
So much of our time is spent in foundation laying.  And then once in a blue moon, Heavenly Father just throws in a cakewalk teaching experience, in which basically all we have to do is present what we know and testify of it and they take it and run because this is exactly what they want.  And by once in a blue moon, I mean THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME and may well be the last, it's fine.  When it comes to golden, we missionaries really don't do anything, we're just a formality.  The elect are already convinced of the effort they must put forth to be converted, and we just show em where the road is.  So our job is to be obedient, do our darndest, not have breakdowns  - well, have breakdowns and then get back to work - and be ready to teach when the one golden-elect-prepared investigator falls from the sky.  Don't worry bout me, I'll make it.  love ya'll.
Sister Valdez

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