Wednesday, August 5, 2009

email of 3 August 2009

What a week!

Brace yourselves people, what I'm about to say may blow your minds...

I had an experience this week where I actually loved tracting.

I know, I know, who knew it would be possible, especially this soon in the mission. The Lord works wonders and miracles, if we'll let Him.

Tracting still isn't my favorite of all things to do, but I did have a really good experience with it this week. We had splits this week, and Sis Foutz (my trainer) made me promise that I'd go tracting with my splits companion. When I very grudgingly agreed and asked why, she simply said, "because miracles happen tracting when you're on splits." Was she right? Of course she was. She's got almost 15 months on me. My splits companion, Sister Earl, LOVES tracting. I did NOT understand how this was possible the first time she told me that (a few weeks ago), and I thought she was crazy, but having gone tracting with her, I understand. She is super full of energy, and absolutely LOVES being a missionary, and she just can't hold it in. She's also very talkative and relates well to people, which definitely helps. Overall, it was just really good to get out and do the work with someone else. Not that I don't love my companion, because I do, but a little change up and different perspective in the area really helps sometimes. We met some really great people tracting, and got lots of potential investigators. We (well, Sis. Earl actually - it was in Spanish, and I'm not quite that good yet; I still spend a lot of my time just trying to figure out what people are saying.) actually even committed one lady to baptism right on her doorstep! She's a really sweet Spanish sister from Guatemala, she's married and has a beautiful little 7 month old baby girl.

Have I mentioned yet how beautiful I think Hispanic children are? Cause I do. A lot.

Anyways, back to Sandy. She's very Christian, but she seemed to really understand when we talked to her about Priesthood authority and how important that is. So we've started teaching her, and will hopefully be able to catch her husband soon too (he works a lot). They seem like a great family, and I'm excited for them!

We also tracted into her next door neighbor, an interesting man named Kim. He came to the door in just a pair of swim trunks and some sort of cloth/leather necklace thing, but was very open and willing to talk to us. He even went inside and turned off his TV so that he could hear us better. THAT'S pretty amazing, especially considering that we hadn't said anything about it. Anyways, he understood everything really well - he's very smart and has studied a lot. He had some interesting ideas, one of which was that Martin Luther King was the latest prophet that he knew of. He at least had somewhat good reasoning behind that idea that we were able to work with in introducing the restoration and Joseph Smith (that MLKJ had a dream, and well, prophets have dreams, so "obviously" he was a prophet.) We talked to him for a good 20-30 minutes there on his doorstep, then left him a Restoration pamphlet, and asked him to read and pray about it. He told us we were welcome back anytime, but that he doesn't answer the door if he's eating or reading. Other than that, he's more than happy to talk to us. So yesterday we stopped by to see Sandy, then decided that Sis Foutz hadn't met him yet, we'd go over and see if Kim was home. He was (and yes, shirtless once again...), and came out and talked to us for another good while. He'd actually read the pamphlet (well, skimmed through it at least), and passed it on to a friend. So we had another really good conversation with him, taught him about the Book of Mormon, left him with a Book of Mormon and a Bible, and set up a return appointment. We told him that the most important thing to do when he reads the Book of Mormon is to pray and ask God if it's true. When we said that, he asked, "before or after I read?" When we told him to do it before AND after, he just nodded like, "oh, yeah, that's good idea." I told him that it's always good to "sandwich" your scripture study between prayers (thank you, Ian McArthur). His response? A grin and chuckle as he said, "I like sandwiches." It was pretty funny.

The thing about Kim is that you wouldn't expect to feel the Spirit around him. He's a 30-40 something construction pipe fitter who's out of a job, he never wears a shirt, and he just is an interesting individual. I'm not sure how else to really describe him well at the moment - he's one that you sort of just have to meet. So while on the outside/at first meeting you wouldn't expect much, and certainly not to feel the Spirit, you do. He just has this light in his eyes, and you can tell that he is of the blood of Israel. As we left, my companion turned to me and said, "why do I feel the Spirit around that man?" I've never met someone quite like him. And he's very smart. He thinks very intellectually, and says that the things we talk about really make sense to him. I'm excited to teach him more!

One of my points in telling you all this is that Sandy and Kim's apartment building is one that we knocked because as we walked by, I thought, "we should knock that building." And at first I kept walking, but then I told Sister Earl, "Hey, why don't we knock that building?" So we did. And it was amazing!

A few fun little "randoms" : I ate calamari (squid) this week. It wasn't very good. It wasn't terrible, but it sure as heck wasn't good. It tastes really fishy, and is really rubbery in texture. I don't recommend it. Second, I've decided that I'd like to be fluent in Spanish AND Ghetto before I leave my mission. We went to see a former investigator who lives with her cholo (Mexican gangster) boyfriend. Just picture a big, bald-headed (it’s a Mexican gangster thing), very tattooed Mexican guy answering the door with a marijuana joint tucked behind his ear. Fairly normal, I guess. Whatevah. It was just a really funny experience. Remind me to tell you about it someday.

We have a baptism this Sunday! Freddy (I think I told you a little about him last week) is getting baptized, and I'm SO EXCITED!!!!! We had an awesome lesson with him yesterday. I haven't been totally sure what to think of him up to this point, and was a little worried that he was getting baptized just because of his girlfriend, but as we talked to him yesterday about the baptismal interview questions, he really opened up to us. He knows the church is true, and he wants to be baptized, but he's really worried about/scared that he'll hurt/disappoint his mom. He's really a very tender soul; we just didn't realize it. More on him next week.

I love being a missionary!!!

I Love All of Y'all!!!!!!

Hermana Sallie

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