Back on my first day here, Sister Hansen said "Look at the map. Pick out a street." We started tracting it. Turns out it's a pretty long street. Well on our 2nd day of tracting it we met Ernie. His house was daunting and intimidating and we really didn't want to go up to it. But we're missionaries. Of course we did. We taught him the restoration and gave him of Book of Mormon and said we would visit his church if he went to ours (he goes to NorthView...along with every other person in Indiana. It's a HUGE church.) Well then he went out of town on business for a month and so we had to wait to meet with him. And we finally did this week. He came prepared with 2 pages of questions. He would read online and in the Book of Mormon on his lunch break. We taught a great lesson to him and his wife and they definitely want to learn more. But he's going out for another business trip. We think we may try to embrace the whole technology deal and see if we can teach his wife in person at their home while we skype him. We'll see.
A really great family in the ward signed up a while back to have missionaries come teach a lesson. Well that happened to be the night his sister was staying with them. So we taught her a lesson too. This ward is great when it comes to being involved with missionary work. I'm spoiled here. Well I guess really every ward should be like that. The sad truth is, they aren't.
We taught Justin another interesting lesson. We planned to teach plan of salvation but didn't get far because he doesn't believe that the past is set in stone. Sister Hansen asked him to say a prayer right then and ask if we lived with God before we came here. Before I knew what I was saying, I promised him that if he'd sit and listen after the prayer, he'd get his answer. And then I started to panic. I prayed fervently for God to answer him immediately. I felt like I had made too big of a promise. But I felt peace that Justin had gotten an answer. So we asked Him what he felt and he just said calm. But we talked about how that is how the spirit speaks to us. Especially him since he has anxiety, calmness is something so needed for him and so that's how God answers him. I told him I was scared I had made such a big promise but that God told me I needed to and told me He'd follow through. I felt really bad because Justin asked me if I get frustrated with him. I don't ever feel frustrated I just worry about how I can help him but I guess that came off as frustration to him. I explained that if I was frustrated at anyone, it was me for not teaching clearly enough.
On Wednesday, new Elders got double transferred into the ward. They have a very similar situation like what Sister Hansen and I had a transfer ago. They have no investigators and they're starting from scratch. We'll help them out though. We already have. The ward mission leader doesn't want us to teach single men anymore since we have 2 sets of missionaries so sadly we had to give up Justin. We stopped by his house to tell him we wouldn't be the ones to teach him anymore. Sometimes we feel like he doesn't make progress but I think that's mainly just because we really have to start from the basics. But he told me that I shouldn't be frustrated at my skills as a missionary because I had truly helped him. That meant a lot to me and makes me sad that we can't teach him anymore.
We were so sad because the Garcias definitely took a step back this week. They didn't read what we asked them to and they expressed concern over why the Bible doesn't mention the Book of Mormon. When we talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, they said they don't need that because they already have the Spirit with them. We started preparing "homework" for them so they have reading assignments every day. We hope that can help them progress faster.
We met with the Hernandez family who have met with missionaries for years. We asked them what their intention was in having us over. Their answer blew us away. They like the friendship they get from the missionaries. The question made them think at least a little though, because they asked what our intention was. So we basically told them to teach them the truth so that they can get baptized. Maybe with a clearer purpose set, we can make progress with them.
We tried a lot of less actives. 90% of them have moved.
We had a tentative appointment scheduled with a referral, Todd, so we called to confirm. The lady that answered asked who we were so I said "missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Then she said "We already have our church. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" So I simply started to say "Yes, I'm just looking for Todd, is this the right number?" But before I could get through any of it she repeated ''DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" So I just kept saying yes. She literally yelled the question 15 times, said "YOU GIRLS SHOULD BE SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND." And then hung up. We got a little laugh out of that one!
We tried by a former investigator and when we got there she said "I was wondering when you missionaries would come back." Good sign, right? Wrong. She told us she had tried to read the Book of Mormon but she couldn't stomach it because it was of the devil. She spent a good 5 minutes explaining how evil it was. Weirdly enough she was a very sweet lady. She offered us water. She said she's a single mom that works and goes to school but she'd make time for us to do a Bible study if we'd come with open minds. She says she prays for the missionaries every day and probably always will that we will realize the error of our ways. She hopes we can find Jesus. She started to say she wishes us luck but then stopped herself and said she hopes that our missions will be difficult so we realize that we follow the devil. It was hard to listen to her deny the Book of Mormon. All we could say is we've prayed about it and know that it is true. We still asked for a referral though. And she even kind of gave us one. She said to talk to the neighbor across the street playing basketball. So we headed over and stopped in the driveway. The guy grabbed his basketball and literally ran away.
Sorry I wasn't able to write home yesterday. We did have a fun Labor Day BBQ though. The new Stake Presidency Counselor is in our ward and his family invited over 3 ward families, and all the missionaries in the ward. So it was fun to eat with President Cleveland. It's so nice to get to interact with him since most missionaries don't get much of a chance. No surprise, he talked sports with Elder Coles. That's what you get when your mission president is a coach. He said his favorite coaching job was his first one at a high school in California when he taught AP gov and econ. He's really cool. We all really love the Clevelands!
On our way to a less actives after dinner we saw the summer sales boys that are in our ward selling door to door. We talked to them for a minute and they gave us a referral of a lady they sold to. They said that one house they had been in, the man told them they have the hardest job in the word selling pest control door-to-door but then paused and said, No, those Mormons who try to sell religion have it harder. So then of course they told him they've already been there and done that!
I got an update from the Missionary Department on my visa. Pretty much all they said was it's not here. With the last transfer we got two more visa waiters. They'll be headed to Australia. Crazy.
Pues, Hasta Luego,