May 26, 2014

The work this week

Dear Mom,
I had a lot of emails to write this week so I'll try to cover everything that happened.
On Monday I made bread during P-day, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Then we went knocking and just had incredible success in finding potentials. We had a lesson set up for 7 that the Elders got for us, but she rescheduled, so we went to stop by some other investigators and such who were hard to get ahold of. We got in to teach Bella, our French investigator. We managed to bring it around to baptism and she said, "Oh, so Mormon is a religion? I thought you were Catholic!" Hahaha. Facepalm. Language barrier? We told her like 5 times we weren't Catholic though, and told her we didn't believe in the Trinity, Original Sin, or Infant Baptism, so I have no idea how that one slipped through the cracks. They always say extending the baptismal commitment helps you find concerns...yep. She said, "Do you believe in the Pope?" "No." "What? Come on! You have to believe in the Pope! He's the most powerful person in the world!" "Do you believe a Pope or a prophet is better?" "The Pope, duh! The Pope calls prophets." Then Sister Lewis says, "Well, in our church, we believe Jesus calls prophets." That totally clicked for her, and the next thing she said was, "I want to go to your church on Sunday." Um, okay, I guess if you want... ;) So then we went over it a bit and read through the end of the Intro to the Book of Mormon and said, "If you knew these things were true, would you be baptized?" She responded like we were basically the dumbest people ever: "Uh, yeah. Duh! Obviously!" We just started cracking up. We eventually managed to explain that most people didn't react like that. She didn't believe us, "What, they know it's true and they just want to live in their lies?!" All with this sassy black girl attitude. Soooooooo funny. Great lesson.
Tuesday we had a conference call with the sisters in the morning. We talked about accountability to the Lord and to leaders, since there's a serious attitude of excuse-making and don't-tell-me-I'm-doing-anything-wrong going around. Of course, the issue is that all the sisters who were already accountable actually paid attention, and the ones who aren't didn't listen to this either haha. Then we went to get a criminal record check for a volunteer opportunity, and then we had a lesson with Kayla, a single mom. She used to be Catholic but switched to Pentecostal for her boyfriend. It was cool because we were just doing HTBT and then ended up teaching the first three principles without even planning on transitioning. It was the first time teaching about "prophets" really just felt like the logical followup to "The gospel blesses families." We ended up talking a lot about modern prophets and she was super interested, which was awesome! Then I think we probably went contacting along the riverfront or something, and then we had a lesson with Stephanie. We taught the Plan of Salvation, which was good. Then we went to the church to have a skype call with the other STLs in the mission in preparation for the upcoming transfer. Following that, we tried to contact a referral who wasn't home, and then we went knocking, followed by following up on our rescheduled appointment from Monday. She wasn't home, so we left a note on the door and were driving away when we saw her family walking home. We'd been a bit early, so we were like, "What do we do? If she sees the note, it's going to be weird if we come back 10 minutes later. But maybe she really meant to be home in time for our lesson?" We drove past her house and the note was still there -- most Maritimers don't use the front door -- so we just went up to the door, removed the note, and knocked. Haha. She rescheduled AGAIN, but we had a good feeling about it. After that, we did more knocking, and at literally the LAST house, we did a door approach, all in French, that ended up getting us a return appointment for the next day. It was super exciting!
On Wednesday we did a few dropping-things-off-to-people related errands, and then we started riverfront contacting. Then we had an appointment with Natalie, who seemed super golden but has flaked a trillion times. We showed up and she said, "I thought it was tomorrow!" so we rescheduled one last time. Then we went knocking. After that, we had a DA with the Legers, who are a super awesome family, but for whatever reason, the progression of the DA went really slow (food not being ready, having to change her kid's diaper before the thought, etc) so we got out late, which was frustrating because we didn't have enough time to go work in our area before another appointment we had in Moncton. So we went to the church and updated our kijiji ads and such. Then we went to our WML's house to practice teaching the Restoration in French. It actually went super well, they had no suggestions for improving the French, just a few about how to teach it better in general. So that got us all pumped up, and then we went for our lesson with Koumba that we'd set up Tuesday evening. She's Muslim and from Africa. They seem to be much more liberal than Muslims from the Middle East. It was really cool because I could understand pretty much EVERYTHING she said and I just felt totally comfortable and just said basically the same things I would have in English. It was totally a blessing though because I was SOOO nervous before we went in. Sister Lewis still doesn't talk much in French lessons so it feels a little more on me, but I just have to remember that it's really all on the Lord. Like everything we do.
Thursday was super fun. We went to 9 am mass at one of the two Catholic churches in Dieppe. It was so confusing! It was all in French and hard to understand, and we had no idea what was going on. It made me appreciate why people would be nervous to come to church for the first time though, and the importance of fellowshippers. I noticed that I didn't really feel the Spirit from the church or the service, but I did feel the Spirit from the individual people who attended -- good Christians who come to mass even on Thursdays. It was neat. After that, we went to the hospital to deliver some Book of Mormons to people, and then we went to stop by a potential, following which we dropped off our criminal record check at the library and went riverfront contacting. We walked ALL THE WAY to Natalie's house and she wasn't even home! So then we walked ALL THE WAY back. Probably not the most effective, but it was uplifting somehow anyways. (I actually can't remember if the walking happened on Wednesday or Thursday.) It was probably Wednesday actually because on Thursday Sister Lewis' feet really hurt and we ended up getting a snack in the mall food court so we could sit down. We were basically super lazy and probably spent way longer there than we should have. Good thing there's always repentance. That evening we had a DA with Jayne and she agreed to help us learn how to teach family history to people, which was awesome, and then I think we were supposed to go knocking or something, and then we finally had our lesson with Cassandra, the lady who kept rescheduling. It actually went through and she's super golden! She thinks all religion is manmade so she has a habit of checking different ones out. Then she said, "And after I go, I always pray to know if the things they taught were true." We were basically just like, "Great, you should do that about our church!" haha.
Friday ended up being a total bust. We had weekly planning, then district planning, and that took forever because we had 3 new members, 2 of whom were ZLs, so there were lots of opinions and talking. Then we went to the hospital because they also wanted French Book of Mormons, and then we tried an investigator, but she wasn't home, so we had supper, and then we had games night, and hardly anyone came to games night, so basciallyyyyyyyyyyy it was a super long day of "not real missionary work" which is always frustrating.

Then on Saturday we had our usual skype calls in French and with the ZLs, and then we had lunch, then we tried to find somewhere to knock. The first street we picked was a trailer park, plus nobody was home, so we went to a different street, but there were still only about 1/10 people home. After that, I think it was raining, so we couldn't go street contacting since nobody was out, so we were going to go knocking, but then basically Sister Lewis was super discouraged about speaking French and stuff, and we were both noticing that we weren't finding as much joy from missionary work or the Spirit as much. So we talked about different things we could do to refocus on our purpose and make the Spirit a part of the work again, and then we went to Chapters to buy some French materials to help us out. We bought an audio book of "French for Dummies" and listened to it in the car, which has been fun. We went to a lesson with Judith and it was really great -- she and her girls opened up a lot more than usual. Then we had supper, followed by knocking and trying to stop by less actives, but nobody was home. It was kind of hard to put our hearts into finding all weekend since we got 3 new investigators by Thursday, and the standard is 2. (They raised it to 3 on Saturday in the skype call, but we had that also!). Probably not our best job being motivated. Saturday night we came home to try to find people rides to church, but all of our investigators cancelled before Sunday anyways. In the process, we ended up calling a sister who had been sick several weeks ago, and she was still sick when she answered the phone. It was obvious that it would be rude to ask her to drive someone, so instead we said we just called to see how she was doing and if we could do anything for her. "Oh yes," she says, "I still haven't found someone to teach RS for me tomorrow! I don't remember what the lesson is on though." So we called for a ride and ended up with an assignment haha.
On Sunday we went to Ward Council, and then we had church. Sister Lewis and I each read the talk for RS during church, and basically didn't have time to coordinate our lesson. Everyone says it was really good though, and one member said, "I could tell you really practiced." Yay for companionship unity! Then we had a district planning meeting AGAIN after church, and then we went and knocked a super long road, which is always really fun because you don't have to worry about what you have planned next or anything. We ended up knocking for forever, just because we felt good about it and it was finding all day, so we had a late supper. Neither of us were really hungry though, and somehow instead of eating, we ended up using that hour to both give ourselves self-haircuts. Haha. It actually looks pretty great. Again, probably not what we should have been doing. Then we did some referral contacting and knocking again, and then we had the call with the ZLs about the KI's. It became clear that all the sisters (including us) need to work harder, and the ZLs said, "Well, just tell them, 'We work as hard as the ZLs, you can work as hard as the elders." That really hit us and we re-committed ourselves to work hard this week -- as hard as the ZLs!

Sister Olson

The bread I made. We didn't have enough loaf pans, so I made a baguette too.

This super weird staircase where a referral lived.

We walked past a house with this stuff in the yard.

More of the bizarrely decked out yard. It was kind of cool.

Us outside Catholic church (St Anselme's)

License plate we saw

Looking up stuff in my dictionary when I saw this -- "July. See "September." Um, what?

No comments:

Post a Comment