September 1, 2014

Teaching and Contacting

Dear Mom,

That sounds like a really cool week. I've actually never been inside Helaman Halls before, I've just walked through the area, so that's interesting. I still think it's weird that everyone I know is at BYU without me haha.

So on Monday after emailing and grocery shopping we went home and just totally crashed for like 2.5 hours. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure I'm running 100% on grace at this point and as soon as I take the nametag off I'm going to pass out and sleep for like 3 days. We had to leave our apartment a little early because we had an appointment right at 6 pm in Glace Bay. I was actually kind of surprised it went through. We taught a really good Restoration but at the end we discerned that she had absolutely no real intent so she didn't become a new investigator. After that we had a few appointments set up with other potentials and less-actives, but they all fell through so we basically just knocked the whole evening out in Reserve Mines. It was a really beautiful evening, where it's been hot all day so it's just warm and peaceful and the sun is setting.

We had district meeting on Tuesday and talked about the faith to find and did a few roleplays that was basically about not being put off by how weird people are and seeing their potential anyways. It was pretty fun because you got to make up some pretty great investigator characters. After that we were supposed to have service at Sister Oliver's house but she cancelled, so we went home and had lunch instead and then I think we had a member visit with Sister Parks. After that we biked around and did some street contacting, and it was SUPER HOT outside and Sister Curtis was not having a good time with it, so we stopped by Downtown Nutrition, which turned out to basically be an independent version of Jugo Juice, and got a smoothie. After that we had an appointment wtih Amy, a potential the elders found. We got in and she's super awesome, she's really open to the Spirit and had questions about why there were so many different churches. So we taught the Restoration, obviously, and she said she'd get baptized if she knew it was true, but wouldn't commit to a date yet. After that we had dinner, then right at the end of dinner Sister Oliver called and said she had Elder Amaya over for a goodbye dinner and had WAY too much food, and would we like to come have some? So we said yes because we were running out of food so we just had a SANDWICH, which is LAME. So we went over and had awesome Guatemalan barbecque and that ended up taking the bulk of the evening. I think we did some park contacting afterwards to meet our contacting goal.

On Wednesday we biked all day. Sister Curtis claims I'm trying to kill her. It was super warm again. But it actually ended up being super effective. We talked to 37 people just street contacting and so we decided to stop by Kim, another potential, on the way home. We ended up getting into a lesson with her and she's one of those people who is very "spiritual" and doesn't believe in organized religion, and she had concerns about women and the priesthood, so we set up a lesson the next day to talk about those things so we'd have some time to figure out how to approach it, haha. After that we had lunch, and then we took our bikes to Sportchek because Sister Curtis' gears were malfunctioning. So after that got fixed we had correlation at the church, and then after dinner we tried to find some RCLAs again, but nobody was home, so we ended up having a member visit with Sister Bauer. Following that, we basically just bike contacted on the way home, I think. 

Thursday started off with more street contacting downtown before lunch, and then after lunch we brought Sister Betts, this super old sister in the ward, to a lesson with Kim. It turned out AWESOME, they really hit it off and Sister Betts basically taught the whole lesson for us. We had planned to go in with the Family Proclamation, but right at the beginning I realized we didn't even know if Kim believed in Christ, so we ended up talking about her belief in God and she really understands the concept of light/the Spirit, so we ended up leading that into the Godhead and talking about how she'd developed a belief in Heavenly Father and the Spirit, and now she needed to figure out Jesus Christ. And then we basically taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation to explain why we need Christ, and then Sister Betts bore a really powerful testimony that basically included overviewing the entire Restoration, and it was seriously just awesome. Then we had to rush to Glace Bay for our next lesson. We brought one of the Young Women to Ariel's and taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation again, with the goal of helping her understand why we need to know truth and that God wants to answer her prayers. So we managed to help her understand that she needs to figure the truth out to return to God, and then she was really stressed because she feels like it's too hard to figure out on her own, etc., and I was just like, "Well don't you see, God knew that would be difficult and that's exactly why he'd want to answer our prayers," and all of a sudden it just clicked for her. It was awesome. After that we tried to see some LA's again, but EVERYONE is out of town or something, so we checked on a potential. He told us to come back when his wife was home so we could go inside, so we stopped by and she was home, so he let us in and talked to us in the living room while she cooked dinner. He didn't have any real intent himself and was one of those people who has his own idea of what you're going to say before you say it, so it doesn't matter what you say, he just hears what he wants to. But he has a friend he's thinking of referring to us. And then they invited us to stay for dinner and had this really awesome steak stir-fry that was really spicy, and it was pretty great. After that, we had a member visit with Sister Rose and she gave us a referral for a former investigator she'd fellowshipped, and then we had a visit with Sister LeBlanc and had a really great discussion about how Christ can empathize with our temptations.

On Friday we did weekly planning in the morning, as usual, and then we had an appointment with someone who lived downtown, but it was a bad address, so we went street contacting a little bit before our lesson with Amy. We brought Sister LeBlanc and they totally hit it off, so we followed up on the Restoration and went more into prayer, since we didn't get to talk about prayer and how the Holy Ghost feels as much as we'd have liked to the last time. And towards the end Sister LeBlanc was just like, "You're coming to church with me, what time should I pick you up? Notice I didn't ask so you can't make excuses." Hahaha. It was great. Then we came outside to find that I'd left the car running through the whole lesson. *facepalm* *headdesk* After that we were supposed to have service, but it cancelled again, so we went home and had dinner and did a bit of contacting before our appointments out in Glace Bay, but they all fell through again and it was freeeeezing! So I think we just drove around and tried to contact people because neither of us were dressed for the weather at all. On the way home we stopped by Sister Rose's referral pretty late at night and it was totally inspired. She was just having such a hard time in her life recently and almost committed suicide the night before, and she said, "Last time I felt like this the missionaries showed up too!" So she really realized we were sent from God. It was pretty late so we set up a lesson for the next morning to figure out if Heavenly Father just sent us on an intervention or if she was actually an investigator.

So the next morning we biked around for an hour because our Zone has a goal that we get 10 contacts by noon each day, so when you have an appointment at 11 you just basically have to bike like crazy to find 10 people. Haha. We got up to Tracy and it was a really good lesson. We were going to read in Mosiah 24 with her, and we did, but then she just had all these questions about the Book of Mormon and the church instead of wanting to focus on how it applied to her personal problems, which was just like "real intent all over the place!" So we reviewed some of the Restoration and then resolved some concerns about the temple and such. Her husband's pretty Catholic and her kids are atheist and I think she got anti/family pressured out of it last time. She asked if she could keep the Book of Mormon. Um, yes? So after that we biked to the branch picnic, but only one person was there. But that turned out okay because Brother Boutlier's the second counselor so we got to bring him up to speed on a lot of what we're doing and eventually Sister Boutlier showed up with sandwiches and watermelon. Then members started gradually stopping by, because Maritime standard time + Mormon standard time = gong shows all over the place. We got to learn a lot about the members though and how everyone's related so that was good. After that we biked home and drove into Glace Bay, and we were going to knock, but then I pulled a time out to discuss our companionship for a bit. Nothing major, just a readjustment. Then we had a DA with Sister MacLean and invited her to a lesson the next day, which was great. She made the best hamburgers ever. After that, we went knocking for a bit, but the JW's had recently hit the street and it was pretty unproductive.

We called Amy Sunday morning to wake her up for church and she was pretty stressed since she'd had friends over late last night, but she still wanted to come (more real intent!) So we got to church and she came, but then Sister LeBlanc took her home after sacrament meeting, which was a bit of a bummer but also pretty cool because she got to find out that Amy really enjoyed church, but is worried that we'll refuse to keep teaching her when we find out about her Word of Wisdom problems, so Sister LeBlanc got to resolve some of those concerns. She'd found out on the way here that we don't drink coffee and she told me before sacrament, "So I guess I have to figure out how to give that up!" Haha. She totally wants to get baptized. We'll probably put her on date this week. After church, we took Sister MacLean to Donald's lesson. That was a little rougher. Sister MacLean likes to talk a lot, so we kept getting off track, plus I hadn't noticed at the beginning of the lesson that the TV was on silent in the other room, but after the lesson got going I realized it was right across from me, and it was really distracting. Plus whatever show it was was really gory. I don't understand how you can kill that many people in a single episode and sustain a whole season. So I probably just should have asked to turn it off but there was never a good moment and it was just frustrating. But on the plus side, we established that Donald understands the Restoration, wants to figure out if it's true, and hopefully he understands the role of the Book of Mormon and prayer a little better now. After the lesson we dropped off Sister MacLean and then we parked and ate a bunch of junk food a member brought us because we forgot to pack lunch, hahaha. Then we went to an appointment with Kristy and Eileen, but they have strep throat or something and were still sick, so we stopped by some people and then went knocking a bit before dinner. 

After dinner was pretty cool. We seriously had the worst time tracking down RCLA's this week, and we were biking and I felt impressed to visit someone we had planned for later. Well, we stopped by and she wasn't home, so we just moved on to the next backup, who ended up being so far down on Victoria Road to be in Whitney Pier. So I didn't tell Sister Curtis that, I just led us there because I knew she'd think the Pier was too far to bike even though the map is kind of deceptive about that. Well we get there and the house is abandoned. But the thought comes to me, "Hey since we're in the Pier we should stop the Campbells." So we bike to the OTHER end of the Pier and we managed to crash a family dinner, haha. It was the Campbells, who we've never met, the Jacksons, another LA family we really want to work with, and an active family who's visiting them from Manitoba. So that was AWESOME. Since they were just finishing up dessert, the active family had no problem letting us right in and giving us some awesome cake, and then the Jacksons came in and talked with us and we ended up sharing a thought from John 20 about not getting distracted from discipleship/missionary work by good, but worldly things. It was great because all the other stuff we did just killed time enough that we caught them at the PERFECT moment and it was a really great experience. Then we biked home at 8 and it was slightly sketchy, but whatever, it was worth it, haha.

Sister Olson

Elder Amaya wanted to go down to the Big Fiddle and take pictures for his last Monday. It was super sunny!

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