It has been an interesting week to say the least. Needless to say, we met with a lot of interesting people... The weather also dropped 30 degrees overnight Wednesday and so I have gotten to wear a sweater everyday this weekend!
Monday evening we were calling people that we had door knocked into and we called a girl that we had met a few weeks before, thinking that she probably wouldn't want to meet with us since she didn't seem super interested when we met her and she told us that she was a Wicken. When we called her Monday morning she agreed to meet with us on Tuesday. We met with her Tuesday and she explained what Wicca was and why she didn't believe in God. Apparently Wicca is kind of like witchcraft except without "dark magic" and there is no belief of good or evil. Seemed kind of sketchy to me but we actually have a few members of the ward here that used to be Wicken and they assured us that it isn't as Satanic and evil as it seems... We had a really good lesson with her and invited her to read the Book of Mormon and promised her that she would be able to gain a testimony and belief in God and in Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon. We told her to start with King Benjamin's sermon starting in Mosiah 2. SHE READ IT! Not only did she read it but she highlighted in it and had really good questions about what it was saying. When we went over on Wednesday the first part of the lesson was a little distracted.. She has a ferret that she allows to run around the house. It kept trying to get into our bags and was trying to eat Elder Bass' watch and then the Ferret bit his ankle. Elder Bass screamed like a little girl and I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. She finally put the ferret up and we were able to finish our lesson with her. We answered her questions and talked about the Godhead and about prayer and answered a lot of questions. We started by also starting on the Plan of Salvation and talked about pre-earth life and how that helped us gain a belief in our Heavenly Father's relationship with us. We went pretty deep into our beliefs and she understood a lot about what we told her about prayer and how the Holy Ghost will answer her that God is there. We texted her Thursday and she said THAT SHE PRAYED. A girl that didn't even believe in God a week ago has started to pray!! It was so awesome. She knows that God is there and that what we share with her is true, she is just denying it. But she will come around.
We also met with a minister Wednesday night. It was an interesting lesson.. He is a minister that doesn't run a church on Sunday but runs a community outreach throughout the week. He doesn't really like the Bible and thinks that scripture should be written on our hearts. He said that he thinks that the false idols that the Bible talks about has become the Bible itself since we focus too much on scripture and not on the relationship with God. It was a really interesting lesson since he has studied so many religions and has pulled things from each of them that he feels is "truth". It was a great experience and I think it took him off-guard a little bit that we were able to answer all of his questions that he had including a few that he said that no other church he had talked to had an answer. We are going to continue to meet with him but encouraged him to read the Book of Mormon and that would be the only way that he could know about what we share is true.
We also met with Ed, the deaf guy that was baptized last week. We went with a member of the ward that is deaf that has been teaching all the lessons with a powerpoint (so that we can follow along and make sure that everything is taught) and explaining them. We taught the restoration and it was really cool! I got to teach a part of the lesson with ASL that I learned at WT and some that I had picked up. It was so awesome because I was able to effectively teach a whole part of the lesson and the Spirit was there so strong testififying to him of the truthfulness of what I was signing and helping me explaining that part of the lesson. I knew that the gift of tongues was something that missionaries got serving in other missions around the world but I didn't know that I would be able to use the gift of tongues (or hands) here in my mission!
Other than that this week hasn't been super eventful. The wicken, the minister, and the deaf guy were all within 24 hours. We have lessons with all of them this next week so I'm excited to see what happens with them. We have also continued to teach the girl that I told yall about that is going to be homeless soon. She hasn't been as committed as she used to be since all this is going on but she still has a desire to learn. I'm excited to see what happens with her also.
I spent a lot of time in my personal studies this week really focusing on attributes of the Savior. I have studied and pondered on a talk given by Elder Bednar that I was able to watch a video of in the MTC called Character of Christ. It was a talk that he gave at the MTC. It is a great talk that talks about how when the Savior was faced with trials or hardship during his earthly ministry he didn't "turn in" like most of us would but instead he "turned out" and looked to serve those around him. Christ' character is a simple thing. He turns out in compassion and love when the natural man would turn in. It starts when he is tempted by Satan after he fasted at the beginning of his earthly ministry. The temptation wasn't hunger when Satan told Jesus to turn the stones to bread, it was a challenge. He told him "If thou be the son of God" to try to get him to turn inward. This pattern continues throughout his earthly ministry and to the cross when in the mist of his suffering he turns outward and says, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." I studied the many times that the Savior turned outward in his earthly ministry this week. I have felt that as a representative of Jesus Christ I should not only try to live his teachings but to also try to live the attributes that he has. I have tried to really "turn out" when I have been faced with trials or difficulty. I have looked for ways to serve those around me and to focus less on myself and focus fully on Jesus Christ. Because this truly is his work and I am an instrument in his hands. But, I just thought that I would share that with yall. It was a lot more in depth and I thought about sharing some of the scriptures but I will let yall study it for yourselves. ;)
But I love being a missionary! I have learned so much about the gospel and about Jesus Christ. I wouldn't change this experience for the world and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me!
You have been in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you again for all the love and support! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
P.S. Here are pictures of me before basketball on Monday with my awesome new MSU shirt. I also included a picture of me with Elder Tuua! He got transferred and we got to see him quite a bit since he was serving in the ward next to us. You can see that me and Elder Bass are looking snazzy in our sweaters!