This week was pretty sweet. We went on exchanges with the Elders down in Fairview/Waynesboro, which was sweet. I went down with Elder Serroa and Elder Hope stayed up in Carlisle with Elder Carr. As we were driving back from district council, the member driving us took us on a mini tour of Gettysburg. He was super knowledgeable about the battle, he could probably be a tour guide. We stopped a couple places and got out, but we mostly just did a car tour. It was pretty sweet and I would love to go back again for some good pictures and stuff. Fun fact about Gettysburg, the South stretched their line so far that they almost hit the main road that the North's men and supplies took to come to Gettysburg. If they had cut off that line, the battle would've had a very different outcome. It was pretty sweet, I recommend checking it out sometime. We weren't able to do much in Fairview, but we did find a guy who thought we were a big business that put Trump in office, so yay?
We were able to find a few people to teach this week, which was sweet. We found an ex drug lord who has given up his past life and wants to turn towards Jesus Christ, so good on him. We also started teaching a freestyle rapper who goes by Capital C (aka Chuck). He DJ'ed an event at the church once, so he knows a few members already. We brought him up in Ward Council, and the Young Women's president said he bumped into her at the store and recognized as her as Dancing Church Lady, so that's sweet, he already has connections. He's pretty cool, he wants to keep meeting with us, so good good. We also had dinner with this less active part member family. The parents are members but the kids aren't, and it's weird because they feel like your average active family when you walk into the house. From what I hear the oldest daughter has been super close to baptism in the past, so we're not entirely sure what happened or what's keeping them from church. What we know is they go to a church in Maryland run by an uncle or something that's really struggling in numbers, so they go as support. We suspect that that's really only a surface concern, so they're our project family, if you will.
We had a really cool experience on Sunday. A member visiting from Virginia came up and asked us a couple questions about how to explain some things to a nonmember friend of his. During our lunch, the member called us and asked if we wanted to speak with his friend in a half hour or so in Panera Bread. We said of course, and went over there to talk. He's a super cool dude, he stated he doesn't want any contention and wanted to make sure we had a discussion, not an argument. He was the type that believed that we are saved by grace alone, not works, which was more or less the main overarching doctrine we discussed. The Spirit was straight working through us though, we were able to stand toe to toe with him the entire time (but not in an argument way, if that makes sense). At first he was saying by grace alone we're saved, but after Elder Hope shared Revelations 20:12 - 13, which states we will be judged by our works, he started saying only by righteous faith are we saved, which is in essence what we were saying. It was a great lesson, and we all left happy that night. Unfortunately, he's moving to Colorado next week, or we would've picked him up. We're having dinner with him on Wednesday, so hopefully we can continually prepare him for the missionaries over there (which he's agreed to meet with). The coolest part was the member was telling us how his friend didn't really understand why he kept telling him to speak with missionaries, since they both had been studying their respective religions for 20 - 30 years and we're just these 19 - 21 year old boys. We explained authority and how we have been set apart, and by the end we could tell he was impressed with us and said he really looked forward to our next meeting before he left the area.
I've been able to learn a lot from my past studies, but my testimony of the Godhead and being saved by our works has really grown. There are so many scriptures that talk about these things, both in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. In 3rd Nephi 19:23, Jesus is praying to Heavenly Father and asks that those who believe in Him and follow His commandments be one with Jesus, even as Jesus and God are one. This is echoed in John 17:21 - 23 and 1 Corinthians 6:17. Jesus isn't saying that we will literally become God and Jesus Christ as one entity as we follow Him, but what he's saying is we will become one with Christ and Heavenly Father, meaning one in unity and purpose. Christ compares our commitment that we make at baptism and to follow Him to His relationship with God. They are unified and one is purpose, which is what we are striving towards as we are baptized and stuff. Just as we don't become God, Jesus, and ourselves as we follow Him but instead have that desire to be perfectly unified with the Savior, God and Jesus Christ aren't each other but rather the perfect example of that principle of perfect unity.
Well, that's all folks. Sorry for the novel this week, I do have plenty of pictures to distract the easily distracted, so bye bye till next week!
- Some pictures at Gettysburg
- Apparently the revolution began at some point. I don't remember getting a flier for it though.
- Apparently I got sent to Hawaii.