This last week has been fairly eventful but it sounds like I've got nothing on Mom, Dad, Karl, Jeanne and Lilly. It's hard to believe how much you did on Thursday.
To answer some questions about transportation, we have a car and I do not own a bike yet, nor am I planning on getting one until I know that I will be going into an area where I will need one. I was made fully aware of how nice having a car is this week when we had to leave at the dealership from Wednesday afternoon to Friday afternoon while it had work done on it. We ended up calling some investigators of ours named Cynthia and Herman Adams to come and give us a ride from the Ford dealer back to our apartment. This was good because it meant that I finally got to meet them.
We had a lesson with them on Thursday morning with an awesome old member named Brother Merrill. Brother Merrill gave us a ride to and from the appointment and had some amazing scriptures, insights and testimony to add to our discussion of modern prophets, the purpose of commandments and the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy. Cynthia and Herman seem like golden investigators as far as I can tell from one lesson, and they haven't had any trouble incorporating the word of wisdom into their lives. That said, they didn't come to church on Sunday despite having confirmed that they would on Saturday evening. We have an appointment with them tomorrow, so we'll figure out what happened then. They don't have good health at all, so it was likely related to that, but it's still frustrating.
Brother Yonas gave us a ride from where we were tracting to our appointment with David "Bud" Dobson II on Friday. The two of them got along great and we had an awesome lesson on the gospel. He came to church and we sat on the front row with Brother Yonas. Afterwards Bud told us that he particularly liked the talk about aligning our will with God's. I have high hopes for him. It turns turns out that he had a work related head injury a few years back that makes reading rather difficult for him. Each time we meet with him he is a bit more engaged and thoughtful.
We were only able to meet with the Kegbe's once this week and only then by showing up unannounced because they still weren't responding to texts or answering the phone ever. They were happy to see us but the conversation took a weird turn because we misjudged how much they understood/remembered/believed about what they had been previously taught about the apostasy and priesthood authority. I wasn't there for when they were taught that, but I can imagine that they just would have nodded their heads and said it made sense without actually internalizing it. Regina seems to believe something along the lines that all churches are true and that any noble man of God has the authority to baptize in the name of Christ, which we didn't realize until fairly late in the discussion. So that was unfortunate. I think that we probably confused them without actually teaching them what we had wanted to. They haven't read any more of the Book of Mormon because they are insanely busy. Note to self: never assume investigator understands the concept of priesthood authority until they can explain it in their own words.
On Saturday I met Abigail. We came over to trim her bushes and then she fed us lunch and we taught her the plan of salvation. Abigail is from New Orleans and her health completely crashed when she turned 40. Her cancer has been in complete remission for years now, but her back is in rough shape and she has a cabinet full of prescription drugs. She has two very energetic and friendly white dogs, and a ton of cool artwork from all over the world in her house. Everything in the plan of salvation made sense to her and she even said she had heard about the three kingdoms before, and just had it explained differently. I thought that was weird, but she does go to the "blended church" so I guess she could have heard just about anything. The spirit was strong during our lesson and she told us that she believes that we were sent to her by God, so that's good. She seemed excited to read Ether 12 and I'm sure teaching her the gospel will go just as smoothly. We didn't talk at all about priesthood authority, or the idea about this being the "one true church" so I'm not sure where she's at on that concept, but we'll get there when we get there.
Other than that, we haven't had much luck getting return appointments with the people who we talk to that seem interested in hearing more.
We didn't have dinner appointments the first week I was here, but we were invited over four times this last week and we have five days covered this next week. This ward is amazing. Everyone has powerful testimonies, people contribute a lot in class, and there are several people I know of already who are happy to join us on teaching visits, and have made a point of telling us so.
In my personal studies I've been going through all of the scripture study sections in Preach My Gospel, and have been identifying the ones I could use most easily in a lesson, so that I can write them out on a recipe card and eventually memorize them. I've also been reading through Jesus The Christ and Our Heritage, which have been really helpful in putting the stories I've heard a hundred times into chronological order and context.
All in all, I've been learning a lot about how to teach the gospel this week, (and how not to teach it) It's been good. Hopefully we'll be able to finally contact some of the people that just never seem to be home this next week.