It's been a really fun week. Thanksgiving was great. In the morning we went to play football with the ward, and we had a great turnout. After the adults vs. youth game (adults won easily) we split off into four teams and played two games each 11 vs 11. The grass was frosty and everyone was bundled right up. We were playing on the Brownsburg high-school football field because Brother Tupuola is the head coach there. It was a good way to start the day. After that us four missionaries went back to our apartment to change into dry clothes and relax a bit before driving up to the Zionsville building for the potluck dinner that Sister Beaven was putting on at 1:00. By 2:10 we were at the Pluim's house, although dinner started closer to 3:00. Sister Pluim's dad is quite a fun guy who completely lacks a filter so that made it a party. by 4:30 we arrived at the Tingey's home comfortably full and proceeded to eat till it hurt and then we played games and hung out till around 9:00. I think I paced myself quite well, but I have to say I don't recall waking up feeling full before. All in all, it was a great day with great food and great people.
The exciting news for this week is that we finally had our first actual new member lesson with Cynthia and Herman on Tuesday. During that, Cynthia told us that friends and family had been planting doubts in her about the church and that to a large extent that was why she had been less than proactive with her involvement in church. At the same time she expressed a renewed commitment to coming to church. Both of them have been studying the Book of Mormon in the ways that work best for them and are, as far as I can tell, doing much better physically and spiritually than they have been in a long time. We intend to meet with them each Tuesday and Thursday from here on out.
While calling a lot of former investigators we met Lisa Donaldson, and taught her a miniature restoration lesson over the phone and in so doing, convinced her to let us come over. We brought the Merrills to that lesson and it went really well. Lisa came to church this Sunday at which point we gave her a large-print Book of Mormon. She is legally blind due to complications during cataract surgery, but can still see well enough out of one eye to study the Bible at length.
The other person that came to church this week was Michael Alvarado. We've been meeting with Michael off and on since well before I arrived here, and lately our lessons have revolved quite heavily around the idea of needing to draw closer to God through scripture study, prayer and church attendance so that he can feel the Spirit and receive personal revelation. Michael believes in following the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, but he has a really hard time accepting the old testament, and likes reading about dharmic religions. He particularly enjoys the Bhagavad Gita. He committed to reading the whole Book of Mormon, but we're still working on getting him to actually do that. Our lesson with him on Saturday lasted about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and a full lesson review would be a letter by itself, but the conclusion of it all was the idea that God is willing to answer prayers and reveal His truths to anyone that actively seeks knowledge from him. As we seek to know and act upon God's will, the little corner of the world that we have control over will become brighter and more idyllic, and if a lot of the people in our life are striving to be closer to God themselves, then the community will rise to become more like a paradise on earth, but that requires deliberate time and effort.
Between the continuous Christmas music, the pancake/egg/bacon breakfast, and the light snowfall, we've been really getting into the Christmas Spirit this morning. We still haven't put much (or any) though into how to use "light the world" this next month, but there's apparently a forum for missionaries to share ideas on, so I'll take a look at that and try to put together some plans. Right now we're in the genealogical library so I'll spend some time after this playing the piano for the first time in quite a while. We got batteries for a keyboard that had been left in our apartment, so I got to practice a few songs and teach Elder Hafoka 'heart and soul' in some of the evenings this week, but it's a pretty small keyboard so it'll be nice to play on a full piano.