One thing I learned this past week is both easy and hard experiences can happen simultaneously, and the growth that comes from both is good. I'll have to explain—there's an experience for both, kind of extreme in both cases.
We met a man named Josher this past Tuesday, a friend of a member up in West Salem. He's in his late 20's, and has come to institute with his member friend, Roberto. He's interested in learning more because he feels like the church he currently goes to says to do one thing, and does another, among many other concerns he expressed to us. Overall I've noticed how he is engaged and wants to learn from us. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and what it is, and it's role in our lives. Then, we had his friend share his conversion experience. We had a follow-up lesson with him on Wednesday, and taught an epic Restoration lesson! It was so bomb! Elder Vega is a master teacher for sure! We both felt like it was right to invite him to be baptized at the end of the lesson, and not only did he accept to be baptized, but he ACCEPTED A DATE!! It was the most spiritual experience of my mission so far. The Spirit literally filled the room, and I know Josher felt the truth of our message. He was in tears when he prayed to end the lesson.
I'm not sure if I've ever written about Adrian, but he's a guy we met before I actually got here, and we've been "teaching" him off and on since then. We usually meet up at the library here in Monmouth, and have a discussion about a gospel principle. He doesn't like formal lessons, and we take turns trading off the topic of our discussions with him, switching every time. This past Thursday when we met with him, he wanted to show us a video he saw online about Mormons, that prompted him to begin talking with missionaries in the first place. The video is on YouTube, and after watching this video, clearly made to be very anti-LDS, I understand why he had questions about our faith in the first time. Half truths, lies, and little kernels of truth were all mixed in together to present our religion in a very negative light. From there, the lesson went down hill. I think part of it was I entered a damage control mindset, where I thought "oh, I need to correct what he thinks is true, and isn't", and began to almost bash with him. After an intense conversation, he finally told us he felt after having that talk that he was happy in his own church, and that there was no point in us meeting anymore. It was so hard to hear him say that. I think since we've taught him so many times, and gotten to know him so well, that when he said he didn't want more, that was a hard pill to swallow.
There's definitely a reason that we had that experience with both Josher and Adrian this week. Satan knows the work we're doing is from the Lord, and he is so against it. Every time we win a victory, he does his hardest to then give us a loss. I've found that regardless of people using their agency for the better or worse, ultimately that affects them, and no one else. I can move on I've done all I can, and I'm pressing forward with the perfect brightness of hope that Nephi describes.
I love you all! I hope you all had a great Mothers Day! Have a great week!