Another week down! Geez, their really starting to fly by, holy cow! I really have seen the Lord guiding us to those who have been prepared. I will say that it has been a real struggle for me to adjust to English missionary work. It's been tough for me, since I feel like I'm being trained all over again, as Elder Ketchum teaches and shows me what to do. Teaching people in English has been truly a tremendous blessing, and the teaching aspect I have not had too much of a problem with. I've noticed how its been the regular contacts with random people on the streets, and having normal conversations with them. I've struggled to have those contacts, and when I do, I feel like they've been lacking. Anyway, enough about my moaning and complaining! :) It really has been a wonderful week, full of teaching appointments and visits with investigators.
We had a companion exchange--actually, two!--this past week. The first one on Tuesday was with the zone leaders, Elders Hill and Felsted. I went with Elder Hill over to their area in Jefferson, which is close to Albany. He's a super neat Elder, who actually started his mission in Monmouth! We talked about the members, and a couple of investigators from over there! We had a blast teaching the people of Jefferson the restored gospel, too! :D We taught an older man who met the elders on the street the previous week, and after talking with them and setting up a return appointment, flushed all kinds of illegal drugs and substances. He went cold turkey with them all! Pretty amazing. Elder Hill and I had the first lesson with him, because he's been so sick since then, from all the different things he was on. It's amazing to see how he's changed his life around. We taught him the restoration, and he was super curious about the priesthood, and was asking Elder Hill and I something along the lines of the order of Melchizedek, and giving off harmonic vibes, and lots of other questions that we didn't know how to answer, but somehow got through the lesson, and committed him to pray and read from the Book of Mormon. We had another sweet restoration lesson together, and even had a Bible study on that exchange!
Back with Elder Ketchum, we had such a busy week! I can't count how many lessons we had, or possibly tell about all of them, but I have come to realize that with each passing lesson, as I see our investigators progress and develop, I have a greater desire to do this work, and share the truth we have with even more people. I will tell
of one lesson we had with Andy, who's 16. We went over to teach him, ended up reading two chapters of the Book of Mormon with him, and helped him understand the difference between reading the scriptures, and studying them. He's on date to be baptized, and is praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true!!
The other exchange was with Elder Calder. Something we quickly realized together was that we both need to work on street contacting! We were both struggling with it, and of course, since Heavenly Father has such a great sense of humor, we talked with a TON of people that day on the streets who ignored us and made a super awkward situation, or didn't want to have anything to do with us, or any other reasons not previously mentioned, so that we could have as much practice as possible! :) We also had some amazing lessons with a couple of our investigators, and helped them come closer to Jesus Christ.
Funny story of the week:
There's an older couple who just got baptized into the church back in March, in their 70's. We were talked with him the other day at church about how some kids get put on milk cartons when they go missing, or how they used to, anyway. We kept going on with the conversation, and eventually split off to talk to other people. This brother motioned me back to talk with him after a minute, and talked to me about visiting one of his neighbors the first day in the area, over a week ago. He said how tensions were high between them, since he and his wife got baptized, and how if he EVER saw or heard of me talking to his neighbor EVER again, it would be my face that would end up on a milk carton, and I had better understand it! He was MAD... I just stood their nodding my head, and saying "yes sir" at the appropriate times, but inside I was laughing. Don't know if I should have been, but I was. Here I was, I barely knew this sweet member, he's in a wheelchair, and threatening my life if I do the work of the Lord. All for asking his neighbor about getting boxes together for her daughter who is moving! Funny situation. It ended, he smiled, and Elder Ketchum and I laughed for a long time afterwards! ;)
Oh, we also saw the eclipse today! We have an investigator who had us, and half the apartment complex over for brunch, and to watch the entire thing! It was so neat! I've never seen anything ever quite like it. It was so beautiful, and make me realize just how perfect all the creations of Heavenly Father are, and it confirmed to me that yes, He truly does exist. We had a blast, and took some goofy videos. :)
I learned this week that Heavenly Father truly puts us in uncomfortable situations for our benefit. There are things we HAVE to learn, that we can only learn in positions where we are forced to grow, and be out of our comfort zone, working and working and working, until that becomes our new comfort zone. Doctrine and Covenants 90:24 sums it up: "Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another." Truly, all things in our path work together for our good. I have seen that to be true, and will continue to see that to be true. I testify that for that reason, we have trials and tests, and challenges in this life. So one day when we are perfected, we will look back and realize that. Realize that all things really were for our good.