You’re getting this email today (Tuesday) because yesterday was our missionary day at the Albuquerque Temple. It was amazing to see so many missionaries in the temple. We had four sessions of missionaries, and I was the last group to go through, so the Mission President and his wife went through with our session (although he and Sister Anderson and the Temple President and his wife spoke to each group in the chapel right before their sessions began.) The talks focused a lot on the temple being the counterpart of what we as missionaries are doing right now among the living. We were to think of our name as someone else’s investigator, and to think about all our missionary counterparts who have passed on before us: Abraham and Noah, mother Eve, Joseph Smith, etc. I love to think about the many people involved in this work! Heavenly Father won’t let anyone fall through the cracks.
We found FIVE new investigators this week! It’s pretty exciting. We had the first lesson with one woman, and the experience was interesting! Our mission president has challenged us to invite people to be baptized right from the beginning so that people know what our purpose is. Anyway, I told this woman something to the effect of: “If God reveals the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to you, and when you come to know these things are true, will you be baptized?” I ADORE her response. She said something similar to this: “Well, yeah. God is the Man. If he tells you to do something, you better do it. So if he tells me to get baptized I would!” Yes! God’s commandments bring greater happiness than what we could devise. So many people don’t get that! I appreciate her sense of clarity. So many people dodge that question when we ask it, but if God tells you to do something, you just had better go ahead and accept it! She continued by saying. “In the past, I have shut the door on Jehovah’s and you religious people. But when I saw you a few weeks ago, God told me to listen. And even today…I was supposed to go to the grocery store, and I forgot you were coming, but God made it possible for me to be here…and not stand you up.” It is days like that when I LOVE being a missionary.
The other family I am excited about was AMAZED that we even found them in the first place. They live in a forgotten part of town. The mother has been looking for a church to go to, and her aunt is Mormon. Her husband is pretty interested in learning about other religions, but he, like SO many of the people we teach, doesn’t think that there is ONE true religion. He sees so many similarities between the religions he’s studied, that he thinks they are all pretty much the same. But they both agreed to read the Book of Mormon and give it a try. Our lesson today went well, and the mom emphasized at least twice that she wanted us to come back! I used to laugh when missionaries would write about their investigators so much in weekly emails. But I am coming to see how EXCITING it is to actually have families invite you into their homes after knocking on so many doors where people call you deceived, or say they’re not interested. Getting invited into a home is a miracle!
We also held Bloomfield Days this week! We had a booth and everything. It was pretty great, if I do say so myself. We had four people give us their name and number. I think all those people live in the 1st ward’s boundaries . . . but we’re all on the same team, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
OH! I’ve got another investigator story! How can I forget Harold? We met Harold’s grand-daughter back in February. This was the 17 year old girl who had just been through the Draper Temple open house, wanted a CTR ring, and had been in a lot of trouble. Anyway, the girl moved away, and Harold expressed right from the beginning that he wasn’t interested and that he belonged to the Church of Christ. Well, anyway, after his granddaughter moved away, we’d stop by his house from time to time to see how he was doing. We even did the one thing that Sister Missionaries are notorious and despised for . . . yes. . I admit it…we delivered cookies. (Those Sister Haters criticize us for that :) Anyway, we saw Harold as we were tracting this week, we said hello as usual. But this time was different! He started asking us about what we believe. He even said that he would be interested in coming to our church! He said “If you’re around here again, maybe I’ll sit down with you and you can tell me about what you believe, and I’ll listen to one of your lessons.” We were ELATED! It goes to show that often times, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care! By developing that friendship, it opened the doors for him to start taking the lessons. Just by being friendly with people, they will eventually take interest in what we believe. So to all you members back home . . . keep at it!
My companion and I got really silly one night and decided to use nail polish to paint Indian war paint on our faces, tie ribbon in our hair, and take crazy pictures. Our district leader called for nightly phone calls, and he found out . . . he thinks we’re crazy…but that’s okay…because we are!
Well, that’s probably the MOST exciting stuff that happened this week. A few other things happened, and some other investigators made some baby steps of progress. So we were excited about those signs. But I’ll let you go, and stop rambling. I don’t want to live up to the reputation of being a long winded "Gohmeley" or Mormon as the Navajos say.
Love you all!