I can’t believe another week has gone by. It’s true what they say, the days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days! I’m sitting here in the library, and as I begin writing my weekly email, I notice that someone is staring me down. I look up and this man says, “Your little badge confused me.”
“Oh!” I respond, hoping that this might be a great missionary opportunity. “We’re missionaries…”
“I understand that,” he said. “I just thought you were Catholic nuns.”
I’ve heard a lot of things on my mission, but I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a nun before. But I guess I can understand that. The title “Sister” must throw some people off. But anyway, no inspiring gospel conversation grew out of that encounter. Such is life.
Speaking of Catholic nuns…we met a former nun this week when we were tracting. Heavenly Father certainly answers our prayers to be able to meet those who are searching for truth. This particular woman opened the door, and I didn’t expect her to be interested, but surprisingly, she let us in, and explained her life history. She was a cloistered nun in a convent in Hollywood, California. I didn’t understand completely, but it sounded as if her convent did a lot of penitence for the sins of Hollywood. Gradually, she came to the conclusion that it is only Jesus Christ who can suffer for the world’s sins, and she fell away from the Catholic Church. She told us that she has been praying very hard to find the truth and that she was hoping she would run into some Latter-Day Saints. Her daughter-in –law, whom she lives with, is a Jehovah Witness, and the day we tracted into this woman, her daughter-in-law was out of the house, otherwise there was no way we would have been able to go inside. I’m finding more and more that timing is so crucial in missionary work. Our former nun friend, said that she believes that there are other holy records out there, and wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon and any other literature we had. She asked us a few questions, and told us that she was learning about the Baha’i faith, and she agreed with some of the things that they taught, but that she was still very open and searching. I really hope we’ll be able to see her again soon.
This week was a kind of “day of reckoning.” Over the past few weeks we’ve tracted a ton, and found so many potential investigators. Our goal was to “pester” each of them until we could narrow this pool down to people who were sincerely interested in learning, and eliminate those who were just trying to be polite. It has been going well, and on Saturday, we were able to nail down three return appointments. Our area is still a little slow, which is frustrating, but I do feel like heavenly Father is pleased with our hard work.
I was studying about Mormon and Moroni out of the Book of Mormon this week, and it struck me that they were some of the most obedient ministers of the gospel ever, yet they had absolutely NO investigators. The people of their time were engaged in some of the most horrific activities that people can be involved in, but their efforts were still important to our Heavenly Father. I think I’m finally internalizing what it means when they say you can’t measure a missionary’s success by outward signs of success, such as baptisms. While I have certainly been blessed to see a few baptisms on my mission, I’ve also had those periods of dry spells. But it’s ok. I really think the work will pick up. One of our new investigators came to church this Sunday (she’s engaged to a member), and filled out a new move in form…so hopefully that means she feels at home here.
We made a very comprehensive map of our area when we first got here, plotting out all the less actives that the Bishop said would be good to visit, and all the potentials that the Elders left us. We were looking at that map yesterday, surprised to see that we’ve tried almost every single person on that map. I want to start on another updated one.
We visited a lot of less active families this week. It surprises me how often, if you invite them to come to church, they accept the invitation without much hesitation. I think people may think it is intimidating to invite less actives out to church, but it isn’t that scary after all! One of the couples we visited is hilarious! She was talking about how the church doesn’t want you to write church headquarters for complaints, and how you’re supposed to send them to the Bishop first. Her big complaint is that all the hymns are too old. They are all from 1820, 1843, and 1890 she complained. She always tells the Bishop about this, and he always tells her not to send a letter. I told her that she sounds just like Gladys Knight. Despite the boring music, they’ve come to church for two weeks in a row now!
Preparation day is going to be pretty low key again. I don’t mind at all. Sister Allred and I are pretty boring, and enjoy writing letters and sleeping on prep day. It’s great.
I love you all and hope everything continues to go well. I’ve gotten a ton of mail this week. Thanks to everyone.
Love You Tons!