Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 13--Keeping busy and countdown to baptism

Well I basically did all the boring Monday stuff and then had an extra long game of Skip-Bo and FHE with some of the people in the ward.

Elder Rodgers with Sis. Loveland and Pres. Loveland.
After our studies we headed to L-Life and began helping people boxes of food out to their cars. Some of the members of the ward were there too so that was kind of cool. We were there for almost 3 hours and one of the people there who knows the elders well asked us for help painting then dinner on Wednesday. We said we'd go. After spending time there, we went down to the jail for a lesson with one of the guys there whom we visit with semi-often. It was helpful as always, and even though he talks quietly, I was able to enjoy pretending I knew what he was saying. we went to visit a recent convert in the ward and talked about the history of the church a lot and discussed following the prophet and prayer and the Sabbath Day. We then went to a member family's home and there was an amazing meal prepared and I don't know what it was but it was divine. After we were done there we visited the person who asked for a bible last week and we went to check up on reading the Book Of Mormon, but we didn't get to that, because this guy from a nearby church who runs a lot of their trailer park business came over. He saw we were there and it was obvious to us he didn't want us there because the person we were talking to said someone was bugging him about having Mormon missionaries over and we could tell that was him. Anyways, he invited us to an evening at the Pentecostal church here in town. He said he would call us beforehand to remind us.

Today was not a very full day in terms of number of lessons, but we got certain things done that made it a productive day nonetheless. First we had a district meeting which I liked. We discussed ways to improve our  missions, people who have influenced us towards being on a mission, and other things. Altogether what it did was motivate us to be the best missionaries we could be, and afterwards we went to the Stake n' Shake for some delicious food. When we got finished we left to see if we could find one of the less-active members at home. When we got there she was and she had been very difficult to contact in the past, but luckily for us she had a day off. We got to meet with her and see what she's been doing lately and why she's been away from church, and how she wants her boyfriend to be there at church, but because of concerns there, it would be difficult to achieve that. She has a strong testimony so it isn't like she's been gone due to a disbelief. She simply has a lot going on and a lot of things to figure out, but we'll try to visit again and figure things out. After we visited her it was time to go to the home of the people we were going to help paint. We went there and taped up a room then we painted the other room. three walls were painted grey and we left one unpainted, because they were going to do some cool design there. After we were done painting and it was getting later, we had an amazing dinner with meatloaf and mashed potatoes!! Also something sketchy happened. I looked into a black cup and I saw what looked like a spider on the inside, but it looked like it was just part of the cup. I came in later and saw it moving, and so I was shocked from that. She told me to be careful, because those things jump. After the dinner though, we had ice cream sandwiches and we were trying to discover whether or not the inside of this triple chocolate ice cream sandwich (this part was white) was vanilla or white chocolate. We came to the conclusion that it was indeed white chocolate.

In the morning we had french toast for breakfast at a member's home shortly before going with him to visit a member from our ward whom the Bishop asked us to visit. We talked about faith and repentance with her and the need to acknowledge the savior in repentance. Also, after that meeting, we created a penance system. Every time we didn't ask someone after referrals after a lesson we added 10 push-ups which we had to do at the end of the night. Asking for referrals is very important. Finding people to teach through members is at least 120% more effective than tracting to find people. To give an idea of this, I was looking through our area book, a record of all the people whom we visit, visited, or potentially will visit. In the section where people were no longer interested, less than 20% them were member referrals. In the section that shows people who were baptized, less than 20% were NOT member referrals. When they are found through members, the investigator has an automatic support system, someone to fellowship them, and where needed a ride to church. Also, generally the person they give you is someone who actually is interested or knows about it before you teach them. After we went there we had a meeting with a member after our lunch. We talked about the first half of the restoration lesson and because of time, we had to get going and so did they, so we decided to have the rest of the lesson at a later time, which is good though because short powerful lessons are much better anyways. We then had a lot of weekly planning to do. We visited with a sister from the ward who wants to make it to church, and then had dinner. We were feeling a little bad about how little people we have to teach, and looking at the week ahead of us we didn't think we would be very productive or busy. Anyways, we finished and we later went to a member's home after lots of prayer and we talked about that, and he gave us some encouragement. We no later than 25 minutes of getting there got a call from a member saying she found a nice couple who was interested in meeting with us. I turned to Elder Czirr and said, you were praying just now weren't you? He said yeah (He hadn't heard the phone call because he was talking to the member) and I told him we have some more people to teach. We both were happy for that almost immediate answer to prayer. Anyways, as we were there talking to the member, He told us, "God didn't bring you this far to fall, don't be discouraged, don't give up." then we prayed together and then we went home.

This was Friday the 13th. Nothing really spooky happened to us, though. We went to a few different homes, trying to visit with former investigators to no avail. The first place we went, someone else answered and said they weren't home. We may try back again soon, but she has almost always been gone. So, we left and went to the next former. When we knocked, again, someone else came to the door and when he opened it, no more than two seconds after seeing us, he slammed it shut. No luck there either. Oh well, all we could do was try, and we did. We then went to the Jail to meet with the rest of the people we visit there. We had some really good lessons there and they felt really good. One of them got pretty emotional, and we could tell how much change has come in his life. We also got a call from a couple of the youth who are less-active, whom we visit every so often. They wanted us to come over, so we did and we talked and they had to teach me how to play Munchkin. I also broke one of their chairs because they didn't mention that it was not in good condition. Anyways, after that we headed home for some dinner. Afterwards we did a little tracting. We've begun doing 5 doors a day. With our schedule being less busy though, I think that we'll be knocking more than 5 doors each day. We talked with a few people for short periods of time, but it didn't go anywhere because they simply weren't interested. We finally got to one house where we met a lady who was more than interested in learning more. She was really happy that we came by, and it seemed like it was exactly what she needed. She says she wants her boy to be on a mission. We then in the evening met with an investigator of a long time, but he's super friendly and we meet with him and he told us that he would help me assemble my bike if I brought it over, and that night I brought it over and he put it all together perfectly.

First thing we did this morning was we met with our investigator with a baptismal date. We talked with her about a lot of the smaller lessons we have to go through before baptism. Simple concepts such as obedience to the law. We also talked about temples and family history. We set a specific time for the baptism and she's super prepared for it. After meeting with her we rushed over to meet with a member whom we always visit right before lunch so he can eat. After we had a good lunch of our own we headed to the Ward Mission Leader's home and talked about the week so far and what lessons we've taught, what we need help with, etc. We then left his home and tried to meet with soooo many people. Almost none of them were home which was tricky, but we were excited for the solid appointments we had after dinner. First we went to meet with the lady we tracted into, but because we didn't have contact with her she couldn't let us know that things were crazy and she had to reschedule. We did grab her number though, so we could avoid that next time. I just feel bad that we brought a member couple along for the lesson and they were dressed up and everything. After that we went home and did some extra studies for missionaries being trained, and then we went to the home of a part-member family. We're teaching the (soon to be) wife and the father of the house always makes amazing meals when we come over, so we were super grateful for that. Because short powerful appointments are so important, we were trying our best to have a short lesson then leave, and we were blessed with so many appointments that night, that we had to juggle them. We then went to meet with the couple that the member referred to us. Only the father was there, but it was good to get to know him and to see what he expects from these visits, what his beliefs of God are, and why we're there. We didn't have time to have a full lesson by any means, but we didn't get to set the tone with him.

Church was really good today! In Sacrament meeting, we didn't see our investigator, and who is being baptized soon, and she had to be at this one to reach baptismal requirements. I was praying that the way will be provided for her to make it on time. Much to our relief, she arrived just moments before the sacrament prayer was given. Then, we had three great, and I mean great, talks. They were all about the restoration, and boy were they powerful. I wish all our investigators were there to hear it. In Sunday school we talked about the Life Of Christ. It was a great discussion, because our investigator recent-convert, someone from the stake, a member who hadn't been in a while, a visitor, and our other investigator were all there, and they all contributed. That sure was a good one. Afterwards we had a lesson about the scriptures in Elders Quorum. That was also pretty good, and I was too relaxed, because I got pretty sleepy. After church we met with a member and went over something called the 'stop smoking workshop' which is soooo successful at helping people quit smoking permanently. It was created by a missionary in Ireland. Anyways, we got that started, she gave up the cigarettes she did have there, and we'll check up on her. After the lesson with her we went to a member family's home for a great dinner. They said it's like Cafe Rio. I haven't been there, but the food was delicious. Afterwards we met with one of our investigators whom we had trouble meeting with the past two weeks. We finally caught him at a god time and set a solid appointment with him and we had a good time talking with him. After we finished up there we headed to an appointment with one of the recent converts in the ward. She's the same one who gave us the referral. We talked about that and we talked about several things, and she felt the spirit I hope, as she also brought up the topic of her smoking addiction, which she doesn't always like talking about. We talked with her about and she really knows she needs to make that change, we're rooting for her. 

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