June 5, 2013
Good day, not too much to report. Pday was done at a member's house because of the holiday. They make fun of me now because I call it a "disc" rather than a "Frisbee", but such is the life of an ultimate player.
Tuesday was a pretty busy day. We went to our landlord's office, and we were able to have a good long discussion about Grace vs. Works. This topic has to be one of my least favorite to debate about. I don't want you to get the wrong impression about our landlord, he's a very good christian, and he seems to want to meet with us sincerely for the salvation of our souls and the search of truth. It's been interesting the past few times we've met with him.
Anyway, back to Grace and works. The reasons this is one of my least favorite things to debate about area few things. First, most all the time when you start talking about grace and works, it often ends up in a lively debate/bash and the spirit usually leaves. Not good for a missionary. Secondly, I've come to the conclusion that both grace and works are essential parts, (whether one is the result of the other or not is beside the point) and therefore both must be in place. Whatever specific blend you'd prefer to believe in doesn't really change the fact that the result Is that we must accept Jesus Christ and we must do good works.
The way I look at it is that Jesus Christ has already done his part, the grace, and after we accept that, there really is only one thing left in the equation, works. Whether you believe that works area natural result of the state of being "saved" or whether you prefer to believe any other way, the bottom line is that we, as a people of Christ, do works. Simple as that. So we might as well do as many good works as often as we can.
Wednesday was pretty cool. We were able to invite several people to baptism and set 3 of them on date ( meaning they now have a goal day to work towards for baptism). We helped an older sister in the ward with her garden, boy does she know her flowers! She told us she stayed awake at night worrying about whether or not her flowers would make it. She has cancer and isn't able to get nearly so many things done in the garden that she used to.
We helped Sis. S with her flowers again, finishing up planting and weeding as she directed.
Later in the day we had a fun little experience. We were looking for a less-active member, and we found the address, parked the car and got out. The neighbors were out on the porch, so we started talking to them first. One of them had a keyboard, and started playing (he was also pretty drunk, and seemed to get more and more drunk as we talked with him) After we introduced ourselves he played a rather rousing rendition of "How Great Thou Art" with lots of extra gospel soul added in. (aka extra "hallelujahs" and "Praise the Lord" with kind of a jazzy/Soul/R&B sound to the keyboarding)
He got kind of excited when I told him I played piano and guitar back home. He told me to sing along, so for the next 40 min or so B and I (B was the drunk guy) sang and re-sang "How Great Thou Art" alternating lead and back up singing. It was hilarious. E. Warner said I was really getting into it.
Finally he stopped and said with somewhat slurred words "Alright I'm done, what do you have to teach me". We gave him and a few of his friends copies of the Book of Mormon and taught them a little about it. We got a return appointment, but it ended up falling through. I twas pretty fun though while it lasted. I love our mission.
We helped the M's move on Friday to their home 20 min away. It was good. She's a member, and he's not. He actually runs a multi-million dollar boy scout place where the national scout jamboree will be held this summer. It's a pretty big deal here in WV and especially here in Beckley.
We found a house full of Spanish speakers. Some from Mexico, one from Cuba, and one from one other place. It was kinda cool. We could hardly understand them, but we were able to get them a Spanish Book of Mormon. They seemed fairly excited about it. We told them if we found a Spanish speaking member that we'd bring them the next day.
We found out that one of the members of the bishopric served in a Spanish speaking mission, somewhere stateside. and we took him to their house with us. They were really excited to talk with him. We were able to use him as our translator and teach about the book of Mormon and answer some of their questions. A lot of it, Bro. M just answered and we just prayed that the spirit would give him the words to say. We offered to help them learn English better and we'll be back on Saturday to help with that.
Slow day, not a ton went on.
Super busy, we taught a guy from Africa. He's cool. We had a bunch of appointments one after another. a less active member and his non-member ex-wife (don't ask, kinda complicated) rushed to an investigator lesson, taught our landlord, had dinner with another investigator and watch and E. Holland talk in a member's home with another investigator.
It was a pretty cool day overall.
Love ya! Bye!
|Gonna walk on down Electric Avenue|
|Check out the entrance to the house!|
June 10, 2013
We had Pday since it was transfers. Neither E. Warner nor I were transferred. (kinda what we expected anyway) We asked E. Boughan where he wanted to go for lunch since he was getting transferred down to Roanoke. We went to this hole in the wall little place that used to be a gas station. Man they had some good Philly Cheese Steak!
Had some cool experiences today. The night before we had planned on finding a former investigator. We knew that he lived somewhere on stover fork road. To conserve miles and to meet more people, we had decided to walk down to his house. But in our hast to plan the previous night, we didn't realize that the previous missionaries had neglected to put an address on the old teaching record.
Both E. Warner and I felt like we should still try to find him, so we started walking up the road. We walked and walked and walked some more. The road turned to gravel, and then to dirt, and the houses became more and more sparse. Eventually the road became nigh impassable before we popped out somewhere in a run down trailer park on the other side.
We talked to a few people, got our bearings and headed back the way we came. We knew how many houses were on the street so we decided to knock them all. Toward the end we found a house that was very interesting. I'll see if I can send a picture later today. Basically it was a trailer stacked on top of cinder block walls. It only had a ladder leading up to the front door.
We didn't think anyone would live there, but sure enough, the man we were looking for was there. He let us right in an we were able to teach him.
he brought up an interesting concern. He didn't believe that anyone could see god, and therefore Joseph Smith must have seen an angel or something instead of God. So we turned to Exodus 33:11
And the Lord aspake unto Moses bface to face, as a man cspeaketh unto his dfriend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant eJoshua, the son of fNun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
After we read it to him, He was so excited to hear that Moses saw God, and that meant Joseph Smith could see God. It was cool to see the light turn on in his brain. It was "Light Bulb" moment for him. He said he felt chills down his back as we read that to him.
Got a birthday package from the family on Friday. They had a note in there specifically telling me not to open it, but to give it to E. Warner instead. He told me that I had to go into some very secluded spot and somehow convinced me that the shower was the only place I could go without me knowing what he was doing.
The letter to E. Warner told him to hide clues in certain spots in the house. Each clue had a scripture reference which lead to another clue. The final clue was the treasure packet which had two talks in it, "Missionaries are a Treasure of the Church" and "In Search of Treasure" The latter of which was really really good. It was fun.
You know the guy we found on Thursday? He gave us a call on Saturday and we found out he wasn't feeling too good. We offered him a blessing which he accepted. It was the coolest thing. I was able to anoint and E. Warner sealed the blessing. He gave a simple yet powerful blessing. As soon as we finished, he told us that his headache subsided, and he didn't really feel it anymore. I felt an immediate sense of gratitude to our heavenly father for the power of the priesthood and that our loving Heavenly father allowed us to participate in a small miracle to relieve the suffering of one of his children.
Sunday was a pretty slow day compared to the rest of the week. none of our investigators made it out to church. It was really too bad. We were really excited for a couple of them to be there.