Alright, this week was a week full of miracles. I wish everyone could just be there for them, but I guess my inadequate writing skills will have to suffice.
My previous companion and I had set a goal of getting 20 member present lessons in a single week. We had a pretty exhausting week last week and ended up with 12. Which was pretty good, but not quite what we were shooting for. This week we were bound and determined to hit at least 15 so we could work toward that goal of 20. Let's see if I can give this week the justice it deserves.
Monday was pday. E. Peterson and I woke up at 4am. Some annoying electric alarm was going off, which we found out later that it was E. Peterson's stop watch. What a terrible way to start off the week!
The day didn't immediately get any better. Somehow both E. Peterson and I slept through our normal 6:30 alarm (something I haven't done since I was being trained) So we ended up being late to get our laundry started, our studies, our shopping, and eventually everything else we did that day.
When we finished with our usual pday stuff we utilized a gift from one of the members; 4 tickets to the national jamboree. Cool! We changed into some grubbies, and headed off. We knew we would be tight on time. But we didn't realize how long it would take to get bussed in and out of the place and be able to do anything worthwhile.
By the time we got there, we shot straight to the LDS tents. They were in charge of (can you believe it?) the genealogy and family life merit badges, as well as an award only offered this year to celebrate the church's 100th anniversary of uniting with the BSA. They called the award the Thomas S. Monson award.
We didn't have any problems until we showed up at the tent. As soon as the members saw our name tags, the bombarded us with questions and introduced us to a billion people. As E. Peterson put it, "man I felt like Jesus in there!'. We had a hard time getting away. However, we were honorably given the Thomas S. Monson award without passing off any of the necessary requirements. (a few of which you couldn't be a missionary without doing. Such as sharing what you believe with a friend)
We also were introduced to Bro. Dahlquist (spelling?) He was the former General Young Men's president. It was really strange because he was all dressed up in his scouting uniform, not a tie or suit anywhere to be seen.
Well, we were about an hour late to our dinner appointment later that evening. It was some investigators feeding us, and we brought a member along to that appointment, and to our next appointment. We had to leave before we could finish our second appointment, so the member we brought along offered to stay and finish teaching/ fellowshipping our investigator. He did a great job too.
After which we brought a mother and daughter to another appointment we had with a part member family.Awesome lesson, great fellowshipping, couldn't be any better. All in all it was a rushed, but rewarding day.
Member Present Lessons: 3/20
Time Left: 6 days
We had a few appointments fall through throughout the day. E. Peterson and I did some walk n' talk (street contacting). We didn't even get a block away from our house before we started talking to a lady who just had a good friend die. She was in tears and was so grateful that we stopped by and said we must have been sent from God.
A few blocks later, we had another lady in tears. She was really down in the dumps with all the mistakes she'd made in life, and really needed a boost.
We didn't have any members out with us until we took our bishop to the one appointment we had that day at 5pm. I felt like the Lord needed us where we walked to that afternoon.
Member Present Lessons: 4/20
Time Left: 5 days
We got a referral on Sunday from the ward clerk. He told us an elderly lady had called who had recently moved in to the ward. She wanted to get back into activity in the church, and her husband wanted to be baptized.Score! We brought a member along, and we taught him the restoration. He told us he had felt such a big relief after hearing the message. He loved it and was soaking everything in. Plus he's like 71 years old and has only one hand.
We also met with O and taught her at a member's home... sorta, it was outside next to a non-cooperative bonfire. (wet wood will do that)
Member Present Lessons: 6/20
Time Left: 4 days
While we were weekly planning, I got a phone call from an 801 number: Utah. When I answered, I found out it was from E. Stoven, my companion back in Richlands over a year ago. He was in town visiting the mission with his family. We met up at the Tamarack, gave a few hugs, told a few stories, and went our separate ways. It was weird seeing his family in real life instead of just pictures.
We took a member with us to go see two more of our investigators. One was an excommunicated member, and another was a part member family. Both lessons went really well.
Member Present Lessons: 8/20
Time Left: 3 days
Friday morning we helped out at a soup kitchen. Which was great! I loved it. After which we took a member with us to go see a few investigators. Including one of our preacher friends who has been reading the Book of Mormon. We also met with the Andersons again, and we took a member with us to a hilarious couple out in Beaver.
Member Present Lessons: 11/20
Time Left: 2 days
By this point we were really trying to at least just hit 15 member present lessons. We were nine short of our goal, with ony 2 days to get it all done. Well the Lord had other plans than just 15.
First thing in the morning we stopped by a less active member. Our hope was to invite him to a lesson later that day. However instead we started talking to his neighbor. The member just showed up on the porch out of nowhere and we taught him and his neighbor together. Blessing!
Later that evening we took our ward mission leader street contacting with us. We started teaching this guy, that we met on the street a few weeks ago. While we were outside teaching him, one of our former investigators who we've been trying to contact came out of a nearby pizza shop. So, while E. Peterson took care of teaching J, I went over and taught E. So we taught two different lessons out of nowhere to two different people with our ward mission leader there helping out.
Right afterwards, we went to our weekly correlation meeting at the church. Immediately following we taught a part member family at the church.
It was raining like crazy when we first started our correlation meeting, and we were afraid that the rain would keep us from keeping our 8 o'clock appointment. (he only meets outside on the porch with us) Well, by the time we had finished correlation, and our 7 o'clock appointment, there was no more rain, and we were able to teach him with a member there.
Member Present Lessons: 16/20
Time Left: 24 hours
After getting 5 lessons on Saturday, we were super pumped. We'd exceeded our initial goal of 15, and decided to give it all we got to hit 20.
We went to church, and we were blessed to be able to teach a family right after church. The kids were really rowdy, but they were settled enough for us to teach a cool object lesson on the Godhead.
Member Present Lessons: 17/20
Time Left: 8 hours
We had no appointmetns set up, except at 3 o'clock. A member offered to go with us to that appointment. Well, that appointment fell through and we were pretty dissapointed. Especially since we had talked with them just the day before. The member that we were with mentioned in passing that he spoke a little french. So we decided to try and see our french speaking investigator from haiti. The member's French was limited, and our investigator's english was also, but we were able to teach quite a bit despite the language barrier.
Member Present Lessons: 18/20
Time Left: 6.5 hours
We didn't have anything else set up for the day, no appointments, no members, nothing. So we started making phone calls to make it work. We were only two short, and we didn't want to miss it by just that much.
We set up an appointment with M, then a member texted us and asked if he could come out with us! It was great! But right before we picked up the member, M called and said he'd been offered a free meal of steak and potatoes. He couldn't turn it down.
"Fetching Satan!" I think was the phrasing I used when I hung up the phone. "He's even throwing steak and potatoes at us now!"
E. Peterson laughed, and reassured me that we'd still hit our goal.
So we had about 4 hours left at this point, one willing member, two desperate missionaries, and zero investigators. In faith we took our member with us to go see Mar. We haven't seen him for weeks, and he only speaks spanish.
Our lesson started off friendly but a little rough because of the language barrier. It wasn't working out too well, until E. Peterson got up and started speaking spanish to Mar. He got excited and poke in spanish more rapidly. With E. Peterson as a translator, we found out taht Mar had been reading the spanish book of mormon, and loved it. He said it was good like the bible. He wanted his family in Mexico to have it as well.
When we got out of the lesson i said to E. Peterson, "I didn't know you spoke spanish."
"I don't" came the reply.
The last time he did anything with spanish was his 8th grade spanish class. That was a while ago.
Member Present Lessons: 19/20
Time Left: 1.5
While we were with Mar, E. Peterson got a text from another of our investigators. He told us we could come by around 8pm. He had just gotten back from vacation within minutes of us showing up. We read with him. We went home and called it a day.
Member Present Lessons: 20/20
Time Left: 0 min
It was a great week. I hope this gives you an Idea of how blessed I felt. It was really a faith building week for me.
Elder Brayden Connole