Monday, January 20, 2014

Challenge Accepted!!

A week ago we received a phone call from our zone leaders with an invitation to make this last week the best week of the transfer. Mission-wide, each week we are encouraged to teach 20 lessons. We have been meeting this goal, teaching about 22 lessons. But for this week our zone leaders encouraged us to teach 35 lessons, with a zone goal of 200 lessons.

Well, the zone leaders also said to "shoot for the moon but if we miss we'll land among the stars". We thought they were demonstrating a lack of confidence in us. So we decided to up their challenge and go for 40 lessons.

By the time we got home last night, we had taught 41 lessons. It would have been 42 but someone cancelled on us and we had difficultly in finding people not watching the football game. (Something about it getting near to the superbowl. I don't know, I don't care)

Our family didn't show up in church this week though :( the son had to work and the parents aren't too motivated. But we're working on that! And we'll be finding the Native American woman on Tuesday, I think.

Our family whose son wants to be baptized lives out in Rocker, which is rather out of town. All that's in Rocker is a truck stop. Anyways, unpaved roads and lack of signs are the norm. And maps don't accurately capture the roads. In summary, it is easy to get lost out there. 

So when we went to go teach them, I was super excited to see that there were actually road signs!...until I saw they both said the same thing. (I don't know if you can tell in the picture) And NO, it's NOT a loop. 

So with our 41 lessons, we ended up meeting a few new investigators and a few new less-actives.

One investigator is an older man who was a former investigator that was dropped a couple years ago. He told us the timing back then was bad and that now he'd be more receptive. So we return the next day for a formal lesson and to learn more about his current beliefs. Our plan was to teach the lesson on the restoration.

We asked TONS of questions and didn't make it past the first principle - God is our loving Heavenly Father...Because we learned that he doesn't believe in much. He believes there is a God because otherwise there are too many coincidences. But he doesn't think God is loving nor is there a way to know that God loves him. He also believes Jesus Christ existed through history, but there is no way to know he was the Savior of the world.

So after cross-examining him for a long time, trying to lead him to see that it makes sense God would love us, we turned to our greatest evidence: our testimonies. And we could tell he was fully listening. We told him that he COULD come to KNOW that God did love him through the Holy Ghost. We shared that we had come to know of these truths, and that he could too if he sincerely sought for answers. And we left him with that- with our testimonies and the with the spirit.

What he said though reminded me of some of the anti-christs in the Book of Mormon, who would constantly say "you cannot know of these things, you cannot know there is to be a Christ". So when we return, we will most likely share with him some of those chapters. In fact, Alma 32-34 is written specifically for a people that aren't sure if they believe that a Christ will come.

Anyways, how grateful we should be to KNOW that Christ lives, and that he is our Savior and Redeemer. And also that God didn't just create us, but that He is a weeping God, that loves and cares for us so perfectly. I never thought I had taken that knowledge for granted, but I learned that I had to some degree.

Now I'll talk about the other investigator we met.
She ran into the sisters a month or two ago. Sister Pickering had never met her. We meant to drop by at a different house, but I accidentally turned the wrong way and decided to try her house again since we were there.

She was EXTREMELY glad to see us, something about having a crazy day and missed going to church. Anyways, we had only been talking to her for a few minutes when she gave me a huge hug. Good thing I like hugs.

Anyways, her ex-husband was a less-active and so she knows quite a bit about the church. She asked us for a "Mormon book" and that she wanted to straighten out her life so she could get her children back. Her mother-in-law was a less-than-stellar example of the church, and so this lady was always hesitant to read the Book of Mormon. That, and she shared the scripture in Revelations about "adding to the book". We explained the scripture but also shared the introduction to the Book of Mormon - that she would truly know the Book of Mormon was of God by reading it and praying about it sincerely. 

I felt the spirit as we shared that scripture with her, and also as we shared Alma 7:11-13 on the Atonement. I think she felt it too. 

She said she would call us and invite us back. I am very hopeful for this happening, but things do seem hectic with her and I wouldn't be surprised if she forgets. 

But she has a strong belief in God and knew God had sent us to her yesterday. Quite a different feeling from the other investigator I shared about...

Anyways, BUSY, BUSY week.
Sister Pickering and I were SO exhausted teaching that many lessons. We know Heavenly Father was helping us achieve our goal, guiding and directing us.

We have a zone-wide preparation day today to celebrate everyone's hard work this week. Our zone (8 companionships) taught 221 lessons and excelled in many other goals.

Hope you have a good week! I know we've been enjoying very warm, sunny weather here in Butte :) (if you call 40 warm, which we do)

Sister Elise Griffin

PS I still haven't "formally" heard about my transfer news, but it's pretty much understood that Sister Pickering and I are both staying!

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