We had a pretty ok week. We still are trying to work really hard but we keep running into a big problem.
There are no more people to talk too!! We finished knocking all the doors in Charters Towers this week. #1 I did not think I was ever going to be able to say I have knocked every door in a town. Let alone TWO towns. I thought passing out flyers to my ward back home was hard and that was like 20 doors. Try 3,000 doors in each town!! #2 The people are sick of me. While making our rounds a lady opened the door, one that we knocked on a few months ago. She said with a very big sigh, “Oooh... Not you again.” She recognized me!! It was pretty funny after but man that is the worst when the first thing they tell you is not you again. Geeez was I that mean. I don’t think so.
It is just hard to get our goal for contacts now since most people know us now. We did get told though by our mission president that it takes seven missionary experiences before a person finally opens up to talk with you and listen. So now we are seeing it as making more good moments for future missionaries or for us. It is just so fun... I hate to say but I am so sick of these towns. Everyone says just try and love your area and some day you will. Well I loved it right from the get go but geez I am so sick of these little towns and driving back and forth!!
Ok so driving back and forth has always been a bummer. It is like driving to St George or Moab every week. (Dad, I know what it feels like now.) So Sunday came around and we packed and headed to Ayr. We left at 2:00 and after driving for just a sec we realized we forgot our food. So we turned around real quick, no biggy and got our food. We got to the end of the road that our house was on and felt like we left the stove on so we went back. We just felt like we forgot something. So we went back again. Checked the whole place and it looked good. We got everything. So after a big drive we made it to Ayr and went to open the door and realized we left our Ayr flat keys hanging on the wall in Charters Towers. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! We did not know what to do. So we called our AP and they said, “Buckle up and enjoy the drive.” Oh heck so we drove back to Charters Towers grabbed the key and drove all the way back to Ayr. With all of our turn around and from forgetting things we did not get home until 9:30 that night. We left at 2:00 and got home at 9:30. Man what a day.
On the bright side we had a good week in Charters. It was really hot but we had some success. After doing some exploring in the car we found a street that we had not knocked before. So we knocked it and found some pretty good people. The great part is they are all young adults with young kids!! It is just what this branch needs. So it was so great to have them show a bit of interest! We even knocked into a retired priest and he actually listened to us and agreed with us for the most part. So we had a quick lesson with him and he wants us back. My biggest goal now is to baptize him. It will be hard to teach him but he is willing to listen and I have had some really good studies on teaching and am constantly getting better at it. I hope to have some fun with him. We did not even get into a bible bash. I was surprised with him being a priest and all. I would have thought he wanted to destroy us.
Surprisingly the person that wanted to destroy our faith was an old sweet looking grandma. Oh boy here we go. I bet you all are thinking ok he warned us about the old grandmas. So, we knocked on the door and she said oh I have a question for you. What is God’s name? Well we said God or Father. Nope, it is Jehovah. Right at this moment I knew what I was dealing with. She then proceeded and told us, "If you want to think of yourself as a religion you at least have to know God’s name. Therefore you are not a real religion." I kindly asked her to show me where it said that in the bible. She got flustered and could not provide. I also said, "Our salvation does not depend on if we know God’s true name or not. It depends on how we live our lives and do things." I asked, "Just because you know his name does that mean that you are saved in his kingdom." She got flustered again. I proceeded to then share a bit of our message about the prophet. She said no that stopped ages ago.
I asked her if she thought God loves her. I then asked if she thought God loved his children before us. She said yes and yes. Then we asked how did he show that love to the children before us. Oh well he gave them a prophet... Wait a minute. If he loved them and gave them a prophet are you saying he does not love you now since you don't believe in the prophet? Ok so pause the story. I felt bad that we were destroying this woman's faith but she was asking the question and trying to get us first so we thought bring it on. I pulled out my bible and read the scripture where it talks about God being the same yesterday, today, and forever. Well yeah blah blah you can guess the rest. They had prophets yesterday so there is one today. Long story short we bore our testimonies to her and she was just so upset that she lost this battle that she just shut the door. haha ok so what did I learn. It is fun to share the gospel but we have to do it when people will truly listen. And I can't do it out of wanting to win a battle. It was still fun though to sorta have my first bible bash. Gotta watch out for those grandmas.
Another time while finding there was a house and it was being cleaned so we passed by it since we did not want to disturb the cleaners. Well as we passed a little girl came running out. She was maybe 5 or 6. She just came running to us and asked who we were. We told her and she was just so happy. It was just one of those cool moments when an innocent child really sees the angles that walk with you. She was so nice to us and made me feel so good that day. She did not want us to go. I love that with all the innocent kids. They always want us to come in and beg their parents to let us in. It shows you the love that God has for those kids and the beauty in a child. How they can see the good in you because of who we represent. It was amazing with this little girl. She was just so kind and nice and just wanted to be with us. I don't even know how to describe it. Little kids are just the best.
We are back in Ayr so we got to follow up with all of our potential people. We are excited for a few of them. We have some good people that have a good interest. Right before we left to Charters we followed up with the girl. I will just leave it at that. Well we talked to her dad and he was cool with us teaching her but we have been gone a week and will need to see if she is still interested. We set an apt for Thursday so we have to wait a bit and see.
Sam just continues to amaze us. We don't want to lose him like the rest while we are gone so we had the T-ville elders teach him while we were gone. They were so kind and made the 45 min drive to teach him. So they called us and asked what they could teach. We are down to two very important lesson for him. Word of Wisdom and Chastity. Lets just say they were so excited to go and teach him. Elder Pugsley has met and taught him once with Elder Bo on a trade off so there was no awkward two new guys for him. They decided to teach W.o.W. Well they got there and he is always smoking. The unit is always full of smoke. So they began to teach him not to smoke while he was smoking. They said they were so scared but like I said before! SAM IS THE BEST!! He felt like yeah it is not good. I just need help to stop. So now that we are back we are going to use the church's stop smoking program with him and with the Lord's help he is gonna smash it. He wants to stop because he knows it is a true commandment from the Lord.
Well the T-ville elders forgot to invite him to church and we did not since we were not there. Well our Branch President in Ayr called and told us he came but that he brought a friend. So not only is he doing this on his own free will but he is inviting others to come. The lady that came with him is named Mauri. She is a pretty good investigator. We taught her with Sam once while she was over. She had no interest and told us God was not real. Well she is reading the Book of Mormon and feeling that love from God.
I am so excited to see both of them this week and start helping them quit smoking. It will be hard but so worth it!! Things are just great!!
So a couple of weeks ago I joked about being the new Branch President for Charters. Well my dreams came true this week. We got a call from our district president and he told us none of the presidency will be in Charters this Sunday and they need someone to conduct. So President Mayers gave a big talk and had to read some things to me over the phone and I could accept or decline. I accepted and became the acting BP for Charters Towers. I would hold the keys temporarily to preside over the meeting on Sunday!! What an adventure this was.
Sunday came around and I was so nervous! I have heard people conduct for years and now it was my turn!! I prepared everything and picked hymns and talks to listen to from general conference and then we waited for the people to show up. Well 9:00 came and it was just me and Elder Bo. We thought we would wait just a few minutes more and the Vilalos came but just the mom and kids since her husband Roy was gone. Hence me conducting.
I was pretty nervous. I got up and announced general conference coming up and the hymn and opening prayer. I have been practicing the piano and now can say that for a day I played the songs in sacrament meeting and will never do it again. Lets just say the people sing faster than what I can play it and they don't follow my pace. I have some practice to do. Also Jakob the son was laughing instead of singing. I may have hit a wrong note here or there. The song was #60 Battle Hymn of the Republic. Lets just say it is a fast song.
After that I gave the prayer and then announced the speakers for the day. Now tell me what I forgot...I took a video of what I did after so you can see me conduct but also what I forgot. THE SACRAMENT!!! I just skipped straight to the talks. So Elder Bo got my attention and I ran up and re announced that we would have sacrament first. Oh boy what a classic beginner's mistake. We sang our song and Elder Bo blessed the bread and went to give it to Jakob and he forgot to break it so they just stood there forever deciding what to do. Elder Bo took it back and broke it in 5 pieces since there was only 5 of us.
If you want to have the craziest sacrament of your lives but still feel the spirit have the elders do everything. Boy it was crazy but so fun. I felt bad too. Elder Bo kept saying “has” for “was” in the water prayer and had to do it 4 times. It was really cool though for me. I felt the spirit so strong talking to me telling me ''No try again. It has to be right'' and then when it was the feeling of peace and comfort knowing that the prayer was heard. What a cool Sunday for me.
I love you all and I'm glad that you have enjoyed reading about my adventure. I love this gospel so much now and it has literally changed my life for the better now!! Have a good week.