Here’s some exciting things that have been happening this week.
So, in zone training, we learned that we should be inviting our investigators to be baptized in the first lesson. Seems pretty terrifying, right? I think that too often, though, we think of baptism for our investigators as the last step. Really, though, it is the first step into the Kingdom of God and they need to realize that.
Anyways, I was in Harrisburg, but we were helping out the “drive” elders because all of our night appointments fell through. So I was with Elder B. He is really awesome, just friendly and generous and super personable. We were trying someone they’d met, a 20 year old named J. He wasn’t home, but his mom was. She invited us in and was just super impressed that men of our age would be out doing what we’re doing. We spoke to her by the Spirit and she was really touched. She has seen the hand of God in her life when she survived a gnarly car wreck, and she was discontented with her church because she feels like it is corrupt and the Bible has been changed. We shared the message of the restoration, and invited her to baptism. She just said, “If it’s right, why not?” Then J came home We briefly talked and extended the same commitment, and he wanted to too! It was so cool. I had such a big grin on my face because of them, it was just a great experience.
So have I told you about the N family? We really love them. They're members of the ward that we have set up a weekly appointment with. Brother N is active, he is super enthusiastic about missionary work and he comes out with us on team ups. Sister N is less active, as well as the rest of the family, a 19-year-old son and two younger daughters. It's been really miraculous seeing how they've changed in the last few months. We started trying to see them weekly, and at first you could tell, they weren't huge fans of us coming around so often. (Except Brother Nl.) But we've gotten to know them better and they've opened up to us. They are super warm and friendly now, and they've been to church every week so far in November! Getting them to stay is what we're working on now. We taught them last night, with the Atonement pushup lesson. It's a cool one. First we showed a Bible Video, basically about Christ's Atonement. It was called For God So Loved The World. Then we talked a bit about the Atonement. Then we changed it up. Elder Lozano told everyone they would be offered a piece of candy that they could accept or not. So he offered it to the first daughter, she took it. So he tells me, "Do 10 pushups." The second daughter declines, but I do 10 more pushups. Sister N doesn't want one, but I do 10 more. Brother N takes a chocolate, but I still do the 10. The purpose, as they were led to realize, is that it's like the Atonement. It's always there, Christ suffered for every one of us. We have to accept that, and really use his sacrifice to change for the better. The Atonement is limitless. What is limited is only how much we choose to apply it in our lives. They were really affected. They're going to start staying for all of church, and really kick some bad habits. And I got a nice arm workout from it. It was a great lesson!
So we had a ward activity this past week, the Hoe down! It ended up being a smashing success. We were pretty worried at first though because when it was about to start, there were like two families there. Needn't have worried though. Mormon standard time was in effect, everyone showed up at like 15 minutes after. We played the stick pulling game a bunch and I went bobbing for apples. Also had some intense games of checkers. But what was really great was how many less actives were there! Sister M has been coming out to church a lot after not being even on the radar for years. She is so nice and positive, and I think that once she is fully active then we can begin to teach her children, who haven't been baptized yet. IT's so great to be a missionary! I love it!
~ Elder Wright