This week's been a toughie. Some discouragements and setbacks, so that's been a bit tough to deal with. We haven't yet been able to sit down with R, we are seeing him tomorrow. We did talk with Bishop F this Sunday, it was a good meeting because he has a lot of insight, and it helped me a lot. He has the mannerisms of a GA, he's a former senior missionary, and he’s pretty cool. He also helped us out a bit with R; she has not been progressing this week at all. Her visit with her parents went about as we expected, they wholeheartedly rejected her decision to be baptized. They also fed her tons of anti stuff to dissuade her, she is now confused. She wants to be baptized but now she just wants more time. So we are seeing her tonight, we are going to be talking about faith as a principle of action. How sometimes you need to step a little into the dark, then the light gathers. Or in a Biblical context, you have to get your feet wet in the River Jordan before the river lifts up before you. So we are really praying we can help her overcome her concerns and progress again towards baptism.
Self-defense is still going good. I told you we learned about knife and gun dis-arments, right? Guns ones are surprisingly a lot simpler than knives. Two fundamental rules for both, according to N: "The gun is going to go off, and someone will get cut at least a little bit.” Last week was principles of centers of balance, and maintaining them and using them. And he also taught us how to get out of being pinned to the ground with someone on top of you. It is basically centers of balance again, you lock your foot on their heel and just flip your hips, their balance is destroyed and they can't move their leg to readjust it. So they fall. It's cool stuff! But also painful-he taught us the importance of pressure points by striking each of them. I was way sore! Surprisingly, the armpit is a really sensitive one!
This weekend was also a bit of a downer. It actually was a huge bummer. We went down to Jamestown on Saturday night to sleep over at the elders’ apartment, because we have an 8 o’clock meeting before church. The next day, we just caught a ride in the Jamestown elders' car down to the church. And we were the only ones from Fredonia to make it, icy roads and a blizzard cut off everybody else, active and less active alike. That was frustrating. L had his baptismal interview as well, which he did not pass. That was super frustrating, because he has a testimony of the church and of the gospel, but he just expressed heretofore-unknown doubts in his interview. So now we don't know if it's happening this Saturday. Then we went from church to the apartment, and our car had a ticket. That was the last stinking straw. In New York, the side of the road that you are allowed to park on switches halfway through the day, and so while we were at church the side had switched. So now I have to pay $30. I was mega-bummed on the ride home from church. (Fasting may have contributed to the low morale.) But a lot of scripture study, as well as just getting busy, teaching and stuff, have helped me to kind of shake out of the funk. What's going to happen will happen. All that matters is that I am doing my best and working my hardest.
So we had a lesson with C, who's a 9 year old son of C, a returning member. He's pretty off the wall, but a sharp kid! We were talking about the plan of salvation, and he seemed like it was going in one ear and out the other. So then I made him repeat it back, and he had the whole thing from the beginning to the end. Sweet! We also wanted to talk about baptism, and he was initially kind of opposed, or at least confused about what it all is. Then we explained how the next step is the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we talked about what that does for us. He was immediately on board! He was like, "Well, then I definitely want to get baptized!" So that was pretty cool! We also had an experience talking to S, who is going through a rough patch with the father of her child. We talked about how part of God's plan is that families can be together forever. And she just leapt to her feet; she was like "That is True! I really believe that! I love that you teach that in your church!" And she hadn't even been that interested before that point. So it was really sweet! What I have learned is to help people join your church; you need to find something that connects to them, strongly. That is the foundation, the "me" moment, that starts any interest. So you gotta find it!
In a plus for missionary service, we did shovel a lady out who crashed into a snow bank. Wheels were spinning, but there was so much snow under the car that she wasn't going anywhere. Even with all our efforts, it wasn't until we flagged down a big van with chains that the car got dragged out. So that was interesting. I hope it all melts! Every last drop! Bring on spring! Bring on the rampant pollination so bad that your nose runs like a cross country guy in the last 100 meters. I miss California weather, and that’s about the long and short of it!