After our apartment was inspected, it became apparent that we didn't have bed bugs. So they actually let us off quarantine! Hurray!! It was really boring being stuck in the apartment for 4 days, but I actually got a lot done. I read a lot in the Book of Mormon, as well as read several other books that our Ward Mission Leader Brother Truman bought for us. One that I read is called The Continuous Conversion by Brad Wilcox. It has so much truth in it. The main idea of the book is that we are here in this life, "not to 'earn' our way to heaven, but to 'learn' our way there." It was really a neat book to read; I might just mail home my copy so that Mom and Dad can read it!
Anyway, the excitement didn't let up once we were off quarantine. In Nevada, August is part of "monsoon" season, meaning that when it rains, it pours. We were riding our bikes to our dinner appointment after doing some service for a sister in the ward, when all of a sudden it started to sprinkle. Elder Tillotson and I didn't think much of it so we kept going. The rain started to pick up a little and we started getting wet, so we hid under a tree to wait for the storm to blow over. Then the wind start to pick up and the rain started to come down in big, fat droplets. Last but not least, it started to hail, so my companion and I hid behind a brick wall to get out of the wind. We called our dinner appointment and told them we were going to be a bit late because of the storm.
When we got to their house, the brother who greeted us said sarcastically, "You look a little wet!" We were drenched, so yeah we were wet. Then he told us to get out of our clothes so he and his wife could dry them. They gave us bath robes to cover up while our clothes were being dried, and so we ate dinner with them just like that. IN BATH ROBES...It was pretty awkward, but it's cool to think that now I have funny and quirky mission stories of my own now.
The week wasn't without spiritual experiences, either. This area overall has been pretty difficult to try to get something going in terms of missionary work. There are lots of less-actives and gated communities (which we aren't allowed to tract in). Most of the tractable parts of the area have been hit repeatedly over the last couple transfers, and frankly, people are tired of seeing us around. This makes us cherish the opportunities in which the people we contact actually listen to us.
We met this guy named Gus. He and his grandson were polishing his old 1966 Chrysler 300 in his car. So what did we do? We started talking to him. Come to find out he's been to St. George, Utah. He said he was a little bothered by Mormons because when he tried to go into one of our churches, they wouldn't let him in. We pretty quickly figured out that he had tried to go into the temple. We had to explain the differences between our temples and meetinghouses. Then he even let us share the first lesson with him! He didn't seem turned off by it at all, and even said we could come back pretty much anytime! We invited him to pray about the message of the Restoration, but he appears to be having a rocky relationship with God. Hopefully, the next time we meet with him that he will have that desire to talk to our Heavenly Father!
I just want you all to know that, yes, missionary work is hard. There are a lot of days and moments when I wonder to myself what I'm doing here. I sometimes wonder if I am wasting my time. Needless to say, it's quite easy to get discouraged. But the moments that I apply myself, my faith, and my determination to help the non-members and less-actives come closer to the Savior are the moments that are most dear to me. I'm here because I want to be here. I want to help people to know that Jesus Christ is there for them, that he truly wants what is best for them. I really know, and should always remember that God loves me; however, He loves the people that I am teaching just as much. No matter how many miles I ride my bike, or how many slammed doors, or even how little sleep I sometimes get, I can't afford to forget that. There are souls at stake here.
I love you all! Be safe, keep in touch, and send pictures! I want to know how you all are doing.
P.S. Happy early birthday Wilkin!! I love you bro! (I know it's tomorrow, but I am sending the email now)
|My room mates who are going home this week|