Well, it's incredible. Halloween is here already. Last week I realized that I've been out for three months, which means I'm 1/8 of my way through my mission already. Crazy, huh?
One nice thing about Halloween on a mission is that we don't have to worry about getting dressed up or anything. Missionaries are already the scariest costumes out there. People will open their doors to demons and goblins and witches, but the sight of a pair of elders will cause them to turn off the lights and hide under the couch. Jack-O-Lanterns have been field-tested against all sorts of beings, and while they may drive away evil spirits, Baptists have learned through experience that they are not effective against Mormons.
Needless to say, Halloween night is going to be a lot of fun.
Now, for the mission itself:
We went to go teach Lina, our baptismal date, and found out that she has flown the coop. She's moved to another area in our zone, so we sent her information to the sister missionaries in that area and they will get to teach her. We still got to teach a lesson to her granddaughter Rashika, though. (Isn't that an awesome name?)
The other day, we were going to an appointment with a potential investigator, and we saw this note taped onto his door:
"Mormon guys/Jehovah's Witnesses/Crazy Religious:
I am in the shower. If you knock hard enough, I will come to the door. Naked.
You have been warned."
So, I rang the doorbell.
He came out clothed.
One thing I wanted to talk about in this email was something called a "Cornelius Experience." In Acts, Chapter 10, a Gentile named Cornelius gets a prompting to send men to the Apostle Peter. At the same time, Peter received a revelation that the Gospel was to go to the Gentiles. Immediately afterward, he bumped into Cornelius' servants, and he ended up baptizing the whole groupy. Neither Peter or Cornelius was aware of what was going to turn out, but they were prepared by the Lord and led by the Spirit to be in the right place in the right time so that they would meet.
Some of you may remember that in General Conference President Monson told us about how he had kept a journal of every time he had been an answer to somebody else's prayer. In other words, he's recorded all of his Cornelius Experiences so that he hasn't forgotten them. I think this is great counsel, because it's only by looking back at those experiences that we recognize Heavenly Father's hand in our lives. And, most importantly, how we have been His hands in the lives of others.
Here's two of mine from this last week:
1. I was on exchanges with Elder Collins, one of my Zone Leaders. We went finding in
, and we
bumped into a young man named Daniel. It turns out that A) Daniel worked with a
member that Elder Collins knew, B) He had seen a Book of Mormon on this
member's desk and started reading it, and C) He happened to have finished his
classes for the day. It just so happens that this was the first time we'd gone
finding at the College in over a month, and we happened to show up at the exact
time, on the exact day, that Daniel would be there, with an Elder who knew the
same person he did. Surry
Is that awesome or what? Too bad he doesn't live in our area...
2. We had an appointment with a lady at 7:00 one night, but we didn't have a ride. After calling members for hours to get a ride there, with no success, I felt prompted to call one of our less active members, Brother Cheney. He was able to take us to the appointment...but the lady wasn't there. I felt prompted to go visit another investigator, Greg, who lives near Brother Cheney's. We did so. Greg was home, he was excited to see us, and we had an incredible lesson with him. Brother Cheney bore remarkable testimony, and what he said was exactly what Greg needed to hear; why the Church was necessary, how to get answers to prayers, everything. Without any sort of practice or preparation, his testimony blended perfectly with Elder Molina and I's teaching. Brother Cheney was also able to take Greg to church this Sunday.
It makes me wonder if Heavenly Father wanted me to ask Brother Cheney all along and was getting an angel to sabotage the members' reception or something so that I would have to call him.
I would encourage all of you to think back at recall those times where you were led to do something that ended up helping someone. Most of the time we had no idea we were even being prompted. To paraphrase Elder Bednar, we were just being good people.
That is why it is so important for us to be diligent, and to not get discouraged if we don't get success off the bat. We do not know what Heavenly Father is planning. If I hear somebody say, "I don't have time today," what it really means is "Hey buddy, get moving! The Lord has somebody else He wants you to see today!"
If we are not persistent, and we give up, we will never meet those people; we will never have those experiences. Of the 140 people or so who attend my branch (my Piper Cub), I'd say about 90% of them are converts. Each one of them was in the right place in the right time. If the people in their lives had given up, or not tried, they would not be the people they are today.
Anyway, my life is amazing. The work is great, and Elder Molina is an awesome companion. There is no doubt in my mind that this church is true. The Lord is telling us to step it up, and by golly, we can do it!
I love you all, and I love my mission!