North Carolina Charlotte Mission

Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are your brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. -Alma 31:35

Thursday, December 6, 2012

11/12/12 "My acorn is missing"

"'My acorn is missing.'"
"'Squeak squeaker, squeak squeakity.'"
(paula:  for those of you unfamiliar with this quote, it's from the Disney movie "The Emperor's New Groove")

So, the big news you have all been waiting for! I have been transferred to the Pinesville area, which is in Charlotte, and my companion is Elder Heydorn, from California. We are about ten minutes from the mission home, and we share an apartment with the Zone Leaders, Elder Howell and Elder Hales.

I really loved it in Dobson, but the area was so large that much of the time we were driving around in the car. It was really nice, but a part of me wanted to bike around like a traditional missionary. (This might also have been because the members fed us so well I was concerned with gaining weight, and, since Elder Molina absolutely refused to run in the morning, biking would be the only way I'd get cardio exercise.)

Heavenly Father answered my prayer, because Pineville is a full-bike area! Ever since I arrived on Wednesday, we have been on our bikes for several hours each day, and MAN! does it feel good. I love to bike, and it's felt great. The weather here has also been very nice. Heavenly Father also has apparently done something to my bike, because it has not given me any trouble this whole week, which is a major blessing.

Now, as for my first week in Pineville:

One thing I've noticed about this area is that it is crawling with squirrels. There are millions of them here. Hence the title of this email.

On our very first day together, Elder Heydorn and I went out to do some bike finding. After knocking on doors through an entire street with no success, we reached the sidewalk, and we could either turn and go down the sidewalk or we could cross the road to the other side. We both felt we should cross. After going down this street as well, still without success, Elder Heydorn remembered that we needed to make some phone calls. As we were currently in front of the house of someone who wasn't interested, I suggested that we should cross the street again to make our phone calls.
Well, after standing there for about five minutes, a car drove by, stopped, and rolled down its window. The lady inside called to us to come and talk, and we went to go meet her. Her name was Henrietta, and she had met with sister missionaries in the past, but she had gone to Africa and lost contact with them. She had returned to America not long ago, and she had just been driving on an errand when she saw us standing there. She wanted to meet with us to talk about the Book of Mormon, so we gave her a copy, got her general address, exchanged phone numbers, and let her head off. We'll see her before too long.
I thought this was a huge blessing from Heavenly Father. If we had not crossed the street both times, and remembered to make phonecalls, we would not have been in the right spot to meet Henrietta, and she never would have seen us. A true Cornelius experience!

Another great blessing this week was Rosita, a small little lady from Saipan. She was raised Catholic and joined the Jehovah's Witnesses when she was older, but had not been to church in a while and nobody from her congregation ever came to see her. She had been praying to ask for someone to come and help her study about God when--dun duh duh DAH!--the missionaries knocked on her door!
We taught her three days in a row this week, and she came to church this Sunday. She's been eating up everything we tell her, and she is extremely attentive when we teach. She told us Saturday that her boyfriend, who she's lived with for 20 years, went to our church until he was 17, so hopefully we can start teaching him as well. Rosita is as golden as they come, and hopefully we'll be able to resolve the living situation with the boyfriend so she can get baptized. (We didn't even tell her about the Law of Chastity. Rosita came to the conclusion by herself that she would have to get married or separated before getting baptized. How awesome is that?)

We've also been teaching a woman named Dolores, another former Jehovah's Witnesses. Elder Heydorn and Elder Howell bumped into her last week while finding, and she opened the door because she thought they were delivering her wings. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?
Turns out that she'd been ordering stuff from the Church for years and wanted someone to study the Book of Mormon with her, so we've been doing that this week. She works 11 PM to 7 AM, so while she came to church last week she couldn't make it this week due to fatigue. She loves the Book of Mormon, and I have high hopes for her.

Finally, the last notable person we've taught this week is Douglas, who is a member of the Community of Christ, a.k.a. the Reorganized Church. It's really strange, since he already has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, something we are not used to dealing with in an investigator.
You see, we are used to dealing with the Great Apostasy, but we aren't very prepared for dealing with our own apostasy. The standard approach to helping investigators gain a testimony of the church goes somewhat like this: Have them read the Book of Mormon, realize it's true, and thus realize Joseph Smith was a prophet, thus showing that President Monson must also be a prophet. But it doesn't really work that way with an RLDS investigator, since they believe the presidency of the Church passed on to Joseph Smith III, not Brigham Young.
We've decided to treat him like a less active who needs to gain a testimony of President Monson, so we've been teaching him a lot about modern-day revelation, like The Living Christ and The Family Proclamation. Thankfully, Community of Christ has just strayed so far from what it originally was that he will eventually realize it and come to understand that the Church is true, and he will want to be a part of it.
Douglas came to church this Sunday and also gave us a ride to a Mission Home Fireside on Sunday, so he's a pretty great man, and will make a great member. We'll just have to build up his testimony, one inch at a time.

Anyway, it's been a great week, and I have to go. I'll keep you all posted. I love you all, and I love my mission!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder fisher

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