I had an extremely special treat this week. Douglas Green, the guy I taught for forever in Pineville, was driving through
Shelby this week and came
and visited me. It was an incredibly wonderful experience to be able to see him
again after so many months. I felt kind of similar to Alma when he bumps into the Sons of Mosiah
after all those years and sees that they're still solid in the faith. He's
grown so much in his testimony. We had a great conversation where he related to
me all the events leading up to his baptism. The whole time I had this massive
outpouring of love for the guy; he has so much faith. At literally any point in
the teaching process he could have shut the door, but he didn't.
Doug told me that for his post-confirmation sacrament talk, he related to the audience that "it took five sets of missionaries, a mission president and his wife, and countless loving members, all using gentle persuasion and sometimes outright assaults, to get me in the font."
Nevertheless, that still only counts as one.
In other news...
One of the baptismal requirements listed in Doctrine and Covenants 20 is that a person must have a "broken heart." Apparently Logan, the younger kid we've been teaching, took that a bit too literally, since he apparently has some heart problems that need to be taken care of. Instead of his heart beating "Thump-thump, thump-thump" like it's supposed to, it beats "Jing-gle-bells, jing-gle-bells."
This last Sunday I was invited to play the intermediate hymn for sacrament meeting. I was very honored to do so, but unfortunately the hymn was "True to the Faith," which is one of the more...exciting, hymns to play. I did pretty well up until the point that I forgot that there were four verses instead of just three. Oops.
We also taught Sharing Time in Primary, which is by far one of the funnest things I've done on my mission. The topic was the sacrament, and as part of the lesson we were going to do a game where we asked the children questions about the sacrament. Elder Collinwood and I had to come up with questions ourselves, though.
My idea: "Extend logically the possibilities of Judas Iscariot partaking of the sacrament according to the differing accounts of the Last Supper recorded in the Four Gospels, and the possible effects this might have had on his salvation."
Elder Collinwood's idea: "What day of the week do we take the sacrament?"
We generally went with a lot of Elder Collinwood's ideas.
Another fun feature of this past week was that we were inundated (ooh! good word!) with lightning storms. The most impressive one was on Monday evening, where there were about two lightning flashes a second for forty-five straight minutes. The storyteller inside of me imagined two super-powered people fighting each other in the sky, and each flash of lightning was when they exchanged blows. Life is just so much more fun with imagination.
We visited a ton of people in the hospital this week -- mainly investigators and less-actives. Many blessings were given. Mostly, we just listened to people. I am very glad that I am healthy, and that I can bike 28 miles in a summer day without getting tired. I'm also very grateful that I can give blessings.
The last notable event of this week occurred on Saturday. To save miles on our car, we hopped on our bikes and travelled to a nearby appointment, which, sadly, blew us off. On the way home Elder Collinwood's tire went flat, so we had to walk about an hour or so back.
On the way, however, I saw a Little Caesar's sign-waver. Having been a Little Caesar's sign-waver myself, I now subconsciously judge any sign-waver I see. ("You're lame," I'll think, or "You're good," and such, when I see them.) Well, this guy was good. Super good. He really knew what he was doing. So, I asked Elder Collinwood if we could go over and talk to him, and he agreed.
Well, it turned out that his name was Paul. He told us that he was an Apostle, and was the pastor of his own church. He had "God" on his arm, too. He asked us to tell him about Jesus, and then immediately after went on this huge speech about God and life and such. I couldn't stop grinning. "The people that drive by," said he, "they are my church. The people who honk as they drive by, they are on the front row. The people who wave, they are in the middle. The people who just drive by, they are on the back row."
What is it with being a sign-waver for Little Caesar's and teaching people about Jesus?
Transfer calls are this Saturday. We'll find out if I'm staying in
or not. Any mail sent by Thursday should show up before transfers,
regardless of if I'm staying or if I'm going, but after that it's a bit iffy.
I'll know by Monday what the plan is.
I love you all. I sure love being a missionary. This work is true, I know it. Hurrah for