"These were days never to be forgotten."
- Oliver Cowdery, JSH.
Every Saturday in our mission is a "car fast." This is when everyone in the whole mission (except for the Assistants, who are too important) foregoes using their car for the entire day. The reasoning behind this was as follows:
1. Missionary work is much more effective when we involve members.
2. Members, among other things, give missionaries rides to appointments.
3. Missionaries often don't need rides to appointments when they have a car to use.
4. Missionaries don't work that hard to call members to help them when they have a car.
5. Missionaries hate biking and will go to great lengths to avoid doing it.
Therefore, if missionaries were deprived of their vehicles on Saturday, which is the day when many members do not have to work, then they would have a greater incentive to get their help.
...So we were out biking on Saturday, having utterly failed to get any members whatsoever to help us, and went to go see our investigator Jeremy for our appointment. He had been enlisted to be chef for a neighborhood birthday party and sadly couldn't meet with us, but he encouraged us to go to the party and ask for something to drink due to the heat. So we went, and one of the guys there kindly offered us some nice cold beer to cool us off.
"Sorry," we said. "We don't need a BUI today. We don't like biking under the influence."
One advantage of having a tripanionship is that, if you get the members out to help you, you can cover three different appointments at once. This makes us in high demand, now. On Sunday we taught Gospel Principles second hour because the teacher was sick, and then I taught sharing time in senior primary, afterwards being the pianist, while ElderArnold and Mastin taught the Young Men.
It was a crazy Sunday anyway. One of the speakers had been asked to speak on both the life of Christ and Independence Day. Instead of somehow meshing the two topics together like a lot of people would have done, this brother gave a talk on the Savior, closed "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen" and then started into his second talk on July 4th. Interesting technique.
Just the night before we had committed Allen, the man who I met in the rain many months ago, to come to church, and when sacrament meeting had rolled around he had not shown up. He had missed the week before, granted for a very justifiable reason, but if he didn't come to church this Sunday he would not make his baptism date for July 6th and we probably would have to drop him.
So I sat there with my eyes closed in sacrament meeting, very unhappy, playing in my head the "drop talk" we would undoubtedly have with him in the near future and honestly not focusing all that much on the Savior. I was quite sad, because I loved Allen and I was disappointed that he had failed to come. I then felt a hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes and looked up and there was Allen, a big crooked smile on his scruffy face.
Elder Mastin, from where he was sitting up at the sacrament table helping the priests, noticed my expression when I looked up and saw Allen there. He told me later that it was quite hilarious.
It turns out that poor Allen had run out of gas, so he got the gasoline out of his lawnmower and used that so he could come to church. What a guy! We are hoping to see his baptism this Sunday, on the 6th.
I will never forget the joy I felt seeing Allen standing there on that Sunday. These truly are days never to be forgotten. Blessings unmeasured, a fullness of joy. This work most certainly is true. Hurrah for Israel!