Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"We're just going to be نمشي-ing on the شارع." - Elder Greer, to the English-speaking Zone Leaders

It translates to "walking on the street". It's funny to me because he
said it to the English-speaking Zone Leaders and really because I
didn't find anything else really funny to put in the title this week.

Spoiler alert: Padres lost.
This weekly email, we...
- Help a less-active move a bed into his house and then help interpret
Isaiah chapters with him.
- Help Ikhalas move along towards baptism
- Go on splits with the high priests and find out the two people we
want to contact have moved
- Meet a guy sculpting a statue of Jesus for his Catholic church (who
isn't interested in our message)
- Drive out to Lemon Grove and find a Saudi Arabian exchange student
- Add a really smart guy!
- Teach Ikhalas the Word of Wisdom
- Have Ikhalas come to church!!!!
- Stumble through a Gospel Principles lesson about tithing
- Get cold water from a bunch of people
- Teach Marvin, Morad, and Miller and get a baptismal date!
- Lastly, go to a Padres game

First off, we helped a less-active member move a bed and bed frame
into his house and then asked him if he had any questions from his
personal reading. He said, "Yeah, actually," and then proceeded to
turn to 2 Nephi, in the Isaiah chapters.

Oh boy.

So we helped him gain some insights and told him that basically once
one understands the current events of Isaiah's time it's a lot easier
to understand. After that, we went to Ikhalas. We helped her find out
about her husband's medical condition (and I learned that I don't know
a whole lot of medical terms in Arabic!) and then taught her about
church attendance. We committed her to come to church.

On Thursday we went on splits with the High Priests. I went with Bro.
Knight, a member of the ward, and together we contacted his home
teaching families.

Turns out that both of them had moved away a little while ago.

So we went back to the church building, exchanged back, and wandered
the streets of El Cajon to find people.

On Friday we met a man who we received as a referral from a street
contact. He said he wasn't interested in hearing our message because
of a few typical reasons ("No prophets after Jesus" and "No scripture
after the Bible" being chief among them). Regardless, he invited us
into his home for a minute and showed what he was making: a life-sized
clay sculpture of Jesus for his church. He said his plan was to finish
it, put it in a box, and write on the box "Though He died for us, He
is risen and we worship Him" or something to that effect. He is the
first Chaldean sculptor I've met. Pretty cool guy.

On Saturday we drove out to Lemon Grove (which just borders San Diego
proper) to contact a referral. The house number we got didn't exist,
but we saw a house with a similar number and knocked on it. Turns out
that our referral did live in that house, but he was a Saudi Arabian
exchange student who wasn't home at the moment. We left an Articles of
Faith card in Arabic with our phone number and asked the host family
to have him give us a call. He called us a day later and said he
couldn't learn from us and wasn't that interested anyway. Oh well.

We added a man in our potential investigators pile named فاخري
(Fakhri) that day! The information we had for him was "Come back when
the semester ends." So we went back! Turns out he had graduated
college a mere 10 days earlier and was the oldest graduate in the
class. We were able to teach him the Restoration in English with only
a little bit of clarification in Arabic and handed him a Book of
Mormon. He said he had trouble seeing and was afraid that he wouldn't
be able to read. Elder Greer felt prompted to give him a blessing, and
so we all stood up and blessed him. He's got some really good

We also taught Ikhalas the Word of Wisdom. She said that she doesn't
drink or smoke and hates coffee, but that her only concern is tea. She
said, "I'll work on quitting it." (!!!!!!!) We also got her a ride to
church for the next day.

On Sunday we had Ikhalas come to church! She really enjoyed it and
said she would be back next week. The ward did a tremendous job
reaching out to her and saying "Hello" despite the language barrier.
That same day I gave my first Gospel Principles lesson in Arabic. It
was about tithing. Bro. Seba told me beforehand to pray about it and
be very careful about what I said in the lesson because it's a
sticking point for a lot of people. Despite the stumbles and the
awkward pauses now and then, everyone said I did a good job. I need to
practice more. :|

On Monday we went contacting during the heat of the day, so it was
nice that almost every door we knocked on people offered us water! We
got to see some of the formers in the North area and invite them to a
ward barbeque next month. We also got in the door with هسيبة
(Haseeba), a lady Elders Jackson and Greer have been working with. We
taught her about prayer and church attendance after showing her
"Because of Him".

Also on Monday we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to Marvin,
Morad, and Miller. They were off and on in terms of focus, but we
finally got them to settle down and focus on the lesson after a bit of
metaphorical wrangling. By the end of it, we invited them to baptism
and they kind of hesitated. I bore testimony about faith and baptism
and told them that essentially "You have the faith to do it, so why
don't you?" They finally agreed to a baptismal date for July 18th!

Lastly, today we went to the Padres game. A member of the ward had
season tickets that he gave us and his recently-returned-missionary
son. He bought us lunch and souvenirs and we all had a good time at
the game. The Padres lost in the 9th Inning, 6-5, against the Oakland
Athletics. Yay sportsball!

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