Monday, June 8, 2015

"What do you see in this picture?" "Jesus... with beef!" - Elder Jackson and Morad

He was looking at a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. I'm still laughing about it.

Welcome to my weekly email, wherein...
- A missionary goes to the hospital after almost losing a finger setting up volleyball nets on P-day
- The Three Musketeers/Nephites/Stooges/Whatever go to transfers and get everything worked out with housing, phones, and cars
- We get a baptismal date for an investigator!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Elder Jackson has Chick-Fil-A for the very first time
- We add two investigators at 8:50 at night! After discussing it for 15 minutes and praying about it!
- We have district meeting with half the zone
- Elder Jackson stops sleeping on the floor and we do some rearranging in our apartment
- The aforementioned investigators drop us!
- Our baptismal date investigator gets even more solid on the date!
- L. Tom Perry passes away :(
- President Schmitt speaks at Stake Conference and reminds people of their role in missionary work
- Elder Hawkes tries (and fails) to translate a talk on-the-fly at Stake Conference
- We teach a potential who is very adamant about praying to Mary
- We drive out to Spring Valley to contact a referral and wind up at a halfway house
- We go on splits and find that Morad's brothers have returned!

First off, after emailing last week we proceeded to go to Arabic North's apartment and shove all their stuff into their suitcases. We knew we'd have to make several trips, so to save on miles we focused on packing up clothing, study materials, and the basic necessities first. We then rushed back to our apartment, got some laundry done, and went to P-day sports at the El Cajon stake center. The zone decided they wanted to play volleyball, so we started setting up the nets and the poles. Some Elders from La Mesa were with us and they started working on the poles. Suddenly we hear a *SLAM!*, someone crying out in pain, and see Elder Gillespie (one of the Elders from La Mesa) clutching his thumb and running into the kitchen, moaning in pain and shouting, "Someone get me some napkins because I'm going to need stitches!"

The volleyball poles are designed to be in two parts. The top part can be adjusted to be raised and lowered according to the needs of the players. As Elder Gillespie was setting one of them up, apparently it slipped and landed on his thumb. The La Mesa Elders grabbed their stuff, helped a sobbing Elder Gillespie into the car, and rushed to Grossmont Hospital (the nearest hospital). We saw him at transfers the next day and apparently it was so deep he almost lost the thumb. 

And I'm going to stop now because if I go any further I'll probably throw up on the library's nice shiny Chromebook. 

So we cleaned up, played some volleyball, went out contacting for the day, and got everything situated (for the most part) at our apartment. 

At transfers we found out a few things: 
1) We're staying with the Dreesen's
2) We're in a district consisting of the Hillsdale Sisters, Fuerte (the Zone Leaders), Jamul, and us. That's more than half the Zone. 
3) We're going to be using North's phone and North's car

After we got everything worked out with the mission office regarding all that, we went and taught Ikhalas. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted a date!!!



We told her June 27th as a date and asked if she would pray about it. She said, "I don't need to. I know it's a good day!" 


On Thursday we went up to Arabic North's apartment to drop off empty suitcases (they're keeping the apartment and will likely move a companionship of Arabic Elders in after this transfer or the next). Elder Jackson was hungry, so we went driving around trying to find a place to eat. A while ago Elder Jackson had mentioned he had never had Chick-Fil-A, so when we found one I suggested it. And now Elder Jackson has had Chick-Fil-A! 

I took a picture to commemorate the occasion, but I left my camera at the Santee apartment. :(

That night as we were wandering the streets we walked into a complex where Elder Greer knew there were potential investigators. We knocked on one door at about 8:45 and they invited us in. We weren't able to get through all of the Restoration, but we asked them to read the pamphlet in preparation for our next visit. We set up a time to come back and left for our apartment. While we were on our way we talked about the two people we had just taught. The question was whether we should add them or not. We felt that from a Preach My Gospel definition they were added, but we weren't sure if they were shaky enough to discourage us from adding them. We prayed about it and came to the conclusion that "We set a goal to add two investigators. The Lord provided a miracle." So we added them!

We had the first district meeting of this transfer. Sister Stewart in the Hillsdale ward is training Sister Whitcomb and we have a new Zone Leader, Elder Harris. Zone picture will come eventually. 

On Saturday one of the members was kind enough to donate a bed and frame for us. We talked with the Dreesen's (the family we're staying with) about it and they helped us do some rearranging in our apartment because they had a lot of old stuff they were storing in the room. After doing quite a bit of rearranging, we picked up the bed and got it set up. Now Elder Jackson isn't sleeping on a camping pad on the floor anymore! 

Also on Saturday we taught a man who knew we were Mormons. We taught him the Restoration but he wasn't too interested in hearing it. He then asked us about Joseph Smith and polygamy, saying "Mohammed practiced polygamy!" This tells us that:
1) He has Internet
and 2) He's likely had contact with Shadow Mountain.

In other words, we didn't add him.

We went back to the recently-added investigators' complex. We knocked on their door and asked if we could come in. "No. My wife is sick in the other room." "Sorry to hear that! Another time?" "No. We don't need you!" And with that, they dropped us. 

Elder Hawkes with his companions
We taught Ikhalas about following the prophet and reading the scriptures. She's still solid for baptism on the 27th. She wants to make sure nothing gets in the way of that day. She also wants to come to church with us before she gets baptized (she hasn't been able to thus far because she's had to take care of her husband).


Also on Saturday we got word that Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve had died. :( He was always so full of energy and doing things! I will certainly miss hearing from him at Conference. 

That evening we had stake conference. President and Sister Schmitt spoke about member-missionary work. President Schmitt had all the missionaries come up front and stand by him. He looked at us, then at the audience, and said, "These are the part-time missionaries. They serve for a season and then they go home, as some of you just learned with Elder Poffenbarger in the Hillsdale ward. Or they get transferred after six weeks, in which case you can blame me for that." He then had everyone in the audience stand up. "If these are the part-time missionaries, who are the full-time missionaries? You are." 

He's so cool.

On Sunday we translated for Mohammed at stake conference. I figured I'd give it a shot and put on the headphones for the first speaker. I got maybe 10 words out before I passed it off to someone else because I couldn't translate what the speaker was saying! Next stake conference I'll make an extra effort to get ahold of talks beforehand so I can actually translate!

Also on Sunday we taught a lady the Restoration. We invited her to be baptized and she said, "Yeah." We continued on and when we got to prayer she said, "This is true. I believe this. [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] This is the same Bible. All the churches teach the same stuff. There's no difference." And then proceeded to discuss how we had to pray to Mary, admitting that it wasn't found in the Bible or any other of the teachings of God at any point but still pushing the need to do so.

Yesterday we went on splits with a ward member. Elder Jackson and I went to teach Morad, intending to teach the Word of Wisdom. And it turns out that Marvin and Miller have moved back to El Cajon! They said that missionaries in Detroit went and contacted them, but it was all in English so they couldn't understand. So we went over the Restoration again with them. Their dad actually read the pamphlet with them and participated in the lesson, which is a huge step forward!

I'm 90% sure that that's it for this week. Thanks everyone for your emails and letters. I love getting mail from people, so don't be afraid to write! We'll be getting iPads on Monday at Zone Conference, so I may be emailing you all from that next week!

-- Elder Hawkes

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