Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Not to imply that Joseph Smith is Darth Sidious..." - Elder Hawkes

The GPS representation of the San Diego temple on the right
No Explanation Necessary 
El Cajon Zone

Well, this week we...
- Drop فخري (Fakhri)
- Spend most of the day cooped up inside because one of the three of us falls ill
- ALMOST have a member-referred new investigator
- Add a blind man and his daughter
- Help build a fence with a member
- Try to talk investigators out of moving to Michigan (and succeed hopefully!)
- Score a moral victory by discouraging another investigator from
getting a payday loan
- Walk and walk and walk and walk...
- Wake up early for meetings on Sunday
- Run out of materials, requiring us to drive to the mission office to get pamphlets
- Teach the Gospel again to Marvin, Morad, and Miller

On Tuesday last week we went to visit فخري, whom we've been trying to get ahold of recently. He answered the door and told us he couldn't meet with us any more because he "go[es] to مار ميخا [St. Michael's, a local Chaldean Catholic church]". But he still likes us, so we'll give him another try in a few months. After that, we went to Main to go
street contacting. We ran into a man who told us he was Catholic and not interested. Elder Greer started chatting with him and asked him, "Why aren't you interested?" He said he believed in the Trinity, which we don't believe in even though it clearly says in the Bible. Right then Elder Greer paused for a minute, opened up his iPad, and turned to John 17:10. He then explained that when Christ says he is one with
the Father, he means one in purpose. The guy said, "Wow. I've never read that before," then gave us his phone number, which we passed off to the Sisters. Elder Greer said afterward as we were walking away, "I
didn't think that was going to work. It never has before." When the timing is right and the Spirit directs...

On Wednesday we woke up and Elder Greer said he wasn't feeling well enough to run (we go running on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). So while Elder Jackson and I got ready for the day, he slept. About a half hour later he woke up and told us he wasn't feeling well that day. So Elder Greer slept most of the day to get better while Elder Jackson and I studied. That evening we had a dinner with a member who was bringing a friend for us to teach, so we called the Zone Leaders and asked them to watch Elder Greer while we went to the appointment and got some medicine for him. The member dinner went well; she invited a Muslim man she had met at her yoga class named Hydar. He spoke really good English but still wanted to learn in Arabic, so we obliged. Once we got to prophets, he paused and asked us about
Abraham. The member then took over from there and discussed the lineage of Abraham (Isaac and Ishmael) and how we follow Isaac's lineage. We had to leave, so we wrapped it up, set up an appointment with him and the member where we could bring President Schmitt with us to interview him, and ran down to Rite-Aid to get some medicine for Elder Greer. When we got back, he was feeling better, so we went out for the day to go walk around and contact more people.

On Thursday we added a blind man named نديل (Nadeel) and his daughter, Diana. Diana said she wanted to be a missionary too and we told her she could be if she learned that this was true. نديل loves America and Americans in general, so he set up an appointment with us and told us that he wanted to take a picture with us the next time we came to post on Facebook for his family to see. So that was pretty cool. Other than that we walked around for most of the day to find people. If you aren't sensing a common theme yet, you should be shortly.

Friday morning we got a call from a member who wanted us to help him put in some fence posts. We got in our service clothes and drove over to help. The three of us dug some holes for him to put the posts in while he poured dry concrete in and added water. We had to go to district meeting and then exchanges, but we wound up going back later in the day. We helped him put some boards up, but the concrete was still pretty wet and it was really muggy. So we called it a day, had some smoothies, and he showed us some Border-Patrol-related things.

Later that day we went to visit Marvin, Morad, and Miller. They started off by telling us they wanted to move to Michigan because "there's no work here!" We did our best to talk them out of it, largely due to the fact that Marvin and Miller just came back from Michigan because there was no work and it was cold. After some wrangling with that, we taught them the Gospel. When we got to confirmation and the Holy Ghost they weren't sure they wanted to anything beyond baptism, but once we explained it a little bit they were on board. Also that evening we went and visited إخلاص (Ikhlas). Her not-too-keen-on-missionaries daughter was around, so we just checked to see if she was reading and praying and if she wanted to come to church. Afterward we helped her go through her mail. She got to one that said "Pre-qualified" and she got excited because it showed "$600" on it. We immediately told her "Don't do it!" and tried to explain that it was a pay day loan (and by "explain" we just told her "It's not good. Don't do it."). She ripped it up and threw it away, and I walked away feeling like I had just won a great moral victory.

Saturday we walked. And walked. And walked. And walked. And walked. And walked...

Which is what we do a lot of days anyway, so it wasn't anything too out of the ordinary.

On Sunday we had to wake up early because the Stake Presidency wanted to have a meeting
A member family went to Voodoo donut and this was left
about the Arabic work and how to progress it. We 
eventually came to some solutions with Bro. Seba, Bro. Faradjian, and the Stake Presidency and President Hixson (the stake president) said he'd bring it up with the Area Authority. So we'll see what happens there. After that we had church, to which إخلاص came. In Gospel Principles she asked about crosses and why we don't have any in our church, so محمد and Bro. Seba helped clear that up for her.

Yesterday we drove out to the mission office in San Diego to get some more Restoration pamphlets in Arabic because we had run out. Afterward we drove to another part of the city to contact a referral that wasn't home. Yesterday evening we taught the Gospel again to Marvin, Morad, and Miller to make sure they understood it. After we discussed baptism we told them about "baptism by fire" to introduce the subject of the Holy Ghost. Miller's eyes got wide and he got a little nervous. We then quickly explained that "baptism by fire" is just receiving the Holy Ghost, which relieved the fear quite a bit! They're still solid for July 18th, and we'll continue to be working with them to get there.

Unless my journal is lying to me, that is it for this week's email! Thanks everyone for your letters, both electronic and hand-written! As I've said every week, I love getting mail so don't be afraid to drop something in the mailbox. My address as always is in the signature. Also it just rained a little bit, which is good. I approve of rain.

Happy birthday on Saturday to my sister Tiersa!

Love you all! Keep doing what you need to do!

-- Elder Hawkes

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