This week, we...
- Drop Wisam, the guy who said he wanted to get baptized
- Teach English
- Go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders
- Convince an ice cream man (through no fault of our own) that we're Iraqi
- Add a man!
- Teach a man who doesn't see a need to change
- Have a sort-of surprise party for Elder Greer
On Wednesday we drove out to National City and taught English to عدل (Adil), the Muslim man I mentioned last email. It was a great lesson that involved a lot of practicing of basic phrases. His vocabulary is great, it's just a matter of placing that vocabulary in sentences. I also learned just how difficult teaching English is. English grammar is really weird and puts a lot of "filler" words in that other languages don't have.
Also on Wednesday Wisam texted us and said he didn't want to meet with us anymore and that he changed his mind about baptism. Which was sad. We'll follow-up in a few months.
On Thursday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Elder Egnew (the new Zone Leader) came with me to Arabic work and Elder Greer went with Elder Harris. We wound up dropping بالقوش (Balcosh; I don't know if the Arabic spelling is correct) because she's pretty busy right now. Another one to follow-up with in a few months. We spent most of the day walking around finding potentials. We got a bunch of referrals for other companionships, which was a big plus! Also, Elder Egnew is into Pokemon, Doctor Who, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, so we had a lot to talk about. :)
Friday consisted of district meeting, weekly planning, dinner, more weekly planning, and finding, so let's skip over to Saturday. On Saturday we started off the day with language study at Bro. Seba's like we normally do. We helped him clean up around the house because he wasn't feeling too well. Right as we were finishing that up, an ice cream truck started driving by. Bro. Seba heard it, turned to Elder Jackson, and just said, "Go get him!" Right on cue, Elders Jackson and Jensen jumped up and ran out the door yelling at him to stop. Fortunately he did. He opened up the door and, recognizing that he was Iraqi, we started talking to him in Arabic. Bro. Seba joined us shortly thereafter and we all had a nice conversation in Arabic about how we know Arabic. The ice cream man was convinced we were from بغداد (Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq), and despite our assurances that we weren't he would not be convinced otherwise. So we bought our ice cream and went back inside. Elder Jensen commented that he had never actually bought ice cream from an ice cream truck before, to which Bro. Seba replied that he really missed out on a piece of childhood/life and gave us this week's email title.
On Sunday nothing drastic happened. A member of the mission presidency spoke and that was probably the most exciting thing. So skipping over to yesterday...
We actually had things happen yesterday! :D We taught a man named نائل (Na'il), whom we'd been trying to get in the door with for a few weeks now. He said that he's pretty busy but that we're welcome to come by and teach him. When we followed up on what he remembered from the Restoration his belief was essentially one of "Why not?" He doesn't know it's true yet, but he doesn't see why it wouldn't be, so we've definitely got something to work with. We also taught a man last night who had great questions that highlighted some truths taught in the Restoration. Unfortunately he told us after we taught him that he might come to church sometime but that he wasn't really interested in changing or doing anything. In that lesson I experienced how to be bold without overbearing; it has to be done out of love and by the Spirit, otherwise it doesn't work.
Lastly, yesterday was Elder Greer's 22nd birthday. Elder Jensen informed me that Sis. Dreesen wanted us to come home a little early to have cheesecake and sing "Happy Birthday". I can't keep a straight face to save my life, so rather than trying to tell Elder Greer a lie and have him see right through me, I told him a half-truth. He asked me what was going on after I got off the phone with Elder Jensen and I told him, "North was wanting to sing to you at 8:30." And then the "no-straight-face" portion of me kicked in and he saw through that one. I kept insisting it, though, and the smile of "I know something you don't" was enough to keep him second-guessing me the entire time. At about 8:30, I turned to Elder Greer and told him, "We've got to go." He expressed his disapproval but went with it. When we got inside, we were welcomed with the sight of North and the Dreesen's.
After singing "Happy Birthday," we cut the cake up and Elder Greer promptly forgave me for the fact that we came back a little early. Because cheesecake makes everything better!
That's it for this week! Thank you all for your letters and emails! I love hearing from people, so don't be afraid to write/email me! Love you all!
-- Elder Hawkes