Tuesday, September 29, 2015

*repeating back heard song lyrics* "Go ahead as you waste your days with bacon?" - Elder Greer

From 8-25-15

A meal that was served to the missionaries.
We were shopping today and "Move Along" came along. The first line says, in part: "Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking..." Elder Greer heard it, then repeated the above to me.

This week, we...
- Miraculously find a person to teach! (Who then drops us later that week)
- Teach an Iraqi from Utah
- Teach a lady who doesn't show interest, then listens intently, then
closes back up
- Drive all over the place and meet a one-legged Muslim
- Teach the people responsible for the aforementioned miracle! (Who
dropped us yesterday)
- Get eaten alive during a Plan of Salvation lesson to the High Priests
- Teach a kid who's really excited for baptism
- Stay constant as pretty much the rest of the mission changes around us

First off, we were walking around on Wednesday and found a man leaving his apartment. In talking with him we learned that he had moved here a few months ago and wouldn't mind hearing our message. After getting down his information we asked him "Who do you know that we could teach?" He pointed to a complex up and to the left of where he lived and said that although he didn't know them personally they might be accepting of a message. So we thanked him, went up the stairs, and knocked on the door. A man opened up and let us in. We sat down with him and his wife and in talking with them found out they had lost a son in Iraq. We felt impressed to teach the Plan of Salvation and so we did, bearing testimony of its truthfulness and listening to the wife as she shared experiences and talked about her faith. She was
listening really intently and invited us back for another lesson on Saturday!

Then she dropped us on Saturday.

Also on Wednesday we taught an Iraqi man named Jaafar who had actually lived in Utah for a time. He expressed from the outset that he wasn't very interested in changing religions or hearing about our church, but he did have some questions for us.

I don't know why the missionaries up there were teaching him super deep doctrine, but that's what all his questions were about.

Anyway, he wasn't interested in hearing our message, but accepted a Book of Mormon and said he might read it sometime. So after helping him fill out some school forms we went on our way.

On Thursday we taught a lady who initially was utterly convinced we were the Evangelicals. After about 15 minutes of back-and-forth we eventually reiterated that we wanted to share a message and asked if we could do that. She said yes, so we began teaching her the Restoration. When we were teaching her she was very intent and was listening and really thinking about our message, while the young girl sitting next to her kept asking us questions about why we didn't believe her traditions. Eventually the little girl asked us, "What's your point?" We told her that we wanted to help her know it was true and help her be baptized. At that point both she and the older woman closed up and reverted back to their traditions. Essentially they said, "We don't want to change. You're not Catholics. And you don't pray to Mary." Well, at least we did everything right.

On Friday we drove out to La Mesa to contact a guy who said he wasn't interested, then drove out to National City to contact a guy who said he wanted to learn English. His name is عدل (Adel) and he was really cool. He's Muslim and tolerant of all faiths and religions. He's got decent English (he said his problem is that he can't remember grammar
or sentence structure well) and really helped us in our Arabic. And he's also got one leg. He was talking to us about his religion and his views and all sorts of things. Cool guy.

On Saturday we taught the family that gave us the aforementioned referral. They both were really receptive to the message and agreed to be baptized and pray about the message. We were really grateful!

And then they dropped us yesterday.

On Sunday Muhammad said the opening prayer in English. He had been practicing with Bro. Seba and with us for the past two weeks to make sure he got it down. He also accepted a calling to be a greeter at church! I taught the Law of Chastity in Gospel Principles and it was a good lesson, even though it ended about 15 minutes early. Elder Greer
and I got pulled into High Priests to teach the Plan of Salvation.

And they pretty much ate us alive (in a lighthearted manner).

A lot of them started discussing semantics with us and went out of their way to poke holes in our lesson. It was a lot of fun!

Yesterday, after getting dropped by our new investigators, we went and taught a young man from Jordan named Wisam. We taught him at a nearby park and initially he seemed to just want some help with finding work. As we kept teaching him, though, he agreed with us and was willing to listen to our message. At the end we asked him if he would be baptized
if he knew it was true and he said "Yes!" We weren't able to get a specific return appointment from him, but he's got some great potential.

That's it for this week. Thank you all for your emails and letters. I love getting mail, so don't hesitate to write! Also, shoutout to my companion, Elder Greer, who's turning 22 on Monday! If you want to email him some birthday wishes, it's agreer@myldsmail.net. Have a great week!

-- Elder Hawkes

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