Long-winded background in 3... 2... 1... The area where we live isn't as developed as the rest of Rancho San Diego/El Cajon, but isn't quite as rural as Jamul (where you can drive for 10 minutes and see one house). Usually coyotes come out across-the-street-ish to hunt for rabbits and probably the occasional stray cat or two. And they have a tendency to hunt in packs and howl rather loudly at night, especially during a full moon. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to hear what sounded like a large pack of coyotes across the street howling. As I started dozing off, some of their howls made it into my dream wherein I was called on to bless someone. I wondered to myself in the dream how I would say 'Bless the sick' in coyote howls. I got woken up by not only the howl that in my dream answered my question but the fact that it was one of the weirdest things one could possibly ask.
Also, I was almost convinced halfway through the night that those weren't coyotes, they were hyenas. I had never heard a coyote cackle (or make a similar sound as a cackle) until last night.
Anyway, enough about my weird dreams and the weird coyote-hyena hybrids that roam east county, let's get on with this email!
This week, we...
- Go on exchanges
- Drop Hind and Aida
- Have a great Zone Meeting
- Come to the conclusion that McDonald's shouldn't serve artisan
burgers and do some organizing
- Talk about keeping the Sabbath Day holy right after the Elder's
Quorum president shows us the video of BYU's win on Saturday
- Add Saita and Jenny and commit one of them to a baptismal date! :D
- Get fed by a family that doesn't like that we don't cross ourselves
On Wednesday I went up to Arabic North and got to be with Elder Jensen for the day. He's a solid missionary. The entire time he was asking me for help pronouncing things and constantly seeking to improve his abilities in understanding and speaking. He's going to be a great missionary and I'm going to enjoy serving with him over the next 15 months or so.
We mostly just walked around and talked with everyone. We only had one lesson, and that was with a Muslim man with whom Arabic North has been trying to get in the door with for a few weeks. He wasn't very interested, but we left him with a pamphlet and told him to call us if he had any questions. Since we spend 90% of our time teaching Catholics and Orthodoxes (Orthodoxes? Members of the Syrian Orthodox Church? Whatever), it always seems a little weird teaching a Muslim.
Later that evening we had language study with Bro. Seba, wherein he and Elder Jackson debated (in Arabic) about whether Superman or Batman was better. I wish I had filmed it.
On Thursday we exchanged back, did Weekly Planning, and went out for a little while. It was one of only a few nights where the streets we were walking on were completely empty. We ran into maybe 2 people on the street. It was very unusual.
We called some members to come out with us to see Hind and Aida, but we felt that we should stop by before the members came and see if they were home. We stopped by and Aida answered the door. Hind wasn't home, she said. She also told us that she didn't believe our message and didn't want to hear more. So we'll follow-up with them in a few months.
On Friday we had Zone Meeting, wherein we talked about finding people to teach and involving members more in our work. I gained some great insights about how to be a better missionary. A really interesting article we went over was "Lord, Increase Our Faith" in the March 2002 Ensign. I'd highly recommend reading it.
After Zone Meeting we may or may not have raced some other companionships in the zone to Taco Bell (we totally won) and then we drove to the mission office to get our Tiwi device (the device on our car that tells us when we're going too fast or accelerating too quickly) replaced since it hasn't been working. After doing a little bit of proselyting, we helped move a couch in for a family and then went out to visit some more people.
On Saturday we did language study at Bro. Seba's and after finishing that he took us to McDonald's to get some lunch. Elders Jackson and Greer decided to try some of the new "artisan burgers" they have. After each of us had a piece of each of them, we came to the conclusion that McDonald's shouldn't do artisan burgers. After lunch, we helped him organize some receipts and invoices from his restaurant so that his bookkeeper can better track them. It was a very fun time.
Sunday was a great day! In Elder's Quorum they talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. To begin the meeting, the Elder's Quorum President showed everyone the video of BYU winning on Saturday. I found it rather ironic, personally. Later on that evening we taught a lesson to a mom and daughter named Jenny and Saita (sp?). Jenny was very attentive in the lesson and Saita was also interested in it. As we were teaching, we invited them to be baptized and they accepted!
Saita was concerned because she said she'd already been baptized, and Jenny then turned to her and bore testimony of the importance of baptism. She essentially said that being baptized again shows one's willingness to follow Jesus Christ and the true path. It was an amazing lesson! :D
On Monday we went and tried a bunch of potentials. We sat down with a family who had entire shelves filled with Catholic statues and decorations and after praying with them they asked us why we didn't cross ourselves. We tried to bring it back but they wouldn't have it. So we ended the lesson and they said, "No, stay! Eat with us!" So we ate with them. They were a "very" family: very nice and had very good food, but were very not interested. The rest of the day proceeded like
any other day in trying potentials. Most people were either not home or not interested. Oh well. We keep working!
That's all for this week! Thank you everyone for your letters and emails! I love getting mail and hearing from my friends and family, so don't be afraid to write and email! Have a great week!
-- Elder Hawkes