I don't even know.
This week, we....
- Go on MTE's and teach a very scattered lesson
- Go on exchanges with Elder Jensen
- Add a volleyball
- Have one of our recent converts say the closing prayer in sacrament meeting
- Have an awesome Zone Meeting
- Teach a not-very-religious man
First off, MTE's were on Wednesday. As a brief explanation for those who don't know, MTE's are basically inter-zone exchanges. President Schmitt and the AP's gather a few zones together (in our case, El Cajon, Santee, and San Diego East), give some instruction and counsel on how to do a better job, mix up the companionships, and send us on our way until the next morning, where we receive further instruction and exchange back. I wound up staying in Arabic work and had Elder Fraughton from the Santee Zone join me for the day. The day was mostly just spent walking around trying potential after potential without any lessons.
That evening we tried a potential named عبدالمسيح (Abdalmessiah, "Servant of the Messiah"). When we got to the complex his wife was standing outside and starting talking to us. I spoke back (in Arabic!) and she told us (in Arabic!) "I don't speak English." So she called out her neighbor and started asking him questions and having him relay them to me. I responded to the questions in Arabic and he would repeat what I said back to her. About two minutes into it he finally said, "Look, he speaks Arabic. You can just talk with him." At that point, she said in a surprised tone, "Oh! You speak Arabic!" She then invited us in to teach her and her husband. We got through most of the Restoration up until about the Apostasy when we felt it was best to stop and come back later because they were both kind of spaced-out and not really paying attention. So we thanked them for their hospitality and willingness to listen and asked if we could come back another day. As we were walking out I asked the neighbor through his open window "Thanks for your help. Could we come teach you?" He said, "Sure."
On Friday Elder Jensen came with me to Arabic South for the day on exchanges. Again we tried potential after potential. That evening we went back to teach the neighbor. It was a really good lesson and he accepted a return appointment. His name is ولسن (Wilson, "Wilson") and since everyone in our district has seen "Castaway"... draw your own conclusions.
Not much happened on Saturday (most of the day was spent finishing our Weekly Planning and doing studies), so we're going to skip over to Sunday! On Sunday we didn't have anyone come to church. :( But Suhaila and Muhammad both came and that meant that Elder Greer got to teach the Arabic Gospel Principles class! :D In sacrament meeting Suhaila
said the closing prayer. She said it in English. It was a personal prayer (essentially "Dear Heavenly Father, I'm a sinner, but I'm doing my best. I love Jesus and want to follow Him. In His name, Amen") but the fact that she was 1) willing to do it 2) in front of everyone 3) in a language other than her native tongue is very noteworthy. Everyone took time to tell her they loved her prayer, which made her even happier.
Yesterday we had Zone Meeting. We talked about following the Spirit and how to better recognize and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which was a great subject. After that the only other noteworthy thing about the day was that we taught a potential named أردلان (Ardalan, no idea what it means). He seemed a little nervous having us over but let us teach the Restoration to him. We talked about prayer and asked if he would pray about the Book of Mormon. He said "No." He further elaborated that he doesn't like the mentality of only praying to get something or when he's in trouble (which is a sound opinion) and therefore doesn't ever pray (which isn't quite the conclusion I would draw). He said that he's grateful we came by but he isn't too interested in religion or learning from us.
So that was interesting.
That's it for this week! Thanks everyone for your emails and letters! I love getting mail!
Also, shoutout to my older brother Alton who married his fiancee this past weekend! Congratulations!
-- Elder Hawkes