Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Are you seriously using the Lego Star Wars video game as a point of reference?" - Elder Hawkes

Elder Hawkes received some colorings from the Sunbeam
class from his home ward.
Turns out Elder Jensen hasn't seen Star Wars. How sad.

So this week started off crazy weird and has gradually smoothed itself
out, so let's get into it!
This week, we...
- Find out about "The transfer that never was"
- Unpack
- Drive up to the Arabic North apartment only to realize we don't have the keys
- Have a Catholic tell us he's not interested because he's Muslim
- Help Suhaila move
- Listen to Conference! And then teach a person!
- Get a call from a member after one of our investigators shows up to
church when no one's there
- Help redecorate a retirement center.
- Forget to bring a member to Suhaila's and wind up teaching her outside
- Teach a family who says they'll get back to us on whether they
believe it or not

So, first off, let me tell you all about "The transfer that never was..."

When we last left off, I was going up North, Elder Greer was going to be training, we needed to be at the transfer meeting at 9:30, and I learned how much of a pain it is to pack everything you have in preparation for going somewhere new. And then at 10:05 P.M., we got a call from President Schmitt.

He told us that during his interviews with the incoming missionaries, he didn't receive any inspiration as to who should be the new Arabic missionary. But he went and looked at the missionaries coming in next transfer, and he saw that there's an Elder coming in November who studied Arabic for 5 years! "So," he said, "Elder Greer, you're going to train him when he comes. I'm sorry that you don't get to train right now. You three are going to be in a trio this transfer."

So I'm still in Arabic South, technically. It was a really last-minute decision. But it just goes to show how much the Lord is in this work!

After spending a good chunk of the night and the next morning unpacking and determining what I need in the next six weeks and what I don't (I know with 100% certainty that I'm going up North next transfer), we drove up to the Arabic North apartment on Wednesday to pick up Elder Jensen's stuff. And then we realized, we had let some sister missionaries in Santee borrow the car, and we neglected to get the apartment keys from them before we gave them the keys! So we went back, taught عدل (Adil) English in National City, did some rearranging and reorganizing in our apartment, and finally got the keys to the North apartment. I about doubled my tie collection because Elder Jackson left a bunch of ties that he didn't want (still not a necktie person). We finally got everything handled and moved in, then we went proselyting.

That evening we had a lesson with the three Chaldean women I mentioned last email. There were a lot of distractions outside (we had to sit outside) and it essentially boiled down to "We're Catholic. We don't want to change. Thanks." So on our way out we saw an open door and decided to try and talk with the residents. One of them came to the door and said, "No. We're Muslim."

We were staring straight at his Virgin Mary statue. And could see the rosaries on the wall.

Anyway, despite the obvious lie we decided it wasn't worth our time to push any further and left.

On Thursday we helped Suhaila move. She'd been having some trouble with the management in her old place and decided it was better to move than deal with all the ridiculousness she was facing. We expected it to be a short move, maybe an hour or so. But since it was the three of us, her, her two teenage sons, and her home teacher, it took about
three. Her new place is a lot smaller than her old one. She said she likes the old one more, but she'll manage.

On Friday I had my first district meeting as district leader. It went alright. Our district is composed of the three of us (me, Elder Greer, and Elder Jensen) and the Hillsdale/Jamul Sisters (Sister Wardinsky and Sister 'Eukaliti). After that, we brought a member of the ward out with us to try a few potentials. As we were walking, another member waved us over and, after asking him who he knew, introduced us to his neighbor. We had a lesson with her on her porch that essentially
consisted of her venting and us reminding her to have faith in Christ. I'm sure she was a little overwhelmed because there were five people standing on her porch wanting to talk about Jesus!

Later on that night we visited Morad, an investigator who's been taught for several months now. We talked a lot about having faith in Jesus Christ and how having faith will lead to baptism. He's got some envy problems that he's working out, but he's got a lot of faith! When we invited him to be baptized he said he'd do it! :D We invited him to be baptized on October 31st and he wasn't as sure. So we invited him to pray about it and he said he would. I really think it can happen if
he just prays and finds out for himself.

On Saturday we had a small meeting you've probably never heard of called General Conference. You'll probably ask me what my favorite talk was and I'd tell you that I don't know because they were all amazing! It was great to see three new Apostles sustained and I congratulate Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund on their new callings.

That evening we taught نائل (Na'il), whom we've been trying to get in the door with for over a month. We reviewed the Restoration with him and he's got it. His problem isn't that he doesn't believe, his problem is that he can't find time to meet with us. Since he lives so close to his workplace he's always on-call and it's hard to nail down a time to meet with him (no pun intended). We'll keep trying him.

On Sunday Morad came to the Sunday Morning session of General Conference, which was awesome. We got a call from one of our members, Bro. Faradjian, between sessions. He said that one of our investigators, حبيب (Habeeb) had showed up to church and, when he saw no one was there, called him up and asked where everyone was. (For the record, we tried calling him but the phone number was wrong, and he wasn't home when we stopped by) So Bro. Faradjian told him it was conference and invited him over. We went by and watched the concluding session with him, which was awesome. He had a great time!

Yesterday we helped the Hillsdale/Jamul Sisters and a less-active lady in La Vida Real (a retirement center in Rancho San Diego) rearrange things and redecorate the main rooms for Halloween and autumn. It mostly consisted of us walking around, placing things here and there, rearranging a wreath or two, and hanging some cloths here and there to make it look "spooky". It was a lot of fun, actually! We also taught Suhaila on her porch (because we had forgotten to bring a member with us) about the Spirit World and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said she hasn't been reading from the Book of Mormon due to the move, but she said she'd read it this week.

Last thing: Last night we had a lesson with a family. The husband, خليل (Khaleel), was very inviting but a little closed-off. As we were teaching, he and his wife, جنان (Jinan), grew more and more attentive as the lesson went on. The Spirit was very strong there as we taught and discussed our message with them. At the end of it, they said they'd think about it and call us. He wanted to make sure our phone number was right so he could call us, which was a great sign!

And that's it for this week! So in case you didn't catch it at the beginning, I'm in a trio and I'm also district leader. This transfer is going to be fun! Thanks everyone for your emails and letters! I love getting mail, so don't be afraid to write! Have a great week!

-- Elder Hawkes

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