Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"You know you've progressed far in the language when you can quote 'Star Wars' in it." - Elder Hawkes

From 9-22-15

و قال دارث فيدار: "ما قال وبي-وان إليك ابداً عن ماذا حدث إلى أبوك."
قال لوك سكايواكر: "هو قال إليّ عن أنت قتلته!"
قال دارث فيدار: "لا! أنا أبوك!" 
فقال لوك: "لا. هذا ليس صحيح. هذا مستحيل!" 
قال دارث فيدار: "بحث أفكارك. تعرف أن هذا صحيح."
قال لوك: "لا!!!!!"

[I asked Elder Hawkes for a translation of the above and he said it was from the part in Star Wars where Luke finds out his father is Darth Vader....]

This is probably one of my greatest accomplishments in the Arabic language so far, in my opinion. 
Anyway... this week, we...
- Add a man named Rick
- Do some gardening and then rush to get to our English class appointment only to have it get rescheduled
- Go on exchanges and determine that having pizza and Slurpees is not as good an idea as it sounds
- Talk with some Jehovah's Witnesses who want us to flip through our Bibles
- Have a family fly to pieces when we say we want to share a message
- Have great studies while El Cajon turns into Baghdad (in terms of weather)
- Meet some cool and weird people in Rancho San Diego
- Get lost trying to find an address only to realize we don't have the materials we need
- Hear a testimony from a drug dealer

On Tuesday it rained. And that was unrelated to the fact that we added a man named Rick! We brought a member with us to come and visit him for the first time. We sat down and shared the Restoration with Rick in English. We'll probably have to go over some points again to make sure he understands but he was very open and we were able to invite him to baptism. He accepted, but we weren't able to set a date. We've got another appointment scheduled with him tonight, so we'll see how it goes! 

On Wednesday we helped a member of the ward plant some trees and bushes in her yard, which was a lot of fun. Then right after that we had an appointment to teach عدل (Adil) English, so we quickly went home, changed back into our proselyting clothes, and went out the door. On our way there, we called him and he asked if we could reschedule for later that day. So we went back to our apartment, finished our lunch, and went to visit some members and invite them to our ward activity on Friday. When 4:00 rolled around we were able to teach عدل some English and then had to rush back to El Cajon to do language study with our ward mission leader and have some semblance of food. Language study was alright; he had a friend over and that divided his attention, so a lot of the time was spent talking with his wife about the ward activity while Elder Greer and I ate some Little Caesar's that we had picked up on the way. 

On Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Jackson, who goes home next week. Most of the day was going from one potential to another. We got a few appointments scheduled for this week, so we'll see what happens there. Our ward mission leader had scheduled to feed us, but he couldn't do it. He texted us, apologizing and informing us that he'd picked up two pizzas from his pizza place (which I forgot to mention is aptly named "The Pizza Place". Not even kidding) for us. It also happened that 7-Eleven had a "Buy one get one free" event going on for their Slurpees, so Elder Jackson and I thought, "That sounds like a great idea!" So we had pizza and Slurpees, and for anyone curious, it's a terrible combination that I would never recommend. 

On Saturday we exchanged back and Elder Greer and I did some more walking around and talking to people. We ran into a few Jehovah's Witnesses. One politely talked to us about how the Book of Mormon is false because of Revelation 22:19. I didn't ask him if the Bible was written in chronological order, nor did I bring up Deuteronomy 4:2 (I think that's the reference), but I wanted to. Another Jehovah's Witness flipped through her Bible to cherry-pick verses that justified her point. We moved on. That evening we sat down with a family who invited us in, but once we asked if we could share a message they said "We're Catholic! We don't need it! Why are you here?" and a bunch of other similar things. Eventually I just said, plainly, "We're here because we believe that our message will bless you and your family. If you don't want to hear it..." "We don't!" So we thanked them, ended with a prayer, and left. One principle I've learned in Arabic work is if they accept you, teach. If they don't accept you or your message, thank them for their time and move on. 

Sunday was officially the hottest day I've had on my mission. When we got out of church it was 106ºF. By the time we got home and had lunch, the thermometer read 112ºF. So Sunday made El Cajon not only Baghdad in terms of population and language, but also in weather. Fortunately for us, while El Cajon turned into the Imperial Valley we were inside doing studies. The 90ºF weather at 8:30 didn't make it easy to proselyte.

On Monday, we drove around Rancho San Diego inviting members and nonmembers alike to the ward activity. One guy we met was taking his trash out and we asked if he would be interested in hearing a message. He said, in between cussing, "Sure." So we went to his house and met him around back. 90% sure he was either high or drunk, given the beers and the marijuana bong sitting on the table nearest him. Anyway, we shared a little bit of our message and realized that he really wasn't that interested. So after he shared a little bit about how he's a computer guy that's done work for the U.S. government and the Church before, we left. 

That evening we were going to go visit a less-active and give them a flyer to our ward event. We forgot to load up directions before we left, so we drove around trying to find it before we finally wound up at a member's house to use their wi-fi to find the address. When we finally got to where we were going, we realized that we had forgotten flyers for the event! But fortunately Elder Greer remembered that while the husband was less-active, the rest of the family wasn't and so they knew about the event. So we went on our merry way to try other potentials. 

Right before we went in for the night we were walking on the street and ran into a homeless guy. He shared a little bit of his life story. To make a long story short he was a convicted felon released from prison with no food and no money, so he turned to selling drugs to make enough money that he and his girlfriend can live each day without starving to death. As we were talking with him about how Christ loved him and wanted to help him, he started sobbing. In between tears he told us that he isn't sure what else to do because he can't find work and can't provide for himself and his girlfriend. He told us that at the end of the day he has faith in Jesus and even though he does things he doesn't want to do he trusts that the Lord will help him. It was actually a pretty powerful experience. 

That's it for this week! I'm off to Balboa Park for the day so I won't be around to email or write letters, unfortunately. But that definitely shouldn't discourage you from writing or emailing me! I love getting mail! 

Have a great week, everyone!

-- Elder Hawkes

Elder Christian Hawkes
California San Diego Mission
7404 Armstrong Place
San Diego, CA 9211-4912

Sent from my iPad

No comments:

Post a Comment