This week, we...
- And walk
- And walk
- And walk (you get the idea)
- Meet with Ezekiel and get him solid for the 16th
- Teach the Restoration to a Jordanian
- Actually use my Arabic! For 10 seconds...
- Visit a less-active while looking for a referral
So to start off, it seems like everywhere I go we wind up being low on miles for the month. Perhaps the problem is me, I don't know. But in any case, we wound up being a little short for the rest of March. So what did we do? We embraced our handcart ancestors and walked all around. In doing so, we were able to save on miles, give ourselves a few blisters on our feet, and talk with a lot of people. We wound up planning most of our days to be around "Who can we walk to and how long will it take?" We walked up big hills and small hills, we walked for hours and hours and then we walked some more. On Wednesday night we found ourselves running a bit behind so we wound up having to run home for a good half mile or so in our proselyting clothes. That night we resolved never to do that again.
We were able to meet with Ezekiel on Wednesday with our bishop. He told us, "I've been talking with my mom and we feel like April 16th would be a good day for me to be baptized." We were able to teach him most of the commandments and keep him solid on those. Yesterday we were able to visit him with the Primary president and taught him the Ten Commandments, the Law of Chastity (we kept it really simple), and Obedience. He's solid for the 16th! Elder Bryant and I are very excited!
On Friday we taught a lady named Wedad. Her family is from Jordan, but she was born in the U.S., so she speaks very broken Arabic (sad face). Half her family is Muslim and half is Christian, "so one half will judge me and the other half... will also judge me." We taught her the Restoration with our YSA ward's mission leader and it went really well. She agreed to be baptized when she knows this is true and committed to read and pray. She said she was going to come to Conference, but she woke up sick Sunday morning and wasn't able to attend. We invited her to watch the recording of it, though, and she said she would.
We were also able to teach Yessenia the Plan of Salvation. She really liked it and talked about how much sense it made. We invited her to be baptized and she said she'd like to be, but she's worried that her family won't approve. We told her to pray about it and continue to read. She read 17 chapters of the Book of Mormon and marked it up. She's on fire!
Conference was amazing! I loved all of the talks, especially President Russell M. Nelson's during the Priesthood Session; Elder Dale G. Renlund's from the Saturday Morning Session; Elder David A. Bednar's from the Saturday Afternoon Session; Elder Gerrit W. Gong's from the Sunday Morning Session; and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's and Elder Patrick Kearon's, both from the Sunday Afternoon Session. There was so much revelation and inspiration I received! President Schmitt invited us to come with the question, "What can I do to increase my faith in Jesus Christ in order to fulfill my missionary purpose to teach repentance and baptize converts?" I got answers not only to that question but also many other personal questions I'd prayed about over the past few weeks. If you haven't had a chance to go watch it, I'd encourage you to do so.
|Giant pizza that the misisonaries had at Zone|
Conference. It didn't last long.
On Sunday we went up to El Cajon to contact a referral we had. The person we went to visit wasn't there, so we went and talked with their neighbors to see if they were home. Turns out the neighbors spoke Arabic (yay!), so I had the opportunity to practice my Arabic by asking them if they knew when their neighbor was home and thanking them for their time. It was refreshing to be able to use it again, even if it was just 5 or 10 seconds.
Lastly, we were out last night looking to contact a referral we had received. She wasn't home, but we found out there was a less-active nearby so we went and visited her. We taught the Restoration to her and spent the entire time just focusing it all on Christ. As we talked, she listened. And as she listened, she felt the Spirit tell her what she needed to do to improve (she told us so). Everything was focused on Christ, even if at first it didn't seem like it connected very well. But as we went we found that it all was centered on Christ and it was so natural to focus it all on Him. It was an amazing experience.
That's it for this week, everyone! Thank you all so much for your prayers and your support. I love you all!
-- Elder Hawkes