In the land of 'it's a small world in the church, it turns out that this woman is from Malad, and friends with one of my neighbors. I'm so thankful she took the time to take a picture and send it to me.
Mason also sent some pictures and some videos. If you watched his Mother's Day video, you heard his humourous description f the roads in Orofino. He was nice enough to include 2 min and 36 seconds of nauseatingly dizzying footage of a trip up one of those roads. I'm nice enough to include it here. Warning, it made me feel whoosy, but watch a few seconds and you'll get the idea.
To watch the video click here.
Elder Crosby and I have been having some cool experiences this week. We have been trying to expand our teaching pool by going and talking to previous investigators who's records we found in our area book, and also going an talking to old potentials. After being rejected by nearly everybody we were about to drive over to the next person on our list when we got the impression that we should just walk there. We discussed it and decided that we may as well walk to their house since it would take a lot more time out of our day than driving and we could at least try and give out a Book of Mormon on the way. We walked all the way there and back and only talked to 3 or 4 people but one of those people made a pretty cool experience. We were coming up to a crosswalk about the same time as a Hispanic man, we tried talking to him but he only responded with "I don't speak English" You should have seen his face when Elder Crosby started talking to him in Spanish. (MY face too, seeing as how I didn't know he spoke Spanish) After a breif explanation of The Book of Mormon, the man got a sheepish look on his face and said, "Ok... well I guess I can speak a little English" We had a pleasant conversation with him on the way to our Jeep to get him a spanish Book of Mormon. :)
So for the past couple days before we leave the apartment we say a prayer asking that whoever needs us will find us as we go about our day. That has happened every day this week. whenever we're in town, we spend as much time walking as we can. We have been having people come to us. We had a man run out of a bar shouting "Hey wait!" we talked with him a little bit about some of his struggles and after giving him some suggestions we told him that we would pray for him. A couple days later the same man pulled up next to us in his car asking if we were still remembering him in our prayers.
Another day we had a family chase us down on the street so that the mom could ask us to come over to their house because they have been struggling with there faith.
We were walking past a parked car when suddenly the window rolled down and a man shouted "Hey! do you guys want some chips?" We sat with him a while and ate chips while talking about the gospel. The man wasn't interested in our message, but he appreciated that we stopped to talk to him. He waves at us a lot with a big smile on his face when he passes us on the street.
We had several cool experiences the past couple days, but the most memorable one is when a man and a woman pulled up next to us in the van and asked us if we could do a Bible study with them. We agreed, and rode with them to the park to find a place to sit and talk. They were a little bit older (in their 60's) and were active in their church. The margins in their Bible were full of notes and cross references and pieces of paper with paragraph after paragraph of notes.
We got talking and we could easily see their excitement as they shared with us their beliefs with lengthy explanations and complicated descriptions explaining why they believed certain things. We were able to get a word in here or there, but for the most part we just sat and listened. I couldn't help but feel inadequate to be in this situation, looking at their Bible which had obviously been studied and read, and re-read countless times. I felt as though maybe my understanding of the gospel wasn't good enough. These people had so much knowledge about the tiny details of the Bible and taught using so many analogies and lengthy explanations that I could hardly follow what it was exactly that they were trying to get across.
One scripture started to echo in my mind as I tried to grasp what they were trying to saying, it was the words of Nephi, which says,
"I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from Hell"
Long after our conversation with these to people had ended, those words kept echoing in my head, even as I was going to sleep that night I was thinking about the situation and why is was that I was remembering that scripture so vividly.
"I glory in plainness" They put a lot of emphasis in our training on teaching simply. Asking questions to check for understanding and resolving concerns of those we teach. Talking to these people helped me reaffirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not complicated and should not be made complicated. I do not believe that it is intended for us to have to take 3 hours to explain a doctrine. As missionaries, we can teach a concept in 5 minutes or less. we are counciled to teach in such a way that an 8 year old can understand it. If a child can't understand it, then it is too complicated.
"I glory in truth" Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are the first principles of the gospel. These principles, taught by Christ himself, are truthfully the best principles to live by. And by living them we can become closer to God and have eternal salvation.
"I glory in my Jesus" We are Christians, everything we teach and everything we do is because of Christ. Talking to those people, I realized how little they actually talked about Jesus, or his teachings. They were so caught up in the details of things that don't matter that they lost sight of what was most important. I was shocked when they tried to explain Christs suffering. They didn't understand what it was that he suffered for. They said that It didn't make sense that as powerful as Jesus was, he couldn't stop the suffering, or even why he suffered. When we explained that he suffered our sins and our pains, our guilt and our sorrow. The woman looked really surprised and exclaimed "Well that's an interesting concept"
We ended up explaining the Book of Mormon to them and leaving them a copy
Becoming too obsessed with the little details of doctrine make it easy for us to forget what is actually important. Simple truths can easily be lost in the sea of details.
Love you all, Elder Rebalkin