I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but for the past 4 or 5 Mondays at 7:00 we do a Bible study with a less active member and his wife. They are my absolute favorite people I have ever taught so far. Basically they are active in another church and he has told us that he was never baptized as a Mormon (even though church records say he was baptized 2 or 3 years ago) We actually have never told him that we know he was baptized LDS because we kind of want him to be the one that tells us that. We always have really good Bible centered lesons and we treat them just like we would treat any other member of the church. We share a spiritual thought and them with a commitment at the end. It's has been really cool. So far they have prayerfully given away a Bible, have posted their testimonies on Facebook, and have prayed for, and have been actively looking for, opportunities to be the answer to someone's prayer.
As a cool side note to that one, we left them with that commitment last Monday in connection to the lesson we shared, and then this last Sunday, their Pastor at church did a sermon where he asked his congregation to do the exact same thing. They were really shocked to be left the same commitment two different times in the same week. they told us that it was definitely something that they need to do. They have also expressed how they always love how our lessons touch them in a really personal way.
This Monday before our lesson, one of them, I don't remember who, mentioned how they love that we pray to receive inspiration as to what to teach them and then use that inspiration to prepare a really meaningful lesson just for their needs.
Which leads to my cool Monday experience. Elder F. and I were a little rushed that morning so we rushed through a quick lesson for them and then went on to do things for P-day. That night we were running a little late from our dinner appointment, so we got to their apartment about five minutes late. We were about to knock on the door when we both felt as though we needed to change our lesson. So we ran over to the nearest street light and started flipping through our Bibles. I came across John chapter 2, and said, "Ok, I think I found something we could just go off of." My companion said that he had one too so I asked him what it was. he said, "John chapter 2" I told him that I had found the same scripture and we determined that we should just share and discuss that chapter.
It was probably the most powerful lesson I have ever had. It was the only lesson where the spirit was touching every one of us in an almost overpowering way. I couldn't help but notice that both of them were holding back tears. It was awesome.
We had a lesson with some new investigators on Friday. They were referrals from some other missionaries who found them while street contacting. As soon as we entered their apartment, I had tons of flashbacks of Orofino. I've always liked how smells can bring back memories, however I'm not to fond of cat feces doing that to me. The lesson started off a little shaky but we recovered.In the end it was a good lesson and the spirit was strong.
On Saturday we were leaving our lunch appointment and we ran into our old investigator, the one whose husband went back to Texas. As we were talking to her about the missionaries she had been meeting with, she expressed that she actually was more comfortable going to our ward and meeting with us. But she didn't want to stop them from visiting. It's kind of a weird situation now... She likes our ward because of the fellowship that she has there. But the also kind of wants to go to the Sunnyside ward because her sister goes there. But, she lives in the Terre Veiw ward boundaries. the stake president said that she gets to decide what ward she wants to attend. So right now she is praying to know if sh should go to our ward and have us teach her, or if she should go to the Terre Veiw ward and be taught by those Elders, or if she should be taught by the Sunnyside sisters and go to church there.
On kind of a fun side note. She is the only one of all her sisters who hasn't joined the church yet, and her two brothers are being baptized on the 25th.
On Sunday, after church, we had a little bit of time before our dinner appointment we decided to go and track down an old potential that was sticking out to us in our area book. We got to his apartment and knocked on the door. But nobody answered as we were turning to leave, a man, who was maybe in his early 20's came up the stairs carrying some groceries, we said hello, but didn't try and talk to him because we needed to get going. However, on his way back down from his apartment, he said, "Hey, do you guys wanna help me with some groceries?" We agreed to help him and started to help him carry his groceries from his car up to his apartment. We got talking to him and his wife.
At first I actually thought he was a member because he said he was just getting back from picking his wife up from a church thing in Spokane. And when he asked what our names were, he wasn't even phased by the "Elder" part. The only thing that made me realized he wasn't LDS , was when he asked us if we were students at WSU.
We made a couple trips and I couldn't help but notice, that at one point he had put a Bible in his pocket, where it obviously wasn't there before. When we were done with he groceries, he said, "Can I ask you a question?" We said he could and he asked something like, "What do you understand about the gospel?" We asked if he could elaborate, to which he motioned to the living room and said, "Yeah, lets go to the living room and talk"
We sat down on the couches and he opened up his Bible, and asked if he could share a passage with us. When he started reading, I noticed that he was struggling with the wording. He stopped halfway through the first verse and said, "Actually... can one of you read this? You're probably better at reading King James' English then I am, I don't normally use this version" So he passed it off to Elder F.
We started discussing the scripture and I realized that a lot of what they were saying was what a lot of people in Orofino who went to a specific church would try and argue. Sure enough, it came up that he was a part of that denomination. So of course I began to mentally prepare myself for some of the inevitable questions.
It's crazy the way we can be prepared for situations that we never would have thought of. Because I had encountered a lot of what he had concerns with, I new what to say in response to some of his questions. As well as the fact that I have been focusing my studies on the New Testament so they were all fresh on my mind.
We brought up a couple really good points that seemed to throw his off a little bit and tried explained to him the purpose of the Book of Mormon.
It's interesting, but I actually gave my district a training this last Friday about the Book of Mormon and why we needed as a church. Which actually, studying for that training I gave actually prepared me with what to say in this visit.
I really emphasized to him that the purpose of the Book of Mormon wasn't to only give us a historical account. But also was to bring us clarity on certain aspects of the gospel. I tried to explain to him that the Bible can only give us a witness of Jesus Christ, but that the Book of Mormon gives us the witness of Jesus Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is God's Kingdom here on the Earth. I explained that there were prophecies in the Bible about Joseph Smith that the prophet could have used to try and prove to people that he was a prophet of God. And that as a prophet, he could have received revelation to clarify points of doctrine without having to bring back ancient scripture.
But because we live in a world that needs "proof" the Bible alone wasn't good enough, and that we needed the Book of Mormon to be that proof of the authenticity of the prophet and as evidence of the restored priesthood authority. All in all it was a good visit and we're meeting again sometime this week. He gave us a reading assignment and we gave him one. I actually feel that they have a lot of potential. Oh, and we were 40 minutes late for dinner. haha
I guess I have only two things to say about today. We were being picked up by the Chinese Elders to come email. I was sitting in the car with Elder L. while we waited on my companion and Elder L. as he got a drink. There has been some guys doing work on our roof and they started using their nail guns, which of course, sounds kind of like actual guns. Elder Le swung open the door and pretended to freak out and acted like he was looking around with a rifle. Elder Li noticed and started laughing, he shouted, "Ooh, fun!" then opened the car door as fast as he could then leaned over the roof of the ran pretending to hold pistols and yelled, "BANG BANG! BAM BAM" the guys on the roof started laughing so hard that they stopped what they were doing. When they recovered one of them said, "You look like you've done that before!" to which Elder Le responded, "No! I not shoot you. I shoot my companion!"
The second thing about today is that its cold, which means that it is officially the start of sweater weather