Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29 Letter

I'm really running out of happy sounding salutations. So we'll just resort to:
"Hello everyone,"
I'm going to first start off briefly explaining the bummers of the week so that I can finish off with the good stuff haha.
Really, I just like finding new people to teach more than I like teaching, itself. See, when you knock on a door, it isn't that bad when no one answers, because they never really said that they would. If they do answer, but don't want to talk, it's all right; they never said they did want to talk. When they do talk, but then don't invite you back, it's no big deal; they never told you they planned on inviting you back. Really everything that happens is just a very positive step forward.
However, when you find people who do invite you back, it's realllllly frustrating when they change their minds. Sometimes they give you a call, sometimes they answer the door kind of surprised to see you back and say they aren't really that interested, and sometimes they're just not there, period. All of which are pretty frustrating.
Haha so of the 14 new investigators from last week, five are still willing to meet with us haha. Ohhhh the joys of missionary work!
Anyways, now to be happy again!
First, this made me pretty happy! We went back to the Boccichio family (that's the freaking huge Catholic family I told you about), and one of the girls, Gemma, was making a cake. I mentioned that Mom had sent me a cake to make for my birthday, but that I never was able to get around to it. She instantly jumped on that and told me to bring the cake mix over in the next few days. Well, when I did, her mom realized what Gemma was going to do. So what was her solution? Have a full-on birthday party this upcoming Wednesday! Haha they're so funny hahaha.
We also went to the Elliots, who are an elderly part-member family. Sister Elliot is a very adamant Catholic, but Brother Elliot has been a member most of his life. He has really poor health, but oh man, he is hilarious! He had a heart attack a while back that he said they had to ambulance him over to Buffalo because he had such a high percentage of blockage, the altitude of a helicopter would have killed him right on the spot. Well, for quite some time, he's had to use oxygen, and they recently told him that he should be on oxygen 100% of the time. But in his words, "The doctors don't know what they're talking about." So he was out  and about, without his oxygen, doing yard work with us, showing off his land, giving us a full tour of the Village of Wyoming, especially the entire cemetery, where he is the groundskeeper. (The cemetery was actually kind of cool. There are some graves that are from the early 1800's, there!) What was supposed to be a couple hours of yardwork instead turned into an hour of lunch, twenty minutes of yardwork, then a four hour tour haha. He was really excited, though, because he'd just got a portable oxygen tank "that fits right on my tractor and my four wheeler!" Sister Elliot didn't really like that he said that and chewed him out for going on his four wheeler the other day, but he pointed at the dog and just said, "Well, she wanted a ride! It's her fault." Haha ohh man, it was a funny day.
Then on Saturday (or Shabbat, if you ask them), we went over to Gila and Josef's. We had a good conversation as usual, and read 3 Nephi 15 and 16 with them. It's cool, because they understand the scriptures so well that everything kind of clicks in their heads the whole time haha. But she said two super interesting things. I don't know how this has never been brought up before, but apparently Josef (the Hebrew version of Joseph) means "One who adds." Haha whaaaaat?? How is that not one of our biggest points we use when talking about Joseph Smith? But now here's the bigger one. We had her say the closing prayer, and I couldn't believe it! She thanked Heavenly Father for coming to a fourteen year old boy to restore lost truths back to Christianity. Hahaha what the heck else am I supposed to teach her?! And why the heck won't she even consider coming to church or getting baptized if she already believes Heavenly Father came to Joseph!? Haha it blew my mind.
Hmm.... what else.... Oh the Zieglers!! That was that family of four that I told you a little about last week. I don't even remember what I said, though, so I'm just going to update based on what happened this week and hope I don't leave you in the dust! But we had dinner and a discussion over at Brother and Sister Crater's home, which worked out great! It was nice to have a casual environment to just talk about life with them and get to know them, plus have members who were already friends with the family. Then when we sat down for the real discussion, it was great, because it all went so smoothly. There was a lot of give and take in the discussions, they read the scriptures right along with us, and it went pretty well. They definitely respond a lot better to personal experiences than even scriptures, so we had to focus on that a lot. The downer of it all is that, so far at least, Brother Ziegler has kind of taken the approach of trying to find out why it ISN'T true. He started talking about how there are enough contradictions in the Bible already, but the Book of Mormon seems to just add more contradictions. Seeing what was happening here, I said, "Oh, so you've had a chance to read the Book of Mormon!" He then, not surprisingly, said he hadn't actually read much of it, but had just read some thingsabout it. We explained how important it was to actually read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We each shared our testimony of when we started not trying to decide if the Book of Mormon were true, but really why it was true. When we had a real witness that it was the word of God, any challenge posed to it was easier to deal with, because we already knew the Book were true, and were confident that an answer did exist. Hopefully he'll take that seriously for our next appointment! The other frustrating part is that whenever we talked about our more unique doctrines (pre-mortal life, the Godhead, etc.) he'll say things along the lines of, "That's not how I learned it..." Well no duh!! Ha we wouldn't be here talking to you if you had already learned everything we know! I eventually told him just that (without the no duh part). Haha but really, while there are some clear frustrations in teaching him, I am VERY optimistic about where this can go. They would be a HUGE asset to the branch, and since they are a solid family with solid friendships in the branch, really could just work out beautifully!
Then the highlight of the week (probably, at least) was going to Mason's baptism in Freedom on Friday! I freaking love that branch and it was soooo great to see people there!! Haha I swear I could live there!! Everyone's so great! I love people there! And of course, it was awesome to see Mason get baptized, himself. He is such a good kid. I'm very happy that he finally went through with this! He seemed very happy there as well, which is a good thing. We also took David to the baptism with us, and I think he's really starting to give baptism some real thought. He has talked about it before, but he is so old and forgetful, I don't think things really stick in his mind until a LOT of repetition. But I think him being at a baptism kind of solidified the thought in his mind. Haha he just can't remember half of the commandments we have taught him, either, so it's just going to be an ever-ongoing process haha.
Hahahaha we had the funniest conversation with him on the way to Arcade, though! We were talking about Frank Sinatra somehow, and here's the conversation:
Him: Yeah, the ladies really liked him. Sometimes he would have three or four a night!
Us: Right, but that's against the law of chastity, right David?
Him: Well, it depends what religion you're in.
Us: If he were Mormon, though, it would be against the law of chastity, right?
Him: Actually, Mormons used to have four or five wives at a time!
Us: Right, but that was a long time ago, David...
Him: Frank Sinatra was a long time ago, too!
Us: ..... touché.....
Hahaha and that is our relationship with David Larson haha....
Well, there are other things I could probably talk about, but none are coming to my mind. I have a way cool spiritual thought that I've been thinking about, but I don't have enough time on the computer to write it... so just be watching my other blog! It'll be grand!!
I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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