Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 12 Letter

Guten tag!
It's been another wonderful week in Buffalo! I really think they just need to take cars away from all the missionaries. We talk to way more people this way haha. I don't think there's anything more fun than sitting on the train and just talking to whoever is sitting next to you. Haha although, we did get chewed out by some crazy lady who, as she walked past us, just said, "You aren't my brothers in Christ!" Then when we made the mistake of asking why not, she went on some rant about the Trinity. When I asked if I could read a verse from the Bible that explained our view, she just yelled that we had added to the Bible and walked away. She then proceeded to "pray for us" quite loudly a few benches away. Hahaha then as we got onto the bus, she came up to us again and yelled at us for ruining her day and then complained about Mitt Romney for a while. It was slightly humorous, actually.
But really, 95% of the time, riding the bus and train is great!
I don't know how long I'll have to type... we have a zone meeting today in Amherst, so I may have to leave at any point. For that reason, I will from here on write sort of inverted pyramid style. So if you recognize the stories getting more and more useless, they probably are.
Zach is getting baptized on this Sunday!! He's a 12-year-old kid the missionaries have been teaching for a couple months now. His mom is a member, but isn't very active; his dad is completely out of the picture. It really is incredible how well put together he is when you consider his situation. He has talked to us about how his friends - already - are all doing drugs and stuff, and how much it irritates him. He's a stud, though. The ward has been very helpful with him, too. We took him to church with us yesterday, and the young men's presidency and the young men themselves really jumped right to helping him. Kombi, the Deacon's Quorum president is going to be speaking at his baptism, and they've already arranged him rides to activities and church for the next little while. Haha it was great, though! During priesthood opening exercises, Kombi mentioned mutual on Wednesday. Zach leaned over to me, asking, "Am I allowed to go to that?" If only every investigator asked those type of questions! But, yes, Sunday will be grand.
I also interviewed a guy for baptism in Buffalo Spanish's area (they cover the real inner city stuff). He is a refugee from Burma, and really can hardly speak English. Naturally, that made the interview pretty tough haha. Luckily, he talked to me about 20 minutes at the start about Burma and all that went down over there, so I could definitely tell when he was passionate and when he wasn't. He didn't recognize Joseph Smith's name, which had me worried, but yet when I showed him a First Vision picture, he could tell the story perfectly, haha. He was supposed to get baptized yesterday, but got really sick, so now it's been postponed to the week after Zach's.
We've kept meeting with Kevin a lot. He is the funniest guy. We had him read 3 Nephi 8-10, then read chapter 11 with him. His friend, John, just got out of jail and was there with us. John had to take a phone call right after the verse where Christ descends but before the verse where He announces Himself. I've never seen anyone get as antsy about wanting to keep reading as Kevin got there! He has been sharing Book of Mormons and inviting friends to church like crazy! We just how have to help him understand that we don't pray through saints or do the Rosary. But still, he's hilarious.
Yesterday, we had a really good lesson with a part-member family. Heather, the mom, is less active, but still definitely has a testimony. Ade, the dad, really probably has a testimony, too. He just won't act on it yet. The biggest problem is they aren't married, I think, so he can't get baptized and she can't take the Sacrament. They therefore don't really see the point in participating... but don't get that there's a pretty easy solution to it all.
Well.... like I said, I need to go. If I get a chance, I'll find a computer and finish telling all about my week. But, for now, so long!
I love you but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen
Ok, I am, in fact, back!
We were able to go back over to Isabelita's earlier this week. She's really frustrating, because she simply doesn't let us talk at all. At one point, she asked, "Okay, now what are you here to share?" But then changed the subject within about five seconds of asking. Oddly enough, though, she has read from the beginning of 1 Nephi all the way halfway through Mosiah. We haven't really taught her anything substantial, yet she keeps commitments. It's really quite strange, but we'll take it.
I also went on an exchange to downtown Buffalo earlier this week. It's funny to look at the people all four of the companionships in the ward are teaching, and being in downtown just emphasized it even more. Between the four of us, we are teaching two Puerto Ricans, a Czech family, two people from the Congo, one from Uganda, two families from China, a couple of Burmese familes, and who knows what else. It's a whole new world out here!

When I was on exchanges, we ran into one incredible guy! He called us over asking if we'd ever been to Salt Lake City. This guy had actually worked there for about ten years and married an LDS lady, who had since passed away. He said that he then moved all over the country, but always took it on himself to watch over the missionaries whenever they were in the rougher areas of town. We talked with him a little, and he asked us to make sure we kept coming over. When we gave him our phone number, he specifically asked for the bishop's number, too. It was really something! Hopefully something can happen there. (Note: He was smoking and drinking a beer while we talked with him. So don't think he's practically baptized already.... haha, just a lot of potential!)
I'm excited about a few of the members we're starting to get close with. Like I said last week, a huge chunk of our ward are dental students from back west, the vast majority of whom are returned missionaries. Somehow, Elder Barnes didn't even realize how many of them live in our area. But we have appointments with a few of them, so hopefully we can get member work up and rolling, too.
Oh, also when I was on exchanges, the missionaries in my area went "tracting." Haha I put quotes around it... because they only had fifteen minutes and only ended up knocking one door. But the guy was really excited to see them there, and talked about how much God had helped him in the past year of his life. He then asked if he could come to church with us sometime. Unfortunately, he did not show up this week... But it is still exciting. Pretty good odds for Elder Hirschi, too. One door knocked on his mission so far, and it's that one!

You know... I came back online to finish writing all about my week.... but I can't really think of much that I didn't say the first time. It's pretty pathetic, really.

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