Thursday, October 3, 2013

September 30 Letter

Hello everyone!

Before I forget, Mom, I talked to Elder Olsson (he's actually one of our AP's, plus was my first Zone Leader and I went on a number of exchanges with him), and he said that you should make sure you feed her dinner haha.

Well.... I haven't really pondered what I would talk about this week, so let me think a bit to gather my thoughts haha.

Oh! First, before you go on, you should watch this video! It's incredible!

Now, for real stories... 

First, I have noticed I am teaching more families here than the previous 13 months of my mission. We have Demetri and Dani who I talked about last week. Then there is Marie and Marthe who I've talked about a few times. Now we have Cory and Chelsie!

Chelsie is Sister Strang's niece. Sister Strang was a new member from Warsaw, and when she found out I was coming to Kenmore, she asked me to stop by Chelsie's and see how she was doing. At first, when we met her at the door, she was definitely not into it. But then her husband, Cory, came to the door and we had a great conversation from church to USU football. Eventually, I asked him if we could come over sometime and talk about our beliefs, respecting the fact that he'd already told us he and Chelsie were "strong protestants." He agreed, so we went by with Brother Smith this Wednesday.

First, the visit started much different than our first. They invited us right in, had us sit on the couch, and grabbed us some water. We ended up having an awesome conversation about the Restoration and families and the whole structure of the Church. What really caught us off guard was when halfway through, they mentioned they were planning on coming to church with us sometime because they were actually looking for a church! He is a police officer for the army, and she was recently just activated from the Reserves for a little while, so they are super busy, but they said they would read 3 Nephi 11 together, pray about it, and are planning on coming to church with us on the 13th!

Okay, I've been writing on and off for about an hour now. I really need to focus! Geez... ADHD at its finest.

We started teaching about a hundred Chinese people this week! Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but it's tough to say how many were really there. About a month ago, Guo Jian, a member of about four months, was called as a ward missionary. The next week, he brought two of his Chinese friends who live across the street from him. They came two weeks in a row, and we asked them if we could teach them. So, Wednesday night, we went over, expecting it to be Jerry and Andrea (no clue how to say their Chinese names... but to be fair, they often forget their American names haha) and Guo Jian. But, one by one, random other Chinese people kept coming into the room. At one point, I think there were nine of them. (When we were talking about this at dinner with a member last night, they suggested next time we just bring a gong to summon all of them hahahaha.) But, all in all, it was awesome. They really have minimal Christian background, so we simply taught "God." We covered the three members of the Godhead and their roles. 

At one point, we asked Jerry if he knew anything about Jesus Christ, which he didn't, but then he said he knew about Adam. He said, "Adam was the first man, and he ate an apple." Then, pointing to his throat, he said, "so, Adam's apple." Haha that was probably the most advanced understanding of Christian theology that anybody participating had. To be fair to him, at one point, Le Fu asked why we all sin, and Jerry chimed in, again pointing at his throat, "Adam's apple."

But really it was a cool conversation. I definitely learned why Jesus had to teach in parables. When people don't have a Biblical base, it is really hard to build off of anything. Really, we had to build off of what they already understood, even if it was completely non-religious. We talked about how they couldn't go to another student to ask for help paying their student debt, because that student probably had student loans of their own to pay off as our explanation for why we needed the Son of God to atone for our sins. We talked about their family relationships, and how much their fathers want them to grow up to become as well off, if not better off, than he is. Really, in every single principle, we had to come up with an analogy. 

In the middle, Le Fu got a phone call from his mom so he left the room, coming back right as we were about to go home. "Wait, are you guys coming back?" he asked. When we told him we were, he gave the most enthusiastic, "GREAT!" I have ever heard haha.

We also had a hilarious lesson with Stephen. We read 1 Nephi 1 with him, doing the classic missionary-style reading where we really pick apart every verse. So, I read the first verse and explained it. Elder Hirschi read verse two and explained it. What really caught us off guard was when Stephen not only read verse three, but explained it to us! Eventually, he would say things like, "Well, let's look back at verse eight real quick. There was something I wanted to say about that one." It was kind of bizarre, especially since it was so spot on. He even started talking about the symbolism found in the chapter and all sorts of things, it was incredible! We showed him how the chapter teaches all about receiving revelation through whole-hearted prayer, pondering, and scripture study, emphasizing Lehi's resulting action as "he went forth." We then turned to Moroni's Promise and talked about how it also suggests reading, pondering, and praying to understand a good direction, but again it requires praying with real intent. He then committed to reading 1 Nephi 2 and praying with "real intent." 

Unfortunately, he didn't make it to church. He said he will only go if his wife will go with him, which she has so far resisted. Luckily, we now have an appointment with both of them for Wednesday afternoon, which is very exciting!

Finally, on Saturday we had craft day! We and the sisters made these posters (admittedly, I stole the idea from some random missionaries in some random mission), printed out pictures with us holding them, stuck magnets to the back of these pictures. Finally, we delivered them to all of the people we've been working with who had committed to coming to church. Hopefully some sort of a reminder helps them!

Well, get stoked for General Conference. I always remember what Elder Perkins of the Seventy told us when he came to our mission: If you don't think up of questions you hope to have answered, you are just daring Heavenly Father to give you revelation. So, think up some good questions, and get ready for the prophets!

I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

No comments:

Post a Comment