Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 27 Letter


So, this week. Haha it was fun.

First, the unfun lesson that really just sets the stage for a much better lesson. We went over to Vinnie's. He's the one who is prepping for the end of the world. Haha he is odd.... He is pretty ticked off that only the government gets to go hover their UFOs over the ocean and drink a glass of wine while watching the dolphins... And by ticked I mean REALLLLLY mad. There were a few curse words when he was explaining that. I finally just made up that we had an appointment to get to when he started going off on 9/11 conspiracy theories. I can't handle those, at all, and it was all I could do to bite my tongue. But, we spent most of the in between time of those two conversations talking about Revelations, the mark of the beast being a computer chip the government was going to force us to put into our hands, etc. It was odd, but at least it was kinda churchy. Like I said, though, eventually I couldn't handle his 9/11 crap so we left.

But then, fantastic lesson with Randy a few days after! He's the one who had to spend weekends in jail the past long time. Well, we went in and had some small talk... and all of the sudden he started talking about Revelations. I was about to run outside and beat my head against his concrete porch, due to my flashbacks from Vinnie. But, I hung tight. Well, we talked a little about it, and it suddenly took a really cool turn! He had just finished reading the New Testament cover-to-cover for the first time, so we asked him what he thought the purpose of the epistles was. He agreed with us that the apostles were essentially going all over trying to correct false doctrines and hold everything together. We read in 1 Corinthians when Paul chastises them, asking "Is Christ divided?" and emphasized the need for a church that was united, which requires apostles, prophets, pastors, and evangelists, for the "perfecting of the saints" until "Till we all come in the unity of the faith." We then pulled it into the Restoration. 

But to make it even better, we went to Doctrine and Covenants 45:2 about men's hearts failing them because they will panic at the horrors of the second coming. We talked about his brother, who passed away within the past few years. He says his faith is the only thing that has carried him through, while the event destroyed his mother's faith. We said that would be similar at the Second Coming; some would be emboldened, others would be terrified, depending on their actions leading up to the event. We then jumped to verse 35 of the same section, which reads, "And I said unto them: Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled." And so the conversation shifted right to making covenants! Finally, we invited him to pray and ask God if this church is the one for him, to which he responded, "I don't think I have to." He has always resisted the idea of "one true church" so this didn't sound good. But he continued, "I have been thinking a lot about this since I finished Revelations. I wanted to know what churches would stay together during all of this, and who would scatter. It hit me that the Church of Mormon [don't worry.... we're working on helping him stop that.... haha] would come together. That's where I need to be with my family." The Mormon Church is for him!!! Unfortunately, we still have MONTHS until he even can get baptized, and he is struggling getting to church. He isn't allowed to drive, and his wife won't come to church yet, and he's too proud to ask for a ride. Huff.... well, pray for him!

Then we had a really old less active lady, Beverly, who hasn't been to church since the 90s who made progress!! She lives about 25 minutes from the church, and has bounced around to every church imaginable (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, random no-name church, Jehovah's Witness, and LDS) and really doesn't think of herself as LDS. But she doesn't like going to church at all, let alone driving all the way to ours. She is satisfied with reading the Bible. So, a week ago, we talked with her about how all those churches use the Bible yet all get their own ideas somehow. We talked about how invaluable the Book of Mormon is in that regard, because it clarifies so much of what the Bible teaches and points us in the right direction. She admitted she hadn't read it in decades, so we invited her to... and she DID! It was thrilling! She was definitely a lot warmer with us this visit, too, which is promising. So hopefully that pans out!

Haha but ohhhh my. We had a dinner appointment with the Larsen family this week. They are great. They have four kids who are absolutely adorable, and the best of friends. Oh, and they are all under the age of two. Oh... because they are quadruplets! Haha they talked about when they first learned. She was doing fertility treatments, so in the back of her mind she knew that there was about a one in five chance they'd have twins. So when they were getting an ultrasound, the nurse asked her husband to sit down before she explained anything to them. "Well," she started cautiously, and pointed, "this is Baby #1... and this is Baby #2." Brother and Sister Larsen were stoked! Twins!! "... and this is Baby #3...." Their thrill kind of turned into shock. They didn't know what to think. ".... aaaand this is Baby #4." They said they just laughed for about fifteen minutes, not sure what else to do. She said that is pretty much how she felt the next two or three months, before they told anyone. It was a constant cycle between laughing hysterically and crying uncontrollably. Haha I can't even imagine. But, all four are healthy and they sleep at the exact same times! Hahaha it's pretty funny to hear the parents talk about them.

Well, this week should be fun! We have an appointment with Randy and a member of the bishopric, which will be great. Then, we have our first appointment to meet with Bishop in the past 11 months, at least! He apparently had a bad experience with missionaries in the past. As such, he wouldn't meet with us, won't let us into ward council, won't really do anything directly beneficial to missionary work haha. But... hopefully our meeting with him helps that! Then we have a lesson with Shane, a guy who has come to church regularly for the past two months, even though the missionaries haven't ever really taught him. Should be good!

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

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