February 24, 2014
My week went by so fast and it was very successful! We started out the week decently slow for lessons, but we were trying out a new style to teach that would have cut down the time in our lessons, but it didn't work out very well. This Wednesday we got to go to the Houston Temple, and I really payed attention to what it said and the different covenants and promises. I felt the spirit really strong, and I felt the truthfulness of the promises and I thought of ways that I can live more fully the covenants.
The biggest miracle of the week is the number of people we found. We started out the first half of the week by getting about 3 new people to teach, but then it just exploded! Thursday we were starting the new and improved way to do weekly planning which is really just the way you should do it and it took about 4ish hours. It was good planning. We finally got out of the house to pick up one of the young men to teach a lesson with us and then knock with us for Hour of Power. We ended up getting 2 potential investigator,s and then right at the end of the hour we ran into a really funny thing(funny in my mind)--we knocked the door of a person from Laos...I know what you're thinking--I too, had no idea where it is either...Well, she only spoke about 10 English words, so we tried our best and I thought just a little, and realized we had Jesus (our member helper) and he could use a translator on his phone! We translated "Hello, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and translated it...it came out with a language that was way harder to understand than Japanese...you have to look it up! But, anyways, she got super excited and went off talking really fast, probably thinking we understood her, but we were all confused...we ended up not teaching her.
Now actually to the miracle of the many investigators...we started the week with 6 new from Monday-Thursday, which in itself is a lot, but then on Friday we had zone meeting. We learned about having 20 minute lessons, which has been found to have people much more willing to let us come more often, so we decided to try that out a little later with one of our investigators and he was perfectly fine with it! Saturday was where the real magic happened though, we were on exchanges with the Zone leaders. I was leading our huge area for the first time, and I was with one of the best missionaries I have ever met! We made a really great plan to just go out and visit a lot of the former contacts and potentials to church (when we didn't have anything else planned), but we didn't really follow any of those plans because something came up when a member needed our help. We went over and helped her move a couple of beds and actually half-way through the service we found out that there was no man there...we didn't know what to do because we were already there and everything, but it is against the rules of the mission to enter a house without a man. We decided to be obedient and tell the sister, then we went outside and called our ward mission leader (hoping that he could come over for like 20-30 minutes, but sadly he couldn't). BUT the Lord blessed us because the mission leaders son, Moroni, could come and help us out. So, Moroni came right over and we all finished moving and putting together the beds, and we even got to know Moroni better. After that service, we went back to work and biked over to a trailer park where we had a scheduled lesson. We went to the trailer and knocked the door and somebody new answered it, but she was interested in hearing our lesson, so we taught her a quick 25 minute lesson going over almost everything about the restoration. We thought of where to go next and I felt like we needed to go down the street a little bit more, and there was a man and his wife with their 2 kids. The wife said that she had actually been going to the church for years with her uncle before she moved over here. They didn't have time right then, but we set up a different time to come by and invited them to church and told them where it was. She seemed really excited to come again. We then started on our way to another person to invite them to church, and on the way we found a family that was outside stepping on cans they had been collected to recycle. We talked to them, and helped crush some cans, and then we taught them a really short restoration lesson overview in about 15 minutes. We left them with a pamphlet to read, saying that we would come back Tuesday. After that, we went to the house of the person we were going to invite to church, but there were people across the street, so we went to talk to them first. We found out that they had been taught by missionaries before, but they had no idea why they stopped coming, so they invited us in and we taught part of the restoration lesson with the husband and invited him to church. Then as we were leaving, I saw a guy walk into the house of one of our former investigators and it reminded me that I wanted to invite her to church too, so we knocked on her door. When she opened the door and was super excited to see us and invited us in. She was super happy we came by and we taught a review of the restoration lesson with her, and really focused a lot on the guy, who was her brother-in-law. We set up a time for today to go back to see her. She's planning on moving in about a week, but at least the seed was planted. Then to end our adventures in that one trailer park, we went to a bunch of people who were outside grilling fish and one was really interested, but didn't live in this part of town, so we got his information for the elders there. In only about 3.5 hours, we got 4 new investigators, and set up a lot of new appointments, and got a referral for other elders! I am pretty sure a lot of that was because we had been obedient mission rules earlier that day in getting Moroni to help with finishing the service. Even though it would have been easier to just ignore the rule, our obedience was blessed with an opening up the doors to missionary work. Then that night we went to the lesson we set up with the huge family and we taught a decent lesson, but it was hard because there were so many of them... There were 4 non-members there, and each were at different levels, and apparently they all have been taught before in El Salvador.. But in one day we taught 8 new investigators, 4 lessons without members, and 1 with a member present. It was a very blessed week and especially a blessed day.
I don't really know what else I could say, but I felt the spirit really strong this week and I love you all,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye