This week was incredible, full of tons of downs, which were quickly made up for with ups!
First, we had a lot of interesting first appointments with some people we had street contacted. The first was a young salesman who ended up just having a lot of questions about what we do for door approaches, what kind of training we had, etc. He basically was just curious about Mormons. When we shared scriptures from the Bible, he was ok with reading them to us out loud, but when we tried to get him to read a little bit in the introduction of the Book of Mormon, he all the sudden said he didn't have his contacts in. So I should have seen it coming, but he had said he wasn't really interested after the lesson was over, so when I asked who he knew that we could share this message with he said "well I don't agree with the message"-ouch! It's like they are all fine and dandy talking to you about God and Jesus Christ, but as soon as you hit the points about prophets and joseph smith, they get into all kinds of crazy questions, and he pulled out all the crazy ones that no one ever wants to deal with. So we just invite him to pray and read the book of mormon, and he didn't want to, so I at least convinced him to keep it so he can get true answers and not stuff he finds online about it. He saw the reasoning behind that and said ok. He really was very nice during the whole thing, but not prepared at all. He mentioned something about his pastor, and I could only think about what my companion said about how back in Oklahoma, there are some churches that literally preach "don't read the book- that's how they get you!" hahahaha. Pretty sure that was what happened. Then we met with another Indian man, and as we talked he was so excited we were spreading the word about Jesus Christ. Then as we kept talking, it turns out he is a preacher of some sort, showed us his facebook page on his phone and everything. And he really got upset about prophets and Joseph Smith as well. He even said Sister Goff and I would be prophets too someday hahaha, we tried to explain that was not how it worked, but once again he was just really not prepared and wouldn't listen. So moral of the story here---give missionaries appointments with your friends! People who personally know a Mormon, not just what the world says.
This week we made some major progress with Priyali. She is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy, and loves it! We talked to her about baptism again, and this time she said she smiled and got excited, and said she wanted to say yes, but there was a little something holding her back. We talked to her about her family, and she is concerned about talking to them about joining the church. We even role-played with her what she would say to her family, and she bore powerful testimony on the importance of baptism as the first step in getting to the kingdom of God and being new and clean. It was amazing. I just told her to "say that!"
We called Zaya this week to make sure she was coming to church on Sunday, and then all the sudden on the phone call, she said "Peter, wants baptism?" We had been planning and dropped our pens and said "wait, what?!" Then our ward mission leader stopped by at that moment and we opened our window and said out loud "so you are saying peter wants to be baptized?!" our ward mission leader freaked out and started whooping and jumping. Zaya was the first baptism I had here, and we have tried to teach her husband Peter, but he keeps saying do not push baptism, do not push baptism. So we have just tried teaching him about the priesthood and gospel blesses families. This was a plain miracle, that we had absolutely nothing to do with! We hadn't even seen him this past week, except to say a quick prayer with him before he went to work. But our bishop (one if the most inspired people I have ever met), had told us a few weeks before in ward council that for some reason, Peter had really been on his mind. Zaya told us not to say anything to him, he had to come to us and tell us he wants to be baptized, but that she was talking to him about her baptism and he had told her. So pray Peter will feel comfortable enough to tell us he wants to be baptized!
Then we went to visit a focus family (a program our stake has for us to teach certain families the missionary lessons) that has been on my mind, and while we just made a stop by Sunday night, its turns out the grandma had moved in with them. As soon as we walked in, I kid you not, she said "I know you from somewhere. You look very familiar!" I joked with her and said it must be in the pre-earth life. Turns our she wasn't a member! Instead of teaching the whole family (most had to leave anyways to a scouting thing), we taught the grandma and the mom (the member) parts of the plan of salvation, because this grandma had been devasted by the loss of her daughter and grandson, and was unhappy about being out here in California. We read a lot from the Book of Mormon about how little children are alive in Christ, paradise, and enduring to the end. After the lesson, we asked if we could come back, they both said yes. We are going back tonight and are bringing a large print Book of Mormon with us! Her name name is Dorothy and she is 79 years old. I have hope though, because we have a man who was baptized at 74 in our ward.
The Lord truly shows us tender mercies. This is His work, He is preparing people, that's the hard part! So we must do our part to be a good example and then open our mouth so people can see what we are a good example of.
Lots of Love,