Hi Family And Friends,
It seems to be that some of our craziest events during the week happen right after p-day ends and after I've already emailed home. Last Tuesday, we met with our investigator Robert ( the one who had drug problems most of his life and has cancer and stuff). And he started talking and telling us how offended he had gotten the week before when we met with him. At that meeting, I had asked him to pray and told him how we as Latter-day Saints pray with the introduction and ending; while still accepting the way he prayed. He just made a lot of preposterous jabs at us and Joseph Smith and the church. I felt an argument brewing, so I apologized for saying anything that might have offended him, including making him feel judged, which I know I do sometimes. Then we both testified that if he would pray about it the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, he would come to know it is true. We left with a feeling of tension, but peace at the same time after having born solemn testimony.
It's really sad that a week in between visits is plenty of time for the adversary to work on these people, to twist their thoughts and ideas and to pull them away from God. We assume something similar happened to Steve who we had been teaching a few weeks ago. No contact has been made with him or his usually welcoming mom for two weeks now.
Wilmington Crime Special for the week: We went to visit a 19 year old less active named Pedro on Tuesday. A member drove us to the apartment complex in between Newport and Wilmington. Lots of Hispanics and Puerto Ricans, etc. live in this neighborhood. Anyways, we drive up and notice a helicopter with a spotlight shining down, flying right above us. So we park the car, pass the Spanish Elders who had just seen 4 cops chasing a man up some stairs. 8 other cops were walking around with a few police dogs and the whole neighborhood was out. It was like a big family/ neighborhood "get together" with everyone and their dogs..literally. So Pedro told us that there were two men who had drugs and firearms. So the cops caught the men (they could run but they really couldn't hide i guess) but didn't find the drugs or weapons. Friendly family neighborhood. The member said, " Did we just drive into the Lion's den?"
On Thursday, we met the Dalton's at Sheena's, said a quick prayer and knocked on her door. She is always so warm and welcoming, let me try some "lavender" flavored soda...it was uhh, interesting. She always has her notepad and her quill-like pen to take notes during the lesson. We discussed the Restoration and throughout, she would make these disgruntled faces that kind of shocked the Dalton's and felt intimidating. It's Sheena's way of saying, "I don't get it." She is very much a thinker and needs to see things logically, but at the end of the lesson she also said she just needs to receive that witness, that the Holy Ghost is real and all is true. She wasn't baptized into her other church because she takes baptism very seriously, as do we. She slipped us a card which we opened in the car. They thanked us for sharing our faith with them and included $20 in the card. Not to write us off, but just to help out. That should give you a sense of the wonderful people she and her family are. Her son Brighton puts the CTR ring we gave him in his keepsake box and wears it when he's feeling sad or doesn't know what to do. Such a cute kid.
We teach ESL at the Latin American Community Center every Friday for 3 hours in the morning. Usually the class was from 3 -7 people. This week, many people came in late, but we ended with 18 people. I have noooo teaching experience besides what the mission has given me so far. 5 students is much different than 18 or 30 or more. I have a lot more respect for my spanish teachers in high school. But I love doing it, love teaching and seeing these people succeed. We use Facebook about 4 days a week, depending on how busy our schedules are. We use it to find referrals from mormon.org or other sources or to get in contact with less actives, active members, or investigators. But sorry, I can't be friends with anyone from home.! Xavier actually messaged me on FB a week or two ago and set up an appt, which is helpful bc he doesn't have a phone. So technology can really be a blessing when used as the Lord would have us use it.
Enock made it to church and is still progressing towards baptism. He just seems happy which is awesome. We gave a Restoration pamphlet to the door man named Corey at this fancy, huge apartment building downtown. We went over it and he said it made sense. When we returned a few days later he asked if we had his copy of the Book of Mormon. He freaked out when I joked that it was $20 per copy, but took it gladly for free. So we will see where it all goes with him. I was reading in chapter 21 of 1 Nephi, and I love verse 16 which says "I have graven you upon the palms of my hands." Cheist knows AND loves us each individually. All we need to do is come unto Him in humility and we can feel His love and the wonderful healing power of His Atonement, as shown in His hands. Continue in the faith and know He is always there for you.
Elder Jacob Robins