Well it's been a crazy week yet again. All I can say is I'm glad this is the Lord's work and not my own. Because I would utterly fail day after day if it was. But I know my God strengthens me day by day. Like when we had an awesome meeting with Karen, the activities director at the Pinnacle rehab where Jackie's at. She was almost in tears she was so happy that such young guys loved the Lord and devoted their lives to preach His word. We started with a prayer and got to talking, then E. Allred mentioned that we needed a responsible male in the large room with us. There were male residents there, but it needs to be a responsible male. So we rescheduled for later in the week. Then we said hi to Jackie and asked if she'd come to church.
Long story short, Karen called us Weds. and told us that we should just stick to visiting Jackie b/c they wouldn't be able to accommodate our need for another male. Which was discouraging because we have been looking all over for service opportunities that keep us from knocking doors. Knocking is just so ineffective, especially in the earlier hours of the day. So service is fun and more effective in getting out into the community. The next day Karen called again and told us Jackie had told the administrator that we'd been pressuring her to get baptized...which we hadn't mentioned for weeks. She asked us that we would not come to Pinnacle at all anymore. The natural man in me wanted to blow up at her, but I waited til we hung up. Ha. This transfer has been one of much refinement. Lost all of our investigators except Miguel, who's not really keeping commitments.
So Yes I am staying another transfer, E. Rabe is getting transferred. Elder Allred and I will be doing some compromising as we have different, very different styles of doing missionary work. He makes things fun, but it's been an adjustment.
We had a less active family that got baptized in 2011 then moved to NC for a few years come to church. They moved back in September, the attendance jumped by 10 in one week because they have 7 kids and some friends. It was so awesome to see waves of this wonderful Liberian family fill up the chairs in the chapel. And a less active named Albert came to church for the second week and even brought his ex-wife who hangs out with her boyfriend at Albert's house...yeah I know..what? Weird situation, but they were loved and welcomed at church which is just like getting a baptism. I'm learning to love working with less-actives because they already know! They just need a little booster shot! (Which bruise the arm for a week, but in the long run does you good)
However, we visited a less active family who owns a dry cleaning shop in Newcastle, DE. They warmly welcomed us in. We chatted for a solid 20 minutes then left a spiritual message. E. Allred talked about Alma 47 and how Satan slowly but surely entices us to come down off the top of the mountain to lower grounds. This couple is sealed in the temple, he's an RM they have two kids, been less active for only two years. But they were almost disgusted at our question of what they could do to get back to the top of the mountain (the temple). They expressed their beliefs that they didn't need church to teach their kids good values. Then the RM said "I don't need Christ."
So I'm fine with people slamming the door whatever, but when a returned missionary, sealed in the temple man says that he does not need the SAVIOR and REDEEMER of the world, it was like a stab to the heart. He has his agency, I can't control that. All we can do is invite. And it was awkward, probably one of the more awkward moments of my mission. And there's all these coulda shoulda woulda's that came to mind after the fact. But we invited them to come again unto Christ. And I just love the youth theme this year.
"Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him" (Mor. 10:32)All it is is an invitation. God cannot force us to come to His Son, He can force us to be at peace or to feel His love or to receive sweet forgiveness. Why not come unto the Savior of the world? I love Him more and more every day as I feel His loving arms and embrace. This is hard work, but I know I am benefiting perhaps more than those I'm serving. I know Christ lives. and He can make us whole.
|Eating balot, a Filipino specialty: it's duck egg a few days before it hatches. So you're eating beaks and feathers and bones and eyes. Hope you're not eating! It was pretty...umm... good? I guess. Ha|
|Haitian Feast at the Riche's from the ward. Second dinner appt that night, i just about had to get rolled to the car.|
|Yumilicious purple and white sweet potatoes from a less active who works at a DelState Farm where they do genetics tests like that. Tastes normal, color throws you off though|