Life is good. My companion obtained four pies at a festival, and we have been using them to get into people's homes. The open the door and I know they are thinking, "No it's the missionaries. Whyyyyy did I open the door?" And then they try to pretend that they are busy, and I'm like: I know you aren't doing anything because I see you bowl of chips on the couch and your TV is still on.
Then the person says, "Oh well, I can't stand here and talk to you. I have arthritis in my knee."
I say, "That's okay. Let's go sit down and we can talk."
And they say, "Well, I would rather not."
And then we say, "We brought pie."
And the they say, "Oh well I guess I can talk for a little bit."
I told Asenath that I feel bad for God because most of his children are morons... I'm still working on charity.
We are doing a lot of less active work. There are some people who have misplaced priorities, and some people who are just lazy. I want to say to the lazy ones, "Do you think that God is going to trust you with the power of godliness to create worlds without end if you aren't willing to turn off the TV and go to church for three hours?"
In one family the mother told me that the bishop speeds, and so she cannot sustain a man who breaks the law. She told us that she will not come to church until they get a new bishop. She'll have to wait for awhile if she's waiting for the perfect bishop. Sometimes all the nonsense makes me want to start rebuking people and praying for famines and wars and pestilences. Patience is a virtue and I'm patiently waiting for charity.
I have yet to rebuke people but I wanted to during the last testimony meeting.
The mission life is great I love it but I don't feel like I have yet amounted to any measure of success and I'm determined to leave Washington in a better state than I found it. So I still have lots of work to do.
My companion and I got our first baptismal date, and it's super exciting. The glitch is the guy is living with his fiancée who is a member, but hasn't come to church in years. She saw some missionaries and decided she wanted to get in contact with the church again. She gave her information to the missionaries and her name ended up in our hands. So that was nice. We have given him the first two lessons and he has come to church. We gave him the baptismal challenge and he accepted. Then that week at church he approached me and said that he heard he had to get married before he could get baptized. He said he had a problem with that because he and his fiancé hadn't planned to get married before, the date of his baptism.
I had the impression to tell him about how he could hold the wedding at the church and it wouldn't cost much and the bishop could perform the service and all that stuff. He got a little excited, and he was like: Wow! That was one of the things we were worried about. We don't really have the money for a wedding so we didn't want to get married till we could afford it. Now things might work out.
Elder Marsh and I are excited. We also tracted into this lady who seems like she is super prepared for the gospel. We gave her the first discussion and she asked us to come back.
But she also is living with her boyfriend, soo Elder Marsh and I will hopefully be attending lots of wedding while we are in this area.
This week has probably been one of the most interesting weeks of the field. We had a lot of meetings and I learned a lot of awesome stuff. I was a little upset with the members of my district who said that numbers don't matter. I told them that to God numbers in themselves don't matter but the people they represent are significant to them. I felt like their view led to laziness and lack of faith. They got mad at me and said that I was a new missionary and I shouldn't expect to baptize every week, and I didn't know what I was talking about.
At zone conference, we had a big talk about setting high expectations and that people in this mission should be baptizing weekly. So the missionaries in my district got a spiritual kick in the pants, which they needed.
We got two people to commit to a baptismal date which is nice. Chuck is one of them. He is engaged to Marcy and they've been coming to church with us. We've been teaching them and are trying to get them married. Then we taught a woman named Jamie. Elder Marsh and I both felt the spirit prompt us to give her the baptismal challenge. She accepted, so that was super awesome.
We are going to start teaching a guy named John. He's had a hard time recently and he started coming to our church. He felt the spirit there and asked to meet with us next Friday.
I seem to run into a lot of broken lives on the mission. At first I wasn't as happy about that as I should have been. I wondered why God was sending me so many troubled people. Then I realized it's because God loves them and wants to bless them. That is exactly the point of the gospel: to bless people's lives. These people certainly need it.
I've also noticed an interesting phenomenon: people who smoke and do drugs have less money and worse health. So many people smoke here in Washington. I always smell like smoke because I'm always visiting homes of smokers. I'm a little worried that people will assume I smoke.
I went on exchanges with Elder Johnson and it was awesome.
I told him that I wanted to teach more than I usually do. So instead of asking to teach people and trying to find someone who would agree to set up an appointment, we just decided to teach the people we met.
Normally when we ask it goes like this.
Us: Hi, we're the missionaries. We're here to share a message about Jesus Christ and how his teachings bless families, Can we share our five minute message with you?
So instead we didn't ask. We just started teaching, and it was great because they didn't notice till about half way through that we were giving them a lesson. Then they had a look of perplexity as if to say, "How did this happen? They are teaching me and I'm stuck here. I don't remember giving my consent to have them teach me."
But as we got to the first vision, the spirit was always strong, and you could see that they wanted to hear us.
I taught more on that day than I have on any other day so far on my mission. It was great