Hello Hello Everyone!
Two weeks until christmas, I can hardly believe it! Hope everything at home is going great and that everyone is gearing up for the christmas season! Its been so incredible to be a missionary during this time of year and to not be caught up in the usual parties and shopping and gift giving that comes with the season, Chirstmas as a missionary is definatly one to remember.
This week was full of really random experiences, I have so many I could share but I think I will just tell a few... I will number them, so that if you get bored with one you can just skip to the next one:
#1- Tuesday I had my first official run in with a Baptist minister. We tracted into him the other day and we knew something was up because he seemed to know alot but was trying to act a little ignorant about mission things, he said he has talked to a few of the other missionaries here but that he was willing to meet. We wanted to just see why he kept meeting with us and what he knew, so we set up an appointment. After asking the elders if they knew anything Elder Olsen said that he thought there was a youth minister that kept meeting with missionaries, and to just beware. We met him at one of the local restaurants and again he was very friendly and asked us lots of questions about being missionaries and what we do and why we do it and the rules we live by etc. We didnt want to spend forever talking to him if he was infact a minister and wasnt really interested, so we kept asking questions about his work and what he did and why he was in Troy, and finally he did tell us that he worked for a baptist church. It was a very interesting converstation, because he just kept saying that he knew that nothing he said was going to hinder our faith, but that he felt like it was his duty to tell us that everything that the LDS faith teaches is a Lie, but of course in no way wants that to offend us or demean what we are doing as missionaries. We talked a little about why everyone things that LDS people are not christians and then we went our seperate ways. So that was interesting. Its weird to have been in the bible belt for 4 months and to only have had a run in with one preacher. I know I'll have plenty more of these stories to come when i get Transfered out of Troy.
#2- Every so often we decide to spice up our day with a prank on the elders. We had like 1000 appointments fall through one day and so when we were walking past their house we decided to take a short break and go pull a prank, The original plan was to short sheet their beds, but when we got inside we discovered that they dont actually make their beds, so that really wasnt going to work. We were frantically trying to find something we could do to them that wouldnt take too much time and would be funny and that is why I saw Elder Olsens Closet..... he had about 100 ties hanging in there. We decided it would be funny to tie them all together and string them through the apartment so they had to go through and untie them one by one and follow the maze we created for them.... Sister Christian was designated to stand watch and we tied them together. We got them all tied and began to string them together when sister Christian Yelled "CODE RED, CODE RED, THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE HERE!" So we dropped what we were doing, grabbed our stuff lept down the stairs and out the back door in time for them to see me bounding outside. They chased after us thinking we had decided to steal something else of theirs but we got away in time. It had the potential to be a really great prank, but was foiled. We have a couple more up our sleeves though!
#3- Saturday we went with one of the members to a guys house for a indian celebration. It was a weird mix between india indians and native american indias but it was awesome! We had an india indian food dinner that was cooked by a guy named tarun, who we use to teach that is from India... So it was authentic and delicious. Then the guy who's house we were at (Robert) is 1/8 muskogee Indian, so we had a fire and he taught about his tribe. We said indian prayers were you breath your prayer into this powder stuff and then throw it in the fire and the smoke takes it to the gods. Then He taught us the fire dance and we just marched around the fire chanting and shaking rattlers, he played the flute for us and then told indian stories about the constelations and how the rabbit stole fire from the sky people and lastly we did the owl dance welcoming the animals to come and take the fire. It was crazy and so much fun!
#4- Lulu has decided she wants to get baptized! Lulu is a friend of Sarah and Ting Ting, who both recently got baptized in the last couple months and we have been teaching her for about a month and a half now. She is super energetic and way funny. She laughs through everything she says because she knows her english is not very good, but she loves that there is a god and has a very strong desire to come to know him better. She says that she just wants to be able to feel the spirit stronger, which is amazing! I am so excited for her! She hasnt set a date but wants to do it after sarah and ting ting get back from their trips they are going on for the christmas break.
This gospel is Incredible and I have so much love for my savior and my heavenly father. I am so grateful to be a missionary right now and that I get the chance to bring others the happiness that can be found through it. If anyone has any doubt that it is true, that it is Jesus Chirst Church here on the earth and that we are infact building his kingdom for him to come and rule and reign over, all you have to do is pray. Read the book of mormon and ask heavenly father to give you that witness of its divinity and he will. This method has been tried and proven by millions of people, including me on many different occasions in my life. It doesnt matter if you have never known it to be true or knew it once and have just forgotten or still believe and just need another confirmation, heavenly father ALWAYS answers our prayers.
I love you all and hope you are having a great christmas!