Mir Querida Familia,
It's been a week of ups and downs for me. When I don't see results I often get a little down on myself because I don't feel like an effective missionary. Nonetheless whenever we actually start talking to people, my attitude immediately starts to change. There are so many interesting people out here. This week we've met quite a few that have tried our faith a little. Literally we tracted into a man who told us "I'm atheist and I don't believe in your God...there's no proof he exists...pray for yourselves because you guys are crazy." We responded with a simple testimony and then went on our way.
So the first part of our week was hard but then, we had an awesome Thanksgiving. We aren't allowed to proselyte on big holidays because we don't want to annoy people with their familes, but we got approval to go have a touch football game in Edmond.
And wow, I'd forgotten how much fun football was. I don't I'd played football in like 8 months. It felt good to go out there and score a few touchdowns, burn a few calories before the meals we had lined up for the day. Elder Dalia and Elder Fales both are elders in our district (Elder Dalia is the African American in the dinner picture, and Elder Fales is the blond one sitting by him) and both played college football. Elder Dalia actually has a full-ride to play at BYU when he gets back.
For Thanksgiving, we had dinner at a few members' houses. Their dinners were sooo good!. Hermana Olea cooks some incredible pork. The dinners were a little more humbler tha the ones a remember at family reunions, but nonetheless we were very satisfied with our meals.
Later that evening we went to visit a less active who lives alone and didn't have any plans for Thanksgiving. His name is Hmo. Grimaldo. Out of all the members in the branch, he's the one who has the most zeal for missionary work. WE shared a message with him, and talked about life with him. He's such an incredible member, but unfortunately other branch members judge him so he stays less active (but he did com to church this week!).
The weekend was great. We didn't quite meet our goals this week, so on Sunday Elder Morrell and I had a special fast on Sunday to find success in our area.
And then on Sunday, we ran into a Jehova's Witness. His main premise was that because we believe Jesus died on a cross our religion is faulty because apparently he didn't die on a cross but rather a torture stick. He invited us to google "cross" and "christmas" and then come back and talk to him. We had an interesting discussion, he wanted to talk with us but only if we met his terms and studied the history of the cross and Christmas.
And he was flattering. He respected us and admired our intellect and purpose. In the moment, we ended up stating our purpose that t was to invite to come unto Christ by living the gospel, not to necessarily have Bible studies.
All in all, we realized that if his intentions to learn were really sincere, he wouldn't have set terms for us to talk with him.
But then again that's what we do as missionaries. We set commitments, and if the investigators don't follow through, we stop visiting them. Part of me says, its not worth your time, and part of me says that maybe he really is interested and this would be a great opportunity to share the gospel.
Ultimately, nothing will happen of it, because we can't visit google anyways.
But these few experiences have really helped me grow my testimony of this Gospel. I shouldn't have to prove my testimony to anyone. I know these things of myself, and no one can take that away. I was reading some of the testimonies of the prophets in the Book of Mormon. Jacob is contending with Sharem and all he does is state simple testimony: Christ is our Savior and the scriptures testify of him. I know these things because the Holy Ghost has manifested the truth of it unto me. This church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ here on the earth today, and Joseph Smith was a prophet. I can't deny the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
And then we had success later that evening. Hmo. Grimaldo brought a friend to com meet us who wasn't a member. She was very interested and has potential to join the church. She lives in the South, but that's ok, the other missionaries in the South will have a solid potential investigator this week:)
It's been a great week. The only sad part is the fact that we haven't been able to keep in the best contact with our solid investigators that we found last week (such as Inaki, Fabian and Yohola). We've done our part, but due to the instigators' phones going out of service and not showing up to appointments, things have been hard with keeping contact.
To fix that, Elder Morrell have talked about trying harder with daily contact with our investigators. We've been a little weary about daily contact before because we don't want to annoy people, but it's proving to be harder to keep connected with them if we don't keep contacting them.
This area is still hard, but still tons of hope. This Christmas season will be tough without spending time with you all back at home. But there's no need to worry. The Branch is very loving and we'll be taken care of. I'm espiecially excited for this week because we get to attend the Temple!!! It's been such a long time and I'm so excited to worship in the House of the Lord for the first time in 5 months.