Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Week

Man what a week it's been out here! It's already cold here in DC, we got a good little snow storm yesterday that was freezing! But so far things here in the life of a missionary are going pretty good. My first night was spent at the mission President's home where we got some training on how to talk to people at the door step and things like that. President Albright is a really nice guy. The next day we got assigned trainers and sent off to each of our areas about 6 o clock that night. My trainer is Elder Campbell, he's a really good guy and everybody I meet tells me how good of a guy he is, we've gotten along really well so far. He's been out 20 months already so he'll be headed home before too long. Our area is in McLean, which is in the richest county in the country, and it is a car area so thats nice (70% of my mission is car areas it turns out). Alot of our area is million dollar mansions and the members are very well off for the most part. We have a lot of apartments and neighborhoods in our are that are a bit lower income though and we've been doing quite a bit of tracting in those areas so far. Our first night we got back to the apartment after they told us who our trainers were and me and Elder Campbell went and knocked on some doors to an apartment complex, nearby. Our area is basically being started from scratch because the two elders before us were depressed and so they spent a lot of time just sitting at the apartment. So no progressing investigators off the bat or anything. Our first night of tracting went pretty good though, no lessons or anything and nobody let us in, but we had a couple people tell us we could come back the next day so that was good. So we came back the next day and revisited them and most of them didn't answer but we did have one lady let us in. Her name is Hasti and she's my first investigator! haha. She's from Iran and doesn't speak a ton of English. She wasn't very receptive to us talking to her at first because she said she couldn't believe in God because of all the people that are forced to suffer all day everyday back in her home country. She said she has lots of friends who are stuck back home pretty much just being slaves and are beat all the time so she doesn't believe that if there was a God that he would let that happen to good people because her friends pray everyday and they still dont get any help. But we explained to her how we all have our agency so God allows us to make our own decisions and everybody has that agency. So it would be against Gods plan to stop the people who are making her friends suffer from making those wrong descisions, but that God still loves them and that this life is only a grain of samd compared to eternity. That seemed to help her a little bit but she was still convinced that people only prayed to God as a way that people could hide away from all their problems and that's what made them feel better. We assured her that that wasn't it at all and that when we pray we can feel Gods love for us and he can answer our prayers. So we convinced her to kneel down and say a prayer with us and we got her to say it. We forgot to mention that we pray out loud so she just said a prayer in her head while we knelt with her. She prayed for probably a good 4 or 5 minutes before she finally said amen and immediately after she prayed she just looked up to us and said "thank you" and that she wants to meet with us again so that she can learn more. It was super cool. So we're still trying to set up a time where we can come meet with her again, her work schedule is pretty sketchy so she doesnt know when she'll have time to have us over again. Still awesome though. The next day we met a 15 year old kid named Ulysses (like Ulysses S. Grant) and he was willing to talk to us for a bit but we didn't get to have a lesson with him really, we just talked about God and stuff for awhile. The next day we met with him again and talked to him about the Book of Mormon and stuff though and he agreed to come to church with us and his 13 year old cousin Martin wanted to come with us too. We told him a little bit about the spirit and what it feels like and he said that it wasnt anything that sounded like something he'd felt before and he didn't feel like God loved him really. Later that night we had a lady at some apartments come out yelling at us and tell us she was going to call the cops on us for soliciting in her aprtment complex hahaha crazy lady. But Sunday came around and we arranged for someone to meet us at Ulysses house so that he could get a ride with them to church and sure enough we showed up 10 minutes early just to make sure they were ready and they were totally just waking up. But we got them to hurry and get ready and they came with us and they loved it!!! We weren't suer how it was going until the sacrament prayer was finished and then Ulysses leaned over to us and said "Man I'm freaking out you guys" and we were both like "What? What's wrong are you alright?" and he said "You guys know that Holy Spirit thing you were telling me about? I just felt it. That was crazy, like my whole body just felt like numb and at peace for a second and then I just started feeling this sort of warm tingly feeling in my chest that spread to the rest of my body." Score!!!!! It was so awesome!!!! Martin leaned over and told us how he felt the same way and they both can't wait to come back next week! So we're going to meet with them tomorrow night and talk to them some more. I'm really excited because I feel like the Gospel can really help both of these kids out alot in their lives. They both come from pretty rough backgrounds. So overall things are going pretty good here in DC. Our apartment is nice and my bike turned out sweet! I got it put together with the help of our two roomates and man it's a nice bike. I'm going to try and pick up some stamps so I can write some letters today but we're cutting it close on miles we can drive in our car for the month so we might have to wait and go tomorrow. I'll keep you guys updated with how everything is going next monday for sure. My companion doesn't know the address for our apartment but he says the mission likes it better if you just write to the mission home and theyll forward it on from there. I guess they can't re deliver UPS'd or Fed-Ex'd stuff though because of the barcodes so they say it's best to just send stuff via US mail in boxes. I'll give you guys the address for the apartment as soon as I know it though.

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