We had our Christmas Devotional on Tuesday in Greeley which consisted of departing missionaries' testimonies, singing Christmas hymns, and socializing. It was alright. I personally like the more festive carols because I think those can bring the spirit too but we were in the chapel. Anyways, I got to see Elder Wilson, my trainer, for the last time on his mission. He, along with 15 or so others, is going home tomorrow. It was crazy because I remember that LONG drive from Loveland to Hanna my first day in the field. We talked about specific people who I recall thinking, "I'm going to love these people." And it was -15 degrees.
My exchange with the District Leader, Elder Flindt, was EVENTFUL to say the least. We had an appointment with a man named Anthony. He is probably 25 but has seen a lot in his life already. He has always loved the dark and scary things because it brings him "peace". At one point, he joined a Satanic cult and would do that type of dark arts magic. I couldn't believe my ears because I had never actually met someone who had participated in that evil of stuff. Luckily we were in a member's home because I would never step foot in his house. He no longer practices that stuff, but his hobby is to make horror houses that scare people. Now he wants to make a demonic horror house and is torn between trying to leave his past behind and continuing with his idea. Basically, we told him that God has other plans for him to use his creative talent to bless people's lives, not worship Satan. He isn't ready for the Gospel in his life yet. He said straight up, "I want to do what I want to do now because life is so short. Whatever happens after this life, fine, but right now I am doing what I want."
That same night, we knocked on a door of someone on his ward list. If your name is on the list, you have been baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Just because you don't go to church anymore or don't practice the principles and doctrine does NOT mean you aren't a member. This old geezer opened the door and Elder Flindt introduced himself and tried to shake his hand. The man said, "I'm not shaking your hand" with a nasty look on his face. I told him straight up, "You were baptized into this Church. That was your choice. You can be rude to us but that won't change anything. We're going to keep coming. Christ numbers his sheep and we are going to keep coming until you do one of three things: die, have your name removed from the record, or come back to Church. We aren't going to give up on you because Christ wouldn't either. He loves you and we are not going to give up." He shut the door after that and I walked away like what the heck did I just say??! We got gelado for my first time after and had a heart to heart talk about how we can apply the things we learn on our mission afterwards with dating. Flindt is going home in 3 months, that's why LOL.
We visited the lady we tracted out the other day, Patty, with Bro. Haynes, our WML. She opened the door and said we couldn't come in because her furnace is broken. That would've been the end of it had Bro. Haynes not called his son-in-law, a professional AC/heating guy. Step by step, he told him how to fix it. Patty's heating was back on in no time and she was so happy. It went out that morning and lo and behold we show up in the afternoon to fix it. Coincidence? hmmmm. . .
We met this 70 year old Bulgarian who came out of his house to tell me that I was brainwashed and my religion was false. He didn't let us get a word in. We had a half hour conversation and he kept insisting that our "elders" brainwash us to come out and do this for two years. He basically condemned our proselyting because we can't work our way into heaven. So true! I try telling him that, that it is through the grace of Jesus Christ and our faith in Him by which we are saved but he would just say "you don't believe that". James says it best,"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." You can have your faith and think all the good thoughts you want, but in the end those who love Christ will keep his commandments. Right? (John 14:15) And did he not say,"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" So based on the BIBLE, the book this man claimed to know, I am doing what is right. It was so frustrating talking to this stubborn man who told me I believed that Jesus was just a great teacher. When I testified He was the very Son of God and Savior, he just spat "you don't believe that." I'm going to write my testimony of what I believe and give it to that man.
That night, our dinner cancelled on us an hour before we were going to eat. We called the Ellisons, a family we are teaching, but they didn't answer. There we were, no dinner, on the streets, basically hobo status. I felt like it would all pan out though. Our dinner called us back and said they would order us pizza. We gave them an address of a nearby member and waited for our pizza there. Right after that, Cam called me and said we could come over to eat. I told him not to worry about the food and that we were bringing pizza. We picked up our 2 pizzas and soda and went over to the Ellisons to eat all of it. They took us out for ice cream and a drive across the mountains afterwards so it all worked out.
We had trainers' meeting Friday morning and I got to see my boys Blackburn and Christensen. The meeting itself wasn't too inspiring or anything, but I sure had fun with them. We went to a chicken tenders place after called Raising Canes. That night, we went tracting and met a man named Dennis. He is in his 70's and told us that he is currently Catholic but shopping for a new church. He flat out said he was interested in our church and he wanted to learn more. He wants to know what is true. Ayo I got you boi!
Saturday night, we went contacting and knocked on the less active's door and a man named John answered. After like 15 seconds of small talk, he asked. "Do you have any literature for me?" Well sure, I got a Book of Mormon and a copy of the Bible for ya. He then told us to come back the next night so we could teach him. We go back on Sunday and knock on the door. Some dude answers and we ask, "Is John home?" And he said, "John moved to Nebraska." "But we talked to him last night..." "oh, well I don't really live here so maybe he does live here." It was messed up ahaha. It was an eventful week, full of meeting new people. We tried all those people yesterday after Church and none of them were home. Boooooo! We also taught this lady who has been inactive since the dinosaurs because she was offended like a billion times in her interaction with the church. That was a cool lesson because I just relied on the Spirit as I tried to ask her the right questions to get to the bottom of her reason for inactivity. She doesn't believe the true church is on the earth, so I invited her to read the New Testament highlighting things that Christ's Church MUST contain. After she has that list, join the church that contains all of those things. There will only be one standing in the end: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. AMEN!!!!
|Elder Wilson with Elder Sell|
Christmas party Jewish style