Thursday, March 19, 2015

"The Mormons are here!"

Yet another crazy week. At least the craziness is consistent. I'll write this email in chronological order, so we'll start with the beginning of the week. Oh by the way, this week is spring break for UNC.

Our dinner Monday fed us a full course 4th of July type of meal! Why? It felt like summer outside. Actually, it has all week! BBQ chicken, stuffed jalapenos, corn, pie, fruit, and beans made up a classic summer feast. It was a nice way to start the week.

On Tuesday, we had zone conference. Empey and I had prepared to sing a rendition of two hymns for a "special musical number". We told our whole zone and other missionaries in the area that we were going to do it but no one believed us. Finally, after lunch, the conductor of the meeting called our names and everyone was looking at us like "no way, they're really doing this!". We sang the first verse of "I Need Thee Every Hour" with me playing the piano, then we sang a Capella the men's version in the back of the hymn book for the second verse. It was going pretty good at this point. It sounded good and flowed well. But for some reason, we thought it wise to follow our a Capella with "Come, Come Ye Saints" with me again on the piano. Keep in mind that I didn't start playing piano until my mission. It was such a dramatic transition and Empey was singing alone with a nice country twang. I talked with my good friend Elder Sharp a few days later about it and all he could do was laugh. It was that terrible! hahah!

Tuesday through Friday of this week we went on splits in the evenings, where I go with a guy and Empey goes with a different guy to go work. We can do twice the amount of work and it rocks. I went with Doug and we had a very interesting encounter with this girl who only knew the crazy/out of context/straight up false/anti type stuff about the church. She showed us part of this video her professor showed her and Doug and I laughed at how ridiculous it was. False doctrine all the way... We just bore our testimonies and left. We are looking for the wheat, not the tares. A few days later, Doug and I went out again and met some people who were opposite of this girl. We had a 20 minute doorstep conversation with these two girls who were heading to California for spring break. We'll be teaching them when they get home. On another night, Ryan and I went to work and ran into these random girls drinking beers on their porch. They were still somewhat coherent, so we explained to them what our message was. At one point, one of their friends walked out of the house only wearing a bikini and we were like okay... and then the girls we were talking to said, "Go put some clothes on! The Mormons are here!" I was glad they respected us enough to tell that girl what her mom would have told her. 

We do service at two places: the Bargain Bin and the Food Bank. When we first started at the Bargain Bin, they had a mound of clothes that seemed undefeated. After 6 hours of work in 3 weeks, we had all the clothes sorted into boxes. Those ladies are amazed at how much we get done.  At the food bank, we help those in need load food into their shopping cart and bag apples and other fruits/vegetables. It's always fun to serve.

So my first week here, there was a guy in our ward named Erik who brought his friend Jacob to church. We chatted with Jacob, then asked him if he'd like to sit down with us sometime and learn more about our church (I always say "our" then I correct myself. It's Jesus Christ's Church). He said he would and we were pretty pumped about that. Erik texted us later that week saying we scared Jacob off by asking him to meet with us and that he would never come to church again. That next Sunday morning, Erik texts us saying he convinced Jacob to come back to church that Sunday. We said hi to him but didn't really talk to him. We didn't think much of it, but this week Erik texted us saying Jacob wanted to meet. We met on Saturday and just asked him how he felt about Church. He said he feels safe there and peaceful. He has a lot of anxieties, but he says church turns it all to peace. We taught him the Restoration and at the end I invited him to be baptized once he comes to know these things are true. Erik's head dropped, probably thinking that we were pushing, but Jacob said yes! He came to Church yesterday and seemed to enjoy himself. Erik texted us last night to tell us Jacob already read through the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, over 120 pages in less than two days! He said that he usually can't focus when he reads but that his focus never leaves when he reads the Book of Mormon. This is yet another testimony to me that this Gospel is true and it really brings peace. 

So there is this huge apartment complex that is part of a nationwide chain called The Grove. We met the general manager there, Holly, and taught her a lesson. We must have taught 20 or so people living there and knocked every single door. Just before knocking one of our investigator's doors last night, we get a text from Holly saying that she has been getting complaints that we've been soliciting and knocking doors. She told us we could hold an event at the club house free to the public if we wanted to find new people. We told her "No problem! We've already knocked every door anyways :)" haha, perfect timing! 


Elder Sell

P.S. The Temple is taking shape! :D

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