Monday, June 17, 2013
Tucuman - June 17th
Dad, Grandpa Clark, and Grandpa Willey - Happy Father´s Day! I totally had no idea it was Father's Day yesterday until people tried using it as an excuse to miss church. It was great. We said, "What better thing to do on Father´s Day than go to the house of your Father?" It´s really fun to see people´s faces when you say something like that.
We had an RM give a talk in church yesterday. He used a story that blew my mind. I loved it! It goes something like this "A young man, around 15 or 16 went to get his hair cut. As he was there, the barber started chatting with him, and they started talking about God. The barber said, 'I don´t think that God exists.' The boy asked why, and the barber replied, 'If God really existed, why are there so many people suffering in the street? Why are there children who go without food, and so many sicknesses and diseases?' The boy didn´t really know what to say, so when his haircut was over, he left on his way home. Halfway back, he turned around and returned to the barber shop. He said to him, 'I don´t believe that barbers exist.' The barber was surprised, and asked why in the world he would think that. The boy replied, 'If barbers really existed, why are there so many people with long hair out in the street? Why are there people who have ugly side-burns and terrible hairdos?' The barber, a little flustered, said, 'Well they don´t come to me!' To which the boy replied, 'Exactly.'" After that the RM read Matthew 11:28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. It was so great! I´ve heard that question so many times, and I thought that answer was so great!
Anyway, so I sealed two blessings this week. I´ve only ever done it once before when Elder Sant asked me to give him a blessing. It was kinda cool! The gift of tongues is a really cool thing - especially becuase in blessings you have to use a form of "you" that as missionaries we never practice. Lots of room for divine help.
I had an adventure this week! We crossed some railroad tracks and construction to get to the house of a member. I now have been to two of the four sides of my area. We also found the new housing development that´s part of our area. It´s like a whole different city. I could be totally off on the number, but it was something like 4,000 houses there, and growing.
One thing that I´ve seen a lot in this area are the little miracles that have to do with men being home. Men are never home. It was great in Jujuy because Alan came with us every day. Here there aren´t quite as many members to help out. Even so, it just seems to happen that when we show up to a house, a guy just happens to decide to take a break from work or show up for a few minutes. It´s great.
We had an awesome member reference this week. Her name is Maria, and she´s about 17 years old. We talked about the Book of Mormon the first visit, and watched the video of the restoration the second. After that, we asked if she read in the Book of Mormon. She had. We asked if she prayed. She had. We asked if she got an answer. She paused for little bit. I was ready for just about anything - "I didn´t feel anything," "I don´t really know, I´m not sure," but what she said was, "I don´t know why, but after I prayed, I felt really good." Ah! That´s a wonderful moment when you see the power of God work like that - when someone is so prepared that they recognize the answer the first time they ask! It was a great experience.
A couple interesting visits with various investigators this week. David, the young father of the 5-year-old with cancer (who declined again), has been reading a lot. He has lots of great questions. One of them was "Do you believe in exorcism?" His wife, who lives separately, had taken them to some universal church and he said it was just weird, loud, and he didn´t feel good at all. Great opportunity to explain how the true church of Christ is. I like getting questions from investigators. It makes me think, and oftentimes are things I never even considered. Another investigator, Lucas, didn´t have such good questions. He spend almost the entire lesson asking "why," more to be annoying than because he wanted to know anything. Just a testimony that annoying teenagers exist all over the world. We met another guy who didn´t want to know anything because "he is a church." I´ve heard that ever since the MTC and still am no closer to understanding what in the world people think. They do not have a prophet, 12 apostles, quorums of 70, bishops, priests, teachers, and the authority to perform ordinances dwelling in their heart.
I also met a Catholic lady who was trying to justify her idol worship! She didn´t want to go to our church because we didn´t believe in the Mother of Miracles (Maria) and all the santos, who apparently have to do 7 miracles before being named saints. I decided that by that definition, I´m a saint. Anyway, we read some scriptures in Isaiah about idol worship and in Matthew when Jesus said that we should only pray to the father. I love that face! The one where people have no clue what to say, because they know they´re wrong.
I know that probably sounds mean and not very missionary-like, but I´m just so glad to have the truth. I read Our Search for Happiness this week and it just reminded me how great and how simple the gospel really is.
Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!