P-day we went to the Stake center and I got to play bball with Elder Taylor, and Elder Rawlings both who I was in the MTC with! They are companions now and Elder Rawlings is a district leader. Super fun getting to see them both in the field! So 4 of us 6 elders who were in the same district in the MTC are all in the same zone in the field. Gonna be a party! Our lesson fell through with one of our investigators and so our branch mission leader took us to see a recent convert family and their oldest son has a non member girlfriend who he is bring to church on Sunday! So new investigator! Woo!
So with our cars we are given a certain amount of miles for the month and in our area we are given 800. When Elder Stevens and I got here which was half way through the month, the other elders had already used 600.. So we hardly have any mlles left. So we are walking everywhere! Kinda sketchy since we don't know the area perfectly and where the red zones are. We have a pretty big area so it takes a while to get places but we did it! Had dinner at a Tongan families house who have 8 kids so that was a party! Felt like home again with the nieces and nephews over. They made Elder Stevens sing for our dinner so that was funny. He did good! They play a lot of games so I taught them how to play 3 stage charades. They gave us a ride home so our prayer was answered haha.
So we did a lot of walking today as well. Seems like every single house has a pit bull so it's a rough time contacting referrals who don't have phone #s. We went to this house and we could hear the dog but we could see it was in the backyard behind the fence so I went in and knocked on the door, talked to the guy and it wasn't who we were looking for so we were walking back to the gate and elder Stevens went out and I felt like I needed to turn around and sure enough the pit bull was rushing me and Elder Stevens being the kind companion he is held the gate open for me as I used my bag as a shield and dodged my way out haha. So that was fun.. Reaffirmed my opinion that big dogs aren't for me! Oh and we saw a dog that looked exactly like the ware wolf from Harry Potter. I'll send a picture of it but it doesn't quite do it justice. The thing was huge and even howled haha. Beginning to think Dogs were made to annoy missionaries. Especially chihuahuas. Had a lesson with one of our investigators who was giving his pit bull a bath when we showed up. On our way home there were 8 cop cars blocking the street and a helicopter hovering above and one cop came and asked us "Now what in the world are you two white guys doing in these parts??" So that was fun to explain. He just thought we were crazy. Seems like there are always sirens going or a helicopter passing by. Bonus is that everyone doesn't mind talking to us because they are all curious about us! Talked to a ton of people today.
Today we walked on the streets all morning and found a few really cool people! Met a guy who has been to the Missouri temple, Vegas temple and wants to go to the LA temple! He was super enthusiastic about us coming over and gave us his info. Then we met a guy who had talked to missionaries the week before down in long beach and we encouraged him to meet with them and he said he had been debating on it but decided he would call them back because we had talked to him. Met a few people who wouldn't talk to us because they were "Christian" and we weren't. As if the name Jesus Christ on our name tags doesn't speak for itself haha. Had a girl stop us on the street and said she wasn't interested but praised us for spreading the word. Seem to be lot of people like that around. Just wish they would also listen to what we have to say rather than just observe. We did our weekly planning today and prepared for next week then had dinner at a part members home. The dad isn't a member and won't let the 12 year old and 14 year old get baptized so we have work to do there. We didn't bring it up but the mom told us about it before hand. She wants us to come over every week and "change his mind" haha. Super awesome family. The mom and the 16 year old daughter are converts.
Well today was full of a lot of showing up for lessons and no one answering the door.. Haha. BUT! We had a lesson with our investigator Keith which was awesome! Taught him about Prophets and the need to follow their modern day council. The past missionaries had given him a gospel principles book with Howard W Hunter on the front and he told us that he just felt a connection to him. Like he had seen him before in a dream or something. Told us that that must be revelation of some kind and committed to come to church again this Sunday! He is so golden. We had district meeting this morning as well which is always good. Just wish our branch building was closer and in our area. We did meet a guy on the street who said he had read the Book of Mormon and knew it was not true and I asked him what it was about and he said "It's about a family who swims across the ocean to America and started the United States" Sooo that was fun. He was just a little crazy haha. The joy of being a missionary.
A few of our appointments fell through today as well. One of our investigators said she was going to her church tomorrow and might come to ours next week so that was a little frustrating. She came last Sunday. Said she didn't feel very welcomed which was fair enough. Why can't members just see that there is someone sitting with the missionaries and come say HELLO? Anyways I'll stop myself there so I don't go on a rant haha. Then we went to see our new investigator Justin and taught him the restoration. He was the one who came up to us last week and said he wanted to get baptized. Lesson went super good and we set a date for him on the 21st! He even volunteered to say the prayer at the end of the lesson. Then had a lesson with another new investigator named George. He's a super cool guy who reminds me a ton of David. He grew up Catholic but felt it wasn't quite right and had kinda just gone with his own beliefs. Met some missionaries a while back and felt he should look into it. Lesson went awesome and he said he would definitely read and pray. Shaky about church though. He did say the closing prayer though and it was probably thee most sincere pray I had heard an investigator give. He told us he hadn't prayed in a looooong time. Finally we had our second lesson with Jose and Wendy. They had a crazy week with stuff going on but we got to know them better and we shared the Mormon message "Mountains to climb". Man Elder Eyerings voice invites the spirit. They were both teary eyed afterwards. Had a very powerful discussion afterwards and Jose gave the closing prayer. He also hadn't prayed in a long time. Super powerful. After he asked if we could please come again and this time for dinner and a lesson! So cool! I have no doubt they will get baptized one day.
So this morning before church we took a bible to one of our referrals and she was super nice. Introduced us to her two daughters and basically praised us as role models of how it's possible for young people to believe in God so that was funny. We tried to introduce the Book of Mormon but she wasn't interested but asked if we would leave a prayer and blessing on the home before we left. So we all got in a circle as she directed us to, held hands and prayed! Felt very weird haha. I think our family tried to do that once? Just ended in some nearly broken hands haha. Then we went to pick up our new investigator Justin who we saw yesterday and he wasn't there! His roommate said that he had left to the park 10 mins before. So we took our ward mission leader and went and found him, pulled over and I jumped out, asked him why he wasn't coming to church, he said "Idk I forgot?" And so I told him to get in the car, he did and we took him to church! And he loved it! After church we went on splits with the branch presidency and I went with brother Soriano again to see our investigator Gregory. He is African American and has been taught by missionaries before but never would really commit to church or baptism. Brother Soriano shared his conversion story, and his testimony and the spirit was instantly there, Gregory started tearing up and after I invited him to be baptized on Feb 21st. He accepted!! And even asked for a ride this Sunday! Soooo cool. Huge miracle. Then tonight we had a meeting with all the ward councils and missionaries in the stake about how to work better together and that was awesome. Makes me wonder how it all works back home? I don't remember the missionaries going out with the bishopric and stuff. Anyways it was an awesome week and full of tender mercies! Met a Buddhist and an Atheist today on the street so that was a party as well haha.
Hope you all had a great week! ST- Remember every member a missionary. Think about how you can do better, no better yet! Study how you could be a better missionary.
2nd ST/Quote-"Be obedient, remember the times when you have felt the Spirit in the past, and ask in faith. Your answer will come."-James B Martino
Love that quote because it always makes me think of the times in my past where I have felt the spirit. Sometimes we need to do that so we don't forget. Seems like that's Satan's main focus. Make us forget the times we felt the spirit so we lose our testimony. That's why members go less and inactive. Love you all!
Love Elder Bennett