I'm back to loving Southern California, it's been 70s and 80s all week. Perfect weather. I love it, it doesn't feel like January at all.
As far as the work goes, we've been focusing more on referrals, and contacting and following up on referrals than we have with going to former, etc. in order to find new investigators this week. It's made the work alot easier and more fun. We had been visiting and revisiting the same people for a long time, and it had made things drag alot. Having referrals is great because it's helped us to keep on moving, and keeps the work changing. If they aren't there after so many times, then we move on to other referrals, which helps the work flow more and us to be more efficient.
We were able to pick up 4 new investigators this week and picked up a couple more the week earlier from referrals, and through other ways as well (talking to a neighbor of an investigator, etc.). We began teaching a former investigator, who called us up last Sunday and told us that he had been involved in some "bad things" and had been hanging around with the wrong group of people. He expressed to us his strong desire to change and recognized that he needs God in his life. We had a really nice lesson with him this week and we all felt the Spirit testify of the atoning power of Christ and His Gospel. Our other new investigators are also doing well. One woman, we just met and had a lesson with her, she only speaks English, so we'll teach her enough to pass her off to the English elders soon. We also met Roberto and his daughter Susan, who are religious as well, and open to learning. He has alot of questions, especially about the "Rapture" (as far as I understand, it's pretty much similar to our belief about the resurrection, hopefully I'm not agreeing to false doctrine though).As far as his questions, he's kind of intimidating. In our last lesson, he was talking about the rapture and all of these random Bible scriptures that talk about the Rapture, etc. and kept talking.We barely got a word in! He's really interesting to listen to though, but it wasn't really going anywhere as far as our message. Finally, we talked about the Book of Mormon, and how that's our purpose and message. There's alot of things that we can talk about and beliefs we can compare and discuss, but in all reality, it's not really our purpose there. We invite people to read the Book of Mormon, because that's where the answers are. If anyone wants to learn about our beliefs, the best place to go is the Book of Mormon. As soon as the conversation shifted to the simple truths, the spirit was strong in the room and they were listening really intently. It was amazing. They are both really sweet.
There are so many interesting, random people we've talked to this week. While we were contacting referrals, we met this one man, who used to race cars and his apartment was FULL of pictures, and certificates, and awards and his old license plates. He reminded me of Doc Hudson on Cars. We also met this man from Australia who came over to the U.S. a while ago, he used to be a drunk, but through his wife's example, started going to church to change his life around (not interested in our church unfortunately, but it was still super interesting to listen and talk to). He's kind of a closet cat person, he was talking for almost half an hour about each one of his cats and how they got them. I never thought you could talk about any animal for that amount of time, but I've been lucky to meet several people on my mission who can.
We have a less active that we're working with that keeps asking us about the Avenging Angel. I have no idea what that is, something about in the early church history, it was an angel that killed people that prosecuted the church. He says he saw it on a video and swears that it's true. I have no idea what to tell him other than that it's probably not true and that alot of people like to skew our beliefs to confuse people. He's so interesting. He's another talker and I don't think he really likes to be taught, he likes being the teacher. So alot of our lesson ends up being him talking and then us trying to steer the lesson a certain way, it not working out so well, and then him continuing to talk, and eventually, somehow he kind of comes to some conclusion himself. Last week we learned that he loves the Book of Mormon and believes it's the word of God, but doesn't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, so that's given us something to try to work with with him. He and Roberto are teaching me to be more patient, I think because it is so hard for me to listen to people when I feel like it's going off topic and when they won't let me control the conversation. I just want them to get back on track and so I start to tune out on what they're saying. I get really frustrated really fast with that, so maybe it's good for me to be teaching them.
Anyways hope you're doing well. I'm still alive and kickin', so things are good.
Miss you and love you,