We had a very interesting experience with an investigator this past week. It all started on a brisk November night in Sterling Virginia...
We were stopping by an investigators house to see if we could teach him about the plan of salvation. As we approached the house we noticed that it was completely dark inside and we would have assumed he wasn't home except for the fact that his car was in the driveway. We rang the doorbell and waited. We heard no movement. After ringing again, we were about to leave when we heard some movement inside. This went on for a couple minutes and then we could hear someone trying to open the door. It finally opened and our investigator was standing there in the dark, with messy hair, and holding his head. Before we could say anything he inquired "What are you doing here in the night!?" This was strange to us because that was the usual time we stopped by his house. We then told him that it was only seven. We could tell he had been drinking and was pretty hung over. He kept hiccupping and holding his head while we talked. We explained to him that it was only seven and then told him that we would be saving a seat for him at 9 for church the next day. We left laughing and thinking that was a pretty funny experience, but that was only the beginning...
We finished out the night, went home, planned for the next day, while getting something to eat, the phone started ringing at about 9:45. It was the same investigator. I assumed he had a question about church or needed a ride or something. When I answered he asked "How do I get in?" I wasn't quite sure what he meant so I asked again and put the phone on speaker because I could tell it was going to be an interesting conversation. He then asked "How do I get into the church?" That really through me for a loop. I asked if he was at the church and it turns out he was. I proceeded to explain to him that church wasn't until 9am the next morning. He thought that we had stopped by in the morning and so he decided to go to church. He got ready and drove down to the church and tried the door. Somehow the fact that it was dark outside and there were no cars in the parking lot didn't mean much to him. Once he realized that he had made a huge mistake he started laughing and said "I thought it was weird the sun wasn't up yet" (he thought it was 9:45 am!) We told him to come back in the morning to church and ended the call. When I hung up all of us in the apartment busted out laughing.
The next morning we called him an hour before church to make sure he was coming, but when he answered he said something about being in Richmond (a pretty far drive) because his son missed a bus or something. Turns out he had driven to Richmond during the night for some reason and wasn't able to make it to church. (Hahaha) I thought that was a pretty memorable experience that you would all love to hear about!
There were several people this week that talked about the spirit that they could feel because we were in their homes. The first was a member of the ward. We were over at their house eating dinner. The father talked about how we bring a spirit with us and asked his family if they could feel it. Another was a less active family that hasn’t been to church in over a decade. They were all converted a long time ago and stopped going for one reason or another. They are Spanish and the mother couldn't speak English very well, but she started talking in Spanish and crying and her daughter had to translate for us. She was talking about how she could feel the spirit so strongly every time we were around. That is a testimony to the call of being a missionary and being set apart as the Lords messengers. Those were both humbling experiences.
It has been great serving a mission during this hastening of the Lords work. With the lowering of the age of missionaries, the use of iphones, ipads, and facebook, we can see how the work is being hastened. These are the times that have been prophesied by prophets. In Doctrine and Covenants is says "The Lord will hasten his work in its time." During a seminar for new mission presidents Elder Perry compared these events with others like the first vision and the translation of the Book of Mormon. That is an incredible statement. It’s exciting and humbling to be a part of this hastening. It is so much more apparent to me the happiness that this gospel can bring into people’s lives. I know this is the Lords church and his work.
Early in the week when we were on exchanges with a member a lesson fell through and so I pulled out my planner to see what we had planned as a backup. The member then asked if we could go tracting. That was pretty surprising because I’m pretty sure most members wouldn’t volunteer themselves to go tracting in the cold, but he was totally excited to do it. That got me pretty excited. This member went to Russia on his mission and still speaks it for work, so he is pretty fluent. I made a little prophesy that we would tract into someone who also speaks Russian. We only had about 30 minutes to tract. So we get to the very first door and guess what? Nothing. The next one, nothing. After about 20 minutes we knock on a door and the guy who answers had a thick accent and so we asked where he was from. He was from the Ukraine and spoke Russian! They talked in Russian for a minute and I was sitting there thinking he’s getting baptized! Turns out he wasn’t interested. (haha) It was still cool.
It’s getting pretty cold around here. It was 25 degrees last night while we were out tracting. I was bundled up about as much as I could be and it was still a bit chilly. I’m not looking forward to January. (haha) I got to see the BYU football game on TV for a second before I asked if they could turn it off (that was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do yet! (haha) It was exciting just to see it on TV for a second. We had a pretty successful week and had lots of fun!
Love you all!