Well, let us begin the journey through this last past week.
This week has been a tough one – humbling to say the least. I guess it’s a good thing because it really keeps you in check.
Tuesday we started our day with our first appointment. When we got there, we knocked on the door and no answer. We knocked again, and again, and again. Well, after knocking for some time we finally came to the conclusion that he was not there. We looked at each other and decided that we would start finding new investigators till our next appointment. We continued looking for new investigators but we could not find anyone who was truly interested. They were all the same. We would knock on the door and they would say praise god and welcome you in. After being welcomed in we would sit and chat for a bit to get to know the person. We would proceed to pray and teach the lesson. Each and every time the person seemed to have a strange addiction to looking at their phone as if they were trying to say, “Holy cow, it has been only two minutes since these guys got here and I already want them gone.” It’s kind of funny looking back, but in the moment it was pretty sad to experience.
As the day continued on we had a few other appointments that we had previously confirmed with our investigators. We went to those appointments and as we got there we found that they were not at home. We continued with this pattern without seeing any of our investigators. This day was just going to be one of those days that nothing planned works.
On Wednesday we had a pretty average day -- nothing too rough or too sad but also nothing that too great. We taught one lesson in the day that stands out more than the rest of the discussions. We met with one of our investigators named Latiff. As we were teaching the restoration we began to notice that he was seemed less interested than what was normal. After teaching him for some time it came to the point where he was staring at the ceiling instead of looking at us. We stopped the lesson and asked him what was wrong. We found out that he got baptized by some other random church on Sunday. He was supposed to come to church with us on Sunday but he never showed up. Instead, he walked into another church and was baptized. I just kind of sat there in amazement. It was one of those moments where I was speechless. In the end of our meeting, he indicated that he might still come visit our church -- so far he hasn’t come. We will see what happens in the end. I have learned that it is never over.
Thursday things finally started to change for the better. Elder Bulloch and I were kind of tired of having appointments cancelled and being dropped by our investigators. That all seemed to be changing once Thursday came around. We decided to go look for new investigators in an area we hadn’t been to in some time. The area is called zone 4. As we entered zone 4 we began to just start knocking doors. After knocking a few doors we ran into a guy named Immanuel. He is awesome. It was so nice to finally meet someone who actually wanted to hear the gospel. We sat on the ground and taught him about faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (The Doctrine of Christ 2 Nephi 31). He was really excited to learn about the gospel and even accepted a baptism date down the road. What a great feeling.
After teaching Immanuel, we met two people who are living together that were named James and Emma. They were both about 27 and just the nicest people. We taught them the Doctrine of Christ as well and they were really willing to hear the message. We were excited about it as well. Finally, we had a few successes. After teaching them, we tracted out a lady named Goretty. Goretty actually called us over and asked us to teach her. We were able to teach her because we happened to have a member with us at that time. As we taught her she began to ask many questions. After teaching her, she then gave us booklets about the church she attends. She was a good missionary and was trying to get us to come and visit her church instead of learning about ours. It was a pretty fun and interesting situation.
By the time Friday came around, the week started to look OK. We were expecting the trend to continue. Well in the end, Friday was just an average day but did have one cool experience. We have been teaching this guy named Mike and he is a really soft hearted guy that just kind of loves everyone. We have taught him all the lessons and we are continuing to teach him as he struggles to commit to baptism. We had previously taught him the word of wisdom and the ‘no tea’ part was really hard for him. He began to tell us how he had stopped taking tea. His family was bugging him because they always took tea together as a family. The cool part was that he was willing to explain to his family that he didn't want to take tea because he really wanted to find out if this church was true and if this ‘no tea deal’ was important or not. He was truly testing it all out and truly praying about it. As he continued to tell us his experiences he began us that since he has stopped taking tea he hasn’t had the cravings for it. This was really exciting to hear.
Saturday was a really interesting day and one of the roughest days of the mission so far. I also re-learned that Lord really cares for us and does the small and simple things for us. God does care and wants to help us out and make us happy so that we can enjoy life and continue on.
We woke up did our normal morning routine and left the apartment at 10:00 as always. We had multiple appointments to keep and we were ahead of schedule so we would not be late for anyone. As we got to our first appointment we knocked on the door had no answer. We adjusted, and visited a person that lived nearby. That person was gone as well. We then decided to look for new investigators until our next appointment. We didn't find anyone to teach during that whole hour block. We moved on to our next appointment and there was no answer again. More tracting – no success. This processes continued all morning until 12:30 pm.
At 12:30 we visited with one of our investigators named Wilfred. As we entered his home, we could feel that there was something different in the home. There wasn't the happiness felt previously. We sat down and he told us that he no longer wanted to be baptized because he had heard and read some things online. We tried to explain that all the things he had heard were not true. He did not care anymore and didn’t want to do anything with the church. He cancelled his baptism that was supposed to be yesterday. This was a killer to us because he was happy as could be on Tuesday and then on Thursday but then no longer wanted to investigate. Just like that.
After that crushing blow, we went over to another one of our investigators homes named Charles. As we entered the home the feeling was still good. As we sat down with Charles, he looked at us and said, “there is a problem”. As soon as I heard those words I felt like saying nnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooo, not again. Charles went on to explain that he would not be able to be baptized because he can’t attend church. His boss said that he couldn't go to church because it was taking him away from work. Well, in the end Charles chose work over church. Another killer blow to the day.
After all this we continued to struggle to get any lessons taught. It just seemed that no one was home and no one wanted to hear our message. At this point I was just extremely discouraged and couldn’t even think straight. On top of all of that it was very hot. We needed to drive to an area called Intinda because Elder Bulloch had to perform a baptismal interview for the missionaries in that area. As we drove it was really quiet because both of us were really struggling mentally. We conducted the interview and then we took the missionaries back to their apartment. Once we were at the apartment I asked if I could use their restroom. As I was walking towards the bathroom I saw the biggest bucket of protein powder in my life.
My curiosity sparked as to what kind of protein it was. As I picked up the bucket, the lid tore of the top and the whole thing crashed to the ground. I expected to see a huge mess but instead found the bucket just contained trash. As I picked up the trash I discovered two ab-roller wheels. This was a huge excitement to me because for the past 9 weeks I have been using an ab-roller that had a broken wheel and another wheel that was completely worn out. I asked the Elders if they wanted them or not. They didn’t even know what they were and just gave them to me.
For the past 9 weeks I have been trying to find a way to fix the two wheels on my ab- roller that I inherited from a prior Elder. I had tried everything and nothing was working. After receiving these two wheels I began to sit and think about how the Lord really takes care of us and makes our days OK. I think the Lord really knew that the day was rough for me and helped me find something to help. I know that it is kind of a weird thing to say but it really changed my whole outlook on the day. This helped me to just smile and say that the day was good.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to baptize a women named Agatha. This was a really cool baptism because she has been investigating the church for almost two years and she just decided to get baptized. Last week and she chose me to baptize her. Her husband is in the branch council and he has been hoping for her to get baptized for a long-long time. It was just a really humbling experience to baptize her. I only taught her once. During that one lesson instead of asking her to be baptized I found it more appropriate to teach her something different. I taught her about a mother’s prayer for her children. How strong it is and how much it blesses the children. A week or so after, her assigned missionaries extended the offer of baptism. She accepted as long as I baptized her. It was a really cool because it united a whole family together in the church. I didn't do much to help her progress in the gospel but I was still very grateful for the opportunity.
We also had two more baptisms of our own. Eric and Isaac were baptized. I would like to talk about their baptism but I’m running low on time. It was a really wonderful thing to see them get baptized. We have been teaching them for a long time.
I will send lots of pictures next week of a little adventure that elder Migijima and I had by climbing a very high tower to take some sweet pictures. You’ll get the scoop next week. Awesome view.