Ok! Having an awesome experience here in Jacksonville. I'll tell you about some investigators. I can't say names, but I'll tell you what's going on with all of them! We have 3 people with a baptismal date, one is a HUGE marine, who just gave up drinking, smoking, read the whole Book of Mormon, and is ready to go! He's really chill and is really changing his life! Great to see that happening in someone's life! Then we met this lady, who we just found out may have already been baptized in the seventies... ha really weird story, and after we taught her one day, she called us back and said she wanted to be a missionary and go preach the gospel! She's on the right path! During teaching her, her sixteen year old neighbor friend came over, and was kind of forced into listening to us, and said that she wanted to be baptized as well, and that she really wants to change her life! Miracles have been happening! As we've been biking in the VERY hot sun, we've found some other investigators that we've been talking to as well. The people here love to talk, and it's interesting to see their take on religion. A lot of them are just so confused, and don't see how any of the churches are right, and really take our message to heart! The hard part is getting a return appointment to teach them more. Most people are curious, and say that they'll stop by our church service, and that's the end.
Funny thing too is, that even if they totally hate your message and are way against it, almost everyone offers us water! Probably because we look like ice cream cones melting in the hot sun. I didn't know it was possible to sweat this much! I don't mind it, except when we have to bike to church in our suits... that's probably the worst. It's all worth it though! Sunday's a great day, and this Sunday we actually got this family that we met on the street helping them move to come to church after teaching them a little earlier on in the week! They seemed to like it, and we have high hopes for them as well!
It's always hot, everyone's military, but the members are so great to always feed us, and they're so generous! A lady gave us dinner, set us up with someone to talk to, and bought like a weeks worth of food and drinks and snacks for us, just cause she likes to serve! That to me was what true charity looks like. I've met few people as giving and loving as she was. We also gave a great lesson on charity this Sunday! We had to teach last minute and it went great! The ward has awesome comments!
Haha, oh yeah. I was sitting on a rocking chair, and it said, 'this chair ROCKS', and it was awesome. Just throwing that in there (private family joke).
Teaching lessons is really crazy, because you go in there, and you have to really tailor the lesson for the needs of each individual investigator, while sharing the same message. It's been so cool to meet so many different people and see their views. You can definitely tell when someone's heart is open and ready to hear more about the message and when it's not. The way they listen and ask questions makes a big difference as to how we teach. When the spirit is in the room, I feel like our testimonies really bear truth, and that they can feel it. I know I definitely do. When I bear my testimony to somone, which I get to do about 30 times a day now to people, it really does bare the truthfullness of the message. When you talk about the first vision to people, they really accept it, and give it a chance! I've learned also how key the Book of Mormon is. I knew it was a big part of the gospel before, but now I can see how it really is the keystone of our religion, and what makes us different! You can draw so many lines coming from so many angles from the Bible, but there can only be one line that goes through the Book of Mormon and the Bible. As I read through it here on the mission, I can testify to you that more than ever before of it's truth. It's directly translated through the power of Jesus Christ and is for us. Every verse has a purpose for some time in somone's life, and can be applied to any question. As Joseph Smith said, there's really no other book that brings you closer to God, then by reading the Book of Mormon. Read it everyday, asking a question and praying with real intent and an open heart, and I can promise that you'll get an answer.
Well, running out of time, but the work's going great, and I'm really striving to improve everyday on everything that I do! I've got a lot more to learn, and I really try to not hide behind the title of 'new missionary'. I'm putting myself out there full force, and inviting as many people as I can to come unto Christ! Even when I'm covered in sweat and have awesome helmet hair, the people that have been prepared are waiting to hear our message, and they don't even notice!
Serving a Mission ROCKS!!!