Monday, February 24, 2014

First week as a Traveling Missionary!!

Super full week, but tons of fun.

This was the first week spent driving around the mission, and it was a definite learning experience. The biggest thing I've learned thus far is that this mission has some amazing missionaries; I've been constantly impressed with the caliber of the Elders I've been spending time with. I've been learning way more from them than they are from me.
Every night during planning, I ask the missionaries what they'd like to work on, what they want help with. Every companionship has been the same: talking with people and teaching simply. To get over the fear of talking to people, I've had the missionaries contact the first three people we see, no matter how ridiculous the situation. With one companionship on bike, we saw this tattooed biker dude pulled over on the side of the road on his cell phone. We were going to pass him, but I reminded them we promised to talk to the first three regardless the situation, so we circled him on our bikes and waited until the end of his phone call. Imagine that for a was really awkward. Eventually he finished his phone call and one of the elders started to talk to him; turns out he works with a lot of Mormons, just moved into the area, and is looking for a church to attend with his wife. We rode away from the Harley-Davidson with a name, phone number, address, and a return appointment. Biking away, one of the elders said, "I would have never talked to him!". I told him, "I wouldn't have either!". Serving in this capacity has helped me to become more confident and honest with people; there's no hidden agenda, no tentative approach. I'm sharing truth with these people, truth that will change their lives, and if I tell them anything other than that truth then I'm wasting their time and mine.
I was with two other elders in a lesson with a less-active member trying to quit smoking. What we planned earlier that morning was to ask for his last pack of cigarettes at the end of the lesson, yet during the lesson I kept feeling prompted to ask for just a couple of cigarettes instead. We got to the end of the lesson and one missionary did a great job and boldly asked for the mans last pack. He denied, saying he couldn't go without them. I asked for just two of his cigarettes, a small act of faith to show the Lord he's serious, and he complied. He reached down to his last pack, opened it up...and there were just two cigarettes left. We all froze, he chuckled looking down at them, yet he took them out and handed them to me. Incredible experience. We all learned that whenever we meet with someone, we have to invite them to act. It's not enough to just share information; it's about how they use it. We have to invite - it's the only way people will change.

Amazing week, excited to have another starting tonight. Keep praying for the missionaries in your ward!

Love you so much,

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