"Week #...??? I Think I'm Getting Lost"
Greetings and salutations from El Paso, Texas!
I would first of all like to clarify, that me saying "howdy" here is pretty much received as it was in Utah. I'm still weird, woo! Oh, and my companion summarized El Paso pretty well. We were walking by two men cleaning their yard. He said, "Raking rocks and blowing dirt. That summarizes El Paso pretty well." It's true. Their yard care makes a wonderful parallel for this wonderful town. The symbolism is powerful.
Misc. quotes of the week:
A bunch of kids were playing in the grass (Grass is rare here, so it's kind of mind blowing), and this conversation occurred:
Child #1: "We need to take a break.
Child #2: There are no breaks...
Child #1: But he has asthma!...
Child #2: Just death."
Adrian is a retired cop with coarse-language, and tiny chicken legs. He claims, and very likely did have, a spiritual encounter where a light started illuminating the area he was in, etc...... It was pretty convoluted but I guess it was possibly spiritual. He thinks it was. Here was his reaction:
"I was so afraid, my butthairs clinched together. It was like sandpaper rubbing back and forth."
Good stuff! I'll try to have funny quotes every week. People say the darndest things...
This past week was very exciting. We baptized Nick this past Saturday. My companion baptized him and I confirmed him in church. It was super awesome to already be having baptisms. When we first came out to NM, they said this is a baptizing mission. The only standard of excellence for our mission is to baptize weekly. It's deceiving simple and takes a lot of planning and effort, but it's very rewarding. Unfortunately, we won't have a baptism on the 2nd because the people preparing for that date are impossible to get in contact with and are probably avoiding us.
We've got the most amazing family EVER. The Jones family is progressing so well! Brother Jones has pretty bad PTSD from being a field medic in Iraq for three years. He's seen the worst side of humanity to say the least. He's handling it through some pretty intense therapy and of course, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His wife is stellar as well, and their kids are hooked on Church (yes it's okay to be addicted to Church). We had to rush them out of Church early this past Sunday because the wife is almost full term with her baby boy, so we aren't sure what happened. They'll be baptized on November 9th, hopefully along with Carlos Figuero, someone we've been teaching for a long time.
I've definitely seen how tricky our reactivation efforts are. There are ~550 inactive members in our ward, so we visit tons of Less Actives.
One cool experience I'd like to share happened yesterday, this past Sunday. I was really pushing for us to try to meet our goals, but no one was answering their doors after hours of looking for Less Actives and Recent Converts, etc. We said a prayer and pondered many names. Without thinking much of it through, we chose one house and went there quickly. The Spirit guided us to catch him at a time when he wasn't working and to help him out. He even asked us to teach him, which never happens. He said he really needed us that night. He's been going single-parent status for awhile, which is everywhere, so it's really hard for him. Also, the two other houses we visited that night, I turned to their favorite scriptures and shared them without knowing they were their favorites. They both said they really needed that too. Super cool.
So many people are lost and confused. It's a hard world. I've seen so many people seemingly depraved of knowledge and direction in life. We had a prayer with someone we taught the other day that went for almost twenty minutes. He had huge pauses because he was crying. He's lost a lot of friends lately (I assume to drugs), and he's unable to find truth in this world right now. I'm excited to teach him and bring joy into his life. I hugged him and told him, at the very least, that we love him, and more importantly, God loves him.
The world is hungry. There's been a famine of words for too long. People need to hear the truth. The greatest gift you can give is to share the Gospel. Don't be selfish and keep it to yourself. Too much has happened, and too much has been sacrificed to let it all go to waste. The work is hastening. We have the words of eternal life.
This week's recommended reading: John 6.
What are you doing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ?