Monday, June 10, 2013

Missionary Monday - 7th Week in Michigan

Hello,

Transfers were Tuesday morning. We sent Elder Baird to Freemont and picked up Elder Oler. He wasn't a disappointment. He is from Riverton, Utah and he's been out 1 year. I don't know how to describe him. He went to Utah State before his mission for journalism. We still knock a lot of doors, but he didn't just accept things for how they were, which was refreshing. E. Baird and Anderson had kind of gotten into the mind set of "this is just how things are". We got four referrals this week which is four more than the last six weeks I've been here. He is a persistent little guy. I like that I've had the three of them to learn from already. I think learning how to be a missionary happens a lot faster in English. Now it will mostly just be a matter of translating everything I do into Portuguese.

Speaking of Portuguese, everyone asks me how that is going, so here it is. I have 30 minutes to study it every day so I spend 15 minutes in one of the grammar books they gave me at the MTC, 15 minutes in the Livro de Mormon with the English version open next to it, and then I write down the words from the Book of Mormon that I don't know and keep them on flash cards that I carry around with me. I have gotten really good at reading Portuguese, but my ability to speak it has seriously declined. I can read the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel in Portuguese and dictate it in English really well, but I could barely have any kind of conversation with any one because there is no one to talk to or correct me here, and the language in the Book of Mormon is more proper than the way they speak anyways.

Elder Oler's first day here we got into a long "discussion" with a lady on her doorstep. When we brought up that Christ established his church after the order of prophets and apostles she said that the apostles were a one time thing so we told about how they replaced Judas with Matthias and she said, "show me where that is at in the Bible, chapter and verse." So she whips out her Bible and we show her and end up going into this whole thing about baptism and the spirit world. Still on her porch while she talks to us through the screen. She was of the belief that you just need to accept Christ to be saved and EVERYONE that has ever lived at one point had the opportunity to accept him because, "all of God's creations bear witness of him" and when you die its either the pearly gates or fire and brimstone. Which I think is one of the most ignorant beliefs out there. And its not like this lady wasn't uneducated either. She lives in the nice part of Alma next to the country club and goes to church every Sunday. We smashed her with scriptures in Peter about the spirit world and all she could say for herself was, "Well that's not how I've been taught". So one might say that I should have learned my lesson about Bible bashing and that it doesn't get anyone anywhere. BUT, I have not felt as fulfilled as I did after that conversation in quite a while. So I do understand that it doesn't help, but I don't have a testimony yet that it should be totally avoided. If someone is going to be close minded either way and you aren't offensive, I feel alright about it.

I have another story, not necessarily uplifting, but entertaining I think. You can tell me if you'd prefer the uplifting stuff and I can try to do more of that, but when I think back on the highlights of the week, these are it. And great uplifting stuff does happen with investigators, but yet, they end up not panning out. For example, we had some GREAT lessons this week with investigators that haven't been making progress. We ended up getting through to them and committing them to come to church. Three different people. Checked in with all of them on Saturday night and said they were still planning on it. None of them came. Anyways, back to my story. We met this one young mom who said she was really interested in religion and she and her husband were looking into other churches. So we set up a return appointment and taught her yesterday. She had Googled the church and had so much anti! Plurality of Gods, potential to become God, garden of Eden in Missouri, Joseph Smith's mom was a psychopath, polygamy, Adam being Michael, tons of stuff. She didn't take any of it too seriously and knew that you can't always trust what you read on the Internet, but you have to look pretty hard to find all of that stuff. The church has bought the first like twenty spaces when you Google it, but she didn't even look at Mormon.org itself. She wasn't too concerned about any of it and we will teach her again next week and we'll see how that goes. I just thought it was funny.

I'm not sure if there was anything else too important that happened this week. I would like to be able to write about a baptism one of these weeks. I finished Jesus the Christ so if I could request a few reading materials, por favor. There is a talk called "Profile of a Prophet" by Hugh B. Brown, Joseph Smith's lectures on Faith from the school of the prophets, and a book titled the Great Apostasy, I can't remember who wrote it.

The mail hasn't come yet today and Steve is the only one I got mail from so far this week so shout out to him.

Thanks for everything. Until next week.

Elder Beck


Picture - Changing a tire.




He had no explanation for this one...