This week happened.
Monday: Shopped at Wal-Mart (a missionary favorite) and waited outside for our ride to come pick us up. As we waited, two people walked up to the store that looked very familiar. We realized it was a guy who had slammed a door in our face just two or three days before. His wife, who had accepted a Book of Mormon and a return visit from us, was with him, but would not make eye contact with us. My companion said, "Long time no see" and the man grumbled "Yeah". I don't believe in coincidences. I thought it was hilariously ironic that this happened, but also hoped it showed the man that we are normal people and not robots who knock on doors all day.
Tuesday: Elder Hatefi's birthday! I also started falling asleep in a family's home where the husband is a member and the wife is not (known as a part-member family), but was still able to answer questions that came my way and manage to contribute to the conversation. I felt bad about being sleepy.
Wednesday: Rode up to a house intending to ask the people who lived there if they knew someone we were looking for. 10 dogs ran out to greet and deafen us. Through the din, the man sitting out in front of his house noted our arrival. We started to ask him our question to which he answered "Not interested". Our presence prompts people to be on the defense in a nonsensical way. We repeated our question and he finally answered it appropriately. However, that day we were also able to help clean up a house for a family who was moving and help out another lady who is suffering from a lot of pain.
Thursday: Taught a lesson on the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a family who has been experiencing a lot of changes both bad and good. They desire to be on the path to God and went away from the lesson with renewed hope. I felt very strongly that I had been guided to say what I said by the Holy Ghost. We ate dinner at the home of a family who aren't members of the Church, but are our next-door neighbors. We talked a lot about family. We read a couple chapters from the Book of Mormon with a kid who is learning about the Church and who loves Halloween. In fact, he is already starting to prepare for it and build his haunted house in the garage and backyard! I've seen the jumping spiders.
Friday: Had a meeting with all the missionaries in the Caldwell Zone. That evening, we visited with a man who is a member, but doesn't come to Church very often (less-active member) and he had us watch a little bit of a program on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was interesting, but we got him to turn it off after a few minutes. Just one note about the FLDS: they are not members of our Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Saturday: Met with a lady who has been experiencing a lot of frustration with her church recently as it has been going through a schism. We had a nice discussion on religion and I shared the story of Joseph Smith's searching for the church Jesus Christ established. As we were about to leave, it was somehow brought up that she and her husband had gone to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and were therefore Badger fans. Good thing I was wearing my maroon and gold tie in defense of the Golden Gophers. I try to love everyone I meet. Sometimes it's hard. No, she was a really awesome person and it didn't matter what school she went to.
That afternoon we knocked on a door, again trying to find a family who had recently moved in. A lady came out and we asked her if she knew where they lived. She didn't. We then asked her if she had spoken with missionaries before. She informed us that she knew what we believed in. The way too long conversation that proceeded from that statement proved to me that contention is of the devil. Whenever someone tells us they know what we believe in, they usually immediately begin telling us things that we believe in that we don't actually believe in. Elder Hatefi spoke with her mostly because in about one minute I had decided I was done with the conversation. We offered our help with any projects she had around the yard. She told us she wouldn't have us help because we believed that works got us into heaven and not grace. We told her that's not what we believed. Then she offered us water.
This lady was nice and she was operating off of the understanding she had. But contention is still of the devil.
Sunday: I got to go to Church and have some reprieve from all the craziness I experienced this past week.
Next week will happen and I'm looking forward to it. We all have crazy days and weeks and months and years and lives. Through all the smoke and confusion, we can find peace. I have found great peace through placing my trust in Jesus Christ. I have faith in Him. It's made a difference. A big difference. A priceless difference. I love Him.
I hope you all have a good week and are blessed with moments of peace and joy.