Thursday, August 23, 2012

Letter from August 20, 2012

Well hi'ya!

It's been a looooonnnng week here in the 'Dell. Halfway through the week things got crazy with an insane little bike wreck I had that has left it hard to work. The problem is the curbs here in the south - rather than sloping down to meet the road, they just drop off at a 90 degree angle, and so to get off the curb you have to jump off it on the bike. When you do so, you want to be standing on your pedals to cushion the landing, and when I came down my front tire landed on a rock and caused my right foot to slip into the V of the bike frame and push the bike down, trapping me underneath the dragging bike until I came to a stop. I got up afterwards and was so dazed and in pain that I just started walking and biting my tongue, and some power line worker got off of his truck and came over to help. What a nice guy. After we washed off the blood, I started talking to him (still in my dazed state mind you) and somehow ended up giving him a pass along card. Ridiculous. Final verdict, Ruined and torn bloodstained pants (my favorite pair!), and torn up elbow that doesn't quite want to bend straight too often, a sprained wrist, and a crazy knee cap. Boom.
So while it sounds like some crazy experience, really I just looked stupid and make my life that much harder. I can't really ride my bike too well, so we are walking everywhere and that kinda limits where we go and stuff, but alas, we're still working!! (despite the blisters haha) And look on the brightside - I was actually able to be kneeling while praying for the first time in days yesterday! We're making progress people.
But in the work, we've been able to find a few people, but nothing is progressing too rapidly. Our Cajun investigator once again didn't keep her commitments, but we are really pushing to get her reading the Book of Mormon again, because it was when she did that she recognized a need to be baptized and come to church without us telling her. Revelation through the Book of Mormon is a real thing, that's for sure. But she has asked us a few questions that are stemming from the news media's coverage of Mitt Romney regarding temples, garments, and other fine points of doctrine, and she is really open to our explanations which is cool. She even invited us over to watch an hour long documnetary about the "mormons" which is good so we can help her avoid any anti-literature, etc. So hopefully she finally follows through this week. Hopefully.
For some reason, we keep finding a lot of old people, mostly single widows, and that is an interesting process for sure. Most of them would love to sit and talk about Jesus, but when it comes to doing anything about it, they fall short.
BUT - we had an epic day of finding on Saturday. It started off by teaching a lesson in the middle of a park, then contacting at a Farmer's Market and finding a former investigator who wants us to come back (don't worry, all of the vendors were more than happy to offer up free samples to the Jesus people), then ran into a biker gang holding an outdoor classic rock concert, then got pulled into some apartment by a guy who had met with missionaries in California and was crazy drunk, killer on the guitar, and unable to eat food without choking. It was crazy. Then that night we got home an hour early, and I was committed to doing something, anything, to help invite someone to learn more, but seeing as we were limited to our immediate area on foot, we sat there an brainstormed and came up with nothing.
 I knew that there was someone somewhere who the Lord would lead us to if we simply asked, so I offered a prayer asking for guidance and right away I had the thought "go to the gas station" "please, why would I go there" "go to the gas station!" So, I figured why not, and dragged my companion out the door into the rainy night. When we got there it was just us and the attendant, and I really didn't want to talk to her, but a similar conversation happened in my head so I just asked the first question that came to mind and voila! we had a good 20 minute conversation about tolerance and religion and left her with a card. It went to show me that a) the Lord is willing to guide you to those he has prepared if you simply turn to him and ask and b) the spirit is absolutely neccesary in finding, because He truly is preparing people everywhere to hear the restored gospel and it is my responsibility to find those people through my own efforts, as directed by the spirit. It was a small but powerful experience that helped me to see the reality of our Lord and the Holy Ghost. The church is true, I promise!!
Elder Thomas

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