Monday, November 28, 2011

Almost December


Childlike, not childish, as a member of I-Falls would say. We need to become childlike, not childish--I thought it was profound.

Dad, how could you pass up on a chance to go goose hunting?!!! 5 out of my 6 past companions have been hunters, and after being in Ontario/Minnesota for a year, I just want to go hunting SO badly! Kade, I'll take you up, just you wait! This reminds me of something special our missionary Zone is doing. Each district in the zone is making their own "Title of Liberty" during tomorrow's district meeting and then putting them all together next week for Zone Conference. So Elder Perkins and I (and 3 other outdoorsmen in the district) want to make a Title of Liberty with some real northwestern Ontario flavor. So we talked to a member earlier today who lives just out of town and he offered to saw up a fallen tree on his property and give us a slab and on that slab we will make our distinct, unique Ontario district Title of Liberty. On this we are going to tag it up with all the logos from the different areas and whatever else we want. The only mandatory thing we have to put on this thing is a numerical goal for sacrament meeting and then we will all sign it! Long live the Ontario district! I'll let you know how it all pans out. I-Falls is coming up to do an exchange later today and district meeting is tomorrow. The Dryden elders are coming tomorrow and we will be exchanging with them tomorrow here in Kenora. I'm telling you, northwestern Ontario is such a great place to be! Oh, the 3 other districts in our "Manitoba Zone" are either on the plains or in Winnipeg, so no-one will ever come close to our unique Title of Liberty! What do they have to work with?

Because we have daily contact with at least 2 of our investigators and their lives are every-which-way, each day seems to be an adventure of highs and lows. Oh...yesterday Alex was able to come to church and he really looked comfortable and seemed to get more out of it than his first time there. He sat and played the piano and sang and members did a really good job of including him and welcoming him. After church he had an experience where he really felt the spirit and he called us and was excited. Not long after that he had a certain experience that really, really troubles him. Sorry, I can't go into the details over email. Oh, Derold didn't make it to church. Long story...that kid...he knows everything is true, it is him getting a testimony of church. Weird, eh? So those 2 are still coming along and we are really trying to help them set baptismal dates. Another investigator, Irene, really likes us. She refuses to come to church, but enjoys learning, and is slowly believing more and more. Her first 2 visits were full of "you won't convert me", but now she wants a subscription to the Ensign. Funny how things work sometimes, eh? Its a matter of getting her to church and helping her to feel that the Book of Mormon is true. She says she needs God to smack her aside the head and she'll go to church. We are preparing a 2x4 that we'll put "GO TO CHURCH" on it. She'll get a kick out of the effort and maybe it will work. Elder Bodily emailed me a picture of him doing that but writing "GET BAPTIZED" and it worked for the investigator. Irene has a coined phrase which she uses to describe what some people call "senior moments": she calls it 'sometimers'. I get a kick out of it every time. Just a side note: Elder Bodily is one of those people I will keep in close contact with during and after the mission. He is a hunter, and I love that man.

I'll share one particularly inspiring story Elder Perkins and I had a few days ago. We were knocking doors on a street which has another church on it with a negative stigma in town. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from it and made a special effort to be super nice to everyone on the street to really set "the Mormons" apart as the nice guys. I think we did well, but one experience really confirmed that to me. On the 2nd door we knocked, a young boy came to the door and I said who we were and, because he was younger, I asked if his parents were home. He said yes and looked at us and back inside hesitantly, as if not wanting to go get his mom, and then went to go get her. His mother came to the door and again I explained who we were and that we were just doing a survey on the Bible. It went something like this: "Hi I'm Elder Galbraith from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are just doing a survey on the Bible, trying to get people's opinions on it. It is only 8 questions long. Would you have 3 or 4 minutes to help us out?" She politely declined and we left and headed to the next door. After Elder Perkins had knocked on the next door, the mother from the last door opened her door and said, "Excuse me gentlemen, after you are done at that door, would you be able to come back? My son would like to ask you something." I had never had anything like this happen before and as we headed back I was wondering what was going on. I lightly knocked on the door and she answered and invited us in. She then said that her son Dylan had a question and as Mormon's would say in church, "turned the time over" to him. He innocently asked, "what are you doing?" We said a survey on the Bible. He said, "well I'll take it". I was thinking that this kid had guts. Turns out he is 10 and attends a Catholic school, where he has learned about Jesus Christ and reads from the Bible frequently and he has already felt the influence of God and has recognized it to the point that every time he plays hockey he plays with a necklace with a big cross on it. During one game an opposing player broke it and Dylan refused to play without his cross necklace because he feels Jesus Christ next to him every time he plays. Wow. He is 10 years old. Long story short, we left him with a Book of Mormon and 2 pamphlets, got their number and will call them tomorrow. Those surveys help get us into people's doors better than just the traditional tracting approach. Wow. People are there ready and willing to listen. Now remember, its not just the full-time missionaries duty to find people. Finding is something full-time missionaries do in an effort to find more people because members have not provided enough individuals or families for the missionaries to teach. To put it bluntly: find someone for the full-time missionaries to teach, wherever you live. Though finding is a good thing to do, teaching and directly inviting people to Christ is better and helps fulfill missionary's purposes more fully.

Elder Galbraith

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