On Wednesday morning we had interviews with President Taylor, I really enjoyed it. I love President and Sister Taylor! They truly do receive revelation and inspiration for us missionaries and for our mission.
On Thursday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Waters who is from Cedar City, Utah. We were able to talk to a lot of people on the streets. He is a good missionary. After our exchange Elder Hirst and I attended Stake Coordination in the evening, where we met with President and Sister Taylor, our stake President, President Nielsen, and a member of the mission presidency. We talked about how we can improve the missionary work in the stake and have the members work more with the missionaries and vice versa. It was my first time attending a Stake Coordination meeting, I learned a lot and my eyes were opened to how things work on the stake level.
On Saturday we had exchanges again, this time Elder Schmidt (from Salt Lake/Sugarhouse area) came in my area for exchanges. We worked really well with each other and had a good time, we tried seeing a lot of potential and former investigators. We had a cool experience at the beginning of our exchange Friday night in which we were about to leave Elder Schmidt's apartment complex, when we saw that some young adults were directing a truck with a couch in the truck bed where to park. Instantly Elder Schmidt said "Do you think they need help?" I paused to think about it, but then I decided to forsake the thought of thinking, so I just said "Yeah let's do it." So we walked over to them and asked if they needed help moving the couch. They said sure, so us two elders and two other guys moved their couch from the truck to their second-story apartment. They were very appreciative of our assistance. Plus we were able to give them a pass-along card with a link to the Church's new Easter initiative video, called #PRINCEofPEACE. They said they'd check it out!
At dinner the next night night we were eating a member's home, and one of their adult sons stared at me for a while, and then asked "So, like, what's your ethnicity?" I told him I was part Hispanic, and he said "Whoooooa man, that's sweet dude (imagine him sounding like Chicken Joe from the Surf's Up movie haha)! And then he stared at me a little longer and then said " That's cool bro, because, like, I think you have a really strong face." Wasn't sure what to say to that haha. Funniest moment of the night for me. Hmmm, "strong face", okay. Do I have a strong face? I have no cluel haha.
After dinner while we were tracting in a neighborhood we came into contact with a man who admired what we did as missionaries, but at the same time was denying and speaking ill of the prophet Joseph Smith, as well as casually trying to prove part of the Plan of Salvation wrong. Quickly I became irritated, and I already had my scriptures out, ready to prove him wrong through the scriptures. I thought "What does he know about Joseph Smith or the Plan of Salvation? He doesn't know anything, he only knows garbage that he got from the internet or his pastor probably." But in that moment a distinct impression came into my mind to just let it go, to not seek to "bash" or contend with this man. Just humbly let the words of accusation come. So Elder Schmidt and I held our peace while this man kindly tried to disprove us. It was then that I was strongly reminded that contention doesn't do anything to help us. In fact it actually denies us the ability to feel the Holy Ghost. "He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil" the Lord says in Book of Mormon. I have learned from that experience to humbly learn from things that I experience in life, and to make the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life a priority. Please, let us not seek to point fingers or make accusations or find fault in one another, but rather seek to make restitution with others, to recognize where we mess up and then apologize, and to seek to have charity, which is the pure love of Christ.
During the week Elder Hirst and I were able to contact a potential investigator who is Baptist and has 3 young boys. Once we started talking to her it was clear that she was content with having just the Bible, and not any other scripture. But as we began to ask her questions, I felt Elder Hirst and I being guided by the Spirit to know what to say to her and what to ask her. Bottom line is that by the end of our 40-minute long conversation on her front doorstep, we had given her a Book of Mormon and we committed her to read it and pray to know if it's true! I know that the Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God, and it can change lives, even as it has changed mine. I love this Restored Gospel. I love you all, have a great week.
Elder Schmidt and I overlooking Upland!