Monday, December 1, 2014

I got Bible Bashed!


Another exciting week in San Jose. Let's get started, shall we? *grabs planner*

Monday was an important day. An insurance guy came to look at the car and recorded the damage (barely anything). We then finished cleaning (we try to clean our apartment once a week) and I emailed you. We also went grocery shopping and then we had do go meet with Sister Hansen. Sister Hansen and Sister Bliss are both in charge of some Christmas fireside that some of the missionaries are singing at. A few missionaries from three different zones are to sing. Elder Ball, Elder Methvin, Sister Bliss, and I are representing our zone! The fireside is this Friday.We then went to the mission office and then to a Zone Activity. For the Zone Activity, we went to Golfland and played mini-golf. It is owned by a member and free to missionaries! It was so much fun. 

Once P-day was over, we taught Jose more about the Restoration. We showed him the DVD of it and he seemed to understand that better. We also had a member with us named Shane who helped give insights from when he joined the Church and how he came to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Yay for member-present lessons! We then met our new investigator, Linda. Let me tell you about her. On Sunday, when we were driving to a dinner appointment, a girl called us. She said that she used to be a member of the branch and asked us to teach her friend Linda. So, after dinner, we called Linda and set up an appointment to meet on Monday evening. Linda is amazing. She just hit her one year of sobriety and she knows that God helped her stop drinking. She is looking to change her life. We taught her about the Atonement and hope. She really liked it. 

We were then in charge of FHE. Because of the holidays, there weren't many people so one of the FHE coordinators asked us to take everyone contacting. Towards the end, I met my first "Bible Basher". I asked this young man if he wanted to go to church with us and he asked me which denomination I was. I told him that I was LDS or "Mormon". That's when it all went down the drain. He told me that we worship Joseph Smith. I explained that we don't; that he was a prophet. He then asked if I had a Book of Mormon and then if I had a Bible. He then attacked me for saying that the Book of Mormon helps explain the Bible. He said that we devalue the Bible by placing it on the same level as the Book of Mormon. Sister Bliss, who had missed the beginning of this while she was talking to someone else, came to the rescue. She asked the man if he had read the Book of Mormon and he said that he had read parts of it. He then asked if he could see my copy of it. He assured me that he wouldn't abuse it and I handed him my copy that I use in missionary work (my triple copy). He flipped through it and was impressed that this one didn't have a "white Jesus" (referring to the pictures). There was then some conflict about "white Jesus" and Sister Bliss was able to say that we really needed to go. She offered to shake his hand, but he refused, saying that he wouldn't say "God bless" to people who don't believe in God! I was able to stay calm until he walked away. Then, I was completely shaken up. I did, however, not want to end the night on a bad note, so I screwed up my courage and invited a woman to church. She sounded interested and I gave her the information. I haven't seen her since, but she made my night so much better. What a blessing!

On Tuesday, we had service at Veggilution (it is a farm where people can volunteer). We worked in the field and I was covered in mud. :D We then went to the Institute Building for lunch and then I went contacting with Sister Lytle (Sister Bliss and Sister Lytle's companion are the Sister Training Leaders and they had a meeting to go to). The elders were nice enough to go with us because they knew about what happened last night (we have fantastic elders). We then had some training before interviews with President Mella. We talked about my Bible Basher and other things. We then had a lesson with Samantha about the plan of Salvation before going to the Packards' for dinner. They are the nicest elderly couple! They invited us over for Thanksgiving too! We then did more service at a craft night. A girl in the branch got married this weekend (29 Nov) and we helped make paper flowers for the reception (so frustrating). 

On Wednesday, we had a short lesson with Jose. He is waiting for a sign that The Book of Mormon is true (he is more accepting of Joseph Smith as a prophet than he was before). We talked to him about faith and signs. I think it helped. He went out of town for Thanksgiving, but we hope to see him again today to set up another appointment.

We then had District Meeting. During District Meeting, they do what is called a Spotlight. Where a companionship sits in the front of the room and everyone says nice things to them. It is really awkward, but nice too. We also watched the new "He Is The Gift" video. Have you heard about that and what all the Church is doing? They really want to get the missionaries involved! Check it out (! We then had another lesson with Linda and taught her about The Restoration. The elders had given her a copy of The Book of Mormon and she had begun to read it! She was very receptive (to the point that Sister Bliss and I were amazed). We then went contacting and taught three lessons on the street!

We then had a very interesting "lesson" (more of a discussion) with Mohammed. I mentioned him in my last letter. It was Elder Ball, Elder Methvin, Sister Hill, Sister Bullcreek, Sister Bliss, and me talking to Mohammed and two of his friends. They don't seem very interested. That is to say, they were just being nice listening to us. They love Islam and they want to stay Islam. And that is fine. The way I see it is that we cleared up some misconceptions and were able to talk about what we have in common. So, if they ever decide that maybe Islam isn't what they want (long shot, I know) then they will remember that we have similar beliefs. I also found a way to break the language barrier. During the "lesson" I felt that I needed to ask them what languages they spoke (they were struggling with English). So, afterwards, I asked. One of the men spoke French! I explained to him in French that I speak French as well and if we ever met again, I would be more than willing to help him translate things into English by going from Arabic into French first. I doubt I will ever see them again, but I was so glad that I could offer to be his interpreter should we ever meet again. 

We then had institute dinner and another lesson with Kyle. He is still working on his issues and we are doing the lessons with him over again. He seems much more interested this time! :D

Thanksgiving nearly killed us. We didn't do much in the way of missionary work because you can't go contacting when there is no one to contact! We did however make sure to share messages with all of our dinners. You read that right. We had THREE dinners. We had dinner with the Laytons, the Packards, and the Boozers. I was so sick at the end of the day! But, it made them happy, and we didn't want to say no. I have learned some tips for what to do when you have to eat a lot in one day, so I won't be as sick next time. We have leftovers in the fridge too. 

Fridays are really slow for us because all we really do is weekly planning and have MCM. We did, however, have a lesson with Ceydi (a member). I love her so much! We also had training. Sorry, not a super interesting day.

On Saturday, we had our usual study and training before going contacting. We taught two lessons on the street and got some referrals to send to other missionaries (usually we're the ones receiving referrals since we cover a YSA). We also had a lesson with Linda about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We then did some new member visits and went to the wedding reception. We stayed at the reception for about an hour before going to dinner with Carolyn (a member). We then came home and I was able to be certified to teach The Restoration! Basically, as part of training, you work on being certified to teach the lessons (knowing the chapter headings and what to make sure you teach about each one). I did it! I can teach the first lesson! :D Saturday was also my "one month". I almost missed it with everything going on!

On Sunday, we had no branch council, so we got to have a longer companionship study. We also had two investigators at Church! Kyle and Linda came! We tried really hard to make them both feel welcome, especially Linda. We ended up teaching Linda a lesson after Church because she had questions. It was great. We then had a song practice with the elders and did training before going to dinner at the Melvilles. We then had a lesson with Colin and Michael (all three of them are members of the branch). We then came home and had planning before going to bed. 



3 Nephi 5:13

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