This week was a little bit better than last week. The work in this area is getting better and better as time goes by and we keep working, but it is still slower than I am used to. I am used to just hopping from appointment to appointment and having lots of lessons during the week with our teaching pool being really full. Here is different; It is basically like we just opened the area, We are struggling to get in with people to teach lessons and find people to teach. The branch is getting smaller and smaller as the weeks go on. Thee last branch president only served for about a month and then he moved out as well as other families. It is by far the smallest branch that I have been in. Dont get me wrong; I love it here, It is just a lot harder work than the others. Ive looked in our area book recently and it looked like most of the people have not been taught in over 150 days on average. So we have been doing a lot of "weeding out" trying to find those that are actually interested and those that are just being a time filler. Every Time we are at a doorstep with somebody and I ask if we could come back at a specific day and time; their usual response is, "well.....you could come back.....whenever." Thats usually when I straight up ask them, "so are you interested in what we have to say or not?"(typically in a nicer tone than you think) Thats when they say, "well, to be honest, im not really interested." When they say that, I thank them for being honest with us and that we dont want to waste their time and keep bugging them if they are not interested. It sounds like a pretty bold approach, but it works and people don't get mad at us. they say that just because they dont want to be rude and they say that we could come back.
Ever since I have been on my mission longer and longer I have found ways to "weed out" the interest of people really fast, to help people understand and fix false information that they received from another source(typically anti stuff), and i've learned to (in bashing situations) have comebacks that will stop people in their tracks. We always try to stay away from situations where we bash with people, but it will always come up sometime or another. So you have to be ready for it just in case. =)
I haven't had any bashing situations for a while. But if we do happen to come across one., I found a perfect scripture in the bible that will stop it immediately. it is found in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 16. It states, "but if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of god." that is usually the scripture that stops people in their tracks as I previously described.
I just noticed that this letter is not like any of the other letters that you have received from me. I didn't know what I wanted to write for my letter this week. So I just started to type, and this is what I came up with. I know that studying, especially in the scriptures, is important for us because we receive a knowledge of truths and guidance in what we can say and do. I don't think I could have been out on my mission this long if I did not study or read the scriptures. Oh, and by the way, today marks 19 months on my mission thus far. It has flown by so fast! I cant believe that it has been this long. When I was 5 months out, I thought, "this is going to be the longest 2 years of my life!" But now I look back and I ask myself, "where has the time gone? I only have 5 months left. this has been the fastest 2 years of my life!" I've also noticed that I am not the same as when I came out. During the course of my mission, I have not realized that I have changed all that much. But a mission really does change you whether you know it or not, and its for the better; not the worse.
This week, we did some tracting for a few hours. There was not much that we did this week because of the halloween holiday as well as some really bad storms the past few days. We found a few people tracting, but you wont BELIEVE how hard it is to get someone to commit to do something SO simple like reading a small verse. Ill try to describe a situation to you to show you what I mean. So we found this person and we shared a lesson with them and invite them to be baptized. They said, "well, I guess I could be baptized." then we would ask them if they would prepare to be baptized, and they would say, "I guess so." Then we would try to set a date for them and they would agree the date and then back down and say it is too early of a date (but the date would be about 2 months down the road?) That is one instance that shows how uncommitted people are. That is not just here, but that is almost everywhere.
On Friday, we had the branch halloween party/trunk-or-treat (apparently the trunk-or-treat is not just a utah thing). It was a super windy though, so they did the trunk-or-treat inside the church. and for halloween on saturday we did nothing because we were supposed to be inside when people were trick-or-treating
For the past few days, there has been some storms that have been really bad. Just to give you an idea how bad they are, the wind speed has been about 30-50 mph with gusts up to 70+. Its really hard to walk around because you walk right into the wind for about a block and you are so beat because you used all your strength just to get there. We went to the store one day because elder masauo ran out of food, and when I opened the door I completely forgot about the wind and the door flung open and almost dinged somebodies door really badd but i caught it just in time.
That was my week, sorry if the letter was kinda weird.