This past week has been a bit rough. Me and Sister Roberts are pretty good friends now and we enjoy serving together, but we don't have a whole lot of people to teach. We go out contacting less active members of the church and also go walking around town to meet new people and knock doors, but we have had bad luck with it. Everytime we go knocking or finding we usually end up talking to only one person in several hours and they are all rude or grumpy. Earlier in the week we were walking down a street and this old guy turned off his leaf blower and scowled and stared at us. When I tried to be friendly and ask how he was doing and if he would like to hear a message about Jesus Christ he yelled, "I served in Vietnam. I don't believe in a God anymore. I'm the reason you're able to do what you're doing." As sad war and violence is God never caused any of it, mankind did. God doesn't make people hurt each other or kill each other, we made the choice to do it ourselves.
A few days later during our Sunday Gospel Doctrine class one of our members commented on the lesson saying that he had served in the Vietnam War and had seen so many soldiers and civilians converted, changed and baptized. What a difference in perspectives. There are two things that the Book of Mormon specifically mentions will be problems in our day of those that do not possess faith in Christ: (1) people will blame God for all their problems and (2) people will look at life on Earth as a bottomless pit of misery and despair and that existence has no meaning instead of looking at it as a blessing from God to learn, grow and experience happiness and families. God doesn't force us to look at it a certain way, we choose for ourselves. He gave us one of the greatest gifts, agency.
Sister Roberts started reading "Jesus the Christ" by Talmage and that kind of re-inspired me to re-read it again for the second time. If you want to understand who Jesus Christ is better and on a deeper level read that book! It expands your view and appreciation for our Savior. I also started reading "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad Callister. It does a great job at breaking down every aspect of the Atonement and how it is and what it means. Helps us wrap our minds around the uncomprehensible a little more than we could before. I definitely recommend reading it if you can get a copy. It's over 300 pages, but it's an easy read and not too hard to understand.
Both wards have put together a Christmas Cantata singing group for this year and they have been pushing all the missionaries to be a part of it. We went to our first practice last night and it was really fun and look forward to the kind of missionary work that it will open up in the near future. They only meet up once a week for an hour on Sunday night and we've been riding up to the church with a Sister from the ward.
Yesterday the Reynolds' kids carved their pumpkins and lit them up after we ate dinner with them. It was a lot of fun. The pumpkin I carved two weeks ago already molded out and got thrown away. Carved it too early. This Wednesday both wards are doing a combined Trunk or Treat activity. We have been inviting people we know to come to it, less actives and investigators. It will be fun.
Our only investigator we really have right now has been out of town all week and we haven't been able to get her to church or meet with her in a while. Last time we saw her we introduced her to the Book of Mormon and she was so excited to get it and start reading it. We'll just have to wait and see how that goes. Other than that the work is moving pretty slow and it is a struggle each day to find people to teach and stay busy and motivated. Hard work always pays off at some point.
This past Saturday night all the missionaries were invited to a Marshallese First Birthday party at the church. These are the most incredibly decorated, crowded, loud, food-provided parties I have ever seen for a baby turning one years old. The Marshallese love to celebrate this last mark because usually babies have a tendency in the past to pass away before that age. They are celebrating a healthy baby that has made it through the first rough year. It's pretty neat.
The funny part about their parties is all the food they provide. I send a picture of the container bins of rice that they were dragging into the church. Insane!
They really love rice and they really love chicken and cooking whole pigs. We have so much fun going to those parties. Our next one is on the 22 of November. Just around the corner.
Hope everyone is doing well and staying close to the Lord. Talk to you next week.