It has been a super good week! My new companion is Elder Tait. He is a tall skinny string bean. Even taller than me (6'4"). He is from Cedar City and is super awesome. It is fun seeing him struggle through the same things I was dealing with just a couple of months ago. He has some of the same reactions that I had when I first got here and most of the same questions. He is settling into missionary life really well and is already a better missionary than me. Yeah!
This week we had Stake Conference. Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy came and spoke. You can just tell from how he handles himself and how he speaks that he is a spiritual giant. He told a really great story about his childhood. Neither of his parents were active growing up in the church. The ward would always send people to pick the four kids up for church and all of the activities associated with it. So pretty much he grew up with the church even though his dad was against the church, smoked, and drank. When he was 14 he decided that he really wanted to go on a mission. Partly because he knew it would make his dad mad. Now to rewind a little bit their family had a home teacher named Chet Montgomery. Chet would come to their house every Saturday on a horse or a 4 wheeler and he would offer his dad a ride to church. Every week his dad would decline the offer. Chet came faithfully every week for 16 years! The week that Elder Duncan was giving his farewell talk his Dad finally accepted Chet's offer to come to church. His Dad has been coming to church faithfully ever since. Elder Duncan explained that the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed his dad from an angry drinker to a sweet hearted old man. That he doesn't know anybody more kind and loving than his dad. Because of a ward that loved and cared about his family they were rescued. There are people all around us that need to be rescued. There are lost latter day saints who have never had the gospel leave their hearts but it has only left their lives. They might know where the church building is but they need someone to show them where it is.
I accidently threw Elder Tait out of the frying pan and into the fire. His second day here I had set up an appointment with a really nice seeming guy. When we sat down with him he wouldn't let us start the lesson with a prayer because we are praying to a different God than him. The whole lesson went downhill from there. He kept talking about how we are preaching a different gospel than what Jesus taught. He was really stuck on a bible, a bible, we have a bible and we need no more bible (2Ne.29). The Book of Mormon describes today’s problems so perfectly. Elder Tait survived the experience so that is good.
We brought a kid (Clint) from our ward out tracting this week and let him do a couple of the door approaches. I was trying to help him slow down and just talk to the people. I told him to ask the people how they are doing. So the very next house the guy opens the door and Clint asks him how he is doing. The guy says back, "Who the (bleep) cares?" So much for that strategy. Haha.
Have a great week!
Elder Matthew Arnold