Hola familia y amigos,
This week was pretty rough as well. We taught about 3 lessons, and were not able to find very many. But we have been trying to focus on what did happen, and I have found great joy in this.
One of the lessons we taught was to a man named Carlosa. We had found him a few days before sitting on a bench reading the bible. We asked if we could share a message with him, and right then and there, we taught the Restoration. He had doubts about prophets and everything, but it went pretty well.
We met him this week, again at the bench, and taught a powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon. He rejected it all. I was amazed! I thought surely, this was not the same person we met the first time. No matter how much testimony, personal experience, or whatever we did, he could not accept that there was another book. He did not want to take the Book of Mormon but we marked 3 Nefi 11 and insisted that he kept it just in case he wanted to read it one day. We asked him if we could leave him with a prayer. He said no. So we got up and told him to call if he read the chapter.
I left the lesson heart broken. Another dropped investigator. Why do first lessons go so well, then in the second everything falls apart? Then I had the thought, and I guarantee it was pure inspiration,"That lesson was very successful. You were able to give him a Book of Mormon. If he ever reads it he will have a high chance of knowing it is true and finding the missionaries and he could very likely get baptized in later years. That lesson was successful." These thoughts were a BLESSING from God. I shared them with Hna. O´keeffe and we both felt much better.
We also had some funny experiences this week. I had one of the funniest contacts of my life. If it wasn´t so ridiculous it actually would have been kind of painful. I walk up to this couple on a bench watching their two young boys play close by. I tell them we a representatives of Jesus Christ and we share a message about Him and the importance of families. The father looks at me and says flat out, "Well, don´t share it with us." I actually had to try hard not to laugh. I have never recieved such a flat out rejection. I gave the wife a card and we left.
We also tried to help some beggars. Mission rule is that we cannot give them money (which is smart, because they won´t always use it for food. Even though they have starving children, sometimes cigaretes and things seem more important to them).
This woman asked me for some money and she had about 3 children with her. She had stopped us several days before, and we had politely said no. I tried to say no again, but she made some comment about Americans having money. I knew she was right. And I felt soooo bad, I told her we could go to a store and buy her some bread.
So we go to a store, and she starts putting stuff in a cart. I tell her we only have a euro, maybe 2. So she gets milk, yogurt, and something else. It comes up to just over 3 euros. I pull out all my change, and so does Hna. O´keefe, and we only have about 2. I had a 10, but I wasn´t going to let her know, she had already asked if I could spend 5 on some diapers for her daughters baby. So they started trying to figure out what to buy and what not. It was taking a while, so I left the money on the cash register and told her to buy what she could, and then we left.
That was my first and last time helping beggars. She really tried to get us to spend the most possible.
This week, on thursday, we traveled an hour to almost the end of area. We visited a member family and asked them for references. They are working with a couple of people and love to share the gospel. But it will be hard to travel there frequently, so we are hoping that president puts missionaries in this part of our area. We are receiving 43 new missionaries, and not one goes home, so that is exciting. 16 are Hermanas.
Hermana O´keeffe is amazing. She is quiet and timid, and reminds me a lot of myself when I started my mission. She has progressed so much though, and it is sooo fun to see that happen. She has begun to make phone calls all by herself and is really trying to improve. Remember when my trainer made me in charge for a whole week? Well, I am doing that with her, so if you could pray for her extra hard this week that would be wonderful. I KNOW she will be fine and able to do everything, but I think she may have a bit more stress with being in charge all week.
I forgot AGAIN, my camera cord, so pictures will come someday. hehe.