(Ok, this week deserves this) WOW! WHAT A WEEK!
So we found out about this for sure on Thursday, but Monday evening, Elder Harris and I were picked up by the assistants and I was dropped off in Madisonville to be in a trio with Elder Matealu and his trainee Elder Ludwig here and the other three went to Louisville because Elder Harris went home on Tuesday due to medical reasons, so I will be here until the end of February and then I will reopen Henderson with someone else. So, down side of this situation, Elder Harris had to go home, up side, I get to be companions with one of the best missionaries I know and watch him train too.
Tuesday, we went and worked with this couple with the Churches ARP. The other two have worked with them on this before and the couple seem to enjoy the program. After that, Elder Matealu had a district leader's conference call, then we went to the Salvation Army and did service there. Next we went tracting and was blessed with one of those last door stories. The man who answered the door had a huge grin on his face and was very polite and welcomed us in but excused himself to finish something. So we sat there looking around and see all sorts of religious things and said to each other, "This is going to be very good or we're about to get into a bash." Well when he came back he just asked questions like, "why do you believe what you believe", and "Why did you choose to go on a mission", and "how has believing this helped you." All very good questions, because he really wanted to know, so as we answered his questions we also shared the Restoration with him and he even agreed to read the Book of Mormon. Well after that awesome experience, we had dinner then went and taught one of there most progressing investigators (someone that I taught last week on the exchange), and afterwards something got brought up about Yu-Gi-Oh and he found out that the other two had decks so he gave each of us, what I believe to be, a very good card in the game, so to be polite I took it but was thinking to myself "I have no idea what I'm going to do with this." Oh well, it made him feel good.
To finish off the night, we had dinner with members, then played a board game with them.
Wednesday, was the day things got really exciting, we went to the church and watched the World Wide Missionary Training. The first part was a review of last year's training with some extra insights. Two of the things that really stuck out with me was something Elder Bednar said to the question, “How does a missionary know if he is being effective?” he said "Don't worry about it, if you are doing what you're supposed to be doing then the Lord will take care of the rest." Second, to answer the question, “How do I know if something is by the spirit or if it's just me?” Again Elder Bednar said "You don't need to know, if it leads you or others to do good then it doesn't matter," then quoting an apostle from before my time (I'll get the exact reference later) he said "You will know it was by the spirit if you learn something from what you say." The whole thing was amazing and I will definitely study it again. Then at the end they gave the announcements in regards to updates on how we do missionary work. The first is the key indicators, we are now only accounting on four of them, not to forget the rest, but these are the ones that if we focus on and prayerfully and effectively work on, we will see great success. These being: Investigators Baptized and Confirmed, New Investigators, Investigators with a Baptismal date, Investigators who Attended Sacrament Meeting. Also, Mission Presidents are not allowed to make new key indicators for their missions. The next change was to the daily schedule, the two biggest things being, instead of planning at night we do it from 8:30-9 a.m., then do personal Study from 9-10 a.m. Then on Preparation Day, we study from 7:30-8 a.m. Then we are open to do what we need to from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. So it has been interesting adjusting to it.
Then that evening we drove to a town in the very south west corner of the mission. We first stopped by an appointment we had with a lady and her kids, but the lady wasn't there and her mom wasn't up to meeting with us because she had gone through chemo so she was exhausted. Quickly, Elder Matealu explained priesthood blessings and asked if she would like one, and she gladly accepted and was really grateful afterwards. Then we had a lesson with a less active that had lost her mom last year and was still having trouble with it, so we taught a very powerful Plan of Salvation lesson and helped her work through some of the stuff and helped her figure out some of the root problems.
We then drove all the way back to Madisonville and went to the church to have coordination meeting and was able to meet many of the members who were there with the youth, and I didn't even have to seek out my victim of who I would torment because he came to me trying to act all tough and smart, so this will be fun, him trying to get the upper hand, well I gave him a hard time.
Then to top off the night we went to a less active members home and gave the husband a blessing because he hadn't been feeling well all day. It was fun, when we got there they had a friend over and the husband introduced us, and his friend told us he knew who we were because he is a member, and the member we were there to see got a little upset with him because he never told him, then his wife said that she knew, and he was like, "No one tells me anything!" But it was all in good fun.
Thursday, in the morning we helped a member in his barn/shed cleaning, organizing(ish), and packing insulation. Then we saw the investigator who is getting baptized in a few weeks, he's really funny and they're having him brush his teeth with cinnamon toothpaste so he thinks of them every morning ;) Then we visited the less actives from the night before and had a great discussion about the Plan of Salvation. From there we dashed to a member's home and had dinner with them, which by the way, was really good. From there we went to our Yu-Gi-Oh loving investigator and as we were sitting down to talk, one of the other people that live at the same facility asked if he could join. As we were talking, the other guy made a comment about how he sees God and the purpose of life, then before any of us can say anything our investigator replies to him with a short, simplified, but powerful explanation of the Plan of Salvation, and before this guy left we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet.
Friday, we had a lesson with a guy we met in a parking lot the night before, and this guy had prepared a lot of anti, the two problems with that is one, we could rip it apart, and two he had anti for the Jehovah's Witnesses, so that was funny, and we had a good lesson with him.
We then had weekly planning, tried by some people, then had dinner with some members that made really good hamburgers with a fried egg in the burger, it was amazing.
Saturday, we did a LOT of driving, first we met a member at a former investigator's house and spent most of the time clarifying questions they had from the last set of missionaries that taught them. Then we drove to the edge of our area trying to find some less actives and had two impromptu lessons with random people we met. After that we drove back to the church in Madisonville and just as we were pulling in a member called us asking for help because his roommate had just gotten a call that his mom had passed away, so we dashed over there and was able to give him comfort through the Plan of Salvation that helped him out a lot. From there we dashed to a different members home and he went out teaching with us and drove us around, he showed us some of the land that he owned and some of the stuff on it, then unfortunately both appointments fell through, but we did find out that he is a very prominent person in the area. We then went home and had dinner.
Sunday, Church was good, I got to meet the rest of the ward and we had two investigators there. It's awesome how missionary minded people they are around here. Anyway, after church we went home and spent the rest of the day inside because we figured we had earned it from all the work that we did this week ;) Na! We did stay inside, but it was because Elder Ludwig has been fighting some sort of stomach bug for the last few days and it hit him really hard Sunday so we decided to let him rest.
Well, that was my fun and exciting week.
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission