Monday, April 14, 2014

Another week in the books. This week I will reach my "13 months to go" mark. Which is almost a year. Which is almost REALLY FREAKING CRAZY. It blows my mind. Like I can't have already been doing this for 10 months can I?
My week was definitely interesting. Our 3 "best" (progressing) investigators we couldn't meet with.
Luisa -> Super sick.... still ):
Hilda -> In the hospital
Francisca -> Wasn't at church and we planned to teach her there.
So those three were a big let down... But we did still teach this week.... but the people were a little...... different. HA. I am in love with hispanics, they are hilarious. Lets get this going:

MONDAY. Nothing

Tuesday. Pretty normal day. District meeting followed by a little tracting and then eventually having dinner with Roman y Mercedes. Great as always. Love hanging out with my little Chilangos! We then went to the church and just kinda explained Eternal Marriage to Manuel and it went great! 

Wednesday. What a freaking day bahahaha. Wednesday morning we had Leando and Marcela. The night before we had found leandro outside by his car AFTER we had already contacted Marcela at her door. She was interesting and talked alot but wasn't interested and then we leave and find Leandro and found out he lives with Marcela and so we set up an appointment with him for Wednesday. So the appointment was so dang.... interesting. Neither of them would stop talking. Marcela wanted to read the entire book of Revelations with us (???) and it was just a complete mess. It took us TWO HOURS TO GET OUT OF THERE. When we finally did we were practically running away bahaha. We have another appointment with them tomorrow but I will be on exchanges, bummer ;) We also taught this guy Fernando who legit told us for our entire five minute lesson that HE ONLY HAD 5 MINUTES. So he is a new investigator. We will see where he goes. The night was supposed to end with a member present lesson with the Castellon's at Hilda's house, but she is in the hospital! SAD DAY. So we instead went by her brother Juan's house and read all of Moroni 10 with him and ya, it was "meh".

Thursday. I am skipping all of Thursday except for our dinner with President Coffin. SO, we went with our branch president to Sam's Club for dinner because he is AWESOME and we hung out and just talked about his recent trip to Utah. Then..... lol..... We went to the Lara's family for some soup and with it they gave us a chile to put in it if we wanted to. So of course I wanted to eat it so I was dicing it and put it in my soup and it was so delicious and spicy and then I for some reason rubbed my nose during the dinner and my nose was on FIRE! IMMENSE PAIN, INDESCRIBABLE. I was DYING!!!! They got me an ice pack and I just sat there the whole lesson with a HUGE ICE PACK ON MY NOSE. They were dying laughing at me the whole time and I just felt and looked SO DUMB! They also made Agua de Pepino (cucumber water) and I drank WAY too much and got death cramps and along with my Chile Nose I just felt SO sick that we went home and I fell right to sleep.

Friday & Saturday. HAHAHA, I am just going to steal whatever my companion writes for these two days because they were so bizarre and he is so good at over exaggerating, so we will see what happens. 

Sunday. Normal church and then after we went and ate with Maria de Los Angeles and her daughter made food because Maria has been sick so we had enchiladas and chocolate flan with chocolate cake, yum!!! We then had the Why I Believe fireside which involved REAL LIVE HOOSIERS saying hilarious things. Quote of the night by this hilarious black women, convert to church, "Yeah, being a mormon is hard, I AINT EVEN MAD THOUGH." and "I don't talk with my family much, they aint got JESUS in their life!"



Attaching my comps descriptions:
1) Leandro y Marcela. We were tracting in La Esmeralda, an apartment complex in the north end of our area. We hadn't been having a whole lot of success. We knock this door, and a little Hispanic boy opens the door (couldn't have been older than about 4). "Hello! Are your parents home?" He looks at us, then slowly shakes his head. Small girl appears at his side (about 2 or 3 years old). "Ok. Can you give them this card with a picture of Jesus?" 

Before he grabs it, woman's voice from the other room yells, "Ven! Ven aqui! Ahorita!" Children run out of view, leaving the door open. Missionaries awkwardly stand there for a full minute, not sure what to do. Door then closes, seemingly of its own volition. We awkwardly leave the card in the door and walk away. I say to Elder Groseclose, "That was an awkward contact." 

And then Hispanic woman opens the door. We run back and talk to her (Marcela). She proceeds to talk to us for 20 minutes (which is super-long for a contact). After we leave, I say, "Ok, now that was an awkward contact."

We hadn't planned on staying that long, and we were now late for lunch, so we head towards our car. En route, we see a man (Leandro) half-in and half-out of his car, just kinda fiddling with something in his hands. He gets out of his car, and just stands there. Of course we talk to him; missionaries talk to everyone. He's very polite, and we talk for about 15 minutes (still super-long). He explains how we had been standing on his doorstep, and he didn't want to be awkward. New definition of awkward has been achieved. Also very clearly tells us how Marcela is NOT his wife, but then fails to explain how/why they live together.... Whatever. We set a return appointment for the next day.

The next day, the house is overflowing with small children. There's literally like ten of them running around. Marcela babysits children of graveyard shift workers. We start teaching Leandro the Restoration, and he doesn't seem to be grasping much. Then Marcela comes in. And dominates the conversation. For two hours. Just as a reference, a normal lesson is around 45 minutes to an hour. We're both exhausted at the end of this ordeal. Marcela told us about her religious beliefs (she's against idol worship and infant baptism, but doesn't think we need churches, nor that authority is necessary to cast out devils (??)), quizzed us about our Bible knowledge (and she asked why the rich man and Lazarus and Father Abraham... actually, I don't think it was a question.... I just don't know.), and attempted to read aloud the entire Book of Revelation (we cut her off at Chapter 3). Holy cow. We're set to return again tomorrow. BTW, Marcela and her husband let Leandro live with them because... I don't know. So, they're not together.

2) Antonio. We were able to teach Francisca before conference last week, but we still hadn't been to her house yet. We decided to try by and say hello. However, as Glen is probably familiar with, a lot of Hispanics don't tell you their address, they say, "Take this street and then turn right and then it's the last one on the left across from the hair salon." She did tell us, however, that she lives in apartment B. 

So off we go to try to find Francisca, and we find the house that matches her description. We knock it, and a Hispanic man (Antonio) opens the door. He's completely baffled when we ask for Francisca, claiming he lives alone. Awkward. We then transition smoothly into a regular door contact. He lets us in, and we teach him! His wife is going to move to Indy soon, he says, and it's hard for him to find time for religion, what with work and... sleep and... um... work....

He seems pretty interested, and says his wife is Christian and was asking him if there are any Christian churches in Indianapolis. To which we respond, Jesus Christ is in the name of our church. He wasn't there for our return appointment, but we're not giving up on him yet.

3) Fernando. Not super noteworthy, except that he explicitly says, "I'll let you in, but I only have five minutes." And throughout the entire five-minute lesson, every comment he makes is preceded with, "Well, I only have five minutes, but..." 

4) Reynaldo y Lourdes. First off, I always wanted to teach a Lourdes. Check that one off the list. Next, I'm pushing for a Pilar.

Anyway, we're knocking in these apartments near our place. A man (Reynaldo) opens the door and, after asking us what year our church was founded (1830), lets us in on account of us being "religious men." His wife Lourdes and assorted children are also present. Once we're sitting on the couch, he awkwardly asks us who/what we represent. Isn't that something you should ask before letting strangers into your house? Oh, wait: you did! Remember when you asked me what year our church was founded? That was right after I told you the name of the church. Whatever. Ask the same question twice. To each his own.

Things go relatively normally. Until, that is, I ask if we can begin with a prayer, and if they'd be comfortable if I offered the prayer. Reynaldo agrees, and I'm literally about a half-second from starting my prayer when Lourdes says, "Well, since this is our house, we'd like to pray in the way we pray."

Um, okay. Then why'd you say I could pray? Whatever. Okay, Lourdes; why don't you offer the prayer then? Reynaldo informs us that they pray standing up, so we stand. Then they both spread their arms, and Lourdes starts praying what seems to be a rather scripted prayer. And then they both make the sign of the cross. And in harmony recite the Lord's Prayer. And the Hail Mary. And then the sign of the cross again. And then a series of amens.

I could've been okay with the interesting prayer if the rest of the lesson hadn't been so uncomfortable. They told us that Jesus had established one church and that was the Catholic church, but they just couldn't seem to let us teach anything. They refuted our claim of an apostasy by saying that the popes continue in an unbroken chain from Peter. First off, where does it say Peter was a pope? Or that he ordained Pope Linus? And what about the time when there were three popes who all excommunicated each other? I successfully refrained myself from asking those potentially offensive questions. We're going back to them tomorrow as well. *Deep breath*

5) Reginaldo. Oh, man. I need some patience for this one. He had been taught by missionaries before in Maryland. Says most religious people don't like him "because I'm real with people. I don't hold back." Then goes off about how your church won't save you, God will save you. And you are the church, so you don't need a church (??). Multiple times includes the statements, "To be honest, I'm not interested in churches at all," and "If you come to talk about anything other than God or the Bible, I'm not interested. Don't you teach me about any book other than the Bible." And he wonders why the Maryland elders stopped by ONCE before dropping him.

We gave him more chances than the other elders did, apparently, because we taught him twice. The next day, we stopped by. In the interim, I had gotten sick and lost my voice. Poor Elder Groseclose had to take on a 75-minute encounter with Reginaldo single-handed. He's a trooper.

It ended with, "I don't want to be offensive, but we teach a message that is broader than what you're currently willing to accept. If you ever decide that you want to learn more, here's our number." Reginaldo countered with, "I pray every day to God that I will never change, and that I will never need anything more than the Bible." Needless to say, Reginaldo is no longer investigating the church. 

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