We had winds this week up to 45 mph. I have found that riding a bike on a dirt road in a skirt with crazy strong winds blowing against you is less than ideal but hey, that sounds just like one of those "when I was a kid" stories that old people tell so I guess God is just getting me set for my old age. I can't remember if I told you all or not but when Sister Morco and I were companions we decided to make it our goal to be translated by or before we were 70. Once you're older than 70 it just seems (on average) like life just gets way too difficult. I'm trying to assess how realistic that goal is though because Enoch and his city were translated when he was like 120 but I'm just trying to do myself, not a whole city, and I'm sure that with inflation and whatnot 70 is about right.
My new companion's name is Sister Markus and she is from West Jordan, Utah. I never realized how many people in our ward originated from Utah until now. They all apparently know exactly where her house is, it's kind of weird. Like I said before, forget Rome, all roads eventually somehow lead to Utah. She is 19, graduated from high school, worked for a year and then came out. And she says "Oh my heck", and other cute little Utah things all the time. She is a good missionary though and is very willing to learn and try new things (except for food. She doesn't like milk, meat on the bone, most vegetables or anything that came from or around the ocean) so I think that things are going to go well this transfer.
This week we picked up a new investigator named Charles. We had met him and his wife Tracy a few weeks ago but were finally able to meet with him actually twice this week. It's funny when you talk to people, especially during the first lesson or two how they try to test you to see what you or the church is like. The first time we met with Charles he asked us if he could smoke but as soon as he saw that we weren’t having a spaz attack he stopped. The second lesson he also kept referring to Joseph Smith as Will Smith (I've noticed by the way that it's pretty easy to tell when people say they don't know or remember something but obviously still do) to see how we would react. He and his wife have real potential though and in a little time I can really see them making real progress. When we invited Charles to church he said something along the lines of "You guys talk about Christ though right? I've been hearing a lot about this Will Smith guy, I'm not going to hear all about him there am I?" And we told him that of course we would talk about Christ. He didn't end up coming to church but, the third hour lesson was also all about Joseph Smith so... maybe this time it was for the best, ha ha.
Our other potential so far is Dennis, who has a schizophrenic son. (Seriously there is something in the water here. I have met at least 5 schizophrenic people so far and I'm pretty sure before Rio Rancho I had never met any). We were finally able to convince him that the Book of Mormon takes place both before, during and after the time of Christ's mortal ministry so, that was a big step. But he's another person who in time I can see doing very well, particularly after he gets off his substances. Honestly, I can't tell you how big of a testimony of the Word of Wisdom I have developed in the past few months.
Probably the most interesting thing that happened to us this week was that we talked to a UNM student who was taking a History of Christianity class and was writing a paper about The Church and wanted to talk to a reliable source. She talked to us for forever about all kinds of different things, but most of all about our experiences as missionaries. How and why we decide and prepare to come, how we deal with rejection, and what we like best and that kind of stuff. I'm pretty sure that she isn't going to become an investigator any time in the near future (she was pretty opinionated herself about how wrong we were on several issues) but it was still pretty interesting.
So I don't remember if I told you all this before or not but a few months ago I decided to read all of the standard works. I'm almost done with Genesis, it is taking forever! One reason that it is taking me so long to read it though is because I am really trying to understand what on earth is going on. As a result, the Bible dictionary and Joseph Smith Translation have become some of my new best friends (by the way, if you want to read something interesting, read the section in the Bible dictionary about Joseph Smith Translation). Something cool that I read about today was the blessing that Israel gave to Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh. In the JST it talks about how just as Joseph saved his brothers from literal starvation by selling them corn during the famine, his children's posterity will do the same spiritually. And that just as his brothers literally bowed down and worshiped him their descendants will figuratively bow down to Joseph's because of the ability and information they have to help them spiritually. So you know of course that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are charged and privileged with being some of the first to help to gather Israel and spread the gospel to the rest of the world. What I though was cool though was that by doing so you are fulfilling a prophecy that Israel gave forever ago! That you will help to spiritually save the lives of the rest of the tribes of Israel. So, go out there and be prophecy fulfillers! Ha, ha, it reminds me of the end of the animated Hobbit movie where Bilbo is like "psh, prophecies fulfilled? I had a hand in all of that you know!" and Gandalf is like "surely you don't disbelieve the prophecy just because you helped to make it happen?"
Anyway, I hope you all are doing well! Talk to you soon!