This week on exchanges I played the trophy missionary. For some reason we ran into a ridiculous amount of people who only spoke Spanish. As you know, I don't speak any but thankfully my companion knew a little. Thank goodness for serving in El Paso right? So she talked to like 5 people and I stood there and smiled. Ha, but I'm sure the love of Christ was radiating off of my countenance or something like that. We also met a sassy Black man named Virgil who as we were talking to his neighbor literally poked his head out from his doorway and said "Can I just ask ya'll somein real quick? Do ya'll let my black brothers into yo church?" and we said yes of course so we'll have to go back some time to "talk about and praise the Lord" with him some time. We on the same day met a southern Black woman who insisted that we call her Grandma but was actually really excited to see us. She pulled up to us in her car and asked if there were any good shopping centers nearby and when we told her that we were missionaries she got really excited and told us that she knew all about us and wanted to come to our church. She gave us her contact info as Grandma Brady Bunch and then her number. After that we went and taught a lesson to an (at the time) potential investigator, a Native American named Kenyo. It was interesting... he closed us in his weed hutch while he went to move his car but he's a pretty cool guy so we're going to see him again soon. But I think that encountered more ethnic diversity in that one day than I have in the entirety of my mission!
This week we also went to two baptisms, not our investigators but it was still really good. We went to one on Friday with our investigator Dennis. He is doing really well and should be baptized in the next month or so. He called us the day before the baptism and told us that he really needed to know what to wear because he knew that it was a privilege to attend another person's baptism and he wanted to make sure that he was showing the proper respect the occasion deserved. He is also trekking through the Book of Mormon and is almost finished with Alma. Honestly I'm always impressed when investigators do so amazing reading. I remember my freshman year at BYU when I was taking the second half of the Book of Mormon. Our professor wanted us to read it (the second half, Alma 30 to the end) in two weeks. I assumed it would be easy, after all, you hear stories all of the time about people reading the Book of Mormon in a day or two. Let me just tell you, to read it that quickly and actually get things out of it is not easy! It takes a lot of time!!
We attended another baptism Saturday morning. The girl who was getting baptized, Gabby, is the adopted niece of a family in our home ward. We were able to teach the first two lessons to her but then had to pass her off the YSA Elders. It was really cool to be able to see her get baptized though. She's probably the quickest person I've seen get baptized, it only took about 2 months! So one of the things that I am learning on my mission is how to do things with little to no prep time. The Elders had told me that Gabby had wanted me to speak on baptism at hers. I thought about it thought that I came up with something pretty good that went a little beyond "Baptism is that gate that we all must enter in order to continue down the path to return to live with our Heavenly Father." All of that is true of course, but we've only heard it a million times. So, when we got to the service the Elder's surprised me by saying "Oh... sorry we told you wrong. Can you talk on the Holy Ghost?" Ha, so it went well enough but it's teaching me to prepare quickly! We also spent a few hours at a family history conference this weekend and helped out little. The stake is really into family history here!
This week I have been thinking a lot about hymns. Since we are only allowed to listen to hymns, primary songs, and stuff by MOTAB I've started to get to know them kind of well! Something that we have also been doing to kind of mix it up a little is to sing or listen to renditions to hymns to different melodies. One of my favorites is Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount. It really changes the song around and it makes you pay more attention to the actual lyrics of the hymn. Who knew that so many of the hymns and primary songs were so awesome! I mean seriously, who wrote these things? Sometimes I think we just tune them out because kids aren't that great at singing or something, I don't know. But some of them are really pretty cool. Anyway, the song I have been thinking about in particular this week is Savor Redeemer of My Soul.
For some reason I can't get the words to copy into here normally but you all should go look at them or listen to them. Some weird people (like Elder Campbell) don't like Vocal Point but I think they do an awesome job at this song. The second and third verses in particular are great. "Never can I repay thee Lord. But I can love thee. Thy pure word, hath it not been my one delight, my joy by day, my dream by night? Then let my lips proclaim it still, and all my life reflect thy will. O'er rule mince acts to serve thine ends. Change frowning foes to smiling friends. Chasten my soul till I shall be, in perfect harmony with thee. Make me more worthy of thy love, and fit me for the life above."
That's like my life ambition right there "Chasten my soul till I shall be, in perfect harmony with thee. Make me more worthy of thy love, and fit me for the life above." Anyway, hymns are cool if you actually pay attention to them (well, some are still boring I'll admit), who knew! Some of my other favorites are Lead Kindly Light and As Now we Take the Sacrament. But, try listening to them with different melodies, it's pretty cool some times!
So, hope you all are doing well! Talk to you soon!