Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Working in the Twilight Zone

Have any of you ever heard of a guy named Charles Hall? Because Sister Markus and I heard about him for a good half an hour. Apparently he is a scientist who used to work for the government as a weather man. While he was there he got the chance to work with a bunch of aliens called the tall whites (because they're tall and white...?) who the government is letting live here on earth because they are planning to relocate to another planet similar to Earth and want to test it our first. In return they are giving the government technology to use. We also heard all about how human really came from aliens from another planet injecting their DNA into monkeys, who then mutated into humans. But, since the monkey/human mutations weren’t being very nice to each other, the aliens sent another alien down named Christ to teach them how to be good and all of that. And that's why he could perform miracles, because he was an alien and on our planet he has powers, kind of like Super Man. Well New Mexico, you're living up to your name! Too bad Roswell isn't in the mission right? 

We also had a huge moth in our apartment last night. I don't remember if I told you but Sister Markus is horribly afraid of all creeping things that creepeth upon the earth and whenever there is one I always have to catch it. And it probably didn't help that one of our neighbors the other day told us that she finds scorpions in her house all the time. Anyway, there was this huge moth but it flew away and we didn't know where it was, so she hid in the bathroom until we could find it and we finished our training through the door, ha ha. She would read a paragraph and I would read one from the other room. We finally caught the moth and let it go outside but we did take a picture of the thing first. It was pretty big, I do have to admit that!  

We also picked up two new investigators this week, both from tracting, which is pretty cool because as I'm pretty sure tracting is one of punishments the Greek Gods would have used to punish people who disobeyed them. You know, right up there with rolling a stone up a giant mountain every day for the rest of eternity. So it was cool to see some success from that. They are both men too. That's the interesting thing about this area, typically you have more women investigators than men, and the wife is more interested than the husband. In my experience here is has been the opposite in almost every case, when it comes to investigators and less actives. In fact, I would say that probably 80% of the people I have taught here in Rio Rancho have been men. Both of these new people though, Paul and Ruben seem pretty promising so I'm excited for that! It will be nice to hopefully have some progressing investigators. 
 We also met a woman through tracting this week who let us in and let us teach her the restoration! I'm not sure if she is going to become an investigator or not but the fact that we were able to just go in and teach it was pretty cool!

Speaking of investigators, we had a few interesting experiences with them this week. One was with Keino, who randomly asked us to come over. We grabbed a member to come with us and headed over, surprised that he had asked us to come and also surprised that he had asked us to come so late in day. Usually we try to visit him in the morning before he starts drinking (he had been drinking and when we got there he introduced us to his friend Matt like 4 times). As we were talking, a police officer came to tell us that we needed to move our car because I guess it wasn't supposed to be parked where it was. It wasn't really a big deal, but Keino (who is native), who wasn't exactly thinking in straight circles, decided to talk to the White officer who came on to his property. Oh and to set the stage there was also a police officer who was shot and killed in Rio Rancho a few weeks ago when he pulled a man over. So just imagine the conversation that a drunk Native, a young police officer, and two Sister Missionaries all had on the side of the road, It wasn't too bad but things were to say the least a little tense.... 

We had another investigator (a man in his 50's) yell at us this weekend about how the only reason we were bringing members with us to our lessons with him was because he was poor, and that if he had more money like the other members did (obviously he doesn't know some of the members like we do but that's beside the point), than we would trust him more. When we tried to explain to him that it was a rule to have three people of one gender with us no matter who it was, he started yelling at us that maybe if he paid tithing the church would trust him and we wouldn't always need a police escort to come over. Honestly I don't have any worries that this guy would do anything, but it was an interesting experience, and him saying things like "We need to meet in my backyard alone" and "You have 911 on your phone don't you? What's the problem." really didn't help his case...  So... yeah hopefully this upcoming week will be a little less confrontational! 

In other news! We had zone conference this week, which was great! We talked a lot about teaching simply and clearly and about the new teaching method to teach the lesson in 7 minutes, which has been interesting but actually pretty cool so far. One of the things that we talked about though that I have been thinking about this week is the questions that we ask people, and why are we asking what we ask? We talked about how to guide people with questions and how helping them to realize something for themselves will always be more powerful than us just telling them. One of my teachers in the MTC said something similar. He said that if he was to give us his old missionary name tag, it would just be a regular name tag with a bunch of scratches on it, but to him, it is much more important. Because he has so many experiences tied to the name tag itself and to the scratches and scrapes and everything on it. The same is true of any sentimental object and the same is true of knowledge and information. If we are just given it, it doesn't mean much to us, but if we have experiences, particularly trying ones, but most importantly insightful ones that relate to the knowledge, it is much more important and much more valued to us. And that is the way that we should teach (no to create trials but to help create insight and make it meaningful for them) and that is the way that Heavenly Father teaches us. Hardly ever does He just give us information, but he makes us want it and work for us and then, when we get it, it means something, and we are more likely to listen and to act. And then, because that doesn't always work, He is always telling us to remember. Remember how you got this, remember the roots or your testimony on this or that, remember what happened to your ancestors. Always remember remember and work for what you need! So when you think Heavenly Father is ignoring you, just know that He isn't! He's just making you work for it so it will mean something to you. And really isn't the whole purpose of this life anyway? Heavenly Father could have just given us bodies and all of the if He wanted, but He didn't want that. He loves us enough that He cares about how and what it means to us. Anyway, just a thought. 

Any on a completely unrelated note, I had a taco burger this week, because that's just how we roll in New Mexico. 

Hope you all have a fantastic week! 



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