Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stalin and Lenin

Hi family!

This week has been, well, it's been hard.  We had five lessons set up with five new investigators and four of them got cancelled or they just didn't show up, etc.  On Saturday we went to have another lesson with this man we ported into last week and he opened the door in his towel, he was in the middle of showering.  He told us to come in while he finished.  We walk in and his two kids were there and we realize there's no woman at home.  So, he comes out of the shower and we tell him we'll have to reschedule because we don't have a woman with us and we have a rule we can't teach single men.  He immediately starts attacking us and says things like, "well, if you don't have enough faith in yourself to teach me then it's not worth coming back." he was going off for a long time anyways.  We left that apartment.  As we were walking out, obviously feeling discouraged because that was the third of four new investigators who had dropped us in the same week.   We walk towards the tram and Soeur Ingraham immediately contacts the first person we see.  She ended up having a really good discussion about the plan of salvation and the girl said it's something she really wants to know if God exists and if there's anything after life because she just had a close friend pass away.  We got her number and address, we'll see what happens.   Soeur Ingraham is always so good at doing that.  When we get dropped or just are having a hard day, she immediately starts contacting.  So this time after the contact I said, "how do you do that every time just start contacting after we have a bad experience?"  Then she told me that one exchange she was on her companion gave the advice that whenever you are feeling discouraged or down or anything, just start testifying of one of the things we teach as missionaries and you will feel better.   As we were walking down the street just not talking and she said, "well, at least we have amis now who can drop us.  That's better than what it started off as."  That is an eternal optimist right there I tell you.

We are still just pushing along.  This transfer has been really difficult, but it has been really good. I couldn't ask for anything better because I can honestly say that we have been trying our hardest and we are far from perfect but we've been learning a lot.  This transfer we have both been humbled a lot.  We hit so many points in the transfer where all of these exciting things are building up and then they all drop so suddenly.  It's been really humbling and we both realize that basically we can't do anything, it all has to be the spirit and we've learned it's not about us at all.

This transfer though we have had so many hilarious, crazy, funny experiences and also really spiritual experiences that have made us both grow a lot I think.  It was cool because last week we gave everyone in the relief society a challenge to have a "moment missionnaire"  and to really pray for the courage and opportunity to share the gospel with someone.  Yesterday we asked if anyone had had an experience.  One of the women raised her hand and had had three in the same week.  She ended up giving someone a Book of Mormon, inviting them to church and inviting them to meet with the missionaires.  The friend took the Book of Mormon and said she wasn't ready for the missionaries but it was so cool to see someone who had really taken the challenge to have a missionary experience. 

Well, your question about why the church has a difficult time progressing:  I think a lot of it has to do with the culture.  The culture here is that God has been taken out of almost everything as a culture.  In the U.S. God is on the money, it's in the pledge of allegiance, it's in the national anthem.  It's overall in the culture and so naturally as a culture people are more inclined to believe in God.  Here, it's not like that at all and as a result it's really surprising to me and sad how many people just absolutely don't believe in God and don't see any need or interest whatsoever in God.  That's why I think the members here are so amazing because to be a strong member of the church here you really need to be converted.  This ward goes to the temple, they drop anything to teach with the missionaries and they're at church on Sunday.  There are good members here, there's difficult outside influences, and that's one reason I really admire the strong members of the church here because they are solid.

Porting experience:  knocked on a man's door, he answered.  "Bonjour nous sommes missionnaires."  Him: "Stop right there." us: "Have you talked to missionaries before?"  Him: "No. But I'm communist." us: "um, okay.... meaning..." him: "Communist. STALIN! LENIN! Goodnight!"  door closes.  wild. you meet wild people I tell you. Every day is just crazy.

Have a great week!  I love you!

Soeur Chard 

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