Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Week in the Field!!

This has been an amazing week and I love missionary work.  There are so many people in my area that are prepared to hear the gospel.  We barely need to knock doors because we have so many investigators and referrals.  The only time we need to knock doors is when our investigators don't keep their appointments.  However, with our huge load of investigators there is almost always someone we can visit.
So I could probably write a novel about this first week in the field describing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences but unfortunately I don't have the time.  I will have however detail out some of the highlights!  One of my first things my companions and I did after P-Day ended (P-Day ends at 6pm) was visit an 8 year old girl named Yanice Avila.  Most of her family had gotten baptized but she wasn't 8 yet.  Her birthday was that day and so we went over the baptismal interview questions with her.  She then got baptized that next day!  I was at a baptism on my second day in the field.  We are working with the parents to get them baptized but they work a lot and are really hard to get a hold of.
Later that night, my companions said that we were going to knock doors for a while and then head home for the night.  We then walked down a street to which Elder Morris says, "I have been feeling like we should knock this street for a while, let's do it tonight."  We then went up to a house that we could tell people were home and knocked on the door.  The man who answers the door takes one look at us missionaries and sighs.  We, wondering why he had reacted in that way, asked if he had talked to missionaries before.  He then related that he had met with the missionaries before and had had many discussions.  He had ended the discussions because they were boring.  To that Elder Morris said, "well that was rude!"  In response to that, the man at the door takes out his phone, yelling at us that he was going to call the cops.  He then pulls a broom from inside the house and started to advance on us, raising it to hit us with the broom!  We started to run down the sidewalk, when I realized that my companions were laughing histarically along with the man who answered the door.  It turns out that the man who answered the door was Brother Sporl from one of the wards we cover and my companions had planned the prank on me for my first day!  Brother Sporl invited us in and introduced me to his laughing family.  They are the funniest and nicest people that I have meet thus far on my mission.  We all laughed about how I ran down the sidewalk; they got me pretty good!  Anyways, the Sporls are a family from Brazil who insist on having my companions and I over for dinner every Sunday.  Sister Sporl makes amazing Brazilian food and this last Sunday she made what is called Kippe.  There are so many just really nice members here.  Walking down the street, we get greeted almost every couple minutes or so!  I sure this is not something that happens in most other missions!
Another experience I had this week was when we contacted a referral.  At first when we knocked, no one answered but as we walked away from the door we heard talking from the side yard.  We went over to the side and found Facundo playing with his children.  He was referred by some members that he works with and was really happy to see us there.  We set a return appointment to teach him about the restoration.  Skip ahead to two nights later and we are sitting in house teaching him about the restoration.  This was the first real lesson I was able to teach since getting in the field and the Spirit was so strong.  I was given the opportunity to teach the part of the Restoration about the First Vision.  As I related the FV to Facundo, I could tell the Spirit was touching his heart.  It was such an amazing experience to teach Facundo and I know I would not have been able to do it without the gift of tongues.  Since then I have had other opportunities to teach and man were they amazing.  The Spirit is so real and made all the difference in how the lessons went that we have had and will have.  We left his house with another appointment to meet with him.
First door slammed in my face!  My companions after we had knocked on about 10 doors told me that the next one was all mine.  Excited to do this for my first time, I walk up to the door, knock, and then wait.  After about 10 seconds, a woman answers the door.  She looks at the three of us and instantly gets really angry.  She then yells, "NOT INTERESTED" and slams the door on us.  My first door approach and first slammed door all at the same time.  However, I surprised myself when this didn't affect me at all I was able to lead the next 5 or so door contacts.  I thought to myself, I am glad I got the door slamming out of the way and from now on it could only get better!  We ended up finding a really good family FULL of children that were very interested in the church.  I will have to let you know how it all turns out.
Yesterday, I commited two people to baptism!!  They will baptized on Oct. 16th!  They are part of a family that we have hopes to teach all of them, but two of the sons that I commited to baptism were the only ones home.  They are super excited to start going to "the church down the street" and really liked what we shared about Jesus Christ.  We gave them a calender with the dates of the lessons we will teach them and have plans to meet with the whole family!  My first baptismal commitments and definitely not the last.  We have a goal to baptize 6 people this week and have high hopes to actually beat that goal!  E. Morris, Chamberlain, and I are pumped and have so many good, high hopes for this transfer!!!!
Well, I wish I had more time to type out more but there is so much to get done on a P-Day.  Thanks for all the love and support.

Elder Ethan Janis

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