Ah, the experiences of a missionary!
Subject: "Beat it stupid cat!"
So if any drunk guy sticks a bottle in your face and says, "give it a wiff!", don't do it. That happened to me this week and I, not being smart enough to hold my breath, just about passed out on the spot. Alcohol smells horrible. Why would you want to put that in your body? Especially when you have cherry limeade as an alternative?
The guy that did that to me was one of our investigators, and he later apologized. Which was pretty cool. He is the kickboxing instructor that I mentioned, and he just seems like a really good guy. When he is sober. But we'll work on the drinking. Captain Kick-a-Box has been reading, and agrees with what he has read. Except for the Restoration, which he just doesn't understand yet. So we'll also work on that.
We've been teaching another guy with a drinking problem, named Benjamin. He and his family have been really diligent at reading so far, and always have questions to ask and are willing to listen to the answer. Golden. Benjamin has been drunk for a couple of the lessons, but he, when sober, is awesome. Just a way fun guy. And he's diligent with reading and planning to come to church, so all that's really left is to get him off of drinking. That shouldn't be too hard.
We did five drop talks this last week. Just people that are not ready to progress. They don't have the right priorities. Here's one of the most ridiculous (but true) examples:
David had been taught by the missionaries a while ago, but wouldn't come to church. Missionaries that used to work in Sabotsy Namehana told us about him, and we started teaching him again. Unfortunately, for about the last month, David has told us, every time that we contact him, that he is "too busy to learn". We would set up appointments, and he would cancel them. Every time.
Finally, we just stopped by his house to officially drop him. David met us at the door and we asked him if he could learn. He said that he couldn't because of his work. After a short conversation, we told him that it is not God telling him to work (instead of listening to missionaries, coming to church, etc.), but Satan. David responded by saying, "well, I don't see why that's a problem. My work has to take priority anyway, and if the devil is encouraging me to work, good for him."
So David got dropped. He's just not ready yet. But maybe other missionaries will get him, later on.
We have another investigator, named Anja, who has stopped learning from us. She pretty much yelled at us for postponing her baptism, but it was for the better. It turns out that she wanted to get baptized, but she is also planning to marry some guy from another church. Who is currently living with her. And apparently practices witchcraft. Anja is now, as she wrote in a note to us, "caught in apostasy". We don't really know what to do, because she is showing no signs of changing, although it seems that she doesn't really understand what she has been taught by the missionaries. So that's... not good.
So we have some drunk people, we have some people that are knowingly following the devil and think it's a good thing, and we've got some apostate ex-investigators. How's that for a gourmet table of negatives?
But that is why we have to learn to laugh.
Honestly though, the work has been going pretty well. The positives outweigh the negatives. For one, we are currently teaching people right near the church, instead of three or four miles away. We are also teaching lots of families, instead of just one or two random people. And those families are reading their homework, and planning to come to church. A week of drop talks is depressing, but it's like shaving your head and buying wigs. It opens you up to all kinds of new options.
By the way, I saw a wig shop earlier today. Just as a side-note.
We are also meeting a lot of new people that seem really willing to accept us and listen to us, which is really exciting. One of them is a new FJKM preacher, and we'll be going to battle against him tomorrow, with an RM member of our branch named Vonjy. Hopefully it won't be a battle, but I'll sharpen my sword just in case.
Thank you all for your emails and the pictures. I especially loved Stacey's "roadmap to our family". Mike's picture is probably my favorite, with David's at a close second, because he looks like Metroman. Although Elder Stokes says that he looks like Sydrome from the Incredibles. Stacey's makes her look like an Egyptian hieroglyph. Classy.
It sounds like every body has been having a great time at home, so keep up the good work. Elder Stokes and I are going to do our best to represent you all for this next week!
Arrington clan, I want you to know that I consider you to be seven of my closest friends and family members, and one very dear acquaintance.
Until next week,
- Elder Arrington