Big news!!! We picked up our new missionary last Wednesday night at the mission office in Burke. There're only 2 missionaries waiting for their visa for Bulgaria, and we got one of 'em - lucky us! His name is Elder Taylor, and he is from Cedar Hills, Utah. He is a cool guy, and we love him to death!
For Elder Taylor's very first lesson, we taught the Stake President. His first step into the mission field was in the Big League! Earlier that morning, we studied, planned and practiced what we were going to teach. At his home, we taught the Restoration to him and his wife, and it was so powerful! After sharing the First Vision, we did a power pause, then the Spirit flooded the room. We waded in the warm silence for about 10 seconds, then asked how they felt. They described the warmth and peace they felt, and bore testimony of the reality of Prophet Joseph's calling. We committed them to being better missionaries by inviting them to 1). Pray to bring someone closer to Christ every day, 2). Pray for the missionaries by name and 3). Invite someone to an activity inside or outside the church. They accepted with open arms and took our commitments one step further. President Davey had a meeting with Elder Ballard about 6 months ago, where they were each committed to inviting someone to take the missionary discussions four times in a year. He re-committed himself to doing that with fire in his eyes. We were so edified after that lesson, and we are excited to have our second lesson with President Davey tonight!
Most of our week was filled with lessons like that taught to members in our ward. Mt. Vernon is on FIRE! The members really truly want to have missionary moments, and they're showing it by accepting us into their homes, and doing the things we invite them to do. I hope to be here when the tidal wave of baptisms hit, because if the member work here keeps up like it is now, it's going to be monumental in the future.
We have had tremendous experiences with teaching the members already. In one case, after sharing the First Vision, we had a brother leave the dining table, grab his phone, and invite one of his friends to see Meet the Mormons. The wife perked up and committed to inviting her non-member friends to feed us. Wow! The member's motivation to do the work of the Lord is inspiring. I know that this fire comes from hearing the Doctrine of Christ. The message of the Restoration - the Doctrine of Christ - is just so powerful to the humble and soft hearted, that it motivates them to act and share it with others.
I think often of Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. When he tastes the exquisiteness of the fruit, his natural instinct is to share it with those he loves. He even invites Laman and Lemuel, whom he knows are hard hearted and will probably respond bitterly! Such love transcends fear. The pure, unconditional love of Christ (see Moroni 8:16).
I went on an exchange with the Assistants on Friday; I went with Elder Miles (MTC Comp.)! They drive a Chevy Silverado, and I got to drive for the day! :D I felt like I was driving the Gladiator again. I was large and in charge of the roads. Much unlike our Corrola.
We drove to a street called Pope's Head, in search of a missing member. Pope's Head is nortorious for its large houses, pristine 5+ acre yards, and beautiful sunsets. We were driving through at just the right time, around 6:30, when the sun was dipping below the treeline. The falling leaves, cool brisk air, rolling meadows and pink clouds turned our drive into a scene from 'A River Runs Through It.' Elder Miles and I didn't have a care in the world. We were commenting on the beauty of God's creations, our fortune to be in this mission at this time and the kindness of waving, smiling pedestrians. Life couldn't have been any better!
We found the home we were looking for, and gawked at the length of their driveway. There was no way we were parking up that - Elder Miles would be backing me out for... Well, miles ;). We couldn't park on teh side of the road either, for it was privately owned property, no trespassing with no shoulder. So we parked at the entrance of their driveway, walked the long walk to their doorway and knocked.
A nice man answered and started to talk with us, but was interrupted by loud honking and a shrill yell from where we came.
He said it was his wife coming home from work. She did not sound pleased. We ran down there, to find his wife outside of her parked car looking absolutely anathemic. I hopped in and got out of the driveway as quickly as I could, while Elder Miles took the verbal abuse of a contentious woman for a good 7 minutes at least.
I rolled down the window and listened in on the bashing. She was accusing us of all sorts of crimes, everythign from loitering to man slaughter, I swear! We apologized again and again and promised never to set foot 5,000 miles within her domain.
She suddenly turned our perfect fall day into a scene from a movie that makes you feel really crappy after watching it. Because that's how we felt.
It was awesome! haha, missions are great! :D
That's how my week was. Thanks for all of your love and support!