Elder Grow and I, on our first day in Alexandria together, we met this group of college-aged kids late one night at a bus stop. We made pretty good friends, and we tried to teach them the gospel, but they were in a rush. We gave them our phone number. A few weeks later, we run into a couple of them again. They had lost our cards, so they were happy to see us! We talked to them for a bit, got their addresses and phone numbers, and gave each of them a Restoration pamphlet.
The next day, we were walking around this place called Quantrell Avenue, and we see them sitting outside their apartment building. We said hello, and taught them the Restoration. It was a powerful lesson - they had never heard of Joseph Smith before, and they wanted to learn more about him. They both accepted the invitation to be baptized! One of them, Tony, was really curious about the church. Before we taught him, he searched on google and wikipedia about Mormons. Uh-oh. He had some interesting questions.
It was cool to look back on that whole experience and see that God placed them in our path many, many times. There's obviously a reason for it - they're prepared for the gospel. We're been praying really hard for God to place prepared people in our path, and we promise that we will talk to everyone. If we show God that we're willing to talk to everyone, and act on the opportunities God gives us, He's going to give us more and more people to teach.
We found this one man five days ago who had been taught by missionaries in California. he said that we could go over to his house to teach him again. We left with him a Restoration pamphlet and scheduled an appointment for the next day. When we went over there to teach him, he had actually read through the entire pamphlet. Miracle! When we finished teaching him the Restoration, we left with him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and a copy of the Book of Mormon. We went back the next day, and he had read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and parts from the Book of Mormon. Whoa! We went through the Plan of Salvation and gave him a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. We went back the next day, and he had read through that pamphlet, too. I have never seen that in any of the people I've taught before. He shows a lot of real intent. Right now, he just needs help understanding why we need the Book of Mormon, and receiving an answer that it's true.
He took us to lunch, too. He's originally from Ethiopia, so he took us to an authentic Ethiopian restaurant. It was weird - Elder Grow and I stood out like a couple of twinkies in a Maverik (unless twinkies are back... I don't remember.) Anyway, we drew a lot of attention when we went inside. Ethiopian food is actually pretty good. It's pretty spicy. They give you a massive plate piled with meats and vegetables and mystery sauces. They don't give you any silverware, they give you some weird bread stuff. It's really thin and spongy. You're supposed to tear off a piece of bread, grab some meat with it, dip it in some hot sauce, then eat it. It was really messy! Our investigator kept teling us to "Eat, eat, eat!" I barely made it out of there alive.
This week was reallly good. Thank yo0u all for your prayers, love, and support!
Love you! Elder Hansen.