We were fortunate enough to go to the transfer meeting, even though we weren't being moved anywhere new. Our mission president had permission from the brethren to form a mission wide conference.
President Riggs wanted to show us a movie called the "Seratov project?" Or maybe it was the "Seratevo Approach?" I don't remember. My companion keeps teasing me because I keep on getting the name wrong. It was a movie about these two Elders serving in Russia who get kidnapped, beaten, and held hostage. It was pretty emotional. There were a lot of things I learned from watching it.
This past week I've been studying the topic of "suffering." In the book of Hebrews, it says that Christ learned obedience by the things he suffered. In Romans, we learn that we "glory in tribulations," and Peter teaches "that the trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." The movie taught me that even though things become difficult during the mission, it's worth it. The trials and challenges we have in life, prepare us for the time when we see Jesus Christ. And if we've endured faithfully, we will be rewarded with salvation.
The two Elders, although they suffered more than I will probably suffer while I'm on my mission, continued their service as full-time missionaries. Watching that movie was a great morale booster.
So, speaking of trials and hard times, Elder Grow and I have lost contact with a lot of our promising/progressing investigators. It was a pretty tough week - but it happens. We've just got to keep pushing forward to find the elect.
We did find a family yesterday around 7:00 pm. An Ethiopian woman answered the door, and her husband gave us a big smile and said we could come in (his wife wasn't too happy to see us, they kept arguing in Ahmaric while we were at their doorstep). Reluctantly, she let us inside. We sat down and asked if we could turn off the radio and the television (I don't know why they were going on at full blast at the same time, anyway). They allowed us to turn down the radio, but they refused to turn off the Olympics. They promised to listen to us (they didn't really listen to us :) ). The husband was super excited to talk to more Christians! He always shouted, "Hallelujah!" or, "Amen, amen, amen!" Whenever we said Jesus' name. At that point, it turned into a game of "how many times can you use Christ's name in one sentence?" It was really fun. I even started to shout, "Hallelujah!" once or twice during the lesson.
After we had our fun, we started to teach about Joseph Smith. Elder Grow shared the First Vision wonderfully. It was hard to feel the Spirit because the TV was so loud, but it was present, and for a moment, the husband didn't speak. Or smile. He demanded we leave.
I don't know why, but lately, Elder Grow and I have had to teach prophets/dispensations and about priesthood authority in explicit detail. Every time we tell someone about Joseph Smith, they think we worship him and think he's better than Jesus Christ.
It was a really fun experience. I'll never forget it.
Thank youi so much for the prayers and support!