The mission's standard for each area is to find 3 new investigators, bring 2 investigators to church, and have 2 on date, every week. We call it 3, 2, 2 for short. It is the standard, or expectation, for each area in the mission. Elder Black and I have been striving to hit the mission standard these past few weeks, and because we've allowed God to be our guide, we are getting there!
Last Monday, we had a mission-wide finding fest. The goal was for the entire mission to find 200 new investigators in 3 hours (from 6p.m. to 9p.m.). We have around 119 companionships in the mission, so if each companionship found 2, we would find well over 200 new investigators.
I was soooo pumped! I could not wait to blow this puny goal out of the water! We talked to about 33-35ish people that night - it was crazy. We met a lot of weird-o's, like you always do, but we also met Maria. And her mother, who is also named Maria :). We were walking in a ghetto apartment complex, looking for people to talk to, when we spotted 'The Maria's' taking groceries out of their car. We stopped them and offered our help, but they denied. So we instead offered the gospel and they accepted it! It was wonderful!
They had just returned from the cemetery, mourning the loss of their brother/son. Four years ago, he had passed away from drinking too much alcohol. We told them about the Plan of Salvation briefly, and how it is outlined in the Book of Mormon. They accepted it with open arms and promised to read it!
I felt prompted to tie what we had taught back to the Restoration, because we had not mentioned that yet. We told her about how Jesus Christ's church was in its purest form when he was on the earth, but that it fell after His death and resurrection. There were centuries of darkness, called apostasy, and light did not enter the earth until 1820, when God called another prophet to bring back Christ's church. The Book of Mormon is evidence of this Restoration. Therein the fulness of the gospel is found.
By simply referring to the unique message which we bear, which is the Restoration, it helps others understand the significance of the things we claim. That through another prophet, God has revealed once again the Plan of Salvation, the authority to perform saving ordinances has been brought back to the earth, and we are the only church with the full truth of the gospel.
We said a prayer with 'The Maria's,' and left to find more lost sheep. The next day during District meetings, President announced how many new we had found that night. The Washing DC South mission found...
227 new investigators!!! :D Hooplah! When we announced it in front of the zone, everyone went berserk. It was sweet!
On Wednesday, we were facing rejection all day. It wasn't your classic, 'oh, no thank you, I'm not interested,' type of rejection. It was the kind of rejection you would 't want your worst enemy to go through, type of rejection. Man, it was rough! Haha. We were pretty discouraged at the end of our night, but we kept talking to everyone, anyway. It was about 8:40, and we were walking back to our car, when we talk to a man on the street. His name is Kamara - he seemed really interested! He accepted what we had to say about the Book of Mormon, and he said we could teach him more. He told us he had been praying for a church to join last Sunday, and that God had lead him to us for a reason. It was so cool!
We taught him again on Friday at the McDonald's across the street. He told us he is from Sierra Leone, and he has family back there who is suffering greatly from the Ebola virus. He came to America 14 years ago, with the hope of finding a better life. He didn't find it. He had a car and a job, but he lost both of those things. He was living in his own place, but now he rents from his Aunt a tiny space of her apartment. He was really down in the dumps. He started to believe God hated him, and he tried to commit suicide 3 times. He was unsuccessful. He is still recovering, a few years later. He has a job at a laundromat, but it's barely keeping him in his feet.
When we taught him the Restoration, you could see a light in his eyes, it was so cool! We invited him to be baptized on Oct. 25th, and he accepted!! Whoop! :) He came to the Adult Session of Stake Conference, and he loved it! He committed to going to church 'every Sunday in this building until the end of my life!'
Unfortunately, he didn't show up the next day for church. :P but he had a really, really good reason for it!! His brother in law, who lives in Franconia, was really sick and he had to go take care of him for the day. He apologized to us later vehemently for missing church. He will be there next Sunday... Or else!!!
I got a call last night from some Sister in the Potomac mid-singles Ward, telling me one of the investigators I taught with Elder Grow almost a year ago, wants me to baptize him! How cool is that?! I'm super excited for it! :)
There were a lot of other wonderful miracles, but those were just a few of the major ones this week.
Love you all!