This week had its ups and downs for sure but they all tend to average out pretty evenly. I guess I can start off with the big changes that are happening worldwide to Missionaries for those of you who don’t already know. There was a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast last Wednesday and two big things changed: 1) The daily schedule for missionaries has changed to give the missionaries more leniency as to when they want to do things like studies and such, which is nice. They also allowed for more time during P-Days in order to ensure that everything we need to get done on our Pday is able to get done. 2) Key Indicators changed. This one caught most of us by surprise but from now on instead of tracking lessons, member-present lessons, referrals, etc (a total of 9 key indicators), we will only be reporting 4 key indicators to Salt Lake: Investigators Baptized and Confirmed, Investigators with a Baptismal Date, Investigators who attended Sacrament Meeting, and New Investigators. In my mind this will allow us to focus our efforts more on individuals rather than working to go get “X” amount of lessons.
Other than those big changes we’ve had a pretty normal week. We’ve been able to meet with our Investigators and keep them progressing. We had an awesome lesson with TJ on Tuesday but unfortunately haven’t been able to meet with him since. Chris, another one of our Investigators came to all of church this Sunday which was great. And let me tell you, the Youth in the Wetumpka Ward are phenomenal. They all fellowshipped Chris (who is 13) and he’s excited to come again and it’s perfect. The Sisters are teaching one of Chris’ friends who they have on date for the 18th and so we are hoping that we can get Chris up to speed and maybe set that date for him as well. Fingers crossed! We did meet this one lady on Tuesday who at first didn’t seem like she was all there. We introduced her to the Book of Mormon and she was excited about it and about knowing that Jesus Christ had restored His church to the earth today. When we went back a few days later she had already read into it and believed it to be true. She did not attend church on Sunday but with any luck our visits this week will help guide her in the right direction but we are looking forward to working with Lisa. I don’t know if I’ve already talked about Jay, but we went over to help him with his yard a couple weeks ago and went over again last Saturday. He has been “meeting” with the missionaries for about 20 years-or inviting them over to do service and such-and he loves what we do. He is a Buddhist and doesn’t completely agree with everything that we are teaching him or trying to get him to understand, but he has committed and realized that in order for him to receive and answer he has to read and pray. Jay is a great guy and we all would love to see him move forward in the gospel.
Now, there were a one funnier story that take more than just a sentence to explain, but it taught me a great principle of missionary work. Last night, Sunday night, we called Jennifer. Jennifer was a referral sent to us from headquarters and when I called I did the typical, “Hello this is the missionaries. We got a message to give you a call and were wondering when you’d like to meet…” And as the conversation goes on I mention mormon.org to whcih she responds, “Ohh you guys are Latter-Day Saints aren’t you.” “Yes ma’am.” “Oh, well bear with me but you are going to love this story.” (Great….). She then proceeded to tell me that she was Methodist and wasn’t going to change her Faith but that recently she had been talking to her pastor about getting into Missionary Work for her church. (I assume this is why she was on mormon.org). But she had told her pastor that she needed a “Neon sign from God” in order to help her make a decision on whether or not to move forward in Mission Work. She told me about something that had happened to her that gave her a semi-answer. Then she said even though it wouldn’t be worth our time in meeting with her, she was thankful we called and took our phone call as a sign from God that she needed to do some sort of Missionary Work. She thanked me as she told me that right after she hung up with us she was going to call her pastor and explain to him what happened. (Wow). I didn’t know whether to laugh or be disappointed or really how to respond after I got off the phone. But, I have come to realize over the past 6 months that Missionary Service is that, it is SERVICE. And I wrote down during the Missionary Broadcast that I want to SERVE my Mission. I believe and I know that I helped Jennifer come closer to Christ. Maybe she didn’t feel open right now to hear the message of the Restoration but I think that because of the experience she had with me on the phone, sometime later in life or possibly in the next she will be ready and prepared to receive the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and I think that because she is doing what she feels is the right thing, in wanting to help people know the Savior. I don’t know if that makes any sense in reading but it made sense as I typed it out. But, that was one interesting experience of many that happened this week.
Also, a guy we met asked if I was a virgin-right after the invitation to read the Book of Mormon I might add-and when I answered with an unashamed “Yep” he told me he didn’t believe me….Thanks?
James asked me what it would take for him to get me to take a “heroic” dose of drugs.
(Nutmeg can make you high by the way).
We tracted into a guy who gave us both new pocket knives.
We walked 17,431 steps (8.5 miles) on Friday because we had nothing else to do.
I got beat by a six-year-old in basketball.
We got Bible Bashed the hardest I’ve ever been Bashed on Tuesday...which inspired me to create a bible-bashing-bible-bashing Bible...I think that is what I’m trying to say.
There is a ping-pong table in the church building.
We found a trash bag that I swear smelled like something died in it last week on our balcony-missionaries are gross.
We found a goat on a leash in a backyard.
If y’all need anything let me know! I love you and am thankful for you! The Church is True!
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION
"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13