Excerpts for week of 10/28/13

Sorry - I'm running a few days behind!  But here's a bit from Michael's most recent letter:

We had exchanges this week, where Elder I and I split -- I went with an Elder P.  Great guy.  Great missionary. And we were out tracting, and his approach was to start by asking if we could do service (rather like Ammon among the Lamanites) and then to bring up if they'd ever met missionaries before, gauge what they thought of Mormons, and then with most of them simply hand them a mormon.org card and encourage them to look up the chat feature on there to ask missionaries church questions. But one house actually let us in as soon as they saw us: a young lady who acts as caretaker to an a woman in her 30s who had a stroke and is currently confined to a wheelchair. They let us in and we chatted and I thought for a bit "are these two members?" But knew they couldn't be because the caretaker was in a tank top and the other woman was drinking wine. But we shared the Restoration with them and handed them a Book of Mormon and it was the smoothest lesson I've had so far.

We've done a LOT of service, especially for an inactive member in a wheelchair whose had a medical history that could fill a bestselling book. He knows doctors; he knows how to tell a good doctor from a bad doctor by looking at them. He apparently was baptized without really a testimony, so we're trying to figure out how to teach him because he doesn't understand much about this church he still considers himself a member of. But he really likes us and the service we do for him -- so we're working on it.

I mean, we have a lot of investigators. It'd take me a while to got through them all. They're all more potential investigators really -- we're still getting to the point where they'd be interested or willing to actually take the discussions instead of just snippets of them and service.

And there was a baptism this Sunday evening!! Elder I and his last companion taught this one man and his two kids: a firefighter. And they were essentially a golden contact and were ready for baptism in two months. But I've met him for two lessons to help further prepare him and he asked me to baptize him and his two kids. So that was wonderful! And then we had permission to confirm them that same night so Elder I did that. It was a great experience and several non-members came and some less actives and the mission president! So a lot of support, and apparently the ward hasn't had a baptism for years now (even though they are super supportive of missionary work) so this was a great confidence booster for them.

Oh! And there's the ex-convict! He's like my favorite person ever! I love all my investigators, but something with him just clicked. He was a potential from Elder I and his last companion who really likes the church and is trying to change his life. He was once a drug dealer who would tell his clients not to take his stuff because it would kill them and Jesus didn't like it. So he's kind of an interesting person. He really, really wants to do what Jesus wants him to, so we're praying that as he prays and (eventually) comes to church he'll start to see that what Jesus wants him to do is join with this church. But he's a fascinating guy. Very nice. Calls our Bishop the "pastor" and knows him pretty well now. And we're his spiritual advisers at the moment.