Busy week that ended with Joseph's baptism. He is incredible! He called us up four weeks ago while we were in transfer meetings and said he had been talking to Mormon.org missionaries online and wanted to see if this is something he wanted to do. On the second lesson he had already read 140 pages of the Book of Mormon. He has the best questions too! I'm so grateful to have been able to participate in his teaching process. It's been amazing! He was really nervous for the baptism and said he was about to faint during the talk right before he actually went into the water. We waiting on the side for a couple seconds, then he said he just felt an overwhelming calm and it was all okay.
It was interesting. Joseph brought a friend who is a staunch atheist to the baptism, and to church earlier that day. He was bagging on religion, organized religion, the existence of God, EVERYTHING. He needs to see God to believe Him. So in the end, after answering many, many questions, I just said you know what, just read the Book of Mormon then... He surprisingly agreed but said he wouldn't pray to see if it was true. I told him, you use the scientific method to prove stuff in science right? So you have to pray to prove stuff with spirituality. He said he still wouldn't pray. I told him what he's saying is the same as him saying he wants to see bacteria but won't look through the microscope. Well you can read about bacteria all day, but if you don't look through a microscope, you won't see them (unless they're really big... then you don't need a microscope). His response to that was, "you use too many analogies."
We had more multi-zones this week and gave the same trainings. It's funny because we give the same presentation five times to different groups in the mission, so it's like Groundhog Day! We had our one for our zone, La Sierra, so we finally got to hear the vehicle presentation (there are vehicle inspections every multi-zone, but we've been skipping out on it). Elder Puskas, the vehicle coordinator, did a small presentation on blind spots. I guess the Chinese mentality of only look forward and don't worry about anything behind you, doesn't fly here.
We had another scare when we were picking up dinner Saturday night. We pulled up to the street only to see this big dog standing in the middle of the road. It seriously looked like a coyote-wolf-dog. That's a thing now. It came and stood in front of our car and wouldn't move until we honked the horn and crept forward. So we end up in the driveway of the members sitting in the car debating what we would do. We would open the door a hair, and it would come over slowly. Finally, the member came out. She said we don't have to worry about the dog and gave us our food. Still not trusting the dog, Elder Fischer stayed in the car as we backed out of the driveway - that thing was SCARY okay!
We met with an 84 year old investigator with cataracts in his eye. He loved what we had to discuss with him about Jesus. He said, "I'm all about Jesus in the morning, in the evening, and in the night." When we got up to go, the Elder I was on exchanges with offered to help him and reached out his hand. The investigator popped up out of his chair faster than we imagined! He said he might be 83, but he can still stand up!
I was in Lake Elsinore on exchanges in a more rough area, and we were walking to a lesson after dark. Some guy asks us if we're okay and says we shouldn't be walking around that late. We made it safely to the lesson though! He wasn't a member, but a lot of members get really scared in some of the areas we go to. Some of them told the sisters in our ward that we shouldn't go to "Gould Street." Gould Street is where some of our best investigators are! I'm being safe and everything, but the name tag makes me feel a lot safer. I was thinking about it, and I probably wouldn't be walking in some of the neighborhoods at 8 pm by myself. No reason to be there! But as a missionary, it's fine.
In one of the places, we contacted these two guys sitting in their car with the windows rolled down. They were higher than kites. It just stank - so much weed. But they said if we came back we could talk to them, as they were just giggling to themselves - it was honestly pretty funny to watch. I told them to say hi when we came back, but just stay high for now.
zone conferences with our "home zone," La Sierra
Fixing Elder Foy's tie, still have that comp unity!
getting a rundown on blindspots
group in the mission office - serious, then SMILING! whenever Elder Puskas pulls out his iPad, we gotta get in the picture!
the office is making me fat
stealing the iPad's always fun
too scared to get out of the car - the dog was obviously hungry for some Elder Dyer and Elder Fischer. I hear missionaries taste good.
throwback pictures that we found on one of the office senior missionary's iPad
messing around in the office
this past transfer's outgoing