Warm Regards from B-Town,
Shnikees! This week has been power packed! What a week full of miracles! I have a testimony that the Lord is truly in charge of this work and although we may not always be "reaping the fruit" of the "vineyard," the Lord always has work to be done to help his vineyard flourish.
So during our weekly planning session 2 weeks ago, we were setting goals for the week of New Years and we were preparing for it to be a pretty slow week but out of nowhere Elder Smith and I decided to just shoot for some higher goals and give our best effort to reach them, regardless the circumstances. Wellwe had a short preparation day because of the full day off we would get on New Years day so at we were out in our area working. Well we were excited to go out and work and even more excited to work some miracles and low and behold by the end of day one we had taught 11 lessons! We were flabbergasted by how blessed we were by the Lord. So the next day we went out with the equal determination to reach our standard of excellence of 20 lessons by the end of the day and as we exercised faith we taught 10 more lessons that day leaving us at 21 lessons! By the end of the week we were able to teach 31 lessons!
We were extremely grateful for how much the Lord allowed us to teach and we had found some really cool (and some really crazy) people who we know are prepared to receive the gospel. We realized that here in Bloomington the reception of teaching full lessons and meeting with lots of people is very difficult so to still be effective and do all we can with what the Lord has given us, Elder Smith and I developed a series of micro lessons (including a restoration, plan of salvation, and family history lesson) to teach when we hand someone a card. We have found much success with this, especially with the family history lesson. We had several people who didn't want to talk to us but after we gave them a family history card and shared our micro lesson with them, they would be very interested and some told us they would go home and check it out! We have loved this because we have learned that even when the Lord directs people into our path who aren't interested, we shouldn't give up but do all we can to allow the Spirit to jab at their heart through a triple combination of restored truth, a testimony, and an invitation. Even if they don't accept, they are one step closer to accepting in the future.
All you office fans out there are going to appreciate this next story. So we picked up a new investigator named Mark Cooper. He is single, 31, and has a daytime job at Sears and has his own independent taxi service.... (wait, it gets better). As we were walking to the Library to grab my lost flash drive I left there and we saw him walk around the corner very intensely looking at the sky. We greeted him and asked him what he was up to, and he said "Oh hey guys! I am looking at the moon!" Sure enough, he was looking at theday moon and he explained to us how the suns rays hit the moon and therefore we can see it. So of course we tried to start teaching him as we walked with him and he offered us a ride in his "taxi" to the library. We, of course, accepted and as we got in he had to move some of his stuff in the back seat and Elder Smith got to sit next to a finely carved samurai sword. He then followed us to the library so I could retrieve my flash drive and we set up an appointment to meet with him at the institute building on campus later that week.
After that he walked and talked with us for TWO MILES across town on our way to our tracting area (he wouldn't leave us alone!). So to stay effective, I would talk to him and tried (I emphasize "tried") to teach him about the Restoration while Elder Smith hung back about 10 feet and would stop people and teach them as they walked past us.
On this two mile journey he told me what he thought the purpose of life was: 1. to continue the human species 2.(his exact words) "Eat drink and be merry" (you can check out the scripture reference: 2 Ne. 28:7-8) 3. family. And if you didn't catch it from his purposes of life, he really likes women... a lot. By this point I am like "this guy is cooler than the cats pajamas!" Now he is committed to baptism and is doing great. Now to tie this into the office, Mark Cooper I kid you not, is the exact replica of Andy Bernard. He walks, talks, acts, and is just like him. It is insane! My dream is coming true! I get to baptize someone from the office! :)
ANYWAYS! that is all for this week, hope this email was long enough for you all. Hope you all have a great week and keep it real!