Happy Monday all! It sounds like everyone had an exciting and fun week. I bet Cole is having fun at scout camp and all. Why isn't it at Rainey mtn. this year? Good times! Poor mom is gonna be all lonely at home this week. You'll have to find something to keep yourself entertained! Happy Father's Day, dad, and Grandaddy, and papa, and all the father figures in my life. I love you and hope you had a spectacular day celebrating your greatness! This week has been crazy for us. We did lots of service and had our lessons pick up. Maria came to church and we're working with her so hard to pray about the church. I'd love to share all the experiences we had, but here are just two.
The first is with a less active member named Gabriel. Their family has an interesting story. They went less active about 20 years ago because the Spanish branch, back then, got combined with the English Ward. It's such a silly reason to stop coming to church, but apparently they really didn't like it. Gabriel was in his youth at that time and just stopped coming. He told us he appreciates the times he's had at church and all that it did for him. He also told us that he's an "agnostic atheist" now. We were kind of taken back by this and didn't know exactly what to do. Our conversation (him talking at us mostly, haha) included many things and was very long. He said he loves missionaries and talking with us but that he wasn't really interested in returning to church because he thinks it would just be offensive. For some reason, this little experience really stressed me out and made the end of that night stressful. I guess I had just never seen a member (and really didn't think it was possible) go from a strong Latter Day Saint to a believing nothing atheist. For me that was unheard of. I think that's the part where true conversion comes in and if we really believe what we learn and preach. It makes me want to work hard in my conversion process and become even stronger.
The other crazy story happened yesterday. Right before our sacrament meeting starts, we get a call from the Bishop in Benicia saying there's this family that just walked in that only speaks Romanian,
Italian, and a tiny bit of Spanish. (He called us seeing as Benicia is our area) We weren't able to do anything right there because we had to stay for our own sacrament meeting. After that, we continue home to grab some quick lunch when we get a call from Bishop Tanner at the Vallejo building. He says the same family has just shown up and needs some help translating. We rush down there and meet the family of four, parents and two girls. The mom understood better Spanish than the dad
and we were able to communicate very little with them. We showed them a video in Italian and tried to talk about their faith and interest in the church. At this point we were very confused about what they were trying to tell us, so we whipped out the iPad and used google translate to try and communicate (THANK GOODNESS FOR MODERN TECHNOLOGY). We found out that they came to the church looking for help to pay rent and bills and such. We talked to the bishop that was
there and said there wasn't much we could do because they weren't members and had just shown up. It was difficult because as missionaries, that's not something we should have to worry about. It was difficult to get that across to the family and let them know. We told them they were welcome at church and welcome to take the lessons from us. They seemed interested and we helped them find the Book of Mormon in Italian, on the app. We're being cautious because we don't want them to join the church just to get money. We want to make sure they are doing it for the right reasons. It was a tough little situation and we're trying to find a member who speaks Italian to help us translate for the return appointment. I'll let ya know how that goes next week!
OH I keep forgetting to tell you about this weekly service we do. It's called the 'cliff house,' And basically we go and participate in a bible study group with this other church and then serve them dinner. It's interesting to see how other faiths worship and it's fun!
That's it for this week! I love you. Keep having a good summer! OH and transfers is next week so we will know this Saturday about them. ¡Què Dios les bendiga mucho!
Elder Alexander Scott Joyner
|Our Ratchet AC|