The week started off a bit on the downside when we got kicked out of a Filipino family's home Monday evening. We had tracted into Irene, who let us in immediately to teach her the week before, and she started reading the Book of Mormon and everything! We went back on Monday and her whole family was home. We started teaching the Plan of Salvation, and right when I introduced "agency", her nephew who is probably in his 30's FREAKED out. Ha...in a nutshell he basically told us that agency isn't in the bible and if we teach anything that's not in the bible, we're not welcome in their home. The spirit was GONE right after that incident..we opened up to Genesis about Adam and Eve and how they had agency, and he didn't even stay to hear our answer. Irene's daughter had some objections about the Book of Mormon, so we tried to resolve them, but she was DEFINITELY not having it. We had brought Fanny, a member who is from the Philippines, so she could speak Tagalog with them. We didn't know what they were saying, then Fanny turns to us, "they're just waiting for you to leave." So we said a prayer and left. Afterwards, she told us that we are definitely not welcome there anymore...it made me realize that the missions we are serving really are just a tiny, miniscule glimpse of what the Savior went through. The message of the Gospel can bring so much happiness and light into people's lives, but only if they let it. Pride is what keeps people from improving their lives and living the gospel. And we just have to realize that there's not much we can do as missionaries if people don't have the humility to listen to us.
Also, super funny...our bishop called us Tuesday night, because we had a question for him. The first thing he says is, "guess what! I just ran over a bear!" Say what??! We were laughing so hard. Then on Thursday we had supper with them, and he was saying how he was going to feed us bear one day, then I was like, "Oh yeah are you going to go back and get that bear you ran over?" ( I was totally being sarcastic) then Dustin (his son) goes, "He already has it!" HA! It was kind of a had to be there moment...but it was so funny. I'm telling you, their family is the greatest.
Wednesday was a crazy day! We raked about 7 million leaves between two less actives and it was such a blast. It was SOOO cold. I thought my hands were going to fall off, but Heavenly Father protects His missionaries. :)
We also mutilated our tire by accidentally running over a broken glass bottle in the church parking lot. We called the elders in our ward, and their car was in the shop, so they couldn't help us. So we called the other elders, who just laughed hysterically at us. . . then the Stake president drives into the parking lot and says, "you look stranded!" We told him what happened, and he put our spare on for us. :) We have been driving on our donut since then, but we're getting our new tire today. So we can actually drive.
A new investigator moved into our ward!!!! Her name is Robin and she's so solid. She's been wanting to get baptized for over a year now, but her family is super anti. She said now that she's married and moved away, she can do what she wants. SO EXCITING! We're just waiting for her husband to get the Melchizedek priesthood so he can confirm her. MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING!
Also, conference was AMAZING! So much about prophets and Joseph Smith and families and the Sacrament. I absolutely love how simple and clear the messages of the talks are. The gospel really is so simple.
In my personal studies a few days ago, I read Alma 2. I'm not sure how I read this chapter multiple times before my mission and didn't realize how PACKED it is with instructions for us! As we are prepared, and as we arm ourselves with the tools that the Lord has given us, we will be strengthened by Him and will not fall when the adversary is upon us. I encourage you all to read it, and find a way to apply it to your daily life.
Missionary work is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know without a doubt that it's hard because, as Elder Holland says, "Salvation is NOT a cheap experience." He's right. Salvation isn't easy, and the road the Savior walked was the farthest thing from easy. I'm so grateful I have this opportunity to serve in place of the Savior to bring His people unto Him.
Onward, ever onward.