Monday, 23 September 2013

My oh-so-favourite dragon lesson

Finally I have some time to actually email. 30 minutes to do everything last time? Psh. Now I have some more time. Oh my, I am tired. Every member of the District has heard that every evening this week. Yep yep. I don't think I have ever been more tired. I'm being honest. I'm exhausted. We had a crazy beginning of the week. The Vlissingen Elders stayed over Sunday evening. Now, whenever anybody stays over, it's usually bad news bears because we all stay up laughing at zombies and gas. Then, the next evening they slept over again because they had to swing back through to Breda for a District meeting anyway. Surprisingly, we got to bed on time. But then because of legality trips, they had to assist us in an appointment and then forgot their keys--again sleep over. That's 3 days in total. This week was just one giant successful whirlwind. So, when I have bad numbers in a week, you might notice I say something, "but it's not about the numbers anyway." And when we have good numbers, it's something like, "but it's actually all about the numbers, anyway." In any case, we had really good numbers this week--we taught a lot and found a lot of new people. Let us explore. We headed over to a semi-active friend in the middle of the week. He might be the coolest guy ever. He has a nice family, nice dog and nice cat and lives in cozy city in a cozy house. What's more, and arguably cool, he's not allowed to work because of an injury, so he is paid by the government instead. Arguably cool. He loves bikes and motorcycles and anything that can zoom and is certified to fix all the above. He loves video games too. He's been a member for a while, but has recently made the decision to become active again. Whew! We were able to teach a small lesson to his wife as well, who is a non-member--who for now also shows little interest. So that was fun. Then that same evening we swung by our Congo friend. We helped her with her light fixtures and met her 3 children, 11, 8 and 1 respectively. The 8 year old boy loves us too. He reminds me a lot of Witse Stroobont from those many moons ago. Full of innocence and smiles. We taught he again Sunday evening and this time the 11 year old daughter said the closing prayer with a bit of help and prompting. Super cool family. We also have another family from Congo who's somewhat inactive, so we're hoping they'll become best friends. Speaking of which. We met with one of the daughters of so-said member Congo family. She's super awesome. She brought along one of her friends for the appointment as well, who's actually from Thailand. Le gasp! Friend Thai loved our lessons and together they came to church this Sunday. I commented on how long church was for strangers, but she shrugged it off, saying she thought it was actually okay and how friendly and warm everybody is. Ooo? Super awesome! Speaking of church. We also went to visit a family who has 2 children that aren't members yet. They came as well, pushing our number of church attendance up to 3 investigators. This family is super awesome and we taught them my oh-so-favourite dragon lesson. They enjoyed it and the parents appreciated the work we put in. We're planning to meet with them weekly and hopefully before long we can set a date for the children to be baptized. It's exciting here. Every less-active member we've been working with so far has produced a non-member for us to teach. Gee whiz, I hope it can always be this way! Sooo. I don't know if I mentioned this person already, but Tilburg elders found somebody langs de deuren for us. They followed up with him and he referred them to another person. We'll call person number two "buddy". So we swung by buddy's house to see if we could meet and he swung the window open and yelled a bunch of curses, saying our book was craziness and that God doesn't exist. Startled at first, we listened a bit and tried to say our own part. He stopped and said, "You really want to talk to me?" Yes. "Really?" Yes. "Fine, I'll put on some pants and come downstairs. Then we'll talk." Wait, pants? As he did whatever he was doing, Elder Losee and I said a quick prayer in our heads and he opened the door and bid us to enter. He was holding a joint and a beer and I suggested we come back when he was sober. "Bull-diggety," said he, "I'm never sober!" Uh. Okay. I guess we'll come in. So we went inside and he actually left the door unlocked, saying he didn't want to hurt us or attack us. He simply wanted to share his opinion and he thoughts in a very non-offensive, straight-up way. And share he did. Even a pirate would be ashamed by his language. Oh ho ho. Holy Moses. Buddy reminds me a lot of Brett mixed with Jesse. He has a very poetic, rhythmic way of talking--"perpetuating the situation"--but he's also seen the dark side of street life. Now, when I say share he did, I mean he told us everything. And he has done everything. Yep, everything. With the life this guy has had, I can't blame him for doubting that God even exists. He has had it rough. But I really admire him for the situation he's building. He's stopped dealing drugs and he was just promoted at his work, so things are picking up for him. As we talked, he commented how much he truly respects our discipline and conviction. He loves us a lot. I honestly wanted to get up and hug the guy too. We super connected with him. He said along the way that he finds it unfortunate that we talk only about God and not the human intuition and mentality--but at the end he admitted he's sitting 50/50 whether God exists or not. Right now, he doesn't think so, but he said that he could be convinced. He said that he's been reading the Book of Mormon fairly steadily and that he would continue to read. It is truly a difficult situation to try and describe, even for me. My heart just goes out to him. He's screaming for the atonement, but he doesn't know it. And with his situation and belief, simply handing him the atonement will probably not work. We're going to have to be his best friend and teach him through love. Pray that the Spirit will work through the chemicals as he reads and as he meets with us. Gee, I'm just tired thinking of all this stuff. Tired tired. Well....we're going to go relax for some of this P-day. BYE!! Tot volgende keer, Elder Burgess

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