Another week in beautiful Weymouth...although we can't really say that, because although the sky is blue in the morning and nothing could possibly happen, twenty minutes later it's torrential rain and everyone is running inside in flipflops. England! You don't know what you want! It's frustrating for a missionary who, after preparing with raincoat and umbrella, is totally sunburned by the end of the day or gets her shoes soaked from a passing car. Weather like a six-year-old girl.
This week we found some new investigators and taught Peter. He's 18, tells us about his love life when we see him in town, and wants to be hip. He came to church with us and knows a few of the youth. Bit distracted, but he liked the meetings and when we asked him to be baptized, he said, "Sure, if I'm free." It's so weird to find so many noncommittal people...I feel like we should threaten them with hellfire so they'll recognize that this is a BIG DEAL. Happily for us, a miracle occurred in the form of Peter's nan declaring that she would disown him if he ever became a Mormon. He called us about it and said he still wanted to meet with us. We told him that he needed to find out for himself if it was true--I think family issues really hit home the fact that this is a lot bigger than a social scene or something nice to do. No more sitting on the fence, Peter. I sure hope he gets baptized :)
Other weird happenings:
-The most awkward teach yet was law of chastity...my first time as well, and she had a few hangups we needed to resolve. Unfortunately for us, our member was Mike from the branch (headed on a mission shortly), and she asked him to please leave the room. He hid in the loo until we said it was okay to come back (some fifteen minutes or something...sooooooo awkward.)
-Leigh got her mission call! She's off to the Birmingham mission and she's so excited. No trouble with visas or jet lag or post or anything!
-New family moved into the branch from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Answers to prayers! We keep hoping that active families will move in to beef up church. We stopped by her place and someone answered the door. She asked if we had been requested. We told her we were from the church--she turned around and yelled to Elouise, who shouted through the window, "Tell 'em to take a running jump!" Jo cracked up laughing, and I was like, of course they're hostile. Sheesh.
-2 new branch missionaries, Mike and Tom, and we've used them both to great effect. Tom is a really good fellowshipper, and Mike is a really good teacher, which makes for one killer companionship. Our goals include more branch activities so we can implement more member missionary work.
-Another battered Mars bar--there are recipes online, and you can definitely make those at home with Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, and anything else you want to batter...try it out! They're delicious!
Nothing too crazy to report. The big debate on is who is the bad cop in this companionship--if you look at Alma and Amulek, Amulek talks about hell and really scary stuff...I think we trade off, depending on how the day has gone. If I've been spending too much time with less-actives who keep making idiot excuses, I'm more inclined to say things like Amulek. It's not overbearing--it's just speaking from the energy of heart, especially if we've been visiting them a lot and there's no progress. Some just need straight boldness, and some need to feel special. I don't really care about the latter people because this church is not interested in babysitting its members. "Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." Faith=action=evidence of God's love=faith=action=evidence...
It's cool to see the seeds of former missionaries manifesting themselves in the people we're teaching...sometimes people feel the Spirit so powerfully and you think you've got a solid branch president of the future...and then they run away. Then they refuse to act. We as missionaries can do everything we know how to do to bring the message to their hearts, but if their hearts are cold and closed, we can't get anywhere with them. Then comes the lonely work of calling people to repentance. There will be lots of people on the other side who knew, who refused to act despite the Lord intervening and sending His messengers. Then will the real numbers manifest themselves, and the once fruitless missionaries will be instruments in God's righteous judgments. And who knows? Years after the missionaries leave, someone may seize that seed of faith and act anyway. We don't know. But God does.
The Church is either true, or it's not. The question is, what will you do when you find out that it is? What will your friends think when they get to the other side and discover that you knew this the whole time, and never told them? Those are some powerful things that I'm reminded of, being here on this mission. I hope that the little work I do here will still yield forth the work Heavenly Father wants finished here on earth. It's an act of becoming like Him when we make His purposes our purposes, and His work our work. It's the easiest way to get everything that we want in the end.
Thanks so much for everyone's post! Stay happy and at all times proclaim the Gospel. If necessary, use words.