Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 8, 2017 -- I'm A "Fanny" of the Past Week

This past week had as many ups and downs as the temperature did. Some of the ups were going to MLC, blitzing Utica (where Elder Turner is now serving,) teaching people about the restored gospel, and most importantly we did it in style with our fanny packs!  All in all there are many stories for this week. 

To start with, I'll get the sad story out of the way. About a week and a half ago, the Priests in the Liverpool ward went on splits one night with Elder Shore and me. I went with Trevor. He's 17 and planning on serving a mission. Anyway, we had about twenty minutes before our next appointment and we decided to go tract.  At the second door, we knocked and a man named Norm answered. We started talking about religion and he talked to us about his problems with the Catholic Church. He didn't agree with some of the doctrine and was looking for peace in life so naturally we were eager to tell him about the restored doctrines and that's what we did.  Twenty minutes later we had to get to our appointment and Norm was very interested, so we left him with the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet and set up a time to come back the next week. I felt very good about teaching him and couldn't wait to teach him more. So this week we went back to teach Norm. As we were walking up to the house, I could see a little red bag hanging off the door with something in it. As I got closer, I could see it was the Book of Mormon in the bag with a note expressing that he was not interested in meeting with us. My heart dropped. It turned a somewhat okay gloomy morning into a depressing morning. I have never had anyone hang the Book of Mormon on a door in a sack for us to take back. That's something I've only heard President Rogers talk about when he was a missionary in Germany. I guess there is still a first time for everything in missionary work. When we went back for lunch, I decided to drown my sorrow in Stewart ice cream. It helped a little bit but I am thankful for the chance I have to deal with rejection on a mission. Even though I don't enjoy it in the moment, it has helped me to grow.

Now onto the happier stuff. . .

On Tuesday we went to teach Al, an investigator who has been meeting with the missionaries off and on for the past 12 years. In the past couple of lessons we have really touched on baptism. He says he believes the Book of Mormon to be true and every time he comes to church he feels much better when he leaves. He is starting to recognize that is a big part of receiving answers from God/Holy Ghost. We came to him with a beautiful copy of his teaching record. We made a new one for him since his old one shouldn’t be shown to any investigator. We had a great lesson with him. Bringing his teaching record really hit home for him. He set a baptismal date for June 17. It may have to be moved to the first week of July but we shall see. His difficulty is getting to church. I learned once again the importance of always bringing up baptism in every single lesson. We are there for a purpose. It is very important as missionaries to always remember this, because when an entire mission forgets this lesson, we stray away from baptisms. 

 This week we also taught a man named Bryce. He is studying to be a priest and he wants to learn all about religions. Last Saturday we were walking in the park and we saw a man and women talking with people about religion. We thought he was a Jehovah Witness and we smiled as we walked by. We took a few more steps and then we heard "What is that you are holding in your hands?" "The Book of Mormon" we responded.  Turns out he was not a JW but a man of great faith studying to become a priest. We set up an appointment to meet at the library two days later. And he came! People here in Liverpool have a high commitment level. Most people do what they actually say they are going to do!  That means less people want to meet with us, but those who do are solid. Bryce was trying to ask loaded questions about things like not adding anything to the Bible from Revelations. We had brought a member with us, Bro Bailey, and he was so helpful! I love having members teach with us. Bro Bailey is the member who actually texts the elders and offers to come out with us on certain days. We then make a special effort to make something happen. About one hour before the appointment, Bro Bailey texted to ask if we could come to a home teaching visit with him. In return we asked him to come to our appointment with us. It was amazing to see how it all worked out. As twenty-year-olds, we could not do this work on our own. I am so grateful for the heavenly help we receive on a daily basis.

The Church is true, the sky is blue and life is good.

Elder Carlile
Fanny Pack Fun

Book of Mormon "Bagged"

Liverpool Sunset

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