Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Monday March 7, 2016 - The one where I share my thoughts...

This has been a wonderful week here in Danville.

Tuesday morning was very spontaneous. We only had one set appointment
and it fell through so we decided we would got try and visit this one
house I felt inspired a few weeks back to go knock on. When we were
walking up we saw this crazy looking man with a huge beard outside
moving things. He was loading stuff up into a truck. We introduced
ourselves and asked if we could help, he accepted.

This man introduced himself as Captain Bob. I'm not sure if he is
actually a sailor but he sure cussed like one. We helped him carry out
a few small furniture items and some odds and ends. He also offered
basically everything he was leaving behind in his house. The items we
left with include: two bibles, a charm bracelet, a pair of scissors,
two brass candle sticks, a chalice, and a paint can opener. His friend
and him both weren't interested. It we did give them cards. He told us
he is go into the nut house next week. What a nice guy.

We finished off the morning by walking across a river and picking wild
flowers for the other Elders. We also navigated a ravine and chatted
with our old drunk friends.

I wanted to share a few thoughts and stories from this last week. Over
the course of my mission I have never seen one of my investigators be
baptized. We are always taught that baptizing and confirming people as
members of the church is central to our purpose as missionaries. It's
been disappointing to see all the missionaries around me enjoying this
particular success while all of our investigators seem to remain
baptismally elusive.

Story #1- An eternal less active man. Or at least until a few weeks ago. He has
had dozens upon dozens of missionaries visit him over the years. It
wasn't until we met with him a few times that it all changed. We
really hit it off our first visit. We developed a strong relationship
with him and his mother, also slightly less active who had come to church two of
the last three weeks, and were able to get to the root of his concern.
He had voiced it with many missionaries over the years but we were the
first to teach him what he needed to hear. He always felt he had
perfect faith and since he held the Melchizedek Priesthood he could
preform the sacrament for himself. He felt the rule that you need
Bishops approval was just a way to get people to church. We taught him
about Doctrine, Principles, and Applications. He said never before had
missionaries who taught him the things we did. He said we debated well (we
though of it more as a convincing doctrinal explanation), and it
finally clicked for him. He is attending church again. It would not
have been possible without developing the good relationship, then
teaching to needs. Funny side story, after our lesson that first day after
we left he asked his mother if it was a sin to punch a missionary.

Story #2 - We walked into the house of one of our investigators a few weeks ago
and met someone new. She introduced herself and told us she had been a
member of the church for seven years but hadn't been active in a
while. She had been active where she was baptized but after moving she
felt unloved by her new ward so fell out of a activity. She is friends
with an investigator family of ours and moved in with them when she
moved to Danville a few weeks ago. We were able to bring over the
Elder Quorum President to help meet some of her needs as far as moving
some of her things. He was able to organize some members to assist
her. She attended church this Sunday and bore her testimony of the
love she feels in this ward and of us missionaries. She has decided to
become fully active again and is already looking forward to receiving
a calling and helping us teach the family she lives with.

Thoughts - These are just a couple additional names on a list of over two dozen
people I have seen return to activity over the course of my mission so
far. I have truly been blessed. Now, I am not shifting my focus from
teaching repentance and baptizing converts, nor am I giving up on
baptismal success; however, I am beginning to realize some of my
strengths as a missionary (i.e. Reactivations, developing strong
relationships, strengthening wards), and hope to continue to use them.
I am also trying not to be discouraged by the baptismal success I see
all around me, (the other Elders have baptized many converts in the
past months and have close to eight more lined up for the next two). I
strive to see baptisms and am disappointed when I do not see them. But
I maintain the hope that it will one day happen, and for now, I am
(trying to be) content with the abundance of reactivations.

Oh. There was also a fun run in with the police. We were out one night
trying to contact an investigator who had missed their appointment the
day previous. There was a police officer writing something on the roof
of his car across the street. As we walk up to his apartment the
officer yells at us asking if we lived there. We said no, we were
looking for this man, he responded, so am I. We chatted for a minute
and put the little notice on his door handle. We dropped him.

Overall this was a crazy week. Very successful, very tiring, but wonderful.

Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Love you!
Elder Galvin


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