Monday, November 19, 2012

New Birthday Suit!

And a new birthday coat. Winter has arrived in Denmark. Rusty celebrated his 20th birthday by eating a stack of french toast, courtesy of his comp. Elder V. And the streets are decorated for the holidays!

Excerpts from his last letters:
November 12, 2012
So, the less-active member that we found in our areabook, M. has showed increasing interest in coming back to church.  Since that fireside we had, she's been to church every Sunday after. Yesterday, she had an interview with the Bishop and it sounds like she would like a calling and to bring both of her sons into the church who are 15 and 12.  The Bishop of course was freaking out excited to hear this.  After the interview he called us saying that he had offered our services to teach her and the sons twice a week until they're baptized.  He told us it's "one of the goldest" teaching situations you'll have on the mission.  It's just crazy to think that it started with just finding her name randomly in the areabook from her teaching records when she was investigating herself.  It will be a great contribution to the ward to bring two young men in, especially because there's a pretty big age gap which that will help fill. It's just been awesome to see her excitement in becoming active again. It's been perfect for the Ward, now she has visiting and home teachers. I think the thing that did it for her was just seeing how welcoming the ward is as a family. That's the awesome thing about our church.  When you're a member, you have hundreds of friends as a result, and they're always there for you. 

J. had his Word of Wisdom lesson last Saturday with us and the mission leader.  He took it well, and said he would quit the smoking and be baptized as soon as he feels for himself that Joseph Smith really was a prophet.  So, that's what it's going to come down to with him now is just helping him come to that.  Still very hopeful with him.  C. is right on the doorstep still.  He wants to be baptized, but won't set a date until he feels the wife is completely comfortable with it.  We gave him the number for the Elders in her area and invited him to have her call them to learn more.  We found a very positive new investigator named T. while we were knocking.  He listened to the story of Joseph Smith and we told him that the book was free to take and he said he'd love one, and told us to come back whenever.  The good thing is that he lives about 3 minutes from the church. 

November 19, 2012
It has almost been like an invisible barrier has been put between our cell phone and all of our investigators, including M. and the family.  It has been pretty stinky.  We were able to stop by M.'s last Tuesday though, with the new RM in the ward.  He clicked pretty good with the oldest son as they talked forever about video games.  It was good to see J. come out of the shell a little and to make friends with us.  We had the first teaching appointment set up for last Saturday, but she called an hour before and apologized that they wouldn't be able to make it home in time for the appointment.  Kind of stunk, but we'll hope for 2 more this week so we can get things going with them.  The president is really stressing on getting the people who are progressing focused on baptism now.  I think we'll be setting the two sons' baptismal date in the first visit if it goes well.  So hopefully by next Monday we'll have the good news for all of you!  It still will happen, the Bishop and Mission Leader have been with us on it, too.  C. and J. have fallen under the invisible radio-wave barrier, too.  No contact with them unfortunately.  It's been pretty frustrating, and R. has been just too busy to find time for us this past week.  We took our frustrations out on contacting this week, though.  We talked to tons of people and got some books out, so hopefully something will become of those.  It's really fun actually to go contacting when you're a little down.  We got burned yesterday by a man named T. right after church.  We had an appointment with him, but he didn't show up for it.  We decided to knock the area for an hour or so instead.  For VanDenBerghe and I it kind of gave us a little chip on our shoulders and as a result the contacting went great.  Instead of just leaving the door after hearing a "not interested", we were a little more pushy, or maybe persistent is a better word.  As a result, we got into some good conversations and doorstep lessons that otherwise wouldn't have happened.  Sometimes it just takes that to get you motivated even more.  I'm sure this week will be much better with getting a hold of people though.   People are just naturally flaky and hard to meet with, that's something we've come to learn almost too well being in Denmark.