Monday, June 17, 2013

"...simply share what we believe, invite them to find out for them self and let them choose! Easy peasy."

Hi family!
Well, this week has been grand overall.
Starting off with Monday: P-day activities in Derry! 
We met up with the Derry elders, we walked around the historic city walls, went around looking at some of the cool murals. 
Then we went to this fort on a hill called "Grainian Fort" I think. Very cool, and old. 
And then we went to this beach near Buncrana, about 20 minutes from Derry. Real cool. Elder Mills and I dug a hole and built up walls around it to keep out the incoming tide. Also we played with "hurling" sticks. 
Hurling is some sort of Irish sport, like lacrosse I think, but you use these deadly looking wooden sticks. 
Then we had dinner at the McKenna's house, because they live in Derry but are on assignment to the Omagh branch (congregation) and they wanted us over. 
We decided to kill three birds with one stone, we could do fun stuff in Derry, then have dinner there, then stay the night at the Derry elders' flat and then go to district meeting in the morning. It worked out perfectly.
Tuesday was great! We met with Gertie. We were finally able to meet with her. She at first was echoing the same doubts as the week before, but as we talked and taught and testified she was excited to be baptized.
August 10 is the date we set with her, hopefully giving her enough time to work out everything with her family. Hoping and praying for her. I don't mind if she gets baptized after I leave, as long as it happens. Someday.
Speaking of "after I leave..." moving day is next Wednesday, so I'll find out if I'm staying or going this Sunday. This transfer flew by!
Thursday was my six month mark! 
It's a tradition to burn a tie at six months, shirt at 12, slacks at 18, and jacket at 24. I decided I'll just do one tie every six months, because I found a bunch of old tattered ties in the flat that missionaries have left behind. So I don't feel bad burning them.
It was a rainy day on June 13th, but we burned the tie anyway. It wasn't catching at first, but Tom had the brilliant idea to dip it in oil and it ignited. I dropped it when the flames started climbing up the stick. It was fun.
This day also had major ups and downs. 
Ups: I realized how great Elder Gomez is. He's hilarious. Sometimes out of control, but always a good laugh. Bad part of the day: We taught Sandra, a devout Catholic who is still kinda interested in the church. For some reason Elder Gomez decided to go against the lesson we had planned, and started talking about infant baptism. Uh oh. Terrible idea. 
She agreed that it should be a person's choice to be baptized, and that a newborn baby will go straight to heaven if it dies, no matter if it's baptized or not. But Elder Gomez kept going in circles, discussing it over and over, and you could tell she was not enjoying it. 
I was trying to say things that were politically correct and respectful, but every time I said something he would interrupt and go back to the SAME subject. She didn't get angry, but I could tell she wasn't feeling the spirit at all. I wasn't either.
Lesson learned: Never go into a lesson trying to convince them that they are incorrect in their beliefs; simply share what we believe, invite them to find out for them self and let them choose! Easy peasy.
Enough of that, here's a funny part of the week:
Teaching Mickey is difficult, because he is usually drunk. We tried to read a passage out of the Book of Mormon with him. He got distracted by the pictures in the front of the Book of Mormon. 
He was super excited to see the pictures of Jesus. Then he looked at a picture of Lehi and his family and yelled, "That's Jesus!" We told him that was Lehi, and tried to teach him who Lehi was...but we were interrupted by "What's this man's name?" pointing at a random Nephite in the picture of Jesus appearing unto them. 
Made my day. We told him we could bring him some pictures of Jesus to hang on his wall, and he was ecstatic. Maybe we'll use it as a bribe. "Mickey, focus and we will give you a Jesus picture." "Be sober for 24 hours and we'll give you two Jesus pictures." I think it's a good idea. 
Also, his friend Ronnie sat in on a lesson with us and was excited when we gave him his own Book of Mormon. So we'll see, maybe the reason we met Mickey is to teach and baptize Ronnie. Who knows.
Those are the good stories...other than that, some good tracting, and other missionary work stuff.
Also, I cut my hair. Thanks again for the clippers you sent me for Christmas. Haven't had to pay for a haircut once!
The G8 is in Enniskillen today! It's part of MY area!!!!! 
We knew about it for a while now, I kept forgetting to tell you guys so you could watch the news for it or whatever! Apparently there are over 2,000 policemen from all over the UK who are there and in the surrounding area. 
Part of me wanted to go to Enniskillen to do missionary work today, but the other day I read in the White Handbook: "Avoid areas that may have anti-American feelings." So we're staying in Omagh. 
Kind of cool though, that I'm an hour's drive away from President Obama right now!
Love you all!

My flat:

Photo of a cannon, the Guildhall, and the Peace Bridge, all in one.
Artsy photo of a cannon on the historic Wall.
Cannon pointing at Bogside.

Photos of "Bogside", the heavily Catholic part of town, seen from the wall. "IRA" painted on the rooftops, and some cool murals too.

Protestant part of town:
British skeleton/soldier carrying a Union Jack, which if you look closely has been stabbed and  broken off in an Irish/Catholic soldier.
Apprentice boys of Derry, closing the gates.
(You guys should look at some history of Derry online or in books or something, really cool stuff.)

Far off picture of "Spencer Road"
The Fort!
The Beach!
Hurling sticks (knees muddy from building sand fortress)

Photos at Tom's house:
Us and Tom
Elder Gomez and Elder Burt
Burning a tie! Six month tradition!

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