Monday, July 29, 2013

"Didn't take long for it to become clear that he wanted to destroy my faith."

The Scottish summer weather has been real hot-like, most of the time. Rained a few times as well. Not as hot as Utah's desert summers, but still there were several days where short sleeve shirts were preferable.
Anyway...this week was just ok. I haven't mentioned it yet, but this whole transfer so far has been full of "disobedience" of sorts...mostly with the schedule. 
I'm trying my best, but Elder Meyer's previous companion went home, and the trunkiness and lack of drive left a big impact on him. He is always too tired to get up at 6:30...which in turn makes it hard for ME to get up on time as well. I usually just get up on my own, sometimes exercise, shower, plan lessons, and it's usually time to leave the flat by the time my comp is dressed and ready to go. 
I don't like being forceful...turns out there's other stuff stressing him out in addition. So I've tried my best not to be forceful but to just be an example...but it's hard to keep to the strict missionary schedule all on my own. 
We're trying our best, but definitely seeing the impact the decrease of effective personal and comp study have had on our work. Yes, we are baptising Jimmy this Sunday, but other than that things keep falling through, and I feel like we're being very unproductive in general. 
Not sure exactly why I'm telling you ALL this, and not sure exactly what my game plan is to change it, because I've been trying this whole time to improve myself and help him improve as well...I guess I'll just have to try harder? I dunno.
Well anyway, on to the good stuff! Jimmy is getting baptised this Sunday (they do them on Sundays here). The ward is getting involved really well. Yesterday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader to talk about who would give talks and stuff like that. The fact that there are a lot of young single adults in the ward really helps. A lot are returned missionaries too so they know how it works. We're super excited!
Kris and Chelsea have been cancelling or just not showing up to appointments a lot lately. Not sure what the deal is.
Paul is back on track! We went and visited him yesterday. We discussed the reasons behind his falling away, and he said he got bored and started looking on youtube about Mormonism. No good. So yeah, his only concern was that a verse in Jacob 2 says men should have only one wife, and polygamy completely contradicted that. So from that he came to the conclusion that the church was false. 
But a returned missionary from the ward showed me a scripture a few verses later that basically says that if God needs to raise up seed, he will command otherwise, or something like that. 
We read it with Paul, and just like that he was back. So now what we're trying to do is help him gain a stronger foundation and testimony so that when this happens again--which it will, apparently it's happened several times--he can get over the concerns even when we can't resolve them for him. So there we go.
Oh yeah, I got your package! Thanks. It was great. I love the CD's. Listening to Brett Raymond for some reason reminds me of sitting in the family room digging through our huge Lego bin while listening to him. I guess we did that a lot? Or maybe the first time I heard it I was playing with Legos. Dunny kin. (Can be said kin or ken, or a combo of both kind of like Mom's pin and pen. LOL.)
Funny--the day the package arrived, I received another package; this one full of Anti-Mormon material! Back story: on Wednesday we were at the church for an Elders Quorum BBQ, when we got a phone call from a man who said he has a few questions about the Book of Mormon and wants to learn. So of course we said yes, (well, I said yes. Elder Meyer doesn't like talking on the phone so I took the call) hoping this would be a good teaching opportunity for someone who wants to learn. 
But the first question he asks, after asking my first name and trying to get all friendly, is "in the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon, it says in the front 'Joseph Smith, Author and Proprietor.' What does this mean to you?" So of course I knew from that moment that it wasn't the miracle I had expected. 
Didn't take long for it to become clear that he wanted to destroy my faith. His arguments were stupid, and it didn't even phase me. So it was a waste of both our time. Not sure how he even got our number, but if he knows ours then he probably has been attempting to do the same to other missionaries. 
Then two days later, addressed to me was a package from this man, opening it up I found a bunch of anti-Mormon articles and pamphlets and stuff. Took one look at it, tore it up, threw it away. 
He gave me a note with it, with his address and phone number and email etc. I am planning on giving the info to President Brown, and maybe one day he and the London, London South, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds mission presidents will show up on his door step and swiftly rebuke him. That would be cool. Or maybe they'll just not do anything because he probably loves attention. We'll see.
Another fun fact: Did you know that the "Church of Christ" is the name of an LDS branch-off? There's one on 200 North in Logan I think. I always thought it was funny, because the sign looked similar to ours. If you want you could go check it out. Apparently they believe that Joseph Smith WAS a prophet and that the first vision and Book of Mormon are true, but that he became a "fallen prophet" after a while. Their church is lead by 12 apostles, no prophet. They have a temple too. We learned all this from a member who went on a Church history tour in the Eastern U.S. a few years ago, and she was showing us the brochures and stuff that talked about the reformed churches. Interesting.
Let's see...Also this week I changed a tire for Billy Connelly, a new-ish member...went to Edinburgh for an all-Scotland conference, where I saw a bunch of elders from my MTC group that I haven't seen in forever, and also listened to Elder Jose Texiera speak (Europe Area President). And that's the noteworthy stuff for this week. Pretty dang exciting.
Next week I'll attach some pictures. for now though, cheerio.
Love yous!
Elder Spencer A. Burt

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