Monday, June 3, 2013

" was just such a nice thing for her to say, and I felt like it was inspired."

It's June 3. Today marks five months in Omagh. Next Thursday will be six months. Wowzers.
This week was grand. Starting with Wednesday, after I emailed yous all:
We went to Castlederg to home teach the Bogle family with Tom. I think I've mentioned them before...the grandma is real old and suffers from memory loss of some sort. (dementia?) She is hilarious though. She couldn't understand a single word Elder Gomez said. She said to me, "Does he speak English?" I told her yes..."Well then we better be careful what we say!" hahahaha. Another funny thing: Tom Henry, who spends more time with us than any other member, can't pronounce the name. He says "Gormez Costello." And even when E.G.C spells it out and says it slowly, Tom says "Gormez." Makes me crack up every time.
Other interesting thing on Wednesday: After the Bogles we stopped to see Dominik. We had set an appointment with him for this time since we would be in the area. 
When we told Tom he said he thought he had been taught by elders in years past...same situation. Met in town, went out to the house once or twice, seemed a bit special, then never heard from him again. 
So we knocked on his door, no answer. Went again yesterday to give it one last shot. Knocked and rang the bell several times. Heard a TV on inside, so we even knocked on the window because we didn't want to waste a trip without speaking to him. Never answered. So we probably won't make a special trip just for him again. Bummed.
I think my favorite part of Wednesday was seeing Isabel. Isabel and Maurice Short are mother and son living together (about 90 and 50 years old respectively). Both super nice. 
The Chamberlains met them somehow a while back, and told us to go visit them. We've been seeing them occasionally these months, and the other week we found out that Isabel would be reading the Book of Mormon if the print was bigger. 
On Tuesday in the Derry Ward building we found a triple-combination that's HUGE, and the bishop said we could have it if we order another one in a few weeks time. When we took it to Isabel she was overjoyed!! Felt so good. She was just so thankful and happy. She's always that way, but this time was even more.
Thursday we saw Mickey B. Have I mentioned him before? Well, he's an alcoholic we met on the street one day. Oh yeah! He was the one who opened the door the first time and had blood all over his face. Remember him? Well we've been kind of teaching him. It's hard, because he's usually drunk. 
Luckily he's a crazy-happy drunk, not angry or violent. Although one time when my companion told him he needs to stop drinking he bent over and made a fart noise at him. Anyway, he's a character. A Proud Mancunion (someone from Manchester). Sort of wants to change his life, but at the same time not. But he is grateful to have us over, and we're trying to help him the best we can. It's a crazy new experience every time though.
We saw Vera Duncan last week. She is fluent in she and Elder Gomez chatted it up for hours! Literally. 
When we showed up Vera and her husband Ian were cooking food for us all, so we had dinner there. Super good. I wonder if Joey and Dad's dinners at members houses were that good? The Brazilian-Brazilians are poorer and the Brazilian-Irish are rich. By comparison. 
But it was good, Elder Gomez was super relieved to be able to express himself completely. He keeps telling me and everyone else that he wishes he could speak better so he could express his feelings the way he wants to. I can't imagine what that would be like because he never stops talking in the first place.
Friday was good. We went and saw Alan and Nigel. On the way, we took that Friend magazine (that Mom sent a while back--Thank you!) to our less-active friend Claire. Her daughter is about seven years old and likes primary. She'll come with her grandma Marion occasionally, so I decided it would be good for her. Claire was very appreciative. Even though she has no intentions of coming back to church any time soon, she was happy to give her daughter the magazine. 
Also when she saw it she went "Aww" and looked like she was re-living memories of when she used to read the Friend as a kid. I might have imagined that part, but I dunno. Hopefully it makes a difference.
We then met a man named Darren. He is in his 30s, and knows the bible better than anyone I have ever talked to. But he doesn't belong to any church. We tracted into him, and we had a real good chat. 
We didn't really teach him much about the church, it was mostly answering his questions and hearing him out. But he promised us that he will be all ears next week when we meet with him, as long as we keep our end of the deal: If we put down the Book of Mormon for a week and only study the Bible. 
I told him that we couldn't guarantee complete abstinence from the Book of Mormon, because we teach with it and we read it together and at meetings etc...but I promised him I would dedicate my hour of personal study each morning to just the Bible, unless I NEED to read something from the Book of Mormon.
I figured it wouldn't hurt; I have been wanting to read more New Testament and Old Testament for a while but this gave me the drive to do it! 
He's super smart so I'm convinced that if he received a witness about the Book of Mormon then he would be baptized and never stray from the path. He's a stud.
On Saturday Elder Gomez and I had a HUGE row. It started of small, with something stupid, and then he told me to be open with him. I told him it was best if we just let it go, but he insisted. So I let him have it, and then he let me have it. The rest of our lunch break was silent and awkward, but then we resolved it before we went back out to work. It was no good, but it ended up fine in the end...
The rest of Saturday was good, just talking to a lot of people, tracting for a while...Ian and Vera....then I called Gertie to see how she is doing. One hour and 22 minutes later it was time for bed. Holy flip!
It was good though, at first she was being kinda weird, saying the sort of stuff I was talking about last week, but by the end she wanted to be baptized. Still no date set, but the desire is there. And she wants to bring her granddaughters to church, which would be a HUGE step in her deep Catholic family. 
I was exhausted by the end of the phone call, but I felt so good. She is really uplifting. I wrote down a quote from her in my journal that I loved for some reason: (Might not be 100% accurate) "Don't worry about your mum, don't worry about your dad, don't worry about your family back home. They're all ok. They're all happy. If they could talk to you right now, they would just say, 'I'm happy.'" 
It was so sweet. Not sure where it even came from, because we weren't even talking about my family during that time (sorry). But it was just such a nice thing for her to say, and I felt like it was inspired. Hope you are all ok, and happy.
To wrap it up, Sunday was good. I taught Primary. 
An adult female had to be present in the lesson, because they don't trust us men to be in Primary. But it was super fun. 
We talked about the book of Abraham, and also Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. So I made some wee scrolls for each of the children, pictures attached. 
Maggie was kind enough to sit in on the lesson, which was good because she had that mother authority to tell the kids to behave when I'm not so good at that.
Ian, the less-active man we've been seeing three times a week for the past five months, had promised to come to church. But he didn't. His problem is drinking. 
We're quite sure he was drinking the night before...he had a friend coming over Saturday night who, according to Vera, is nothing but trouble, and they always drink when together. 
We called him in the morning before church, he answered and hung up with out saying anything. Then straight to voice-mail after that. 
We went to see him, to sort of interrogate and call him out, but at the same time offer support. He promised he wasn't drinking last night, but his semi-slurred speech said otherwise. 
I was really bold with him, felt like it was led by the spirit though. Basically told him that I don't want to leave Omagh in a month (maybe) thinking that the time we have spent with him is in vain. 
He says we're definitely helping him, and his goal is to go to the temple and do the work for his family, but I told him honestly that that goal is pretty far off right now and he just needs to go to church every week. 
I felt like I was being harsh at times, but he took it well. I really really really hope that something changes in him someday.
Anyway, wow that was a long email especially for being only five days worth. Jeepers.
Well, hope you all enjoyed the Irish/N.Irish stuff I sent!
Love yous.

Scrolls for primary class. 
Me trying to look tough (impossible) with my County Tyrone flag. (I might send that home for yous to keep safe...but for now I'm keepin' it!)
The counties are quite a big deal out here; mainly with Gaelic Football. Each county in Ireland has a team and they are very proud of it.