Monday, April 14, 2014

"...I got punched by a crazy drunk old man!"

So first off, this is moves week, and I'm staying.
However, Elder Dewsbery is leaving. Which I wish was not so, because I WANTED to stay another transfer with this companionship.
My new comp is Elder Spackman. I've met him before, and he seems really cool so hopefully next transfer will be just as good. I'm sure it'll be fine, but I wish we'd had another transfer together.
Holy cow, this past week has been full of so many crazy experiences.
First off: I got punched by a crazy drunk old man! I'm ok though. He was just standing on the sidewalk and we walked up to him to try and initiate a gospel conversation.
As soon as we did, he yelled "F*** OFF!!!" and brought his fist back ready to swing.
Luckily he was really slow, so I dodged it and he only hit my shoulder a little bit. The adrenaline rush that came from it was crazy though!
The next moment I realized that I was on my toes, ready to defend myself. Then I backed away.
As we walked away we saw him yelling at and flipping off cars driving by, so I didn't take it personally.
On Tuesday after District Meeting about six of us from our district did some "City Centre finding" in Belfast, just split off and talked to everyone we could.
When we congregated back together, and we were about to go back to Lisburn, a group of like eight teenage girls came up to us silently.
They asked us what we were doing, and we told them...apparently they were doing a similar thing, they were from a youth group from their church, doing a "prayer walk" where they just pray with people they meet.
Then one girl who we could tell was sort of the leader of the group, started asking us the typical questions that some Christians tend to ask, trying to find fault.
Things such as "Do you believe we're saved through grace or works?" "Why do you need the Book of Mormon?" "Why don't you think the Bible is enough?"
It was a bit crazy, since we were in a group, so like four of us trying to answer her questions, and a few other groups had split off for separate discussions. In the end I think we answered her questions adequately, and testified to her.
The best part: The sisters in the Holywood Ward have this investigator named Robert, and he happened to come up to us right before the girls did, and during the whole thing he testified that the Book of Mormon has opened up his eyes a lot, and he knows it's a true book.
Apparently he's "been saved" for about a year now (that's what a lot of born-again Christians say), so he was able to relate to them because a) he's local and b) has a similar background, and recent, relevant experience with discovering the Book of Mormon and the Church and we could tell his testimony impacted them probably more than all of ours combined.
The guy's awesome--doing non-member missionary work!
Then there was this guy named David in our Former Investigator binder that we decided to try and contact. He said he just picked up the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and started reading again, and then sure enough we come to his door.
He took it as a sign. He is the epitome of a "dry Mormon" (someone who knows tons about the Church, knows it's all true, but is not baptised.)
He's never been baptised because he is afraid of people, like deathly afraid, and he will not come to church.
But we plan on teaching him as much as we can and hope something we teach or something he reads will make a difference. Seriously though, he knows so much and has a great testimony.
Now let me tell you about the two crazy Simons that we know.
The first is the one who is very devout Christian, hates The Church of Jesus Christ, and calls us "Kolobites."
We met him again, and he gave us his typed out conversion story, which was pretty good. Just needs to have the same experience in reading the Book of Mormon as he did when he prayed for Jesus to save him from his sins. But fat chance at that, because he is so very biased against everything we believe.
Then there's the actual crazy Simon.
We were in a cafe eating lunch with a few members on Friday, and he walks in, sits by us, and just starts talking.
We've met him a few times, and he always just asks question after question without waiting for an answer.
Loves asking about America and talking about different places in America and asking if we've been there and what we think of the weather and what a Mormon is, etc.
So we knew what was coming, but the members and the employees didn't know what the heck was going on!
And every time, he ends up asking for money, saying that if we're Christians then we'll help him out. He's just crazy and hilarious.
We met him on the way to the library this morning again. At first he asked if we could give him £2 to buy a coffee, then later in the conversation he asked if he could have £10 because he has no food at his place.
We went to try and contact an AUF ("lost sheep" sort of thing) who lived in a nursing home.
The staff was friendly, and brought us to her in the lounge where she and a bunch of other old ladies were sitting in their chairs quietly.
Her face lit up when she saw us, and she said she was so happy to see us when we told her who we were.
We went with her to a quieter part of the home, sat down, and then she asked us what church we were from.
We told her, asked her questions, and turns out she doesn't remember being baptised. But she doesn't remember a lot of other things...she definitely has Alzheimer's or dementia of some sort.
She seemed to almost think she was a young woman still. We asked what she likes to do, and she said she's kept real busy with work and she just got married, so life is very busy for her.
We asked if she had any kids, and she said "Not yet!"
So yeah, we decided to just talk with her because we could tell it made her happy.
We might go back sometime if the staff will let us, just to talk to the oldies and brighten their days. They all seemed really happy to see us, and loved to come shake our hands and start telling us about their life. It was kind of sweet.
And now we'll finish with a miracle story:
We were walking through a park, and two 18-19 year old girls shouted at us to come talk to them. They asked if we were Mormons, and told us they wanted to "be converted"...we both thought, "What?! This doesn't happen. Ever."
But they were sincere. They told us their story, that one had investigated back in Scotland and they both wanted something more in life and they'd heard good things about our church.
We were so excited that we didn't think very logically...we should have just taught them right there on the spot, and even invited them to be baptised, but for some reason we asked if we could meet at their house or the church another day and share our message.
They said they'd come to church Sunday and we'd teach them there. Unfortunately however, they did not show on Sunday, and the phone number they gave us doesn't seem to work.
So now we're a bit unsure on it...but I have confidence that our paths will cross again and we'll be able to figure things out.
It was amazing though, after we left we knew we had witnessed a miracle! Oh well, I pray we'll meet again.
Well I think that's plenty of cool stories for this week.
Sad for the moves status, but I'll get over it.
Love you all! Keep the faith!
<3 Elder Burt

I rocked the middle part for a whole day...It was terrible.

A picture of our super-fun district.

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