So I'm emailing on a Tuesday because the library was closed yesterday for St. Patrick's day!
It was a disappointment though; we went to Belfast hoping to get to see some parades or festivities of some sort...turns out they did the parade on Sunday!
Pretty ironic that everyone who wanted to go celebrate the life of a Saint had to skip church to do so. Oh well, we still had fun exploring the city, taking photos, buying random Irish stuff, and spent a bit of time playing footy in the church gym with other Belfast missionaries.
So last week was pretty fantastic. The best parts were teaching like four brand new investigators!
We have done tons and tons of street contacting, which as I think I said last week provides a lot of teaching opportunities and also funny experiences!
We met this young couple, probably 18 or 19, and we stopped and talked to them, and they just started laughing because to be honest it is a bit weird for two guys in shirts and ties to approach someone and start talking about Jesus Christ or the Book of Mormon or the great Plan of Happiness.
But the awkwardness faded, and they expressed interest in hearing our message in full at Chris's house.
So we went to our appointment, and we think he forgot we were coming, but he nonetheless let us share the Restoration with him.
It was kind of awkward, because we figured he was just too nice to say he wasn't interested, because he was just real quiet the whole time and wouldn't really answer questions we asked...But then a few days later he approached US in the City Centre and said he'd been reading the Book of Mormon and enjoyed what he's read so far, and we'll be seeing him later today.
So that was cool how it felt a bit awkward at first when teaching, but he apparently felt the Spirit and took something away from our conversation!
We also met Ashley, a man, in the town about two weeks ago.
He said we could stop by his house anytime, but also said his mum would be interested. So we went to his mom's house last week, she told us a day and time to come back when she, her husband, and Ashley would all be present.
They all kept the appointment, and the lesson went almost perfectly...when talking about how Joseph Smith was searching for the truth among so many conflicting churches, ideas, and opinions, Kathleen (the mum) said "Wow, that would be really difficult." And agreed that even nowadays it's hard to know which one is right.
They loved the idea that the truth was restored, and they all three eagerly accepted a Book of Mormon.
The next visit, we taught Ashley's wife, and they said that they have two other family members that they think would be interested and they'll invite them over next time!
So we found a golden family to teach, who I have faith that at least a couple of them will be baptised when the time is right...all from opening our mouth to speak to one man!
I feel I always am nervous to speak to strangers on the street, but when I just get out and do it, not caring what they'll think and hoping that they'll hear and feel something that sparks their interest, I realize how simple it is, and yet how profound the results can be from persevering and talking to everyone, even if we go for hours with nothing but rejection.
The feeling after we leave the house is just awesome, and Elder Dewsbery and I feel like just shouting for joy and high fiving and hugging.
We usually do the former two but not the latter, because it's a bit of a busy road with lots of cars going by and we don't want them to think we're weird.
We have another investigator who was taught for about a month before I arrived here in Lisburn, and she is totally prepared to receive the Gospel.
She found a pass-along card on the ground one day, looked up mormon.org, loved it, came to church on her own, loved it, took the missionary lessons, loved it, and wants to be baptised!
The only catch is that she works all the time, and she moved to Belfast just a week ago so I've only met her once.
She is great though, I'm excited for her to be baptised and continue to learn and grow in whatever ward she ends up going to.
So we've been spending most of our time littering pass-along cards all over the sidewalks these past few weeks. Only joking. That's illegal.
Well that's it for this week. We've also had loads of born-again Christians who tell us our church is false...one man in particular who we've seen like three times and each time he says "Hi, Kolob-ites!"
It's funny. But annoying.
Last time we saw him, I just said "Matthew 7:21" which is my favourite verse that resolves the concerns that almost all born-again Christians have with our Church (the necessity of works, and the nature of the Godhead).
At the end of the day, all we can do is testify to them that the Book of Mormon is true, and even when we do that, they seem to have a concern..."No, you can't add to God's word, it's just the Bible..." "That contradicts what the Bible says"...not true, but even if it were, the Book is still true, and I can't deny it.
Then they say, "Well, Joseph Smith was a greedy con artist, and the pioneers killed Indians when they crossed the plains..." My response is still the same...."Doesn't matter, it's still true."
Anyway, Have a fantastic week brothers and elders and sisters!
Love, Elder Spencer Burt