It was quite the roller-coaster week. It started by fishing on p-day, which we're doing again today. There's a stocked pond just past the cow pasture behind our apartment. That was nice and relaxing and I actually caught one! Later that night p-day was over and we saw that Salad Guy was on his porch again so we stopped to talk to him. He started by kindly chastising me for not talking enough. That was no problem, it seemed to be coming from a somewhat loving place. Then I talked for a couple minutes and he decided that I was now a beautiful person with good character. Also no problem--except for the fact that he had already had a couple White Rum/Coke Zero mixes and "Elder O'Brien is awesome" turned into "Elder Simmons is not." One thing lead to another and I've apparently been touched by an angel because I have a brown spot on my right iris, we're apparently a cult, my tie was undone by a drunk man, and Elder Simmons ended up holding a box of somebody's ashes. After that, we finally got out. So... Salad Guy is dropped. Sorry guys.
Missions are amazing because normally after an experience like that you would just hide out for a day but we just slept it off and went to work on Tuesday. It's about then that we get a text from one of our other dropped investigators asking us to come back. She was in a horrible state because of her relationship so we ended up scheduling and rescheduling until we finally got to meet with her on Thursday. We brought the Burleson Elders with us because we needed another male there, it was a sensitive situation, and the bishop wasn't available. As soon as we knocked on the door she came out and just started laying all her feelings out there on the table... with some strong words. That lesson itself was a roller-coaster but we finally calmed her down and helped her see that God loved her and that the feelings she was having were "natural man" feelings that she could overcome with fervent prayer and scripture study.
That same night we went over to see that lady whose friend we ended up teaching last week. On the door there was a neatly written but disappointed note on the door from this same guy. People usually do it in sharpie directly on the door but I guess he had some paper handy. In so many words, I don't think we're going to see this man again. Is it normal to have 4 or 5 investigators disappear (become homeless) in your first 2 transfers?! Someone please tell me!
I love Joshua though. Every area has its quirks and Joshua's is that people run away sometimes.
On Friday we had an amazing lesson with one of our less actives. We brought a member with us and he helped so much. He brought the spirit in with a few personal stories about his children's struggles in the Gospel and basically called the less active to repentance for not immersing himself in the Gospel. It was done in such a loving way though that the man was in tears. From there we just kept talking and we could just feel that it was the spirit that was really speaking. The lesson went so smoothly but it wasn't even what we planned at all. This is what makes missionary work worth it. I love that man. The main thing I learned from teaching that lesson was that even Satan knows the Church is true; it's our trust in Jesus Christ and his Gospel that will really allow us to fulfill our eternal potential.
Hopefully that gives you a good idea of what it was like be a missionary in Joshua, Texas this week. It had its ups and downs but it was totally worth it. I hope you have more "Brother W-type experiences" this week than "Salad Guy experiences" though.
Elder O'Brien (the younger)