This past week we had a "Power Week". This means we lost language study time and meals times (we ate on the go) and left the house earlier in order to boost of our proselyting time. It was pretty fun--we were able to hit some really high companionship goals! For example, we talked to 240 people last week, which hasn't been done for at least the last five months. We usually talk to about 180 to 200 people a week in this area. In my past areas we always set goals for around 300, but this area is different. So that was really great! And we were able to get really close to several other high goals. The goal of the power week was to help us raise our vision for December. We hope December is a Power Month!
As for our investigators, we had to drop a baptismal goal (which was for this up coming Sunday :( ) because of parental opposition this week. However, our friend is not giving up and is pretty upbeat about the whole situation. She has a little bag full of missionary materials (she said she wants to be like us--and we all have matching bags now :) ) that she has been bringing home with her. I know that as she continues to share her testimony of this gospel with her mother, that her heart will be softened and we will start of December WHITE. She is constantly in our prayers.
A success story from this week is we were able to help another dear friend come to church!! We biked with her to church and she had a fantastic time! The ward was very great with her and we even had a linger longer for her to attend. It was a very happy moment for us--and we set up a member to come with us to her next lesson. They were able to meet each other and it was so fun. She was so cute too--sharing her testimony of the power of prayer with everyone. I was so proud of her!
With our recent convert/less active work we were able to have an increase in church attendance by working earlier to confirm them for church. We made the time to make calls to correlate with the ward and it worked really well. We still had less new members than we wanted, but we had three less actives come and one new member brought her husband! It was awesome!
As for gospel study, this week I decided to re-read the New Testament (getting ready for Christmas!). It has been really fun and the true reason for this is because last Monday my companion and I went to Costco. While there we were publicly ridiculed (not so fun) by a Canadian couple who professed to be Christians. It was sooo unpleasant because they refused to listen to the simple testimony we bore and just took every chance they could to try and trip us up. I answered honestly all of their questions and stated several times that I wasn't interested in arguing or debating with them about Joseph Smith (they were telling me my church's founder was a child molester due to him having teenage wives) and polygamy, etc, etc, but that my companion and I knew that this message is true because we asked of God.
I was a little shaken up by it emotionally and it was really just embarrassing because we had friends with us. The whole exchange was in English, but they could get the gist of the conversation. After I finally got them to leave us (ten minutes later) we turned the corner and we actually had a pretty good talk with our friends. We explained that after we are baptised, we have joined God's team and Satan is not very happy about that. So people mock us, hate us, reject us, but it's ok. Christ descended below it all--that gave me a lot of comfort. But I did cry a little because I just felt soo sad for them. They had said they were doing this because they "loved me" and even though I don't believe in their Hell they didn't want me going there. Their hearts were soo hard and if they aren't willing to change they will not have an eternal marriage or family. True happiness will escape them :(.
But anyways, after having them spew verse after verse from the New Testament at me, I decided I needed to become more familiar with it. As I read the chapters they had mentioned, I was able to see how a Joseph Smith translation clarified the doctrine, or how even if they had continued to really read the next chapter or two there was a direct contradiction to what they had yelled at me and Sister Lethco. Anyway, I am over it, but it was not so fun. Our district and zone leaders were really great at giving us scriptures for strength. Elder Summerhays told me to read 3 Nephi about how those who are persecuted for the Lord's sake are blessed. We appreciate the support we get from our leaders.
Well, sorry to end on that note, but I am happy and my testimony was only strengthened by that encounter. So I love you all and more later ok?
--Sister Brooke Smith