Hey All!I'm sorry the past few weeks I haven't had time to write to individuals, I'll try harder to write fast today so I can get to some of you I haven't written yet.
I am doing great! the sun decided to come out and grace the north Atlantic with it's face, so good times. people here actually do not like the sun, despite the fact that they act happier and hang outside all day if you ask them they'll likely say they prefer the winter and cold. weird right? there's also a ton of dandelions here, apparently when the ships came over from England they brought dandelions to eat because they basically grow everywhere, and now they basically grow everywhere. oops. (invasive species what's that?) here's some pictures. there's also a picture of MUN, the University in our area. and some pictures of clouds. because we're right on the coast, they're huge and move really fast and low, it's kind of like living in a time lapse photo.
so I know there are some of you out there who don't have a crystal clear idea of what Missionaries do, whether we're members of the church or not. I know I didn't realize a lot of things about what we do before I got out here! so I'll take some time to explain in depth the life of a missionary.
we wake up at six thirty (about, anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with mornings.) we then do thirty minutes of physical exercise, and, because you have to stay within sight and sound of your companion, you're suddenly very limited as to what that could possibly entail. due to personal preferences my companion prefers not to run, therefore I usually do things like yoga, sun salutations, some pushups, and unweighted squats and or lunges. and usually not all at once. I'm going to have to ease into this waking up and exercising within five minutes thing.
then we eat breakfast, take showers, and get ready. once we do that we, have an hour of personal study, when we read our scriptures, and study Preach My Gospel, the Church's guide to missionary work, (lovely book guys, I've learned a ton about the simple foundational doctrines from studying chapter three and it's scriptural references) and prepare individually for teaching lessons. this includes taking questions that an investigator might have and studying the scriptures for answers, or reading a section from the scriptures and applying it to yourself/ your investigators. I could really spend about three hours doing this, but after about an hour we switch to companionship study. at that point we share what we learned in personal study and role play lessons and read and discuss together out of preach my gospel, as well. it's fun to share what you thought about a scripture and learn even more from hearing somebody else's insight.
then at eleven we go out proselyting. this is the bulk of our day, when we do anything from service projects to teach lessons, to meeting together with other missionaries in your area for further study and training, to searching for people to teach. mostly searching for people to teach, or at least, that's what we've mostly done so far. and that my friend is when we knock on doors. or talk to people in parks, but mostly knock on doors. I've already had a lot of varying experiences with this, from people who ask for a book of mormon themselves, to people who call us a cult and yell us off their lawns. mostly the reception is somewhere in between, people who have some understanding of god and appreciate our dedication and could potentially enjoy a discussion with us and be uplifted from our message, but are disinterested from the moment they open the door. nice people. I love them. I wish I could spend some time getting to know them. but that's virtually impossible on somebodies doorstep, and you have to respect their agency. with the knowledge they've been given everyone has the right to chose . the best we can do is bear our testimony, and share simple truths, and hope for the best. and then ask for referrals. (referrals are thus, "who do you know who would benefit from a message about Jesus Christ?" usually they say something like everyone could, or that they don't know anybody.)
if you're lucky, you'll find someone who's interested in our message. if you're really lucky they'll be your same gender, or lots of other people home, and have an hour with nothing else to do but have a discussion and talk about their soul and how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can help them. (There's a rule that you have to have three sisters or elders to teach someone of the opposite gender who's home alone. which so far, is all of our investigators. good times.) otherwise you schedule a time to come back, which fingers crossed is within the next day or two, and that when you get there they're actually home and weren't just being nice.
on that note, we've gotten two new investigators this week, and they're both really cool! one is a student going to the university here, he's a pharmicist getting an additional business degree, and he's from Iran. when we met him he seemed to think that we were missionaries for every church, but over time in our lesson we talked about the book of mormon and our identity clicked. he has a real interest in sharing the things he already knows about God, and asked us for good principle scriptures in the Book of Mormon he could share with the people he meets. his heart is in such a good place, he wants to be the best person he can be, and that charity he has for his fellow man is admirable.
Zhong Wu is another Universtiy student we met at the university. we have a booth that we set up and play mormon messages and give out pass along cards and books of mormon to those who are interested, and he actually came to us, with questions about our fundamental beliefs. He's searcing each denomination right now, trying to find the one that has the most truth, but when we asked if he thought that there was one who contained the full truth of Christ's gospel he said "I don't know if that could be." in our lesson he brought a video produced by a baptist organization about a "discussion" between a Baptist minister and his "scholar" Mormon friend. yep, he brought anti-mormon literature to a lesson. we didn't end up watching it, because as it started I felt the spirit leave. instantly. and so we tried to explain to him that the way to find the truth is by learning of each message, and then asking the lord in prayer what is right. James 1:5. we invited him to learn more of what we had to share, and thankfully he agreed, although whether he'll read the Book of Mormon or not is still yet to be seen, he seemed like he was really interested in hearing our opinions rather than doctrine. sigh. I just hope and pray.
And that's basically it. as missionaries we invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. the rest is expounding upon that simple and strengthening phrase.feel free to write, I always love mail, and have lots of stamps waiting to be used! My new mail address is