starting at the beginning we did some stuff on monday but tuesday we ended up just going to district meeting and then driving to moncton and then to halifax for sis rust. I stayed in moncton with Sisters Dougherty and Comfort, both somewhat experienced missionaries. sis comfort has been out for 4.5 months, and sister dougherty for 7.5 months. so the first night we planned none of us really knew what we were doing, especially because the district leader decided for some bizarre reason to go on visits that wednesday while we were already on exchanges. (visits is when the district leader and his companion come and help train sister missionaries in a foursome... in this case a fivesome.) so I took over and helped sister doughterty decide the less actives she needed help or training with and areas that she is looking to improve upon. it sounded good so we went with it. well wednesday started and the elders missed the less active appointment for language study and then proceded to follow us around the rest of the day to people who weren't home and streets that were empty, giving little to no useless training on the way. so that was awesome. at one point we just made phone calls in the car. it was really dumb especially because the district leader's angsty feelings were flagrantly reciprocated by sister D who's area it was, and she had no intentions of respecting or learning anything from them. so the whole thing was really dumb. I just got to follow around and watch. at the end of the day we went to this house church for one of the district leaders potentials on a whim, where a guy who claimed to be christian protestant or something was 'demonstrating faith', that's really the best way I can describe kindly what I saw happened. the truth is that he was running a cult. he taught no docterine, referenced no scripture, claimed to be prophetic and shared lots of stories where it just sounds like he performed miracles without true consent of parties mentioned, in other words he went around claiming to have a power to do things and take people's agency away. super creepy when you meet an antichrist these days. even creepier when they perform stuff like that in the name of Christ. and then at the end he invited us over for dinner so he could "discuss Docterine." in other words bash. it was at the point that he challenged Elder Widdup to prove the bible was flawed so this man could denounce scripture entirely that I stepped in and said "Excuse me, we did not come here to argue, and now we are leaving." the room went silent and we left.
but that was just the beginning to my week! we didn't end up getting back to our area until friday morning, when we went to a bunch of lessons with our ward missionary Angie. we went and saw holly, and assuaged her fears that even if she did marry she and dwight would still be living in sin. (false btw.) (marriage solves the problem of living with your boyfriend. that would make him your husband.) then angie gave her a pile of books about the prophets a mile high and we asked her if she'd been reading the book of mormon which she hadn't. we emphasised the importance of the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies that it is the foundation of knowing truth about the restoration of Christ's gospel. and the peaced out. we also saw our favorite excommunicated member and handed her an olive branch to come back called Laborers in the Vinyard and angie and her became friends! which is awesome. I also found out that Dory is 51 which freaked me out a little for the reason that SHE'S MY MOM'S AGE and that they WOULD BE BEST FRIENDS if only they knew each other. but that is a dream for another day. I love her so much.
Sie Got Baptized!!!! on saturday. so that was awesome. we set out to the church in the morning and it started to rain. and it kept raining. keep in mind that it is also 16 degrees. AND RAINING. what the heck Maine??? so the roads were kind of crazy and all the people we invited bailed and our ward mission leader was doing his Eeyore thing as per usual and dramatizing the fact that the pianist might not come and OH NO WE'LL HAVE TO SING A CAPELLA!!!! seriously? some people. anyway. so sie showed up with his wife and Brother in Law who is actually a less active, and they were well groomed! which says a lot for a guy who doesn't shave and has mile long hair, and a lady who lives in pajamas. so that was great. we found sie a jumpsuit and he made jokes about how he felt like an innmate, and the water in the font was warm and even though only the bishop's wife first councelor and the pianist came (ha) and we had our baptism. sister rust and I got to give five minute talks on baptism and the holy ghost, which brought the spirit in. over all it was just such a happy and spiritually uplifting experience. then the baptist Jimmy stepp who's a priest age Young adult took four tries to get sie under the water. I just wanted to facepalm so badly. the bishop and mission leader told us to use him but even so we asked sie to pray about it and he picked Jim Stepp his father, but the mission leader and bishop went ahead and asked jimmy anyway, even after we told them that sie had prayed and chosen. but it was fine because sie's awesome and a good sport, and decided to make more jokes instead. "just pretend like I owe you money!" he kept telling Jimmy, "Just shove me under I won't care!"
So that was fun. then next day in sacrament meeting he was confirmed and Brother o'connell a Recent convert of about 9 months gave his blessing. it is so cool to see that this ward is growing so quickly. the spirit was definitly there, and I definitely got excited when his blessing included a few scentances about missionary work. Yeah Sie as a member missionary! that is a good day. the best thing though was that he get to take the sacrament for the first time. we don't really discourage people from taking the bread and water, but sie wanted to wait, every week he would wave his hand and shy away. It was so amazing to be able to pass him the tray and have him partake. There are a few times in my life where I have really felt the true meaning of the sacrament, and that was one of mine. but of course, he then bent over and said "they should have animal crackers for bread!" I laughed at the thought of sie 'a proud leo' holding a lion animal cracker for the sacrament. funny stuff. he also joked that the water cups look like thimbals and should be fruit punch. It was at that point that I snickered a hush and prayed he would calm down.
we asked him how he felt after the service. "I feel like a new man." shall we not go on in so great a cause?
have a good week this week everyone!
ps I'm training.