Week 2 In The Field
Unfortunately I was a little let down by this week in comparison to last week since my companion and I were unable to really establish any new progressing investigators. But aside from that the week was great. We were actually able to teach even more lessons than we taught last week. What makes this week a little bit of a let down compared to last week is how all of the appointments that we had set up for this week from the previous week just didn’t really follow through. Instead we just met and taught a whole bunch of new people that we now have additional appointments for the next week with. There were 2 very unique lessons that we got to have though. One was with a man that had just gotten home from work, and the other was with a man named Giovanni. Both have families and both believe in Jesus Christ already, and both I think are very promising individuals to become progressing investigators. My companion and I had a very long lesson with the first guy. Even though he had just come home from work and was hungry and watching the television, he was quick to turn it off and just sit back and intently listen to our message about the Church. Both lessons were in Spanish by the way. He asked a lot of questions regarding Joseph Smith and he was extremely interested in hearing more every time we brought up a new topic, one after the other. After about an hour of teaching and answering questions, his wife came over and handed us some tortillas rapped in napkins. We decided that it would be fine to take and eat them even though we needed to get going since it seemed like we would be able to eat them on the way out, but then he and his wife invited us to sit at the table while we ate. And soon after that, a lot more food was brought out, and before we knew it, we were having a full course meal with them. . . Now there is nothing really wrong with this at all. I was all for being fed by people we had just met, but my companion later explained to me that he has had many experiences like this before on the mission where nice Latino families will almost or practically trick you into staying with them by slowly but surely just giving you more and more food over a period of time until they have trapped you in their home with a full course meal. He says that they don’t do this on purpose, but that it is just in their nature of being generous. After spending another 30 minutes at this home, and after getting to try a delicious new white milk and rice drink (I think that’s what it was), my companion and I left them with a Book Of Mormon and scheduled to come see them again later on in the week. The other teaching experience with the man named Giovanni was a door step lesson that lasted about 12-18 minutes. I unfortunately didn’t get to participate much in this one, but that was only because of my lack of knowledge in the language thus far. But nevertheless, my companion was able to teach a great lesson to the man who began the conversation in a more than negative manner by telling us that all he needed was the Bible and a belief in Christ. Giovanni first made the conversation seem like it was going to become a Bible Bashing which it thankfully didn’t, but I have already had some Bible Bashing experiences out here, but then began to just be interested in what we had to share and say to him about our Church. He kept on having us repeat the name of our church. “La iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Últimos Días.” I think he was just having us say it so that he could get a better understanding of what our church was about, by hearing the name multiple times over. (?). Towards the end of the lesson, Giovanni told us that he had found this conversation “Muy Interesante” (very interesting) and that he would love to listen to us again at some point in the future when he would have more time to listen again. He then invited us to come back to his home, without us asking, 3 weeks from that day. He said 3 weeks because he was going to be out of town for the next few weeks. Giovanni was a fun experience for me personally not just because we had the spirit there on his front door step, but because he actually seemed honestly interested in our message and he also just spoke in an intelligent manner with a very broad Spanish vocabulary, which is mainly why I struggled to understand him so much. When my companion and I left, we both agreed that he is going to be a very promising investigator, assuming we actually get to meet with him again. I say it like that since I have still been unable to experience a second lesson with anybody that I have assisted in teaching. Every lesson, and there are more than 20 at this point, has been “getting to know the people” and “The Restoration.” I am still really hoping for a second lesson with someone, soon. Having had so many first lessons but still not a single second lesson, even with many second lessons scheduled, is just strange to me. Something I do like out here in Longview Washington, the area I’m assigned to, is that since I am a Spanish Elder, the area that I cover is huge. My jurisdiction, from what I know so far, is from the towns Astoria, Seaside, Woodland, Kelso, and Longview. (see this link for the map)
There are a few other towns, but I haven’t been to them yet. If you take the time to look those towns all up on a map, it’s actually pretty big. At least it’s bigger than I expected my first area to be. I share the area with 2 Spanish speaking Sister Missionaries in my District, but that’s it. I love the size of my area because of the amount of drive time that my companion and I get to experience sometimes. I don’t love it because I get to avoid working, but because it allows me to just think about a lot of things. Specifically things that I spent the morning, or other mornings studying. When my companion and I drove out to Astoria and Seaside on Saturday, we spent about 3 or more hours in the car overall for the day. I was able to really ponder about some things and we also listened to a 40 minute talk by Elder Holland while in the car which was pretty cool. The topic of his talk was the Atonement. And when I choose to, I can open up Gospel Library and study or read nearly anything that pertains to anything regarding the church. I didn’t even used to know how much content Gospel Library had access to. It has thousands of things on it that I can watch, listen to, or read, and it’s great.
Something that works out great for my companion and I is how well we are able to work off of each other’s different sets of knowledge when getting to know people, especially when it’s in English and I can understand and respond to everything. Yesterday at a home that we had an appointment for, the person we had come to meet was not there, but his son’s friend was. When he answered the door, my companion took the lead as usual and asked him how he was doing an other simple things like that, just to be polite. He then asked him what video game he was playing since he was holding a controller and had a head set on. When he said he was playing the game Destiny, my companion literally right away just turned his head, asked me if I knew what it was, which I did, and said he’s all mine. I then went on to have a cheerful but quick conversation about the game to let the guy know that we are normal people just like him and that religion isn’t the only thing that we know about. After talking with him about the game for a few moments he became a lot more pleasant and comfortable with us and was quick to tell us everything we needed to know regarding the father of the son that he is friends with. It was just a reassuring experience for me to know that there is a use every once in awhile for my vast knowledge of the gaming world.
These were some key points of this past week. I hope everyone is doing well back home and is safe or at least well off.
Until next week.
Elder Adam. R. F. Scoville