This week is transfers. My companion and I got our transfer letters in Saturday and I am staying here in Portland to take over and run this area while he is going up to Vancouver to be in a Tri-panionship. My mission will now only have 5 Spanish Elders and 9 Spanish Sisters as of Wednesday, so there aren’t very many of us to go around. My new companion’s name is Elder Flynn. He has just finished being trained and has been out now for 3 months. Normally breaking in a missionary from their training transfers is very easy, but it is going to be much harder since we are Spanish missionaries with an additional language to learn. I am actually extremely nervous for this upcoming transfer and am expecting it to possible be one of, if not, the hardest transfer of my mission as a whole. This will be my first companion who is younger than I am on the mission and I am going to be running an area that is difficult to stay busy in. My companion and I have been discussing how this is going to go for me and have both agreed that this next transfer will probably be like my “Refiner’s Fire” on the Mission. Getting through it will be difficult and maybe even miserable, but by the end, my Spanish will be far beyond better and my skills as a Missionary will have sky rocketed. I am very nervous but also excited for the evolution I will go through, and for the results that will show by the end of this transfer.
In regards to the “Refiner’s Fire” term that I mentioned, there have been a lot of people out here that I have been teaching who were able to really use lessons on the Refiner’s Fire. Some of these people have just been going through such miserable experiences right now in their lives whether they involve depressing divorces that are terribly sad to hear about or court cases with anything but Justice or fairness of any kind. Some of the people I’ve been working with have just been struggling to get through some hard trials right now in their lives. Ones that are definitely molding and preparing them for greater purposes later in their lives and even in the church as teachers and comforters for those going through similar trials that they were fortunately able to overcome. The Refiner’s Fire is an interesting concept that I have been learning a lot about recently, especially as I’ve taught about it more. I’ve only found one place that it has been mentioned by any of the Prophets/Apostles and it was by the Apostle Elder Cook in the General Conference talk from 2011 called The Songs They Could Not Sing. His talk is also referenced in the Mormon Message called The Refiner’s Fire. And lo and behold, I am now getting ready for my own Refiner’s Fire. As the scriptures say, there really is a Patter In All Things with the way the Lord works in our lives.
Elder Stevens and I had an interesting experience on Friday. We were out street contacting on the streets Lombard and Interstate, which just filled with people all day everyday, and we offered a picture of Jesus to this man sitting down. He turned away the picture, then went on to tell us that Jesus was a drunk and that he never walked on water, and he just swore a countless number of times in both of our faces, spitting pointing his cigarette at our ties, etc. It was pretty negative. My companion just turned away to try and ignore him and began to offer a card to this nice Vietnamese man who excepted it and tried to have a conversation with my companion while the other man right next to him kept yelling at us even after we began ignoring him. Then the Vietnamese man pulled Elder Stevens away so that they could hear each other while I was left with the other unpleasant man who was now yelling into my face. Then the man got up to attack me by running into me with his fists when an African-American man immediately stepped in between myself and him to hold him back and yelled into his face telling him to shut up and leave the nice missionaries alone. He then told me to just walk away and that he would take care of the rest involving this guy who was still trying to yell and come at me. Now while we talked to the nice Vietnamese man, he gave us his address, phone number, and name so that we could bring him a Bible and Book Of Mormon at on another day and he apologized for how horrible that other man was to us, the man who was still yelling at us now after about 10 minutes, but now from a distance. When my companion and I left and eventually made it back to the car, we talked about the whole situation and reviewed it verbally a few times expressing the good things and many bad things that happened. Elder Stevens expressed to me that he was about to have some unpleasant words of his own with the yelling man had the Vietnamese man not pulled him away right that moment, and I expressed to him that I was about to through that man back against the wall the moment he laid his hands on me had the African-American man not stepped in between us. We realized that all of the people around us (30+) who had seen this just saw 2 LDS Missionaries deal with this entire situations civilly and politely, and that thanks to the other 2 men who pulled and pushed us away, we also avoided looking aggressive or mean in any possible way at all. We also gave all of these people a positive experience regarding Mormons to bring up the next time they are talking about any Mormon Missionaries with their friends. All in all, we won in the long run, and the adversary lost. We were both happy with the experience and satisfied with the results.
I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day and Stake Conference for everyone who lives in my Stake back home.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville