It has been a pretty humbling week for us! Lots of ups and lots of downs.
We had a pretty interesting zone training last Thursday. Decided to try something that I'm pretty sure has never been done before. Our mission has been encouraged to read a talk called "Spiritual Bonfires" from 1992 October conference. A long time ago wolves were a big threat to travelers, and the only way to keep them away was to build a massive bonfire to scare them off. The talk teaches us that our best weapon of both offense and defense is our testimonies, which will also protect us from the dangerous, faith-destroying things that we face each day. So we built a bonfire outside our chapel and gathered 'round. Then we went around the circle and everybody shared their conversion story and their testimony. It was too cool and the Spirit was so strong that our fire almost went out. We love our missionaries so much! Everybody left that meeting on fire. Not actually on fire, but spiritually on fire. Best zone training of all time! And that's not even the coolest thing about it. The forecast showed that there would be no rain until 6 pm, which is when we planned to have our fire. And it was a 100 % chance of rain during that time as well. But when we went outside to check, there wasn't a drop of rain and it stayed clear until we went back inside. How about that?
In a meeting this week I heard a story of a guy who challenged a less active man to a bowling game in an attempt to reactivate him in the church. The guy had never bowled before, but he got six strikes in a row. Pretty tough to beat. He won even though the less active was a professional bowler, and he ended up coming back to church. Pretty sure that angels were guiding his ball! That being said, I decided to put it to the test. I'm no bowler, but I do love golf. One of our investigators is a golf fanatic and had previously invited us to go golfing with him. We decided to take him up, but on condition that he would come to church if I beat him. It was a pretty close game, and I probably would have won, but we didn't get to finish because he had to get back to work. Dang it! I felt like I played pretty well, but I could definitely feel some angels guiding some of those shots :) it was good to get back on the course though.
One more insane experience:
About a month ago, we saw a man walking down the street wearing a kilt and a captain america shirt. As crazy as this place is, you don't see that everyday. Elder Baum vowed to find that man and speak to him someday, but we just kinda laughed about it...until last week. As I was looking through our area book, I felt prompted to randomly call a random number of a less active. The man answered and told us he was free for a visit that very afternoon, so we went for it! We walked in and lo and behold, the man was wearing a kilt and a captain america shirt. It was him! Our jaws dropped so low that I almost tripped. God works in mysterious ways!
We also taught a man named Dan from Arizona. Good to build up the church back in America!
On a more serious note, I received news from my family that that my grandpa passed away. That wasn't great news to hear, but I'm so grateful for my own testimony because that's probably the biggest things that has held me up lately. I have God and the Savior to thank for that. Sometimes things are tough, but you just gotta keep going! Looking forward to more success with Elder Baum! Love you all.
Love, Elder Thomas