February 17, 2009

OK, I have the address of our building, but unfortunately I forgot to check the apartment number before I left today. I would say to just send to the building but I'm not sure how they do things with mail there, so maybe it's better that you not send things to the apartment. From what I can tell there are no little mailboxes, and I never see letters slid under the front door, and there's no doorman at the front. It all looks a little weird to me. Just send things to the mission office for now. Safer there.
This week we met a bunch of great different people. We met a really nice Bolivian couple one day, then a drunk Argentinian the next. He only spoke Spanish, but I found that I could understand nearly everything he said. (I'm now even more excited to start learning Spanish when I get home.) The next day we met a girl from Nigeria who we taught in English. Then we ran into a Jehovah's Witness from England. He gave me some suggestions of places to go see in London. Everyone we've met this week has been really nice. Usually it's not like that. Perhaps the best lesson we taught this week was with a member of our branch here named Keith, who is an American who moved here six months ago and married a Brazilian woman he met on LDS link-up.
He doesn't know how to speak Portuguese, so it was funny watching him interact with this family we were teaching. He was all smiles. He bore his testimony in English and I translated for the family, and I could tell they were happy and felt the Spirit.
The members are really beginning to understand how we want the work to be done here. How the Lord wants the work to be done here, I should say. We want to be the TEACHERS, they need to be the FINDERS. It should always be that way, everywhere. The thing is, people who are not in some way naturally involved in missionary work because of their callings or whatever else, they don't think about missionary work. Therefore, we plan on going to a bunch of different member's houses this week to share brief messages, and leave little, tiny commitments like "tell someone in the next 24 hours that the Church is good", and then we'll go back (or call) and see how it went.
Depending on the level of involvement the person currently has in the work, and the level of courage they have, we'll adapt to each giving different commitments to different people. One will have to make friends with someone in their building and talk about the Church within one week, another will have to give away a Book of Mormon and then report back to us how it was received and when we can teach the person, another will have to say hi to everyone in their building, or invite someone on their floor to their family night. Things like that. If members aren't involved, we won't have any real success here.
Now my challenge to you, family, is to be an example of this and make like easy on the missionaries there in Mesa. I know they're out floating around several different wards and have a lot of planned dinners with the members, but that doesn't mean you can't call them and say "Elders, we have a family we want you to teach, come to our house at 6pm on Friday night and they'll be here waiting for you". That's what needs to happen here, and little by little it's happening. An idea for your new calling, Mom and Dad... you could have the missionaries come over to our house and teach the Restoration or the Plan of Salvation to some of the young single adults who are maybe a little less active. Promise food, and tell the young single adults that they each need to bring one friend. Offer to pick them and their friend up. The missionaries will have something to do, and more people to teach and to baptize.
I love you and I miss you and I'll send you pictures from Elder Brown's camera next week.

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