Well here’s the down low on Virginia this week —
Missionary training by day, Sith training by night. “There are always two.” Ha ha Always keep your sense of humor, right?!
We have lots of people to teach! Things are going well. We are teaching an 18 year-old named Mary Caroline. She is the sweetest!! She is adorable, teachable, humble, and loves the gospel. She is part of a Christian sorority at UVA. She is dating a Mormon pretty seriously; he’s leaving on a mission soon, so she wanted to lean more about his church. She is basically a golden investigator! The only problem is that her family doesn’t like her meeting with the missionaries AT ALL (they are a different religion), so they don’t know she’s seeing us. Her parents live about 100 miles away. She has met with other missionaries before, but I think her parents made her stop. She says she loves meeting with us though. She’s just scared what her parents would do if they found out about it though, or if she wanted to get baptized. She has told us that if she were to know this was the true church, she would want to get baptized for sure. She is trying to find her answer. She is really interested in the Book of Mormon, and has been studying it, along with the bible. It feels so good when we are able to answer her questions about the commandments and other gospel-related things. She wants to see how the Book of Mormon and the Bible compliment each other (our specialty!), so we’re going to teach her the Plan of Salvation next week, using both books to support it 🙂 She’s just one of the people we’re teaching, but it would take too long to describe them all!
So tracting…we have met all kinds of …interesting… people. We haven’t really run into anyone who is rude though. One night, we were tracting an apartment complex where we usually have a lot of success. We were able to knock 3 doors in the space of an hour and a half. HOLY COW. Usually we can get 10-15 knocked in that time! Here’s why haha: so the first door we knocked just wasn’t interested. That’s fine. We told him to have a good night, then moved on. The next door..!!!! A tall black man opens the door, SO EXCITED TO SEE US. he has a thick accent, I think he was from Africa somewhere. He was not being rude at all, I have to say that first. he was just very/….enthusiastic? He starts asking toooons of question about the Book of Mormon. It seems like he might be actually interested. We’re trying to answer them as fast as he asks them, but as we try to answer, he cuts us off as soon as we begin trying to answer with another question. He starts getting into all this deeeep doctrine that would take a loooong time to explain, such as ‘Jesus and Jehovah being the same person’, he didn’t believe us when we told him there were people on these continents when Christopher Columbus landed (HEEEELLLOOOO. OF COURSE THERE WERE), how Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten of God The Father in the flesh, and some awkward stuff about fornication, and plenty of other stuff that you can’t explain to someone while standing on their doorstep…Yeeeeah it was interesting to say the least. His name is Mohammad, and he eventually cut off all our efforts to talk, gave us a copy of a book of scripture from another religion, with his number in it. So now we have one of those. We’re not sure what to do with it, because we can’t throw away a book of sacred scripture like that! It’s not approved material for us to read (duh), and we can’t give it away to someone (double duh. What would that look like?!) I think we’re going to give it to our mission president, and let him find a home for it. So that was the second door. We’re not going to go back there…
The man at the THIRD door had heard some of the things that Mohammad was talking to us about (and so had everyone else. Thin walls, and Mohammad had a very loud voice. Several other people opened their doors to see what was going on). This man (he was also black) knew who we were, and some things about our church. He seemed interested too! He asked us what questions Mohammad had asked us, but before we could answer, he asked us if he had said anything about what race Jesus was. We said “….um no…” then he said “OH! Well hold on!” He grabs his Bible, and proceeds to show us through the scriptures that Jesus was actually black, talking about what color burnt paper is, and what color brass is, going off some descriptions in Revelation. We wanted to tell him that we didn’t care if Jesus was black or not, it doesn’t change our belief in him, but we seriously couldn’t get a word in. He went on to say that the African slaves who are now African-American are part of the tribes of Israel, and that he was a Hebrew Israelite, and Christianity was wrong, so he pretty much follows his own self-made version of Christianity. When he pulled out the Apocrypha, I thought we were going to get a second book that night too! But he didn’t give it to us, he just showed it to us and told us about it pretty much. It was exhausting to say the least. That all took an hour and a half. It was insane.
Anyway I did some studying about the Apocrypha in the Bible Dictionary and D&C 91. Interesting stuff…and actually I would be interested to study it after my mission, with the spirit, because in D&C it says “Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth and whoso enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;” It’s definitely essential to go in with the spirit so you don’t get turned around, but it’s good to understand more about the Jewish culture and practices. I had heard about some of these stories (there are little summaries in the Bible Dictionary) before and had wondered where they were. Now I know! Anyway, that’s all for after the mish, if I remember about it haha.
Anyway I have to go right now!!! bye!!!
Pictures upon arrival in Virginia:
Some Pictures from the MTC:
Sister Rollins and me
Our whole district – miss them SO much!!
Our Branch President at the MTC
I couldn’t take this picture seriously – doesn’t Joseph Smith totally look like Nicolas Cage??
How beautiful thy temples …
Cereal choices at the MTC
Going to the temple in the morning with the elders