Well my wonderful, awesome family that I love,
As you can tell from the title of this email, it's been a trying week. We haven't seen much success--well, I shouldn't say that. The success we've had seems like it's Heavenly Father helping us reach our goals (as far as numbers go), but we don't have many people that we're working with. I know Dad said the teaching pool there is 4 people. Well up until this week, ours was 1. We have been tracting insane amounts of time, and we get a lot of potential investigators, but when we say we'll come back at a certain time, they're never there. And I guess I shouldn't expect them to be--if two guys knocked on my door and asked to come back, I probably wouldn't make it a priority to be home either. But there have been two contacts that have been there when we came back. They both (according to the qualifications) became new investigators of ours:
Anthony is an interesting guy who is 27 years old and who we'll probably end up handing over to the Zone Leaders who work in the YSA branch. Our first lesson with him, Elder McKay asked a bunch of questions and really tried to resolve concerns about baptism and get a commitment. Anthony said he felt a really aggressive and ferocious presence from Elder McKay during that, and he almost told us to get out of his apartment! It was kind of ridiculous. Elder McKay wasn't being ferocious at all, but Anthony says he's real sensitive to presences and spirits and apparitions, and that he's met the man who baptized him into the Catholic church and he felt that man was a man of God. We tried to talk about authority, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears, or I guess maybe ears that were getting eaten by a ferocious aggressive presence coming from Elder McKay ;) It was funny, to say the least.
Nicole and Ben were there when we went back to their apartment, and they reluctantly invited us in. We got a little background from them and they met eachother at Bible College, and they are very familiar with the Bible. Nicole has a little bit of a knowledge of our faith, but I'm pretty sure it was skewed and most of what she was taught were weird deep doctrinal things. Anyway, she has read some of the Book of Mormon before, but she said she found times when it disagreed with the Bible, so she didn't agree with it. Her husband, Ben, is a very outspoken, abrasive guy. He wasn't afraid to tell us we were completely wrong, and at one point after he asked or responded in a biting way, he said, "I'm just trying to teach you guys something". Well, after a very long time in their apartment, we managed to scrape out the rudiments of lesson 1, the restoration. We tried to ask them to read the Book of Mormon, and Ben said if anything, our conversation has urged him to read more of the Bible, and then if he finds something that tells him to read the Book of Mormon, he will. Well as we closed our lesson, Ben said he was impressed that we didn't lose our cool, because he said he was pretty close a couple of times. It was kind of an interesting lesson, but I do have to thank Heavenly Father because they said we could come back this week, so Anthony and them are our 3 new investigators for this past week.
Things are looking up though. While tracting we asked for a referral from a lady who wasn't interested, and she gave us the name of a lady who is going through a divorce right now. We knocked on her door, and she was super nice to us, and we have an appointment with her tomorrow. I have a really good feeling about her. Her name is something like DeShauna or TaShawna or something like that. We also have an awesome guy named Ron who works security on F.E. Warren Air Force Base (almost everyone here works there) who is ultra nice to us, and who said he's going to call us in the next couple of days to set an appointment up. We are working hard, and I know we'll start to see a lot of our hard work pay off in the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to meeting with these two this week, and the ward is trying to work on getting us more people to teach. Line upon line, I know the work will come. It's just a little discouraging day after day working and tracting for hours with no apparent success. But I have to remind myself that sowing seeds is bringing people closer to Christ as well.
On a funnier note, on Friday we moved probably the heaviest piano in the world. It is an upright grand built in 1910 and definitely weighs at least that many pounds. Then that night we got a call from the people we were supposed to do service with the next day, and they asked us to do it Friday night. So we helped them haul and stack 5 tons of hay. It was a workout day. Then we went over to their house the next day and helped them killl their two 50 lb (or so) turkeys. They were huge! Brother Friis had to shoot them in the head before Elder McKay and I chopped their necks because their necks were so stinking big! It was kind of fun though.
A scripture that has really helped me this week is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. I know that I am weak. Plain and simple, I am a very weak person who has many infirmities and weaknesses. But, our weaknesses make us humble. Humility makes us strong because when we are humble, we turn to Christ, our Savior, and in turn, he lifts us up and carries our burdens. Like Paul says, "I take pleasure in infirmities...for when I am weak, then am I strong." I have found out through study that each of our weaknesses is a step away from charity. As we repent and change and allow Christ to pick up our slack, we become more charitable. Each thing we repent of, each weakness we make strong is a step toward charity. Charity never faileth. God doesn't call people to fail. He calls us in our weakness so that we can turn to him and be humble and allow ourselves to be made strong, be made charitable, and it is then that we cannot and will not fail. Without charity we are nothing. Look to God and live. I know I have many things to work on, and I do not have enough charity. But we must "pray for this love". As we do so, we can accomplish anything that God asks us to do--anything. I have a strong and burning testimony of that.
I love you all, and I miss you greatly. I pray for you always.
Elder Logan Bryan