Satan has been hard at work in the Gilbert Zone this whole past week. We've had tons of problems with certain missionaries, and everyone is just kinda been down and having a hard time. I wont go into too much detail, because its sad, but the good news is that we're pulling out of it! We've had a lot of potential pop up recently and all the problems and trials are definitely because we're on the brink of huge success. Its funny, that two of the companionships that are doing the best, are the ones struggling the most. And I've had my share of drama this week, but we'll get to that.
First! Sorry I didn't email last week, nothing much to report. But we've been working with this family and its been going great! They were less active, and their 4 kids are not baptized. We've been meeting with the two oldest, Colten and Sierra, and they're getting baptized on the 17th. We asked if the other two would be interested and the dad said no, but he was going to work on them, and yesterday the whole family was at church! It was awesome. It was the first time we even met the mom and two other kids. So that's going great. They're super excited, and so are we.
Then, on Wednesday, we were doing our weekly meetings with all our ward mission leaders. During one of the meetings I brought up how our investigator had asked why there was no one else in the Gospel Principles class and we asked if we could get some more people in there to fellowship her. And the ward mission leader just shut me down and told me that was a bad idea because when there's a lot of people they all like to talk and voice their opinions and get on tangents. I couldn't believe he shut me down like that... Especially because the teacher of that class only goes on random tangents by himself...
But then! In the next meeting, we had previously talked about going over the ward mission plan and trying to help the missionary efforts of his ward become more effective, and so we go in, and we talk for a second, and then I start my whole presentation, and then the High Councilor over missionary work comes in, and as soon as I mention setting specific goals, the Ward Mission Leader kind of shuts down and stops paying attention. Then something happened and he interrupted me and started off with, "I am a faithful member of the church... but this has gone too far" and then proceeds to yell at me for about ten minutes about how the Church is putting the emphasis in the wrong place, and the brethren are misguided, and he crumples up the Sample Mission Plan I gave him and throws it at me. Then he gets into how I as a missionary don't care about people, and I'm prideful and I need to get up and start working. I was completely thrown off. I couldn't believe it was happening, and I am not exaggerating about it at all. So I'm sitting there getting yelled at with my companion, and the Bro. Hale, the High Councilor is sitting right there. And then he starts in about how his ward is so doing all this stuff and I stopped him and said, "But where are the results? There are no results!" and yelled "Bull Crap!" And kept going for a few more minutes and then ended with, "You don't know what a hard mission is! You have it easy! I served in France!" and just went off about it. Then he closed with a prayer and I pick up the paper he threw at me and went to throw it away. It hit the edge of the garbage can and fell to the side, and Bro. Hale picked it up and started to unfold it and I just walked out of the room, and we biked home. I was pretty mad that night, and I told the missionaries about and the Zone Leaders were ticked! But I just went to bed. I woke up the next morning and it all kind of caught up with me and I was pretty shaken. But I got the spirit back and was good to go.
Pretty crazy, but it gets better. So Elder Gordon, our Zone Leader, talks to Bro. Hale the next day, and Bro. Hale had a long talk with the Ward Mission Leader and told him I was just doing my job. But Bro. Hale was interested in what I was talking about. So on Sunday, The Ward Mission Leader comes up to me and totally apologizes, and says that he wants to do things the Lords way, and asked for my forgiveness. So I have no hard feelings towards him. And! That night Elder Gordon and I go to visit Bro. Hale and talk with him about everything we've been doing to get missionary work going in our wards, how many people the members know, and how with an effective Ward Mission Plan, we can focus that effort and actually produce results. Lots of results. This is everything I've been working on since... almost my whole mission. Bro Hale ate it up and we're going to be working with him to help the Gilbert Stake follow the hand book, and become very successful. On the drive home Elder Gordon and I were talking about how big of a deal this is, and how we can see events in our whole missions preparing us for this. The things that are happening right now are inspired. Things are going to happen. And that's why Satan has been working hard on Gilbert. But we're breaking out of it now.
The Ward Mission Plan and everything I'm talking about is how the ward can effectively participate in member missionary work. I know I probably sound crazy, but its basically following what the Handbook says about missionary work, to help us be effective in our finding, teaching, and baptizing. Its interesting, because in an area like Gilbert, theres almost nothing that the missionaries can do to bring people into the church without the members. So this is how it has to work here.
Its like I'm in a movie!