Elder Downey and I feel really good about this last week, we didn't make any huge adjustments, we just had a little more patience, and a lot of blessing. We didn't end the transfer lazy, we got our best numbers yet as a companionship. We got an investigator to church yesterday!
Saturday in the pouring rain we found a fantastic family. As we knocked on the door a women asked us "we are catholic, can you still teach us?" of course we said yes. She offered us ten minutes, we ended up taking about 90. This family isn't the ordinary catholic bunch. They go every week, they go to Bible study, they READ the Bible, they go to catholic camp. Interestingly though, the Mother isn't even a member. She's a "catholic lost sheep". Her baptismal record from when she was an infant has been lost in El Salvador. She isn't allowed to take what is called "the body of Christ" at church, which she is afraid means she's going to hell. Early on we also found out she had already been given a Book of Mormon, which she reads and compares to the Bible. For eight years she has clung onto it without knowing what it is. Her catholic friends tell her its from the devil and that she should throw it away, she has always refused. It took a really long time, with a lot of help from her daughter to explain what the BOM is. What's more, As we explained the restoration (and that Joseph Smith isn't Jesus) her daughter took notes inside her restoration pamphlet, found all the scriptures we shared in her phone, and filled out the additional study section in the back, all while we sat there teaching them. We spent way too much time there, answering question after question, but I really enjoyed it. We saw a big miracle, and all it took was a few minutes in the rain to make happen.
I have been reading a whole lot in Jesus the Christ during breakfast. I am love his example of perfect missionary. Surprisingly, he does a lot of bashing with the pharisees. You would probably call it teaching. He definitely teaches to people's needs and situations, sometimes driving throngs of people out of the temple with a whip, sometimes teaching a parable to one women by a well. He took large measures to never glorify himself, always referring to the Father from whom he had been sent. He was extraordinarily patient; he answered the same questions and the same accusations repeatedly. He took time for himself, on occasion, to prepare for his service, fasting in the wilderness and praying on a mount. He knew what he taught. He lived what he taught. He loved those he taught. And what he taught was a great treasure to all who accepted it.
Sometimes we missionaries feel like we're just professional people hunters, bicycle enthusiasts, or door knockers, and forget how really special this time is and in whose service we are in. Remembering our Savior and his example keeps our priorities and anxieties in check. That's why we have the sacrament, that's what the church, and the Gospel is for. To help us remember what we've always been taught, even before this life.
Just some thoughts.