This week was the sweetest week I've had. The Lord really blessed us with opportunities to teach and learn. I've learned so much this week!
Last night we met a guy named E. He was washing his car and we stopped to talk to him and get to know him better and see if we could help. After talking for a minute he started to open up to us and share some deep challenges he's faced in his life. He's only 16 but the experiences he's had have forced him to grow up a lot faster than his peers and be the man of the house from an early age. The only reason he opened up with us was because he felt our love for him immediately and trusted us by how we treated him. He told us that he lives up in North Chandler and a few weeks ago he actually talked to some other missionaries (who are in our district) but he didn't want them to teach him because he couldn't talk to them the way he felt he could talk with us.
So we're getting him involved in one of our wards youth groups and we'll be teaching him later this week the restoration. He's such a cool guy and is very sincere and is really looking for more. The biggest blessing was him trusting us enough to open up the way he did so quickly. Me and Elder Wilcox have really been working on developing Charity and letting that love emanate everywhere we go and because of that, E reciprocated.
It was getting late when we met him so he offered us a ride back in his suburban which we took him up on. When we got in the car he asked if we didn't mind music with cuss words which we replied we actually did mind, but he wanted to show us his Sub anyways. So he turned some rap song up super loud, rolled our windows down for all to see, and took us back to our apartment. He didn't play the music for too long though but it was super funny to be driving down the road blasting rap in missionary attire :D
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. The way we're teaching members how to do missionary work has really changed this week. Instead of giving them a book of mormon to pass to their neighbors or asking them to invite their friends to church, we're asking our members to find a way to give their neighbors service and then consistently keep it up. We're teaching them how to look for ways to love their neighbors and how to build relationships. I believe that when members begin to develop strong friendships with their neighbors, missionary work will not only be comfortable and natural, but the church will be blessed with an exponential growth of members. DON'T create a relationship with a neighbor because you're looking for someone to baptize. Create a relationship with your neighbor because you love them and want to serve them. Invitations can be extended, but they need to know you love them. Love is the life and lubricant of missionary work. For example, Ammon was taken before King Lamoni and was asked what he was doing in the land. Ammon asked to be King Lamoni's servant. He then proved himself and gained the respect of the King and then was asked to share the gospel.
I'm out of time, I love you all!! The church is true! Every trial we go through will be made right through the atonement.
Love Elder Janis