Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I Don't Know Why You Say Good-bye, I Say Hello"

Hey family,
So yeah, it was kinda funny.  I started singing that song on Thursday, I think.  Well we were knocking doors (my favorite thing in the world NOT!) and a lady opened the door.  We said our friendly "Hello!!!"  She smiled, saw who we were and quickly closed the door with a "Goodbye."  So as we were leaving I was singing this Beatles song, and Sister Chen was laughing at me.  But this phrase has been the story of my week!

The members here are nice, but they're just so dang comfortable with their lives that they don't want to branch out and help other people come to this awesome knowledge that we have!  So we've been finding people on our own.  We went to visit this one lady (a member) randomly but she wasn't home.  So we went to her neighbors.  She was a religious lady (Monica) and she started to talk to us about where her dad was (who had died).  We talked to her about the plan of salvation.  She seemed to know a lot of it, or else didn't exactly get what we were telling her.  She didn't seem to bright, because for some reason she kept referring to the Jehovah Witnesses and how it was so weird that they didn't celebrate holidays.  She got out a sheet of paper that explained why.  Or she kept saying "When I was a Catholic they never taught that King Herod sent the wise men to find out where Jesus was so he could kill them, but God told the wise men not to go back to King Herod.  They never taught us that."  And I was thinking, "1) what does that have to do with the Plan of salvation and 2) is that important, as in does that pertain to your salvation to know this information?"  Yeah, she was interesting.  But we gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read and pray.  We came back a few days later.  She couldn't grasp the fact that Joseph Smith was prophet, and we have a  prophet here on this earth.  We asked what a prophet was for.

"To direct this people,"  she said.
"So do you believe that God could send another prophet here to His people?"
"Well yeah."Then we said "He has, and that's Joseph Smith!  Our prophet today, who has the same power that was given to Joseph Smith is Thomas S. Monson...."  yadayadayada.  But no, she couldn't accept the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.  We told her to keep the BOM and keep reading and praying about it.

I find that alot of people can't accept the BOM.  Most have been raised catholic.  Oh, could you find out the religious history of this ares...if you have time.  I'd be interested to know.  We cover Wheaton, Villa Park, Lombard, Glen Elyn, Aurora, and Warrenville.  Cuz there are so many people who are deep set in their religion.  We did meet a 94 yr old woman who's an atheist, and quite happy with what she believes in, or doesn't believe in.  I found that so sad.  How could you go about life not believing in God?  That kills me!

So you'll get a kick about what happened yesterday...well I did.  I find that almost everyday my testimony is questioned by someone or another.  Like on Sunday we started talking to a man who was a "Catholic," but didn't go to church because he didn't see a point.  I started to say, "Well, we believe..."  and he said, "I don't care what you believe!  So just go!"  Yeah, that was hard.  He totally bashed my testimony

But yesterday this lady a little older than me came outside to talk to us, and she was soooooo deep into her religion.  She believed the Godhead was one in person.  That Christ/God was a spirit before he came here, but he was also God, then he came into mans form, and I forgot where the H.G. fit in.  She asked us how we knew the BOM was true, along with JS and our belief in God.

"We've prayed about it, and I personally have felt that it is true."
"So you're basing your belief off you're feelings?"
"Yes."  Was a simple answer I could giver her.
Then she said, "I urge you, I plead with you to keep searching!  There are scholars out there who have written books on the bible, and get another version than the flowery language of the King James version!"
She really thought we were so totally wrong.  It was sad.  But we talked with her for about 15 min.  And it's funny because when Sister Chen used the scripture about when Christ was baptized, and the Father bore record of Him, and the H.G. was there, she completely disregarded it, and went to another scripture where it says that Christ came down to be a servant and thought Himself equal with God.  I completely understood what that scripture meant.  That He was a God, but He descended below all things to come down and serve and die for mankind.  But she totally misinterpreted the scripture.

Anyways, so then the next door was a 80 yr old man.  He came out to discuss religion with us.  He taught Sunday School somewhere.  But oh man, he doesn't know how to read the bible.  He was convinced that we didn't have to have works to get into Heaven.  He thought all we had to do was say, "I have faith in Jesus, and He came down here to die for me and take away my sins."  He also said that when we enter the gates of heaven, to get in you have to say, "I am clothed with the robes of righteousness."  He kept quoting a scripture that says something like, "Your works won't get you into heaven, only your faith.  It doesn't matter that I give to charity, or teach religion.  It's only my faith."  He said.

HE'S MISSING SO MUCH!  First of all Faith is a VERB!!!!  "Faith without works is DEAD!!!"  You must ACT on your faith!  Alma and Amuleck didn't see the fruit of their labors til they acted on their faith, neither did Ammon and his brothers.

I came home that night and realized, I a 21 yr old girl who most likely haven't done the scripture study and research that these two have done, am more knowledgeable about the scriptures and the ways of God because I have the Spirit, and I listen to the prophet who happens to have the power to interpret scriptures and such.  It shows how important the Holy Spirit is in our lives.  Even sister Chen, who's only been a member for 8ish years, and has only read through the English BOM once, and just parts of the Bible knows more than them.  And it's because she has the spirit.  We can learn so much on our own with the spirit as our study buddy!

Okay, so then we're tracting in this not-so-wealthy place.  Mostly Hispanics.  And we get to one house.  A lady opens the door. 
"What do you want?"  she practically yells at us.
"Hi, how're you?"  I say all happy like.
"What do you WANT?!!!!"
"We're missionaries from th...."
"Oh yeah,  well get out of here!"  (I think she said something more rude, but I can't remember."
"Well you have a good day!"  I almost said that sarcastically, but didn't.
"Yeah, go to Hell!"  She yelled, then SLAMMED the door.  No one has ever SLAMMED the door on us.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  So I took Elder Wirthlin's advice and laughed.  Sister Chen and I thought it was funny.  But as the scriptures say, "She'll have her reward dun, dun, dun!"  Well it doesn't say "dun, dun, dun"...that was from the 'Sister Ostler' version.

But my Spanish is improving.  It was so cool.  Cuz yesterday we ran tracted into a lady who spoke un poco Ingles.  So I gave her Spanish pass along card, and explained to her what it was.  I asked, In English, if she wanted Spanish missionaries to come over.  She nodded her head.  So I had to get her name and phone number.  And just like that I knew how to ask for her name and phone number.  I had learned it in my Spanish classes, but I haven't used them since.  But there have been times, when Spanish words that I've learned and haven't used for years come back so I can better communicate with Spanish people.  But I still don't know how to say "free."  Like as in "The book is free."  It's funny, cuz sometimes Sister Chen starts to talk to them, but they can't understand a WORD!  She's just so excited about the gospel!

At our Zone meeting on Monday President and Sister Doll taught us how to teach a powerful 15 min lesson one.  They said that if we promised/convinced the people to let us in for 15 min. we could teach them and help them feel the spirit.  So Sister Chen and I have been trying this, with no luck.  But yesterday we tracted into this guy and at first he said he had found God and didn't need us.  He was very polite.  But I said,
"Can we just share our message with you for 15 min."

So he let us come sit on his back porch.  Come to find out he was raise Catholic (shocker).  But hadn't had good experiences with the religion.  He was a little older than me.  Maybe late 20s.  But he had set out on his own to kind of find out who God was, and some of the great questions we have in this life.  "There's something going on that humans aren't aware of," he kept saying.
"You mean like the Plan of Salvation?" I wanted to say.  But we taught lesson one.  He's scared though.  He's afraid people use religion in the wrong way.  And they do, but I assured that we as latter-day saints don't.  He said he'd read the BOM and pray.  We ended with a kneeling prayer, and HE OFFERED IT!!!  I was excited.  Cuz that's what President Doll told us that we needed to do.  We have another appointment with him tomorrow I think.  I just know this gospel can help him so much find the answers he's looking for.  He just has to let go of his fear.

Also we hopefully have a baptism at the end of the month!
Oh my gosh!  Elder Gong!  He spoke in General Conference and he came to our stake conference!  The missionaries, their investigators and recent converts got to have a special meeting with him beforehand.  Oh it was awesome!  He let a lot of the investigators and RC's share their testimonies, and he helped a man who'd been investigating the church for years realize that he already had such a strong testimony.  Our investigator, Debra, really liked it.  And Elder Gong is hilarious!  I love him, and we got to shake his hand.  Debra really liked Stake Conference, so that's really good.  Cuz it's hard to get her to come to church.  So that was the highlight of my week.  And after that, and Zone conference on Monday, my week go so much better.  The end of last week was so hard and disappointing/discouraging with 'no' after 'no' after 'not interested' after 'best of luck!"  I wondered if we were ever going to get into a door.  And even when we did teach a lesson it never seemed to make an impression them.  So yeah, those two things combined made me realize that I can do this.  Yes, it's hard, but heck, it's awesome!

We got to go the temple today.  It's beautiful, but the ordinance room is SMALL!  So is the Celestial room.  And we went out ot eat at this really good bread place, Panera Bread.  SOOOOOOO good!  Chicago has REALLY good food.  Just bad Pizza.  Okay, well time's up!  Love you all!  And yes, I did get your package.  Thanks so much!!!  I loved it.  And its 9W.  And the belts came today.

Tell Ben Ostler to write me!  And I met Aunt Julies roommate!

Love you!
Sister Ostler
But yeah, the end of last week was hard.

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