A mission sure helps you grow in so many ways and I'm learning so much that I want to implement back home.
We did splits this week with the Presque Isle elders (Gibbs and Urick). It's interesting to see how different missionaries are, and then to find ways to help them with their individual challenges. At one point Elder Urick and I went to a Wesleyan church in Presque Isle and it was a really good experience. It was a men's Bible Study group and there were eight of us there. They were discussing "travelling evangelists" (missionaries!), and then we showed up. For more than half of the time the group talked about Mormon's they knew throughout their life and what great people they were; what we as missionaries do; the Book of Mormon; etc. We got talking about service and so I quoted Mosiah 2:17 for them, talking about when we in the service of others, we are only in the service of our God. They loved it, and that got a good discussion going about the Book of Mormon, and how we use it with the Bible. At one point they offered us a cup of coffee, so we explained the Word of Wisdom and how we choose not to drink it. It was a great night, and might cause some to consider more carefully seeking more learning and instruction from the missionaries.
I also had a "cuisine adventure." An investigator had made dinner for us, and when we arrived she asked if I liked haddock...saying, "I hope so, because I made FISH CHOWDER!!" She had no idea the entire time we ate, of my extreme dislike for fish...even when she insisted I have a SECOND bowl!! My stomach was churning, but I just took some deep breaths and was able to finish AND teach the discussion. After that we rushed over to a second dinner appointment, and it didn't mix too well with the fish chowder. But you do what needs to be done, and we had a great scripture study group that evening!!
One day this week we were doing some service with a group of brethren when we got a phone call from a gal who had seen our ad in the newspaper offering to do service for anyone who might need it. We went over later and did some banking around her house to insulate it for the winter. As we worked, we began discussing religion. She broke down crying at one point as she talked about her sister who had died a couple years earlier. She wasn't sure what happens after death, and she really enjoyed hearing about the plan of salvation. She is now a new investigator, and it was really exciting to see how our service blessed her, and us, in finding someone who is ready to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It sure is amazing how some things can be SO great in the mission field...serving people, teaching and testifying of Christ, being involved in the work of Salvation, and helping the branch members get inspired in helping with this great work; and then the flip side of how frustrating and challenging a mission can be at times, too. Oh well. I choose to be positive and not look too much at the bad stuff. I guess it's just a very real part of life!
I hope you're all doing good. And don't forget to wish Erika a happy birthday on October 18th!! :)