Monday, March 17, 2014

Junior and Shamar

Well my friends,

It was another fantastic week!!! I must first say that I ate at a Mexican food restaurant for the first time on my mission. (see picture below) Yea it was really good too I got a pork carnitas burrito. Holy schnikes I needed that! Barbados has been great I have never felt closer to home then here. 

We had some fun at the beginning of the week finding in the richest neighborhoods we could find. Now I know where all the white people are coming from... We had a funny experience meeting this guy that was like Jack Black off school of rock. When we met him he came out and talked to us in his underwear and it was very brief. No pun intended. He set up a time for us to come back and when we did he of course was in his underwear again and he had just woken up. We talked for like one minute and then he was like "Well I'm gonna get back to breakfast guys.." He gave us each a pound and went back in.. I was like what the heck! Breakfast at 1:30 in the afternoon! This guy is living it up. haha. Best re-enactment of Dewey Finn I've ever seen. Why did I picture that going any better in my head? 

We had another odd but cool experience with another lady. I called into the house and right when she saw us she was like "NOO!" "NO!" "NO!" I said "Ok" and as she was walking away my comp was said "Can we just introduce ourselves?" Then she said "Alright you are very persuasive come in!" I couldn't believe my ears. She changed her mind in a split second and we went in and had a great lesson. The Lord is definitely opening the hearts of the people. Before I came here I was told I wouldn't be able to get into much houses to teach, but that the people are rude and make you teach from outside their gate. That has not happened to me once. 

Our biggest success was with two of our investigators Junior and Shamar. They both came to YSA on Saturday and we played the most intense game of futbol ever. They both fit in perfectly with the youth in the branch they are all into the same stuff. This caused Shamar to come to church for the first time yesterday. His little brother Nicholas is the  one that just got baptized recently. He has never been interested in religion so I didn't know how he would feel about church. We had been trying to get him to come for a long time but he always made excuses. But to everyone's surprise he loved all the classes he got way into it and asked a lot of questions. It's funny because everything is new to him even just the basics about Jesus Christ. He had like 10 epiphanies at church. He said that he wished that it was another hour longer because the discussions were so interesting. He accepted a baptismal date to work towards in April. 

Junior is doing so well that we moved his baptismal date up to this Saturday. It's really cool because he lived a pretty rough life but has completely changed and wholeheartedly accepts the gospel.

This man Cary we met last week made for an interesting week. The way we met him was some people at his work showed him some tape where these guys totally attack the Bible and say that it was made up by white people and all this craziness. It really shook his faith. He is not a Jehovah's Witness but is kind of on the path to becoming one. As he was riding his bike home from work he saw us teaching someone so he stopped to ask us some questions. When he walked up to us he couldn't even say what he wanted to say. It was like he was so surprised or embarrassed that he actually got off his bike and was now talking to us. He explained the whole story and had a million questions. He was pretty frantic because everything he believed had just been shattered so it wasn't the best time to answer all his eccentric questions. We went back to teach him yesterday and it couldn't of gone better. We started by teaching him the reason there is so much confusion is because of the great apostasy. We went in depth of all the religious history that happened from 0 to 1800 AD. We taught him about the Restoration and then answered many many questions. With a Jehovah's Witness background we had to teach about the Garden of Eden, God's omniscience, the spirit of man, and the 144,000 to name a few.. Seriously... He put up a good fight but by the end he could see the truth of what we were saying. His statements changed from "I can't see why a loving God would set Adam up to fail and come to this evil world.." Obviously because Witnesses believe it was not part of God's plan for Adam to fall. By the end he finally got it and said "So God set this plan up so this life would play out and we could gain experience." That's pretty much the nutshell version of what happened but I think his brain almost exploded with all the scriptures and doctrine that he learned. We completely burned him out of questions. He said he feels like he learned something he's not supposed to know. haha. I am thankful for these doctrines that truly reveal the brilliance of God. 

Well love you all. Life is good!


Elder Hale

Monday, March 10, 2014

Solid for Truth

Dear You Guys,

This week we have had some great successes. We have found some people that are really solid for truth! We are teaching this guy Junior and because he has seen how the gospel has changed his Aunt's life he has been super receptive. He had been reading the Book of Mormon and changed a lot of things in his life before we started teaching him. He said he wants to be baptized as early as possible so we set a date for the end of the month. We met this other boss guy named Ronald and he lives in the Garden of Eden. He has every kind of fruit you can think of and he took us on this journey while he told us his life story. He was surprised after we taught him because had heard so many things about Mormons and he absolutely loved the Restoration. He talked about how he has been trying to get closer to God but has become so confused because every church he went to had something missing. He loved learning about the great apostasy and the first vision was his favorite part because he had a spiritual experience in his life that people said couldn't happen. He told us we could come everyday if we want. He is a super funny guy I think he'll make a great member.

On Saturday we an investigator to come to YSA and we had a blast playing dodge ball. It got intense as you can see in the pics. The last picture is a flying fish. They taste great! Well gotta go!


Elder Hale

Monday, March 3, 2014

Argo Fest

Happy March everyone! (I am writing this email very slow cause I know some of you don't read so fast..) We have dubbed this the "Missionary Month of March." We made a newsletter to promote a unified fast for missionary work. Tonight we are having a fireside to talk about the goal of getting every member to get one friend to church this month. Yea I know shoot for the moon and get the stars.. We are hoping that this will bring a lot more success for the branch.
We did 3 puppet shows this week! One was for the kids at the child development center and they really loved it. Then we performed Friday and Saturday at Agro Fest. It is a huge festival in Barbados which is similar to the state fair. There was tons of people and we performed our puppet show on the main stage! It was super funny the stage was legit I would've loved to jam on it. I don't know how it's so easy to get these great gigs with puppets. Maybe I will have to incorporate some puppets into the live performance.. Maybe not... The Saturday performance was pretty funny cause it started pouring rain and everyone took cover but the missionaries doing the puppets had to stay and get soaked. It rained twice this week. Two days the first time, three days the second time. I'll send pics from Agro fest and it will tell the rest of the story.
We are having success with Jalisa. She has told us straight up that she thinks our doctrine is much better then any church and she wishes her church talked about the things we do. She admits that the only problem is she is comfortable where she is. She has made so many friends in her church and has a lot of responsibility. So right now we just got to help her get over the social concerns. She came to church yesterday and seemed to enjoy it.
This week what I have pondered on and gained a great testimony of is this: Those who are hungering and thirsting for truth will eventually have the opportunity to learn of this gospel. And beyond that they will come to know that it is true. I can't tell you how many times I show up at someone's door and they have those great questions of the soul that no one can seem to answer for them. And it's those questions that our doctrine can knock right out of the ballpark. Or sometimes it's someone hurting from sin or many other things, but either way we seem to end up at the right persons door. I love it.
Stay classy my friends.
Elder Hale