Monday, May 5, 2014

Transfer 5 week 5

Well this week we had some pretty cool things happened! 

To start off, on Sunday night we had an appointment with Amir and Maryam. Because it's sometimes hard to understand each other over the phone, we often do an instant messaging type thing. And we were talking to Amir for just a short time when we asked how Maryam was doing, and we ended up talking to her for about 45 minutes! Well come to find out she doesn't have any background in Christianity. She is full blown Muslim and thinks that our Church is right for Amir, but not for her. So we're working on that. We have to be very careful as to not overstep boundaries with her current beliefs though. Luckily we have expereience with Muslims because we are currently teaching 4! haha so we get talking to Amir again, and this is what he says... 
Amir: Hello this is Amir
Gretchen: Hello Amir! Maryam told us that you met with the missionaries this week, correct?
Amir: Yes I'm going to visit them in next couple of minutes
Amir: Again
Gretchen: Oh, are they coming to your home?
Amir: No at Church
Gretchen: Oh good, what did they share with you last time?
Amir: At 7:15 for baptism
Amir: :D Amir is happy
Jessica: Someone else's baptism?
Jessica: That sounds great!
Amir: No my baptism
Gretchen: You are getting baptized today?
Amir: Do you let me go! Its late!
Amir: Yes
Gretchen: Why didn't you tell us?!
Gretchen: We wanted to come!
Amir: I arranged it at 3 pm today
Gretchen: Can we come?!
Amir: Do you want cancel it to next day?
Jessica: No!
Gretchen: No we will come now!
Gretchen: What is the address?
Amir: OK
Amir: Its at 7:30
Amir: Can you be here so quick!
Gretchen: We will come now! 

Well imagine my panic while reading that Amir had to leave to go to his baptism that he forgot to tell us about!!! Keep in mind that I have been teaching Amir for 7 months, and that he has been my only local investigator to whose baptism I could actually attend! So we grab our stuff and full out sprint across Temple Square to try to make it to West Jordan in time for Amir's baptism! The APs came to our office and tried to get the address and other information for us as we drove. Well, I figured this would be a good reason to speed. And decided that if I got pulled over I would tell them that my Iranian investigator is getting baptized NOW and that I didn't have time to follow the law. (just kidding) but I was praying the whole way that I wouldn't get pulled over. We get to the church building and there is no one there... so we go to a few other church buildings close by and no luck. So we ended up going to Amir's house and lo and behold, the Elders are at his door! They look at us and say "Aren't you Temple Square sisters? What are you doing here?" I replied "We are the missionaries who have been teaching Amir for the past 7 months." Well come to find out that these aren't the Elders who have been teaching Amir, they are the YSA elders who taught him once and they were following up to see how he was doing. I told them "Well Amir is getting baptized right now and we are trying to find him!" Then Amir comes right around the corner.. "Hey, Sister Gretchen, you missed my baptism!" He got baptized in 15 minutes and that was it! We missed it. Needless to say, I was a bit crushed. I am SO excited for Amir! But I am also SO mad at his Elders for teaching him once and then baptizing him without me there. So when I go to his confirmation this Sunday, I am going to try to hold my wrath in to not disturb the spirit. But the next time I see them at Temple Square, I can't promise anything. But this Sunday I am able to go to his confirmation, and I am still very excited about that! Amir is soon to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I could not be happier!

Tuesday we had the unique opportunity to go to a lunch for President Poulsen with the APs. It was a lunch to introduce President Poulsen to the tourism department in Utah. Now, this was pretty important because if us or President messed up, we wouldn't have nearly as many guests (potential investigators) coming to Temple Square for the years to come. So I was pretty nervous! Especially since I think I got the tiniest fork in the world and kept dropping food on my lap. That was a bit embarrassing. I sat next to a man named Jim Olson, and he is on the board for Utah Tourism. We talked a lot about missionary work because he has a son who left just a few months ago for his mission is South Africa! So that was good. And can I say, that the food was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I probably have never had better food in my life; and it's not just because I've been eating cheap missionary food for the past 7 months. We had an amazing spinach salad (and I love spinach salad), chicken cordon bleu, and waffle bowl ice cream. Topped off with strawberry lemonade! My mouth is watering just writing those words. But it was really good because I thankfully didn't get any food on my clothes, so when I went up and spoke in front of the 180 people there I didn't look like a complete fool. We each had a few moments to share why we loved Temple Square; and for me it's hard to know where to start. I love Temple Square because the spirit is so strong, because of the history and beauty of the church, and mostly because when visitors come to Temple Square, they are changed. Never to be the same. I feel the same way each and everyday as I was through those gates. And I can't imagine that ever changing.

This week, 2 of our new investigators from chat are some of my favorite new investigators! They both came on with questions that is presumably the typical 'Anti' questions. And it is really easy to disregard them. And normally we're supposed to end the chat as quickly as possible! But with these two, we didn't feel it was right. One of them we called as we were chatting! He is absolutely prepared for the Gospel. He was originally from Australia, but moved to London to go to University. So yes, he has the most beautiful accent in the world. No contest. But he has had a pretty rough past, and he said that even when he found success, he didn't find happiness. And being an atheist, he noticed how happy Christians were. He started gaining a belief in God through and hearing the Apostles words. Wow! Powerful right? Well he is searching, so intently, for an answer of happiness and truth. And we are very excited to teach him more! He is graduating University at the end of this month and said that he considered, if he joined the church, to come to Utah to study further at BYU or LDSBC. Well perfect! He's so great.
The other guy we were able to call this last Wednesday night, and he said that he absolutely loves the church, and the people. But not quite the history; he has heard a lot of misconceptions. So when we called him we told him, we're going to start over, that he needed to ease his mind of what he has heard, and focus on what we were going to teach him about the Restoration of the church. We invited him to be baptized at the end and he said yes! From where he started, we were very surprised. But we know that he was prepared, just misinformed. So we are very excited to teach these two guys! 

Well that's pretty much it for me, I'm in my last 2 weeks of being in the office, and I am nervous and excited about that. I don't think anyone loves being an office assistant more than I do, but I'm excited to move onto bigger and better things in my future. AND Sister Gudiel (my trainer) and Sister Gee (one of my best mission friends) are both coming back this transfer!!!!! Hope you all have a great week!

Sister Gretchen Brock

This is the Empire room in the Joseph Smith memorial building, where we got to have that fancy lunch with President!

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