Monday, February 11, 2008

Dog Bite After Dark

I had a very interesting week! On Tuesday, we taught this older lady (early 60s) who we had contacted a few days earlier. When we first contacted her I got this weird feeling. At first I thought it was because she had a slightly quirky personality. When we first knocked on her door and she invited us inside, we asked if there was another man inside the house. (It's a mission rule to have at least three men present to go into a house when teaching a lesson to a lady). She said no, but she kept trying to get us to go inside. We set up a return appointment for Tuesday, and she said to come in, her husband was on his way home, but we kept telling her we couldn't. She agreed to hear the first lesson on her front porch. We set up an appointment to come back on Thursday, and that day we had splits, which means I switched with one of the missionaries in our apartment for the day. The other two missionaries were able to bring along a member to her house, so they were able to go inside. They said there was a Buddha and Hindu-type statues a well as Native American images and dreamcatchers all over the house, and everyone said they had the same "be on your guard" feeling while there. They said she talked about her husband constantly but it looked like she was living alone, with pictures of family and children but no husband. Then she said that her daughter reminded her that she was a member of the church already and she pulled out an old book of Mormon and first discussion pamphlet from about 3-4 years ago. She couldn't remember any church services, going to Relief Society or anything like that. They are going to see if they can find her in the church records to confirm her membership.
Last night, we went on splits again with the other two elders we live with. I was walking around with Elder Metcalf, and it was 7 p.m. or so. With the sun down, it was hard to see very far ahead. All of a sudden, this dog darts out from the back of this house, runs over to me, and bites me super hard on the left leg right above my ankle. I didn't even see it coming at all. Don't worry, I don't have rabies (I hope). It was swollen just a bit around the bite marks, but we put some neosporen and a band aid on it and it looks better today.
We have this one member who is about 18 or so. He is the only member of his family and was baptized about 10 months ago. The gospel really changed his life. His father was a drug dealer in Houston and he started using from the time he was 4 or so. Up until he met the missionaries, he was dealing drugs and doing some other bad stuff. After he started living the gospel, he changed and turned away from his old life. He moved away from Houston down to Laredo to live with his mom and get away from all the bad stuff the rest of his family was involved in. Recently, he had to deal with a lot of trials. HIs father and brothers were all gunned down in a drug deal gone bad, and the person that killed them all has started to kill other members of his family. He said he know who is doing this, too. Although he is safe in Laredo, losing his family one by one is, needless to say, taking a very big toll on him. We went over to see how he was doing and even though he didn't say anything, we could tell he was thinking about buying a gun and going to Houston to confront the man himself. We visited with him each day, reading from the scriptures and helping him understand that only through living the true gospel could he see his family again and live with them forever. Our labors seemed fruitless and he seemed to have his mind made up about what choice he was going to make, so this past Sunday, I fasted for him. He said he was going to Houston later today (Monday) so we decided to visit him Sunday. As representatives of Jesus Christ, we have the authority to promise him specific blessings in His name if he would try his best to obey the commandments. I was scared at first, but as I talked to him I felt the spirit testifying to me that what I was saying was true, and would come to pass for him if he was willing to try his best. I saw a change in his countenance, and I could see that he was second-guessing the bad decisions he was planning on making. We taught him again and hoped for the best. I will let you know how it turns out as I find out more.
We could be moving in a few weeks (landlord woes) so send all mail to the mission home (address is at the top right of the blog site). Tell everyone hi!