<Dad> Madeleine responds to my email about her reading assignment in this email. What I said about the chapter she told me to read (3Nephi 3) is:
I have read 3Nephi 3 several times and it is an amazing chapter. I do see the parallel between the epistle of Giddianhi and the way Satan works. Lets see if I got out of this the same thing you did.
1. False praise and statement that is dismissive about your beliefs even trivializing the fact you hold those beliefs.
2. Feigned sorrow at the fact that you cling to those beliefs when the majority do not.
3. Convince you that your beliefs are causing the majority to become angry at you.
4. Offer of protection from the majority if you will abandon God and pledge to me.
5. Threat if you do not.
So, here is the part Madeleine wrote
That's pretty much what I got out of the chapter. Another thing is that he says basically I have hundreds of warriors just waiting to stomp you down if you say no but really that isn't even true.
I got up to bear my testimony yesterday and they waited until I was almost all they way up to the front to put the podium down and he just grinned and wiggled his eyebrows at me the whole time he was doing it. >:( haha just like home.
I've been having kind of a hard week because I learned that no matter what I do I am scared of contacting. So I've been throwing a temper tantrum in my head about it like every day, but then I remembered that I've only been in the field for like 3 weeks or something. So I'll try to be less afraid of contacting. On a positive note: I don't have any problem at all knocking doors somehow.
So I had my first lesson with a non member the other day and it was really bad. This guy was dropped previously and he basically just wanted to bash. At the end I felt like my insides were scooped out it was the worst. I'm pretty much the sassiest person in the world so it was hard not to immediately argue with him, but I didn't! We're teaching him again and if he still just wants to fight then we will respectfully tell him that we can't meet with him anymore. I'm hoping it will go a different way though.
We had the opportunity to go to the sealing of a girl to her parents this week. It was really cool. At the end the guy preforming the sealing told her that she was part of an eternal family now. It was also super hard though because at the moment I don't have the option of being part of an eternal family. So everyone was congratulating them and I was just crying like a huge weirdo. I think I had to teach the plan of salvation so many times with the missionaries so that my testimony of it would be strong enough that I can still testify of it even though I can't presently see how it will work out for me. You know?
I've been experiencing this thing that I'm pretty sure only converts who go on missions ever experience. It's pretty cool, but it also hurts my heart sometimes. It's called sitting in district meetings and daily planning and talking about people's investigators. Every missionary does that, but for me it's always awkward because I think of our Elders sitting in district meetings and daily planning and talking about us. Its usually just this funny feeling, but I've been noticing lately that there's a pretty common theme that missionaries will say that just makes me super upset. That is that someone will say something along the lines of "Yeah we met this guy and he was pretty nice. We taught him the restoration, but he didn't ask very many questions and he was atheist so I don't know if his level of interest is that high. I don't know if we'll go back and teach him or not." and I just imagine like Elder Severson and Elder Stone sitting in a district meeting and being like "Yeah so we were trying to contact this guy but he made us talk to his daughter instead so I don't think he was very interested. We taught her the restoration but she's atheist and she didn't really have many questions. She agreed to a baptismal date but you know I think she was just being sassy so I don't know if we'll go back and teach that family." or Elder Whatcott and Elder Severson sitting in daily planning and being like "So Madeleine is coming to church, but she won't pray in front of us and she's not keeping her commitments to read the Book of Mormon. She also doesn't seem to be getting any closer to making a decision about baptism you know we ask like twice a week and she always says she hasn't decided. If she doesn't start progressing soon we might have to drop her." Then I have like a tiny anxiety attack and I have to say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for sending us missionaries who didn't give up on us. I probably should express these feelings to people when I hear them say stuff like that.
Elder Center explained to us a foolproof method of contacting the other day. Read this in kind of a redneck accent:
"Ok so here's how you make sure you're contacting is effective. You go to the park and see a bunch of people playing basketball, so you roll up on the court and challenge all of them to a game of 1 v 12 or whatever. then you tell em 'if I win y'all all have to learn about the gospel.' and they're like 'whatever like we're gonna lose against this white guy in a suit.' Then you just ball so hard that you school everyone at basketball and they're like 'that is not a human being' so you're like 'I'm a deciple of Jesus Christ' and they're like whaaaat and they all just want to get baptized." -Elder Center
So I'm expecting this method to be implemented mission wide by next transfer.
Anyway your reading assignment is Alma 23. Look for who was converted, what it took, and what the results were. Something I would like to point out in case you don't catch it: verse 14: And the Amalekites were not converted, save only one;
An entire people were not converted except one of them and when Mormon was abridging the plates he felt this one guy was important enough to include. Just like the Lord rejoices at all of our conversion stories.
P.S. Our church is also at 9:00 but we have to be at ward council at 7:30.