Monday, February 15, 2016

December 7, 2015 Bushwick!

I will have to tell y'all more about this next week, but that balding head belongs to Elder Ronald A. Rasband...... CLIFFHANGER!

An old friend from Staten Island!!!

Copied from a photo of Elder Sirrines journal pages.....

I’ve wanted to write more…there have been many tender mercies, but its hard to find the time.
It’s a new month and we’ve started the Christmas initiative “A Savior is Born”  It’s a beautiful video.
Our investigator outlook is coming around.  We had such a miraculous lesson with Jesus Tito and his friend, Danny.  Tito is the nonmember son of an inactive woman.  The first time I met him, he was so anti he was railing on Joseph Smith the moment we walked in.  By the power of the Spirit, we ended up not only having a lesson with his mother, but him that day, and he accepted a return appointment.  Elder Cottle went back on exchanges, and when they left he was firm in not believing, but remained friends.  This third time, when we called him we we were treated like best buds, though he made it clear the actual lesson would just be with his mother.

When we got there, he had a friend, Danny.  Danny had just spent the last 10 years in jail, released the day before.  As we sat down to dinner, Danny kept asking more and more questions until we had been talking for an hour.  Then he accepted the Book of Mormon and committed to read!  

Another great experience was with the Castillo family.  The father is inactive, and the rest are nonmembers.  We’ve been visiting them since I got here, but the mom is always in the bedroom and will never come out, and the dad is pretty unmotivated.
Well, after much planning and pushing, we got Hermano Castillo to organize an FHE.  We went over, shared a paper basketball Atonement/Faith activity that the whole family loved, and showed the new Christmas video.  It was so good, the Spirit was there and their family was together and happy and Paula (the mother) was there!  Then she created the commitment to come to church.  So good.

Tonight we had a lesson with a referral from the English Elders.  They met him on the train.  Well we actually got in, taught well the Restoration, successfully extended an invitation to be baptized, and were introduced to his mother, who also accepted a return appointment (and has 11 kids!).  Most solid new investigators I’ve seen yet here in Bushwick.  Name’s Garcia.

Oh and an update on Samuel…We finally met with him again.  Like the last lesson, it was super good, he’s interested and seems super promising.  Still worried he’s not going to keep commitments when we aren’t there.  It’s hard with these people.  Every time we’ve caught him he’s just been dead knocked out on the couch.  Its hard to be confronted to start a 500 page book when you are a bicycle delivery boy from 6:30a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  We’ll see.

Had Mission Leadership Council today.  We were talking about the mission’s goals again, this time to finalize the most important council of the year.  What the Assistants presented was the 1-5-5:  1 million composed of 500,000 street contacting seeds planted and 500,000 lessons taught.  They broke that down to each companionship talking to 15 people per day and 15 lessons per week.  Everybody was getting really excited about it while I was scratching my head about how 15 people a day and 15 lessons a week both added up to 500,000.  I kept second guessing myself…I mean, math was never my strong point and there’s no way the assistants could make a mistake like that…finally I raised my hand slowly and said I was confused by the math.  Another Zone leader blurted out”  500,000 plus 500,000 equals a million!”  Forehead slap.  Well, long story short, that brought the whole thing crashing down.  We wasted a good twenty minutes trying to come up with another key indicator that could equal 500,000 so we could get the catchy million.  We eventually, after much sweat and tears (no blood) settled on the 5-6-7:  500,000 street contacts, 60,000 referrals contacted, and 70,000 lessons.  Hey 5-6-7 is catchy too.

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