We have really been focusing on getting members on as many of our teaching appointments as possible. We want all of our lessons to be taught with a member present within reason. I've found that the key to accomplishing this goal is PERSISTENCE. To keep asking, to work around schedules, to be flexible... to just make things work out! I've realized that if we just do all we can, the Lord will sort our the rest. He'll provide those fellowshippers and friends. He'll pave the way. The Lord provides for His servants. Through faith and prayer, we were able to get a member to accompany us on every single appointment this week, except for two, but those two were with the same person and with more effort on our parts we could've had a member there. We now have a twice-a-week standing appointment with him and a members home to do a mini-PMG class. We're really excited about that. We've prayed a lot and we think that it's the best thing for him.
I think the biggest miracles of the week was when we taught our investigator on Sunday evening. All week he's had a hard time meeting with us because of his coursework (but apparently that's all done now so hopefully it won't be an issue.) He's really prepared for his baptism, which is now only three weeks away! We were planning on reviewing the Restoration with him, but he asked us what we could and could not drink. Obviously, we knew that we needed to teach the Word of Wisdom (which is what we thought his main concern would be.) In a moment when, I admit, I was internally freaking out, he walked over to the cabinet above the TV, GRINNED and said "Can I drink thiiiiiiis?" and opened the cabinet to reveal a whole range of alcoholic beverages. We bluntly told him "no." to which he replied that we were right, that we shouldn't drink that. He said he was "testing" us. Apparently it is all his dads. What a relief! The rest of the Word of Wisdom was received well. He even said that it was "easy" because those are all of the things he doesn't like anyways. No complaints there! His only concern was the promised blessings of walking without fainting and running without being weary. He claims that it gives unfair advantage in athletic contests and that it's dishonest to cheat. We were able to talk him through it though and now he understands it. He's a star!
We are making finding a big part of our daily proselyting efforts and I think that is why the number of lessons we are teaching has gone down. That's okay though! Nothing happens in missionary work until we find people to teach! So we just need to stick to it. It's not easy. It's a lot easier to beat a dead horse, to stop by the same people week after week with no results. We are here to teach seekers, to find the elect, not to just find a couple of people and chat with them for numbers. Granted, when the mission pushes for numbers (because they represent people) it can be tempting to fall into that trap. Being the competitive person that I am, I have fallen prey to that sinful mindset before. But we can overcome it! I know it! The Lord always provides a way to overcome temptations. I've seen it many times throughout my mission thus far. What a blessing it is to be doing the Lord's work, to know that if we simply follow the rules, the Spirit, and the Scriptures, we will become His mouthpiece. Truly, this is such an incredible privilege.
One particular Biblical character that I gained greater respect for throughout my studies this week was Joseph (the Joseph in Egypt!) With some help from a BYU Old Testament manual that was in our flat, I was able to understand what made him so special, what made him so great. It was his optimism! One would think that he was dealt with the worst hand. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, he was falsely accused of terrible crimes, he spent years in jail in a foreign land, most people back home thought he was dead... yet he made the most of it. Not only did he smile through it, he took these terrible situations and made the most of them. Through his persistent reliance on the Lord, he didn't just overcome the trials, he took the trials and made them... well, not trials! :) Would I do the same? That is the question that I ask myself. When trials come (and obviously they do) how am I going to react? That is a decision I can make now! I can follow Josephs example and make the most of them. With the Lord, all situations we are in can be for our benefit. Otherwise, He wouldn't put us in that situation!