Monday, October 24, 2016

'What have you just done?'

And you thought last week was crazy! Well guess what? It's almost Halloween! My favorite time of year!

I bought masks for Elder Wood and I. This one is pretty awesome. Take a look.

.... and here is the mask I bought for Elder Wood.

We are holding party favors. They are Diet Pepsi bottles meant to look as ghosts wrapped in white fabric and toilet paper. There is a story behind that. We have this family investigating the church, the Shaners. Sonya, the mother, asked us to come to the help her set up the party. Of course we stayed for the party after helping her set up and conducted the games for the neighborhood kids because her English is a little broken. We couldn't show up without costumes, hence the masks. It was a neat party despite having a surprise word of wisdom lesson after we were offered some rum disguised as liquid churros. I almost tried it until I read the label. That thing had a pretty high alcohol content. Thank you warning of the Holy Ghost! Judas.

When you are a missionary in a country or state where drinking is a big part of the culture you learn two things. One, investigators will not feel the Spirit under the influence. Two, it is really fun to teach drunk people. While their guard is let down and they try to begin thinking logically, silly doubts do not occur to them. If you've ever taught doctrine to a sunbeam, you know what it's like to explain the restoration to a habitual drinker. They are extremely impressionable and will believe virtually anything you say. The downside to teaching the intoxicated is their inevitable sobriety. Because their faith is obviously unchanged due to the lack of the Spirit's presence, no conversion can take place. We see this in the vast example of Laman and Lemuel. Though angels came down from heaven and commanded them to quit their whining, Laman and Lemuel were not converted. Miracles don't solve all your problems.

Therefore, my favorite circumstance when teaching at a party passing the tankards is to target someone who is not drinking. Teach while they are with their hammered friends. As a general rule of thumb, the mob principle will take effect. They will appreciate the lessons like a little child. If you time it right, you can remove your future investigator from the setting that hinders the Spirit and allow the Holy Ghost to work the magic. High risk, high reward.

Jacqueline is a perfect example of the above. Unfortunately for Elder Wood and I, Jacqueline lives very far away from our area. Fortunately, Jacqueline is taking steps to learn more from the Book of Mormon and attend the true and restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. No matter what, our conversation with her was our big lesson of the week.

Here's some more pictures of the Halloween party decorations:

How about some other adventures? Take a look at Preston's hair. This guy cut it. Of course, Elder Wood wanted to be in the picture and Preston doesn't smile in pictures because he's a fourteen-year-old boy afraid to tarnish his image. Don't worry, bro. I've been there.

Crikey! We have an investigator who is way into animals. Especially reptiles of all types. His apartment is a zoo. There is a huge snake, a Tegu (a Squamata resembling a stereotypical lizard the size of an adolescent Komodo Dragon at adulthood), two cats, and a ferret.

So picture this: Elder Wood and I know the door of a potential investigator named Emily. Emily lives with her fiancé, Cody, whom we've never met. Emily answers the door, "Hey guys, sorry I'm really busy I have [whomp whomp whomp]..." I see Cody behind her holding a snake on his shoulders! I interrupt, "Woah! Hey! You must be Cody!" Cody responds, "Uhh.. yeah." Typical awkward response to over-enthusiastic missionaries. No blame to him. "Why on Earth," I begin to question, "did you not answer the door like that? You'd make the Jehovah's Witnesses dookie their pants!" Not proud of that comment. Honestly, the things that come out of my mouth sometimes... Regardless, it brought Cody right of his shell. We started talking and Cody asks me, "Do you want to touch her?" Like the affirmative response of a fat child who's been offered a mountain of chocolate I squeal, "Yeah!" I stroked this beautiful beasts scales a while until Cody's phone begins to blare. "Hold on a sec," Cody says, dropping the entirety of the snake in my hands and reaching into his pocket. Elder Wood caught this picture in the most beautiful moment...

The expression you see on my face is a fairly common reaction of 'What have you just done?' and a taint of fear when a reptile of that caliber is literally placed into your hands. We eventually became more comfortable and snapped some more pictures.

That's when the subject of reptiles allowed us to enter the threshold of their home and Cody showed us his Tegu. I understand they are native to Argentina, but I was too busy playing with the little guy during the biology lesson.

Of course, Elder Wood wanted to hold him too.

On the subject of adorable animals that are fun but dangerous to play with, I don't know if I mentioned Barbara's adorable kitten named 'Baby Shadow'. She had a granddaughter name the kitten because it looked just like a cat the granddaughter owned named 'Shadow'. Little kid logic, the kitten is a baby Shadow, the name stuck apparently. Here's some candid video footage I captured of Elder Wood playing with the kitten while I visited with Barbara after our lesson:

On a serious note, a very good friend of mine has lost her father to hard-fought battle with cancer. Prayers on her behalf as well as the her family are more than gratefully received. Let us ask for a barrage of Heaven-sent blessings upon their heads as brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you ever so kindly for your utterances to our Father in their behalf, as well as the mission field in Kansas, and little old me.

We love you Archibald family!

May your faith and joy in the Great Plan of Happiness and Deliverance from Death comfort your hearts and help you hold your heads high!

Love to each and every one of you from Wi-Chee-Tuh!

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