Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

During some time tracting early this week, Elder Low suggested we use
the time between doors to practice the how to begin teaching bullet
points. I felt like this made a difference in the quality of our
contacts because we would end up using those points in the first few
moments talking with people. The contacts flowed better because we
were treasuring up in our mind what we could share, and it was being
given to us in the moment we needed it.

Elder Low and I have been making an extra effort to work with ward
members this week. We want to build off of the trust we have already
established and work to earn more referrals. We went to visit the
Hiibner's, a part-member family, with Brother Wilkerson and there may
be some opportunities for service there. We also met the Peter's, who
just moved into our apartment complex and are really awesome. I think
the Peter's are an example of prayers that are being met for praying
people into the ward, as the bishop talked about.

In Zone Training Meeting, I learned the importance of helping members
be prepared to meet an investigator that will be attending church so
that the investigator can have a spiritual experience. It is more than
just asking them to say hello or sit with the investigator. They can
help answer questions, guide them to the next class, and connect
personally to these people that don't yet have friends in the church.
We also had a lot of fun practicing different awkward contacting
situations. I have had several "awkward contacts" this week that I
didn't give up on, but I kept teaching and testifying of Christ for
just a bit longer. I haven't seen a lot of results out of it yet, but
I have had some of these people open up more than they would have if
we had just ended the contact. I am sure there will be a time that we
will see a new investigator come out of one of these situations.

Here is one of those awkward contacts we had the evening following our
zone training meeting. There was a couple women that just drove into
their driveway across the street and I was about to just keep walking.
Then I had the thought come to mind that we just talked about
embracing the awkward, so I think to myself "what's the worst that
could happen?" and go over to talk to them. The contact started off
with asking how their day has been and one of the women replied that
it had been a poopy day (language paraphrased to protect your precious
eyes). I asked if there was any way we could help brighten their day.
No real response, so I testified how the atonement helps us deal with
the challenges and problems we all face (How to Begin Teaching #2).
Things got more awkward as they weren't really listening to what I had
said and they said they weren't interested. After we had ended the
contact and said goodbye an older man came out and said "I worship
Satan." That was a great cherry on top of the awkward contact. We may
not have a new investigator out of it, but I would not have that
experience to share if I had just walked by.

We met a potential investigator, Bridget, on Friday. She is going to a
Christian school and has taken some theology courses. Since she had
more of a background with religious history, we were able to adapt
teaching the apostasy and restoration to helping her see the need for
a restoration. She has some excellent questions she asked, and she
said she wants to know more about Joseph Smith and why we believe he
was a prophet.

 We had an interesting set of lessons with some potentials from our
areabook, Brandy and Tim. We taught Brandy as she was in her garage
for a while, then as she went inside and we were leaving her husband
walked up and we taught him for a while. I know preach my gospel says
to teach families, but I don't think it means teach them individually,
so hopefully the next lesson will be with them together. Also, a lot
of the lessons we have seem to be on the restoration, and I can't seem
to figure out how to get investigators interested enough to progress
to having the next lesson.

This week, I had the privilege of going on an exchange with Elder
Gardner. We worked in Powell together this time. We did some impromptu
street contacting, in a neighborhood I have never worked, while we
were walking to a few different potential investigators. There were a
lot of friendly people outside working in their yards. I want to try
finding more occasions where we can find people out and about, because
they seemed friendlier than when we knock on their doors. We had a few
lessons with some people we met, Larry and Eric. We also met a
less-active member, Sister Pirtle, who we have been trying to reach
for a couple months now. She said she would be going with her parents
to the Hayden Run Ward this week, but she wants to start coming back
to church. I am excited to work with her. This is also a great time to
bring members and "strike while the iron is hot" to help find
fellowship in welcoming her back.

From fast and testimony meeting, I can see the ward is continuing to
shift its focus to member missionary work since the testimonies
included experiences with working with their friends or coworkers. In
Elder's quorum, the lesson also started off with everyone sharing
where they served their mission and where they want to go when they
serve again. For Elder Low and I, it was fairly obvious where we
served our missions. There was only one person that hadn't served a
mission yet. This made me realize how important it is to draw on the
experiences they have had on their missions to motivate them to
continue to reach out as a member missionary.

Have a happy 4th of July!

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

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