Monday, June 30, 2014

#8 - Tracting Trials


Oh, I forgot to say last week, I got a new purse! Which I like better than my old one anyway. 

So fear not! I have not been dragging around a broken purse like a dog on a leash that has no motivation to get up and go. 

And also, family sized cereal boxes are meant for scriptures, just sayin.

This Week's Missionary Life

So this week has been successful, but not in the way that we originally planned. We were hoping for more lessons this week, but they didn't really happen. We had two total lessons this week, and one of them was a dinner appointment and during the other one we had to put that investigator into formers. I have faith in him though. I'll explain his story at a later time.

No, we didn't have a lot of lessons this week. And no, our investigators that we currently have are not progressing as well as we would like. It makes us sad and it is frustrating because you feel helpless. And you just have to remember that everything happens for a reason, even if it seems like it brings them needless unhappiness and grief. The Lord knows the big picture. We have to trust that things will work out for the benefit of everyone in the long run.

Trailer Park Tracting

So what did we do this week? We tracted, we knocked on doors. We picked a trailer park, a big one, over 500 trailers and we've knocked on almost every door. We decided to go back to this trailer park now that two month or so have passed since Sister Easter and her previous companion before me went here and they were totally being followed by this dude, car and car following action. So that kinda freaked them out. And the trailer park as so many hidden bumps, they were just hitting all of them in their haste to lose him! It wasn't long before they did, but still, freaks you out. But, nothing like that happened this week! So we're good.

We knocked on over 500 doors. When we go tracting, usually every one in three or four doors answers, and of those people who answer, about one out of fifteen people are interested in some way shape or form. At least, that's my average estimate based on my experience tracting here in Bismark. Do the math if you want, but we found six people who are potentially interested this week, and really about two or three are pretty promising as far as week can tell. So that's the fruits of a pretty solid week of knocking on doors! 

Oh, and we did give out four Book of Mormons. So that's pretty cool!

It's been great tracting that trailer park though. I've loved it because there's so much variety in trailer parks. 

Some trailers the paint is PEEL-ING and it smells like festering cat waste mixed with other waste and the blinds are brown with dust and you wonder if anyone even lives there. 

Others are really cute, clean and decorated with nice cute flowers and nick knacks. 

And most others are in the middle, not horrible to look at but at the same time, it's not very appealing to the eyes to see a mattress pressed up against the window, or blanket blinds, things like that. 

And sometimes you walk up and it's like you're in a jungle it's so over grown. 

And some have really cute fences. 

And others have duct tape on their front door to keep one of the pieces there. 

And some steps are really sketchy, whether it be because it's rotting, or missing a beam or two, or a rusty metal portable thing of steps. 

And lots of pets, a nice variety of dogs and cats. We had an adorable cat love us and when we started walking away it started following us, and even looked back at me to see if I was coming. 

And there was a husky tied to the front of a trailer and it sat there and I though it was a statue.. and this husky has the most dignified and beautifully fearsome stare. And I thought it was a statue, but it looked so real... and a bit of fear crept up in me at the thought it was real and was a powerful animal who could possibly attack us! It looked so beautifully menacing, it struck fear into my heart ok! And then it moved and we were like Whoa! And this dog, my goodness, it's beautiful. And it was so adorable, it was going in slow barking excited circles and it at one point got up on its hind legs and was waving its front paws at us! It was so cute! We didn't go up and pet it though, just in case. But it was cool and cute.

It's interesting some of the responses you get when you go tracting. And another thing about tracting that I personally believe is, you're either going to talk to someone who is interested or who is not. It doesn't really matter a whole lot what you say. I mean, it does, but it doesn't at the same time. 

My point is, if you say "Hi, we're missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We're here knocking on people's doors and inviting them to hear a simple and unique message about Jesus Christ. Is that something you'd be interested in?" they are either going to be interested or not. There's not much else you can say if they're not interested in the first place to get them interested. So I've stopped worrying about thinking of new approaches. Maybe later I'll feel different? But idk.

Anyway, there was a lady who we said who we were and she said, "Oh, I'm sorry for you." ...Uh. ...What do you say to that? lol "Oh, it's ok-" "I've studied with them before, and I won't ever make that mistake again. Bye," and she closed the door. And she was super nice about it but... yeah, I wonder what happened that made her feel sorry for us. 

Oh, and we were just walking and these people were outside talking and a lady in the group when we said hello just straight up asked us if we wanted a beer. lol Oh man, and there was one day where we went and we went in the afternoon between two and four and we knocked on every door of the street and there was NO one who answered! My goodness! Bad time of day to tract, granted, but we would usually get at least one answer! Oh well.

But probably my favorite moment tracting here was when we started talking to a crowd of people out in front of a trailer. There are lots of people hear who hang out in front of their houses with other people and lots of kids riding bikes in the street around seven, eight at night. Still sunny at that time, it doesn't set in the summer till past nine. One little boy riding his bike almost hit our going-two-miles-an-hour car! But I digress. My favorite moment this week as far as talking to people was in front of this house where they were having a going away party for someone at work. They hadn't started drinking yet! Woo! And we talked to one person, and then another dude came and was like, 'what are ya talkin' about? Oh, preach to me!' And was like, joking noticeably, but he listened. And then another dude came up and basically did the same thing, except he was way more interested. He had a lot of questions, and then another guy came up and said, "This is a beautiful religion. I know about it and it is beautiful. I'm catholic, but both believe in God," etc. And it was really cool to hear that. And just, all of these men had different personalities that just shone and it was so nice to talk conversationally about what we believe and their experiences and answer questions. It felt like I was back at the little Circle K, with real people, with real interest, with real laughs, with real words and real experiences and opinions, just, 'real' people. And I really love real people. I try to love fake people, but it's kind of 'real'ly hard, if you know what I mean. So, it was really nice to be with real people. It made me happy. And we gave a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and a card with our phone number on it (the triple threat as I affectionately refer to this package deal as) to the guy who had a lot of questions. It was really neat.

I pray that our investigators have a desire to change and come closer to Christ. I really care about them and want them to have peace in their lives which the gospel can surely bring them. We will see what happens with them. I'll give you an update next week as always. Until then, enjoy some pictures of the slightly sketchy Centennial Trailer Park.

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