This has been just a terrific week here in Alabama. It has been really cooling down lately and this morning it actually snowed!! Not very much, but it snowed and that always throws people for a loop here for some reason. So missionary work is going to be a little bit colder these next few days, but it will be a little bit more of a motivation to get into houses more quickly and maybe, hopefully more people will feel badly for us and let us in . . . we shall see.
This past week has been really awesome for finding people. It seems like a lot of people here in Decatur are sick of the church that they are going to and looking for a new one. So we step in and say, “Hey! We’ve got a new one for you!” Because there are so many churches here in Decatur, people often do a lot of “church shopping” as I like to call it. They run around stopping in at churches until they find a friend group or a pastor that they like and they stick with that one. When we invite people out to church they often ask us what our pastor is like and we have to explain that our church doesn’t really work like that. Some people that we meet are really receptive to attending church with us and others . . . not so much. But once they come they always love it. A scripture we use a lot is Ephesians 4:5 which talks about “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” That is actually the whole scripture right there and this means that there must be one true church out there. There are so many churches in the world right now, but there is one God and one Bible so that means that there has to be one true church and of course it’s the Mormon Church!!
Anyway, we had one really cool experience this past week when we went out and were trying to visit less active members in the area. We were given one address from the Bishop for a house that is on the outskirts of town near the Tennessee River. We went out there Saturday night and when we walked up to the house there was a huge gate surrounding it. It was really old and wooden and probably about 10 feet tall, but had wood slats far enough apart so that you could see to the house inside of the property. The gate itself probably took longer to build than the house itself because the house was so small sitting on the inside of this huge fence. And the gate stood about 20-30 feet from the house. So we were debating whether or not to open the gate and go knock on the front door or to just start clapping really loudly to get someone’s attention like they do in South America in some areas. But then we noticed a small doorbell on the side of one of the wood slats and we rang it. It was starting to get dark so there was not much light left, but we could see there was light on in the house. After we rang the doorbell the door cracked open slightly, the light from inside the house spilling out into the darkness. Along with that light came a woman’s head that popped out and spoke softly, “Quien?” We yelled back that we were missionaries looking for a guy named Juan (the less active). There was a pause and then she opened the door and this small little pregnant Hispanic woman hurried over to the fence and opened it and said that Juan wasn’t home right then, but that she would like to offer us some fruit or something to drink. We were, of course, happy for the offer! We didn’t know why, but she was rather excited to see us and glad that we were there. We talked with her for just a little inside her huge fence outside her house and she told us to come back in the next few days and talk to her and Juan! So both Elder Virtue and I are very excited about that. She seems really nice and this was a fun little experience. In regards to everything else, things are going great. Decatur is a wonderful place and the mission is so awesome. I love everyone back home and hope you have a wonderful week!
With much love,