Sunday, March 18, 2012

A good problem to have

In Christopher's latest letters home he has expressed just how great his mission is going and just how much he loves the Arcade area.  Christopher told us that the branch members there are wonderful and very supportive of the missionaries.  Just a few weeks ago he told us that he and his companion had eleven investigators at church on Sunday and that wasn't even counting the regulars.  Christopher was really excited about that but we wondered what he meant by "the regulars".  Apparently, there are several people that attend church quite often in the branch but who aren't actually members of the church.  In fact Christopher said that there is one person who they have been teaching who has been investigating the church for about ten years.  He has become good friends with this person and loves to sit down with them and have gospel discussions as well as talk about other subjects.  Christopher has always been one for a good deep discussion about almost anything, so I am sure that he has really enjoyed engaging in conversation such as this. 

Anyway, over the past 3-4 weeks, Christopher and his companion have taught and baptised five different people.  According to Christopher, having that many baptisms in such a short period of time is basically unheard of in his mission.  He feels like both he and his companion have been really blessed.  In fact Christopher recently told us that both he and his companion have really been trying to put things in the Lord's hands especially with their missionary work.  During the same period of time they have been putting an extra effort into fasting and praying for the people that they have been teaching.  Christopher said that he could really see the difference that this has made in both his life as well as the lives of the people who have recently been baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Christopher and his companion have been getting along great which has really helped in moving the work forward.  Of course there are always the little things in a companionship that drives one or the other a bit crazy.  Christopher told us that his companion loves to sing to every song that they listen to.  Granted that the variety of music that a missionary is allowed to listen to is very narrow.  Basically, they are only allowed to listen to church hymns, some classical music and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Christopher told us that no matter what the song is, if it has words his companion loves to sing along.  I am sure that for his companion, he is just feeling the spirit of the song and wants to enjoy it fully.  But his singing might not always be up to "American Idol" standards.  So in order to keep the peace, Christopher has been playing more music without words.  I am assuming that by doing so, they can both enjoy the music without any distractions.  The way I see it, the Lord doesn't really care about how well you sing and if singing along with the Tabernacle Choir brings the spirit, by all means, sing along.  I'm sure that the mo'tab doesn't mind. 

Speaking of funny stories, OK maybe we weren't speaking of funny stories, but Christopher told us a funny one in his last email.  Just recently both Christopher and his companion were at a dinner appointment with a family in their branch.  After dinner it was time for dessert so the member family told Christopher's companion that there was some vanilla ice cream in the freezer.  His companion looked in the freezer and pulled out the first ice cream bucket that he saw and proceeded to scoop himself up a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream.  As he was digging into the bucket, something looked a little off to Christopher.  As Christopher described it, the ice cream looked a little more like wax than ice cream.  At that point Christopher asked the member family how old the ice cream was and they said that they had just purchased it from the store a few days ago.  With the reconfirmation that the ice cream was indeed good, Christopher's companion kept on scooping it into his bowl.  Still, something seemed off so Christopher told his companion to taste a bit of the ice cream before he scooped up any more.  Just to satisfy Christopher's concerns, his companion popped a bit of the ice cream in his mouth expecting to taste the sweetness of vanilla.  However, whatever it was that he popped in his mouth, tasted anything but sweet.  In fact it tasted so nasty that he almost puked right there.  At that point the member family walked over to see what was going on and discovered that Christopher's companion had pulled a tub of frozen pig lard out of the freezer that just so happened to have been stored in a leftover vanilla ice cream tub.  We never heard if they actually got dessert that night or if after that experience, they even had an appetite for dessert.  But they did get a good laugh over the whole incident and now they both know what pig lard looks like.

With all of the recent baptisms that Christopher and his companion have had over the last several weeks, Christopher told us that their teaching pool is getting quite low.  To him however, this has been a blessing and a good problem to have.  It is much better to have a low teaching pool because the people that you are teaching have gained a testimony of the church and have decided to be baptized, rather than the alternative.  Over the last year of his mission Christopher has told us that he actually likes tracting.  So I guess with their new found teaching pool problem, both Christopher and his companion will experience a little more of the tracting they love so much.  Oh by the way, one of "the regulars" at church who had been an investigator for the past ten years, as of the baptismal service that was held last week, they are no longer investigating. :-) 

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