The third good thing started with a really good seeking with faith session on Sunday morning. There are two important people we talked to. One guy, who out of the blue just asked us if he could have a bible, and we're going to go see him on Thursday morning to deliver it. But the second and coolest one, is that we talked to a guy that wasn't interested, but he said he's a barber at a barber shop we'd never seen before. So we decided to go there, and see if we can catch him at work, and it turned out he was not working that day. But I needed a haircut so I got one anyway. And while we're waiting, the shop manager comes over and starts talking with us, and Elder Haltli asked the innocent question, "Do you have faith in Christ?". We'll what ensued was a 40 minute religious discussion while I'm getting my haircut and this man is very stubborn and loud, he's kind of yelling at us like a non-denominational preacher. But then one of the other barbers speaks up for us and says "Hey, I thought you said this, but that doesn't make sense." So then the manager got frustrated and ended the conversation, but we talked to the barber. His name is Chris and he said he wants to come to church and learn more about Joseph Smith. We first talked to him because he was wearing a free mason hat, and we have a member of the ward that is a Mason, so it was just something to talk about, but now he seems pretty interested. Also, it was a pretty good haircut, he used a straight razor and aftershave and all sorts of fancy stuff. It felt like a pound of gel in my hair and he was like ripping my skin off trying to comb my hair with it in. But it's a good haircut I think; fancier than any other haircut I've ever had, and more importantly, we got a potential that will hopefully become a real investigator.
One thing I noticed this past week is that the ward members are willing to work with us, they just aren't the ones to initiate it. So we're going to start doing a lot more home visits, getting a lot more team-ups; we have one set up for Tuesday already. We are going to get this ward going! We've received some referrals from members already - some part-member families and some non-members. There was a testimony someone shared on Sunday about service and loving the people you serve. I think I honestly haven't loved the people of the Perris Ward enough. There was a lot of bad stigma about the area and the members from previous missionaries, but that's all gone and I'm filled with a lot of hope.
I think my greatest blessing as a missionary, has been to internalize the Gospel. When you teach someone, and when someone asks you questions, especially ones that catch you off guard, you really contemplate the Gospel. And I feel like the Gospel has moved from my head into my heart, like that conference talk a few conferences back. My testimony has grown by leaps and bounds over my mission, and there are always different parts that are growing. I love to see how I've changed. I'm sure other people can see it even more than I can, but there are things I've learned about myself and about my Heavenly Father that will always be priceless to me.
From the West Side . . . . .