March 28, 2011
Last week was our slowest week since I have been here. All 3 of our investigators cancelled on us so we pretty much just knocked doors and tried to see less actives. Wow....lots of walking which seemed like it was just aimless. I guess that's the building character kind of days. I really don't have much to report on this week except that I am looking forward to next week. I do, actually, have two things that I couldn't wait to tell you about. The first is that we have a less active guy who runs a kickboxing class every monday/wednesday/friday. They start at 9 and end at 10:15 so on p days from now on we are going to kick boxing in the morning for our workout. We went for the first time this morning and I have never done anything like that. I was paired up with one of the instructors of the class who said I have a very powerful kick. She told me to give up getting a law degree and start training...I’m not so sure. It was a very very good workout though. His wife is not a member, and she was actually who I was paired up with. She really dislikes having missionaries in their home and right after the class she invited us over for dinner later in the week!! We were very very excited, and it seems like that will open some more doors for us. Anyway, it was a great hour and a half of sweating my guts out. I have been working out and eating SUPER healthy for the last month though and have lost 7 pounds. I'm 215 pounds so I still have about 30 to go....yikes.
The second thing I wanted to tell you about is by far the weirdest and most awkward dinner appointment I have EVER experienced. We went to the Minchin family's for dinner and from the get go it was weird. We are on car share with another set of missionaries which gives us the car half the time and so we were without the car this week. They live about half an hour out of town so we asked if they could come pick us up due to our limitation on kilometers we can drive. They agreed to pick us up so that was nice. We needed to be picked up at 6 so we could go out there for an hour, and then be back by 8 for an important lesson with a mildly hostile less active lady.
Well they told us the night before that they couldn't pick us up at 6 so they said they would work it out because they really wanted us there. So they "worked it out" and said they would come at 6. Well they had us stand out in the cold under the impression they would be there, and they showed up 30 minutes late. When they drove up, the door to this van opened, and we got in. We said hello and introduced ourselves and neither of them in the front seat talked for the first 15 minutes of the car ride. Anyway, we arrived half an hour later and walked into a jungle. The house was stacked up to the ceiling almost with clutter. There was almost no floor! There were little windey paths leading through the sea of useless stuff. I am so so so so blessed to have a mother who despises clutter. Anyway, so we were really crunched for time and dinner took almost an hour to finish.
Little did I know the comedy of the evening was just getting started. We sat down around a table about the size of our table at home without the extra leaves in and there were 14 of us around the table. Elder brideau was sitting on the corner and I was sitting right beside him on a stool which pretty much made it so I was sitting on his lap for the entirety of dinner. So right before we began eating they whipped out the Book of Mormon and began reading an obscure chapter of Nephi quoting Isaiah without giving any background or preface to the three non members in the home. They all looked like they were in a stupor of thought. They started asking questions like "how did Christ physically take our sins?" and "why can't women have the priesthood?"......oh goodness. Brother Minchin just really butchered the priesthood question and infuriated one of the girls, Sister Minchin compared Christ physically taking our sins upon him to us taking a cookie from cookie jar. I have no words to describe how much this DOESN'T explain the Atonement.
Well as we kept reading one of their sons who is 18 couldn't read it and his father was relentlessly making fun of his lack of reading skills which I thought was a little odd. Then to finish off the weirdness their son, who served with Trevor Gray in the Philippines, prayed in Tagalog to impress his girlfriend who was the redeeming quality of the family. The whole night seemed like it should have been on a sitcom. Finally they took us home way after our curfew and we were in shock. We just planned and went right to bed. I am so glad that I get to be a missionary. My life will be forever more interesting from nights like this.
It also made me miss and love my wonderful, fun, not ridiculous family.. That's not to say some of us aren't a little weird, but I think you get the hint. I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you and talk to you in just a few weeks.
-Elder Mitch Brown