August 5, 2013
This week was a little strange to me because I realized I only had 3 months remaining of my mission. I think that's 7/8 of the way done. That's crazy. So first a funny story. We had testimony meeting this Sunday and I think only a couple people really shared their testimony. The rest just shared their "2 cents" on what the ward needs to improve on. One lady told the ward that rejecting a calling is rejecting God, and that they need to repent for turning down a calling, and one older brother got up and told the ward that "there are people in this congregation that won't do their home or visiting teaching because they are lazy." Then he brought me into it. "Elder Brinkerhoff (everyone apparently thinks this is my name) was at my house for dinner yesterday and we talked about being straightforward with people and now I'm being straightforward." Can I tell you, you never feel more helpless as a missionary than when someone gets up bearing a really awkward "testimony."
There were two types of testimonies... Thankimonies and rebukimonies. So I got up there and at the beginning of my testimony I said "I was pondering what to say for my testimony, so I first had to find out what a testimony is. I decided that a testimony really is a witness - a witness to the reality of an event or thing, seen or unseen. So I will bear my witness to the reality of..." I tried to subtly hint that a testimony is not a talk. It’s a witness.
Anyway we had a sad experience as well. We are teaching a part member family who talk way too much, and Elder Wallace and I decided after much prayer and counseling with ward leaders that we needed to drop them (stop teaching them). It was really sad, but we went in there with almost a script that we put together during companionship study. In essence we simply stated that our lessons mean nothing unless you act on them, and that it would be better for us and for them if we took a break for a couple months. Well we went in there and she took that to mean she wasn't welcome at church and that we were telling them they were horrible people. So she starts putting us on a "guilt trip" ("I've been going to church and paying my tithing and praying!") and at the end of her monologue she threw us out of the house and told us never to come back. Oh dear.
In other news, transfers are this week, and I'm pretty sure that I am going to go to another area, but I'm not 100 percent. So I will let you know next week what the verdict is.
That's all I have this week. I love you all and have a great week!