NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
JULY 8, 2013 - Bounjour tout le mond!
BONJOUR!!!!! I sure hope all is going well with you all! I sure have loved finally getting the time to read all of your emails! I hope all is going well with your travels, and your other adventures this summer. Everything is going great with me personally.. the "sector" (area) on the other hand needs some work.
I'm going to try to get you all caught up on what I ran into when I got here.
I might have mentioned already that our sector is the smallest sector in the mission, and that this transfer we just got 2 soeurs added to our sector. But on top of all of that, we only had 3 amis (investigators) to begin with. One of which went to the soeurs, the other two we can only meet with once a week because of their schedules, and in fact-- we JUST barely had a rendezvous with lovely Fannie (one of our two investigators), and she just dropped us. (told us she's done). so... we've got a lot of work to do to find people to teach.. But that is the adventure we are faced with this transfer. Plus on top of that, our mission has a goal to have 50 baptisms in the month of July, and for each equipe (companionship) to have an engagé (baptismal commitment from someone. We at this moment have none of such things. BUT! boy have we seen miracles. and we believe, and have faith that we will get our engagé for this month. (we already passed the baptismal deadline because the ami has to come to church 3 times before they can be baptized and we don't quite have that many weeks left this month) but we can still get our engagé out of SOMEONE.. but who?
There are many great ways to get people to teach, one of which is through the members. The first Sunday when I was here, we watched the broadcast (that I was present for) that stresses the importance of member missionaries. That certainly sparked some fire in the ward, and they have been much more willing, and excited to help us.. But.. they are ALL so busy! so things aren't going as FAST as we wish they could with them.. So we have to find people to teach on our own. We've tried visiting every less active person on our list...nothing. We've tried seeing all the referrals previously given to us by our members....nothing. Pretty much, the last option we have is contacting... which.... is fun. and scary. and stressful. and exhilarating ha. Plus.. my French, isn't quite up to par around here. (duh). We started our first week by contacting about 80 people a day, getting about 1-3 numbers. (which should mean 1-3 rendezvous) but also about 1-3 of those were fake numbers. So, we decided, maybe we need to contact MORE people. So we did that. we got up to about 100 a day. Which kicked our booties because we were still trying out less actives, and visiting members, etc. And then we were getting about 2-4 numbers a day.. again.. 2-4 fake numbers that is... so what on earth is wrong?! I mean, yeah, I did talk to like 6 Latinos in Spanish and gave all of those numbers to the Spanish sisters in this area, and the 3 or 4 English speakers, I gave their numbers to the English Elders. (by the way. almost ALL of THOSE numbers were real)..
So what on earth is wrong with us and the way we are contacting. HAHAHAHA! IT'S SO EASY...... we were boring. we weren't being creative enough. we weren't charming the Europeans (who we all know love to be charmed). So we started doing random different things. Like sitting next to people on the Tram and asking them to draw a picture of what they want heaven to be like. Or randomly asking people what question they wish they could ask God right now.. and all those things were great! they gave us so many opportunities to testify. we started having MORE doctrinal conversations with people. and those 2-4 numbers a day slowly became 2-4 REAL numbers.. but then.. we found our little miracle.
THE SURVEY. wow.. Ok. I know i'm being dramatic about the survey. but.. really. it deserves the hype. wow. it's great. ok.. we made a survey. 5 questions. Doctrine based questions that simply ask what people believe. they are: Do you believe that God has a plan for us? Do you believe that we lived with God before we came to this Earth? Do you believe that there is a purpose for this life? Do you believe that by living the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can find happiness? Do you believe that we can live with our family after this life?
That's it. That's all it took. 5 yes or no questions. it's designed to be fast. But the questions seem to spark something in these people and they want to talk about each question for hours. It gives them an opportunity to bear their own testimony. (share what they believe and they LOVE that. But then, it allows us to testify about what we believe. Then we simply ask them if they are interested to learn more about how the teachings of Jesus Christ can help us have happier Eternal families. and BOOM.... Well... the reaction isn't quite as dramatic as one would think.. but hey. Every day. If we talk to about 100 people. We average at about 6 numbers. REAL. interested people. That felt the spirit. Plus some for the Spanish sisters, and some for the English elders. But more importantly. we are targeting Families. So each of those numbers is not just a person. But a potential Eternal Family. This week, we have more appointments, (lots of potential appointments as well)..
So there ya have it folks. Missionary work. Is a CREATIVE work.
Although, of course, we don't like using the SAME gimmick every time. (cuz the spirit doesn't work with gimmicks ... so we are constantly thinking of different creative ways to talk to people.. But just so you all know.. we are DEFINITELY TAKING SUGGESTIONS.. ha!
also... one more story real quick.. This last Thursday I got a phone call from the Spanish sisters. They said they had a member from the Spanish ward that had a friend with a child in the Hospital that wanted a blessing from a missionary. And me, (being the only Spanish speaking missionary in Genève) had to do it that night. Ok... my heart dropped. Me. Give a blessing. to what turned out to be a 2 month old baby about to have open heart surgery. who happens to be part of a nonmember home. wow. no pressure or anything.. Luckily I found a member from the Spanish ward to come help, so it wasn't so bad. but boy.. holding that little baby with it's incredibly difficult heart problems, having an impossible time breathing. I've never in my life felt more angels in any room in my entire life. And there I was, blessing one of them. That little baby Arthur is absolutely an angel. (He's actually in surgery RIGHT NOW). I just hope it all turns out ok. The poor single mother Evaline is a wreck.. but she's being so strong. We'll see what happens. it's in the Lord's hands (and the doctors) now. It really was an incredible experience that I will NEVER forget.
so........ That's about all.. i'm going to send some pictures so you get to see the paradise I get to work in. But for now. I gotta go. I would hate for my baguette from this morning to get dry and hard.. that means.. DINNER time! wow. the food.. I cant even begin to talk about it. it's too good to be true. Plus to answer some of your questions.. I actually think I'll be spending a TON of my mission here.. at least that's what the President said to me the first day.. so... I'm planning on being here a long time..
Love you ALL!!!! have a good week! MUAH! -Elder Lago. ps. don't worry about me at all. I'm in a very beautifully difficult heaven. and I'm LOVING IT!