I usually can type super fast, but unfortunately I landed probably the worst keyboard in the library with a sticky spacebar with rickety attachments.
Let’s see, where do I start? Haha here we go: We are allowed to travel a certain distance in our cars every month, in the unit of K’s (or kilometers). Elder Aisa and I have been almost out several times, and have resorted to asking for K’s from2 companionships now. Once Thursday hits we’ll be okay, but our area just guzzles them up because of dinner appointments in the large Hampton Park Ward. So we were on bikes for several days last week. It’s super tiring, and takes forever, but the advantage is that you can talk to people as you travel. We had a training about street contacting, so we were reinvigorated to do a better job of talking to EVERYBODY. Unfortunately, this procedure goes against all built-in human concepts of social interaction, especially when you begin talking about things like religion. “Hi how are you? It’s a beautiful day. So do you have a belief in Christ?”
That’s not exactly how it goes, but you do have to be bold and out there for the option to be extended clearly for folks to hear the message. Some people love to ignore us, others just say go away, but occasionally we have good conversations. I’ve given out several Books of Mormon (yes, I will be a stickler for correctness) just from those conversations. And I’ve found that fear of talking to people really only settles in if you don’t talk to people. After you pass by, my head goes “Shoot! I couldn’t talk to them!” But if I at least make the effort, I know that I did it, and I can do it again and still be alive. It’s just a tricky call sometimes because there are so many people around and some are working, or running, listening to iPods, talking on the phone, etc., and you can only go so far if you want them to take the time to listen. But as I continue doing it, the fear leaves. So that’s one way I’m progressing.
Another way is the slang. I’m picking it up. One term we use here is -adjective- as. She’s pretty as. I’m tired as. It just means I’m really tired. So this computer is lousy as. Now you know what that means if I say it and don’t catch myself. People also say “How you goin’?” in place of “How you doin?” Funny stuff.
So let me tell about a few people. Julie from a while ago is atheist, doesn’t believe in anything, but she’s a very strong person who is at least interested enough to read the Book of Mormon to see where we come from. We checked with her a week and a half ago and she had read half of it! Even now she still pops it open every now and then. Unfortunately, she hasn’t felt like it’s the word of God yet, and she may not find that spirit, but she’s a great person and her personal philosophies all fall in line with what the Gospel teaches. Funny how that works.
I’m finding a very diverse range of concerns with the Book of Mormon, but as I encounter one argument I find that I can get an answer later in case I see it again. For example, people say you can’t add to the scriptures which is mentioned in Revelations at the end. Actually, Revelations, chronologically, was not the last written book in the Bible, and it also says the same thing in Deutoronomy. Besides, in Nephi (can’t remember the exact reference and the clock is ticking) it says God’s word is the same everywhere anyway, and Isaiah and Ezekiel both prophecied of the book, so HAH. Other concerns can be like, “Oh, well I’m Catholic,” and I can pique their interest when I mention the Bible and the pattern of prophets, and doesn’t it make sense to have a prophet today? I’ve become really good at just talking to people, to the point that I enjoy it.
I’ve said this before, but Australia is really really diverse. Yesterday, Elder Aisa and I talked to Sikh man from India (he looked like a character straight out of Prince of Persia), and he taught us about where the Sikh faith comes from. It’s very interesting, and a lot of things again fall in line with what we teach. We also taught a Christian man originally from Kenya.
Shoot, I actually have to go soon, the Elders have some stuff planned. I know there were more things I wanted to say, but I’ll just keep them in my journal and those mysteries can be revealed at a later time. I want you to know that I am making good progress, doing good work, finding good people, and have a good feeling that we will have some folks with baptismal dates soon, and I can tell you more about them when I get to konw them better. I love you all so much. Hopefully next time this keyboard won’t slow me down.
Keep working hard. Keep sending the updates. Love!
Elder Scott Baker