Monday, February 24, 2014
Big Pit, Drunk People, and a Baptism! (EP)
Last Monday after emailing and shopping our ward mission leader took us to the Big Pit up in Blaenavon. It is an old coal mine at the top of our area. Welsh history is full of coal mining. Cwmbran itself was brought about because of a coal mine. We went down into the mines with hard-hats, head lamps, the works! It was pretty cool. We were guided by a miner who led us through all of the shafts and showed us how the mine worked.
Dad, you would like this. They showed us the old stables and harnesses for the horses they had in the mines. I wish I could have taken pictures but the man said we couldn't bring anything with a certain type of battery in it. I guess the cameras had that kind of battery. It was sweet though! The horses were taken care of more than the men and women in the mine. They even had the name tags of the horses that used to be there on the stables. The horses were allowed to work 8 hours a day, that's it. But the people in the mine had to work 12 hours a day. There were lots of cool facts about the mine, you should look it up online or something.
Haha we had an awesome experience with a drunk guy named stephen. One sign of success for missionaries is that funny things like this happen. If you work hard, the Lord blesses you with hilarious experiences that brighten your day and make for a good journal entry.
It was in the evening time so it was dark. We were on our bikes to go visit try by some potential investigators. This guy was walking down the street with headphones in. Elder Ferrell asked him "How is your evening going?". The man stopped and looked at him with a funny look. Elder Ferrell repeated the question assuming he hadn't heard him. The man stated "Well you're an inquisitive fellow aren't you."
He said his evening was alright and then he realized we were missionaries. He sort of burst out saying "oh would you like to have a chat? Maybe you could tell me what you guys believe."
Of course I freaked out inside. How perfect could this be! The Lord just placed this elect man in our path! I found out that the Lord placed him there for another reason.
We walked across the street to an empty car park. Stephen told us "Alright you've got 30 minutes. I'm yours."
"Golden!" I thought. Angels singing hallelujah in the background.
We began teaching. He listened for about 30seconds, then he questioned why we would believe that God was a male. We tried to explain. He cut us off again saying stuff like "take gender out of it!" We tried to use the term "Supreme Being" instead just so he would let us get another sentence out. After about five minutes it finally clicked (vertically?!-explosion) and I asked him "If you don't mind me asking, are you drunk?".
"I've had a beer, yes." And he kept right on asking us questions that he wouldn't let us answer. It was kind of hysterical how loud he was getting. We were getting pretty loud too. And laughing a bunch. I can't believe we were defending our case to that guy. Our 30 minute lesson lasted about 15.
One of the last things he said (And he was practically yelling this) was "You boys seem like really good lads. I would enjoy sitting down, watching a game and having a beer with you... You guys are so confused! Would you like to stop in for a beer and a coffee?" We told him we needed to go teach people. He shook our hands probably 6 times before he left. "a beer"? more like 10 beers. We laughed about that for the rest of the night.
We've got our first baptism here in Cwmbran happening on March 1st! It is actually happening! We asked our investigator what he thought about baptism. He said that he felt ready. When we first met him he told us that he had lost his faith. Yesterday he told us that we had helped him find it again. Thank you thank you thank you for all of your prayers on his behalf.
I can testify that the biggest reason that he felt ready for baptism was because he consistently read and prayed daily. The diligence that he has shown has truly brought to pass the promised blessings in the scriptures. God keeps his word! If we read and pray daily we WILL get the blessings associated with it. And he came to church every week since we met him. EVERY WEEK. If that isn't elect I don't know what is.
-Elder Jacob Packer