There's a lot of words that I could use to describe a week like this one. Exciting, stressful, busy, difficult, humbling, tough, joyful, you get the idea. At the start of the week, our zone leaders committed us to hit what our mission calls "the standards of excellent". I'll explain how this works simply and clearly:
In order to hit these standards, you must have the following by the end of the week:
-4 New investigators
-2 investigators at church
-8 lessons taught with a member present
-140 conversations about the gospel (20 is the daily standard)
These are used to set a bar that will make us stretch, and for the past 8-9 weeks before this one, my companions and I have been unable to hit it. I can't go over all the events that got us to the point of meeting these standards this past week but I will share what's been important.
We taught Jignest the word of wisdom, which he is practically living already anyway. He says that his parents drink tea daily but he's never known why people "have to do it." As an add on, we taught him the 10 commandments which he also fully agrees on. We asked him about baptism and we got a usual response, he's "thinking about it."
Saturday was a wild one indeed. at 12:00 pm we had an investigator that we had found the day before which was looking really solid fall through on us. The member who was with us, Roque was kind enough to take us to another place to teach someone else if we could. Elder Okamoto decided to call Jignesh to meet right away and he agreed even though he was in the public library in Port Moody. We had to call the zone leaders for permission to go there since it was out of our area and they allowed us. We read 2 Nephi 31 with him to build his faith further in baptism and assigned him to read 32 before our next meeting.
That evening, we taught Jessie for the first time in 2 months. We were figuring that it's time to give her another try. She and her husband were taught by us and a wonderful couple named the Woodwords who seemed to teach a lot of the lesson for us. It was great! Jessie even got pretty emotional, but for whatever the reason they didn't come to church...
The great news is, Rocky came and so did Jignesh that Sunday. With the need of a couple more member present lessons left for the week at that point, we decided to do something bold. I took Roque and Jignesh while I left Elder Okamoto with Rocky and we taught mini lessons. I decided during this short lesson to ask Jignesh how he had been feeling about the idea of being baptized. He said that he feels like he's getting close, very close! I explained to him that if he were to be baptized, there wouldn't be a need to rush him. We could work towards December 5th and as that date got closer we could see how prepared he felt. His answer was Yes! My tense worry was replaced with relief and joy! How amazing can the results be when you do something the Lord knows you're uncomfortable with!
So it was we hit the standards of excellence. It wasn't easy. We had to deal with a number of cancelled appointments, a huge number of unanswered phone calls, rushing everywhere, and other obstacles. Our work payed off and I'm grateful the Lord allowed it to be so. As much as this week made me feel like coal under pressure, I'm glad to say that this week has helped me become a little shinier. God is good and so is the work! Please pray that Jignesh will be able to make his baptism date! Have a great week all!
Elder Maclean Samis
Elder Samis with Downtown Port Coquitlam in the background