Monday, 12 August 2013

"It Was an Intense Week, But We Made it Out Happy!"

I don't really need anything right now. Just plugging along. Maybe some hi-chew candy. Or if you could figure out how to send me a chicken sandwich from Chic-Fil-a, that would be great. Or an Apollo Number 10? haha I'm just being ridiculous. The only american restaurants here are Subway and McDonald's for the most part. We also have Pizza Hut (way expensive) and Dominos (also expensive). But believe it or not, we have a Hard Rock Cafe here, and a couple Ruby Tuesdays. But all way too much for a missionary budget. I have eaten at Ruby's a few times, but it's not frequent. Anyways.

Still haven't got in touch with investigators this week. We got a few phone numbers from Book of Mormons we handed out. That was about it. We taught English twice too. Our class is cool, it's mostly just young people. We are in the middle of finding an apartment still. We were supposed to move in to one today, but the owner went behind the real estate agents back and rented it to someone else. Our schedule needs to be flexible, so we've been looking at apartments and meeting with realtors and trying to contact and stuff in between.

This week was pretty interesting. We had 3 seperate people on 3 different occasions tell us we're going to hell and that we're liars, right to our faces. I'll recount for you:
1. We were in on of the biggest parks in Romania, contacting for English. This man comes up to us and wants to know what we preach. Before we get to that, this other lady comes up. She then just starts asking all these loaded questions. Turns out, she was a member of the church for 6 years, and had been to the temple and everything. She told us that we're with the Free Masons. I've never heard that one before. Her reasoning was what happens in the Temple and how they're built. We kept trying to steer that conversation another way. She had a couple friends with her and she started to just get really pokey and rude. I took the bulk of the flak, and one of her friends kinda peeled off and talked to my comp, they actually had a constructive conversation, and this other lady felt it. While I was "occupying, distracting" whatever you wanna call it, the other people who were just out to get us. So that's number one.
2. We had just got on the metro took it one stop, and then this guy gets on. He proceeds to say, "Look at these guys wearing ties on the metro, where are you from?" We said the US and he was speaking English, he was from Chicago. Before I go any further, we are pretty sure he wasn't drunk,. but it seemed like he was impaired some how. We are thinking something along the lines of narcotic drugs, but we're not sure, he may have just been a jerk and a bit peculiar of a person. Anyways, he asks me, "What does having a relationship with Jesus Christ mean?" So I explained my opinion. Then he just said you're wrong. So I asked him. And he said that it's something we need to develop and cherish and grow (which is basically what I said). Then he asked my comp, "What does 'in the name of Jesus Christ mean'?" He told him and said,"nope, wrong, Mormons are smart people, but you two failed me." WHAT. This guy was nuts. We told him that that's not how Jesus did things, and he said, "You're right, but I'm a sinner." OK, aren't we all?? Then he said "I might end up in Hell, and you might very well end up there too, you can't express yourselves." We just told him we're here to help the people and teach them. We had to get off, so we shook his hand and he told us, "Too bad you have to leave, It was just getting fun, I love doing this to people." WOW. Gotta try to love some people, eh? He was rejoicing in telling us we're liars, and that we're wrong.
3. The last experience. After church on Sunday, we were walking out and the other elders said they got invited by a preacher guy on the street to go to his church . Started at 3 and it's 2:30, nothing better to do, sure we'll come with you. We get there, there's guitar music, loud prayers, another Evangelical church. So we thought. The guy that invited us was really cool, he was in prison for years in LA, should have died of AIDS and rotted in prison for the rest of his life, but he gave his life to God, and now is a preacher. He had some crazy stories. Waking up with syringes in his arms not knowing what he shot into himself. Talked about beating people up, stealing, learning how to be a criminal, that sort of thing. Anyways, that's the guy that invited us. Now the other guy, apparently it's his church. He's American and has a bigger family with 4 little kids and one on the way. Our friend did the first part of the sermon, then the younger guy did some. It was pretty standard to start. Then he just started being ridiculous. Telling about putting his hands on people and watching their legs grow in seconds, casting out multiple demons from people. Whew. Needless to say, it was getting a bit uncomfortable, so we got out of there. But, another person from the congregation (I mean 3 other people plus us 4) followed us out and started talking to us. He was cool, and didn't really believe what the guy was teaching. The point is that, we stayed out in the foyer for long enough for the sermon to get over. Then the guy (younger one) comes out and starts talking to us.  It was nice at the first. Then he said (speaking of The BOM) "How can you believe in something that isn't true?"  Then he got hostile and said, "We're here to destroy the Mormon Church, we love you guys and we're gonna destroy you, God Bless." That's a little abbreviated, but he said he's read enough of the Book of Mormon and that it's (His words here) "Scary" that we listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and walk by faith. We walked out and were like WHAT?  He passed around a donation bag and right before he did he said the following: 
"Well we were in the service back in the United States, and the church was only bringing in about 200 dollars a month. You can't live there on that, heck, you can't even live here in Romania on that. I pay my ten percent, sometimes more, if God asks us to pay 100 percent, we need to do it. I had a prompting one time to pay 20 percent, didn't even have any money to really pay, but I did it with some hardness of heart, but then I got a check for 1500 dollars. So we need to be generous with our money, time, everything, and God will be generous back. So if you feel so, you can put some money in the bag." CLOSE QUOTE. That sounds like taking money in the name of God, and using to for yourself.  There's a moral for these experiences:
When it comes down to it, every religion is backed in that corner of Faith. Every one has a loop hole that is bridged by faith. Every single religion on the planet. In each of these experiences we just bore testimony, that's the most powerful tool. When we do that, people feel it, and they know, even if they seem like they don't. I prayed for all these people that condemned me and my comp, and I feel better about it. We can love everyone, even if they tell us we're liars. It was an intense week, but we made it out happy.

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