Thanks for the update, Dad. Nothing like missing Columbus day to make me homesick. Don't worry my companions and I celebrated. Trio is very interesting - Crichton is trunky, Elder Smith is pretty good. I am pretty sure he is one of those "laughing on the inside" type of people. He is happy he just doesn't show it very well. He describes himself as cynical, whatever that means. :) I feel like he is probably isn't learning that much from me but at the same time I am realizing how much he notices that I do. Like he asked me the other night why I pray every time before I call the Sisters for Weekly Accounting. I didn't even think he noticed, and I never realized that that was weird, it is just something I started doing, my trainer did it as well. It was cool. It also makes me a little nervous. Working on your day off, I am impressed but not surprised Dad. Sounds like everything is going well Happy birthday to Chantelle - another weird connection to my trainee because the 17th is his birthday as well.
It has been a really good week. We were able to invite two people to be baptized and they accepted. One is a long time investigator that has been set before. Her name is Jay and she quit smoking a drinking for 10 months and just recently she picked it back up. Leon came to church so that is good as well. He has begun a 90 Day feast of the Book of Mormon and should have it finished just after Christmas. He is the man! The other investigator that agreed to be baptized is a man named Brian. Brian can clearly remember having the missionaries over when he was 10 and getting baptized but his whole life he thought it was a catholic baptism. The more he tells us we are pretty sure that it was us. A big reason is that Catholics are sprinkled and they aren't at the age of accountability - plus I haven't really ever met any Catholic missionaries (at least so far). The previous missionaries already requested his records and they are lost, or it was a different faith. They already tried to get him to be baptized previously but Brian couldn't understand why it had to be recorded. He just kept telling them that he knows and God knows so that is all that should matter which was hard for us to really explain so we chose to explain it a different way.
We were just visiting to check in. Both of his sons are recent converts so we came to see them but they weren't even home so we just had a spiritual thought with him. He told us he believed in the Book of Mormon and then the prompting came to all of us - "Talk about the priesthood". It is pretty easy to recognize the prompting when all three of us simultaneously started asking him if he knew what the priesthood was. We had a chance to give him a blessing of health at one of our previous visits. He said he had no idea what it was and we had an awesome lesson using 2 Nephi 32, the end after he invites the people to enter the gate and stay on the path. We talked with Brian about how there is more than just one gate on the path and invited him to prepare himself to receive the priesthood to bless his family. He was really excited and said yes. Then we told him how right now, even though it wasn't his fault, he got locked out of the first gate and we need to unlock it again. He then said, "Elders I get it, I will need to get baptized again. I have been thinking about that for myself for a long time now.' He said he is going to talk to his family and they will decide when. It was such a cool lesson and I had never invited for the priesthood first and then for baptism. I also don't really expect to ever do that again.
This week was Elder Smiff's Birthday. He turned 19 on the 17th. We had a pretty fun experience for his birthday. We started off with a district comp study that was really a surprise party. Complete with a crepe bar (made by Sister Kabongo, who is from Belgium so the crepes were pretty legit) and presents, and games and laughing and candles. It was pretty fun. It just so happened that we were also invited to attend another birthday party at the Marae, (A Maori meeting house, considered to be sacred) The man was turning 80. An investigator was speaking at the birthday party and wanted the Elders to come. So since it is in our area we went along with the ZL's. The man is an activist from a Maori group supporting the Maori people and still does protests like really hard out. He is 80 and last week he rolled under a moving truck so that it couldn't move this house that the government was taking from a girl whose parents had passed away and she couldn't inherit the property legally. Anyways it was an interesting situation because he is a Irish man, who hates the government of NZ and hates Ireland more, so there was a mix of 50 or so Maori and Irish protesters at the party - 1 investigator and 5 elders. I never really pictured myself in that situation but it was still a lot of fun. As we got up to leave, right after the investigator spoke, the host of the party was like Everybody say goodbye to the Mormons! So we all went up and hongi'd the birthday boy one by one. It was an awkward situation and I felt really out of place but it was still a lot of fun though. Definitely a memorable birthday for Elder Smith (who also hates his nickname).