Thursday, April 17, 2008

Missionary Work

On Monday night I went out with the Sister Missionaries. They had an appointment scheduled for 6:00 that turned out not to be much of an appointment. We had a nice doorstep conversation with an African American Baptist. He appreciated what we were trying to do and asked us questions about what we believe as well as our relationship to the most recent "Mormon" scandal in Texas. (We tried to make it clear to him that the incident is not connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Our next visit was with a young girl named Melissa. She's come to church a few times and the missionaries have been meeting with her for some time. That being said, she is far from being interested in the church. She told us that if we didn't speak with the gift of tongues three days after our baptisms like she did we should seriously question our baptisms. She lectured us on not reading the Bible because it's obvious that the Trinity is all one God and that should just be obvious. She said she might fornicate, drink, smoke, and do drugs, but that she knew who God was and she was going to keep learning and she wasn't going to let our confusion into her head to keep her from learning. The sisters tried valiantly to teach the Plan of Salvation. But after more than an hour of "That's just not right." and, "You mormons treat women like those girls down in Texas." and, "You'd better get it into your heart that God is all over, and there's no one right church, and we just gotta love, and I'm not going to pray about that because that's confusion and I'm not going to let that in my heart," we couldn't take much more.

The last person we met with was Joel. He has recently come to the States from Gabon with his "brother," or cousin. (In Africa, brother and cousin are the same word! What a wonderful reflection on the culture's emphasis on family ties.) He listened to every word we said and looked up in his dictionary what he didn't understand. He asked a lot of intelligent questions and accepted the messages we were sharing. He doesn't really understand how it pertains to his life, but that may come in time. He has literally no furniture, although he's been living and working in Houston for 3 months. We sat on the carpet for our discussion. Meanwhile his brother was preparing dinner for us, even though it was already 9 P.M. and no arrangements had been made! He made spicy chicken and rice, and it was delicious. They have no dishes, not even silverware -- only a package of paper plates and cups. We all ate with our hands and had a fantastic meal. I felt like I was having a foreign mission experience right here in Houston!

7 comments:

kjirsti said...

Wow! What an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing.

Ashlee & Christian said...

that is a really neat experience. cool to have such a night to really see what missionary life can be like. Nice that you could end the night on a good note though, that picks you up especially the missionaries. Thanks for sharing

Staska said...

mar, are you planning on going on a mission?

A Dose of Joy said...

Mary! I get to see you this weekend, yipee :)

P.S. My blog hiatus has formally ended, so stop by whenever you'd like!

mary said...

I've thought about a mission, but it's not in the plans right now.

A Dose of Joy said...

Mary, did you end up getting in touch with anyone about the Master's?

Have a great day,
Chloe

Audrey said...

I don't know how I would've handled that girl telling me that I didn't know what I would talk about and that she wouldn't pray about something because it was confusion. Right, I see her point. Definitely don't pray about it. That way you'll get the answer from....your horoscope? A psychic hotline advisor? I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm too sassy to ever be good at that type of stuff.