Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Numbers Aren't Everything


I remember playing Chinese checkers with you back at Aunt Ruth's house :) I lost every time, even though I'm pretty sure you let me cheat a couple times. I think once or twice I may have won actual checkers though :)

 I really am trying to do heartfelt work though. Lately, we've been doing more re-activation than anything else. It doesn't show anything for our numbers really, but it helps the branch out a lot. Plus, we're hoping that some of our re-activated members start helping us find new investigators and coming with us to member present meetings. It's also a companionship goal of ours to meet everyone in the branch and try to form friendships with them.

The reason we have so many less-actives though, is because there was a period of time (known as the candy-giving time) where missionaries would promise financial aid if they joined the church. Some missionaries would baptize over 50 members, and then only one would continue to be active. So we're here trying to clean up that mess. We would meet with some and realize some didn't even own a copy of the Book of Mormon. One of them didn't even know what it was.

I guess it's just hard in a culture where everyone shuns us because we're not from the Apostolic church. They cling to it way too much, understandably. It's been the only thing keeping this country and race together over the years, but it really is a stumbling block for everyone. No one wants to look at us, let alone listen to us :/

But anyways, this week was alright. In terms of numbers it was our worst week yet, but hopefully that will change with the season.

This week I got a package from Grandma and Grandpa Merrick :D I finished it off by the next day :p That made my Tuesday :)

One of our members in Arabkir just got his mission call....to Armenia :p So we'll be having a native Armenian speaker within our circle of missionaries. We're all excited, yet a little apprehensive to have someone who will know Armenian better than English serving with us.

So we were getting on the subway this week when I heard the doors close and a little squeak come from Elder Peterson. I didn't realize what it was at first so I just kind of looked forward. Then Elder Peterson tapped me and said, "my bag is stuck." I looked, and sure enough, part of his bag was sticking out the doors of the Metro. So he had to patiently wait until the next stop (which happened to be the longest stretch of track on the whole system) to let himself loose. :p

Something I've realized out here is that sometimes, you just have to be a nice person. We got in a taxi and I made several comments asking what his name was, how was his work going, how was his family. When we arrived, I made a motion for my wallet and he just said "it's not necessary" and smiled. I asked if he was sure and he said he was. I could tell I had made the end of his night for him. A lot of people here don't really make casual talk and sometimes it's just nice to see how people are doing :)

Anyways, love you all :)

Elder Hammer

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