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Friday, July 03, 2009

International Week 06/01/09

Dear Family,

This has been a week. We were street contacting in a park near our apartment, and saw a bunch of Asians setting up a volleyball net. We went to talk with them, and before we knew it, we were spiking balls at cowering Asians left and right. They spoke broken English, but has mastered words you use in sports such as "Amazing!" "Miracle!" and "I go!"

Later we were invited to a family home evening with some ward members who speak Russian. Once a month they invite other Russian-speakers to this home evening with them, members and non-members. In theory it is a great chance for us to teach people about the gospel. But when the only Russian that speaks any English is an old man that knows only enough English to be able to flirt shamelessly with the other men's wives, it's not the best environment for us to be able to teach with the Spirit.

On Saturday night, after we had dinner at a member's apartment, we were walking out of their complex when we heard some sort of drum going in another apartment. I think the drum is called a Tabla, and it's from India. We knocked on their door and an Indian lady answered. I saw the drum in the room and I told her how we had heard it and were curious. She opened the door a little further and we saw about 8 or 9 other Indians sitting in a circle on the floor, an older man playing the Tabla.

"Yes, we were just praying," she said.

"Oh, can we join you?" I asked.

They let us in and we sat in the circle as they sang some different prayers to the beat of the Tabla. Between songs they told us what the songs were about and some of their teachings. I did my best to look interested and engaged, but a lot of the things they said I had no idea what they were talking about. I'm sure that's how a lot of people we teach without a Christian background feel. They let me record one of their prayers on my camera and then, recognizing that we are ministers, asked us to teach a little about Jesus to them. One of the women then went into the kitchen and returned with a pot full of some sort of brownish semi-solid goo. She went around the room plopping a scoop of it into each person's hand. Mmm, mmm, good.

Whenever we are around people speaking another language, Elder Uelese either imitates their language, or whispers to me his made-up translations of what they are saying. In both cases, I often start laughing and everyone looks at me wondering what the dumb white kid is laughing at. I'm working on it.

Anyway, I'm doing great, having lots of fun, and doing my best to love others and share the gospel. Thanks again for all the prayers, emails, and support. Have a great week!


Elder Karlsven

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