Each Sunday, we pass around a calendar in Relief Society so the women in the ward can sign up to have us over for dinner with their families. This calendar not only gets us opportunities to meet and help members with their missionary work, but I use it also to judge our standing in the ward.
It's simple - No one signs up for dinner=They don't like us.
What worries me is that I'm starting to notice a trend. You see, on several Sundays, my companion and I split off with two members, one going to Relief Society and the other to Priesthood meeting. We present a short (2 or 3 minute) lesson on missionary work, and then ask them to do something that week to share the gospel.
I've noticed that whenever my companion, Elder Galletti, goes to Relief Society, the dinner calendar gets full of people wanting to have us over, which is great. Whenever I deliver the message to the Relief Society, not only does no one sign up, but this last week one of them even crossed themselves off the day they had previously signed up for. The women of the Relief Society can be ruthless.
This week knocking doors has actually been effective in finding people to teach. We've gotten 4 return appointments this week from tracting.
I don't know how much longer I'm going to stay in the Los Altos ward, but I'm not too excited to leave. Coming to a new ward is a process. First you hate them, then you get used to them. After long enough, you get so you depend on them. Then you've been institutionalized. I think "Red" from The Shawshank Redemption said that. Not only have I been institutionalized by the Los Altos ward, but I've come to love many of the members here. Because of this, I plan to offend in some way the ward right before I go - that way it will be easier to leave.
One funny thing from a dinner this week with the Taylors (whom we begged to feed us because no one else would). Brother and Sister Taylor have two little kids. I'm not good at judging ages of children, but the younger of the two, nicknamed Bubba, is young enough to not be able to say much, but can walk and EATS A TON. With us eating outside for the barbeque, one of the challenges was for the Taylors to keep their kids from running off into the road. Every couple of minutes, Brother Taylor got up from his chair, ran off, and returned carrying a smiling Bubba back. One time when Brother Taylor went to get Bubba, we heard several seconds later him say, "Hey, it works." We turned and saw Brother Taylor holding a cookie just out of reach of a crying Bubba (who wanted the cookie), leading him back to us. You might think this was something cruel to do, and maybe it was. But to see it was hilarious too.
It's been a great week, and we've had a lot of blessings. Blessings to be led to some people open to hearing and learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and blessings to have felt the Spirit guide us. After following the feelings the Spirit brings, I've seen immediate blessings come several times this week. I guess Heavenly Father wanted to make it obvious to me that the good things started to happen specifically when I follow the direction of the Holy Ghost.
Sometimes it is still hard to overcome hesitations, but I know, especially this week, that the fruits of the Spirit do come when you follow the direction it gives you. I hope I never forget how worth it it is to follow all that God asks us to do, if only to have the blessing of the assuring encouragement, love, and direction that come from the Holy Ghost.
Have a great week everyone. Elder Galletti and I appreciate your prayers.