I was worried that Elder Smith wouldn't get a lot of teaching experience here, seeing as for about 2 months before he arrived, only one new investigator was found. This week we started teaching 4 new investigators! They are all at different points in their progression as well. One is a part-member family who have been taught several times in the past. Another is a Philipino lady who has a daughter in the Philipines who is a member of the church, but hasn't really been taught anything about it. Another is a guy who just got out of jail. The last is a Lieutenant in the Sudanese army. He is planning on running for President of Sudan in the near future. The cool part about him is that his story is legitimate.
One cool story this week. We had been asked to give part of a youth fireside on finding ways to serve other people each day. We weren't sure what we'd say, since we hadn't had much experience of that here. So on Saturday morning, just before we left the apartment, we prayed asking to have opportunities to serve someone we see that day. We left the apartment, and right across the street was a man and his son pulling out weeds. We went over to them.
"How can we help?" I asked.
"Thanks, but we've got it alright," he said.
Elder Smith bent down and began pulling weeds next to the man, and I picked up a shovel nearby. 2 hours later we finished the job, and he had told us all about his Native American heritage, his family, and his life history. Something about being a missionary can put people at ease to tell you all about themselves. Often however, it can get really awkward and a little frightening with the details they share. Luckily, this was not the case with this man.
Elder Smith is doing great. I love training. Having a new missionary has brought back the excitement about missionary work that I felt the first 3 or 4 months of my mission. It can be challenging at times weeding out his preconceived ideas about how missionary work "should" be, but I remember I had the same ideas when I was a new missionary too. He has a really similar personality to mine - but with a little Jim Carrey mixed in with it. Have fun imagining that.
I'm having a blast. I hope you all are too. To those going to the They Might Be Giants concert, I hope you're happy supporting one of the few things that's made a faithful servant of the Lord homesick.