A mixed week, this was. Tuesday we met with our only investigator, Fatjon. He seems to be coming around quite well. He asked a lot of questions clarifying stuff he didn't know. I guess he didn't understand some of what we taught him. Which is weird, because we asked him a lot of questions to see if he did understand, and it seemed like he did. At least he's asking now and not going forward with mistaken ideas.
Thursday and Friday we had 6-hour trainings at the mission home. It was just the inside zone, so half the mission was in there (24 missionaries). I have to tell you, the way we teach now is light-years ahead of the old ways. We learned and practiced a simplified doctrine outline. There is so much more reliance on having the Holy Ghost in the lessons, and not just repeating memorized discussions. We practiced with "stumbling blocks" that people we teach might have. The most frustrating ones were "But I'm Muslim/Catholic, I can't change", "I'll read your book for culture", "I don't have time", "Everything we need to know is in the Bible/Koran" and the most pathetic one of all, "I can't see/read". All of these are excuses you can't go a day without hearing, and in the practices, we learned the best approach to help people with these are to: ask questions that create a conflict/question inside them that really makes them want to find the answer, to testify frequently, and to know when to say, "Well, looks like you won't come out and say it, but you don't even care. Have a nice day!". The things we learned will definitely help us out in the field.
And a funny thing happened to me today. It was right in the middle of morning studies, and a knock was laid on the door. Our peephole is kind of maimed, so I opened up. Some man I've never seen before says, in broken English, "I really have respect for members of your church, and I've been thinking a lot. I've written my ideas down on paper and maybe you could share them with the members of your church. Ok, thank you, bye!" The papers he gave me are pretty entertaining. He went on and on about how there was a coming energy crisis and that only people who own agricultural land or belong to a powerful organization will have food on their table. He mentioned in there something about wanting two hectacres of land. He also expressed that he's worried about his life and is willing to collaborate with anyone. I didn't know who this was, but my companion sure did. I guess he's talked with other missionaries in other cities. Most of the conversations go like this:
Crazy Muslim Kid: "Anyone who is not Muslim is going to Hell"
Missionary: "Oh. Even if you save a Muslim's life?"
CMK "You will still go to Hell"
M "What if you save a whole city of Muslims?"
CMK "You will go to Hell if you are not Muslim"
M *holding back laughter* "What if you save Mohammed?"
CMK *slight pause* "It does not matter. You will still go to Hell if you are not Muslim"
This guy seems pretty harmless. He's never threatened anyone, and he seems like an otherwise nice guy. It's a bit discomforting that he knows where we live now. But then again, he gives me a good chuckle when I read the last two lines of the letter:
"If you can help me I would be grateful forever... Even if you are a Jew."