Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You never know who you are going to meet...

Can you say "road trip"?  I told you last time that one of the wrestlers from Wamego (Alex's first mission area) who is also a member of the LDS church, would be wrestling in the Kansas state tournament.  This wrestler had asked if Alex would be able to go to the wrestling tournament to support him and help out in his matches.  Alex and his companion talked to both the assistants to the president and the mission president and received permission to go to the tournament.  What an opportunity!  Not only would Alex get to watch wrestling again, but he would get to do it while wearing his suit, tie and missionary name tag.  I'm sure that many people will take notice that there are a couple of Mormon missionaries wandering around a wrestling tournament and wondering why they are there.  The more people who ask questions, the more opportunities to share the gospel.

Anyway, Alex and his companion got up early on the morning of the tournament and headed for Wamego to meet up with the wrestler and his family.  After giving his companion a quick tour of the town, they met the family and were off to the tournament.  To make a longer story shorter, the tournament didn't quite turn out the way everybody had planned.  As we can testify, sometimes wrestling matches go your way when maybe they weren't suppose to and other times they don't when they should have.  In this case it was the latter.  On a more positive note, it always amazes me just how much Alex has influenced for the good, all the people he comes in contact with.  This case is no different.  Alex's influence and I am sure the influence of many others as well, will never be forgotten.  Alex told us that despite the unfortunate outcome of the tournament, it was still an awesome day.

Well after their big day at the Kansas state wrestling tournament, it was back to normal missionary work and trying to find those who are willing and ready to listen to the message that the missionaries have to offer.  From the time that Alex and his companion arrived in Lawrence, this has been their biggest struggle.  But Alex told us that things are really picking up for them and that they are now teaching a number of really solid contacts.  Of course you always have to take the bad with the good and missionary work is no different.  There are always those who start out with a real interest in learning more about the gospel of Jesus Christ but then later, for whatever reason, don't want to continue.  Alex and his companion have been experiencing this as well.  But literally, in their case, as one door shuts another one seems to open up and the work moves forward.

Alex told us a story about how he and his companion where taking down the Christmas lights at a neighbor's house one morning.  Seems a little late in the year to be taking down Christmas lights.  If it were up to me, I would just forget about it and leave them up for next year.  But that is a completely different story.  Anyway, since they were having to climb up and down a ladder while working outside, they weren't dressed in their normal missionary suite and tie.  While they were working, a couple of missionaries from a different denomination just happen to pass by and started up a conversation with Alex and his companion.  At first these other missionaries didn't know that Alex and his companion were actually missionaries themselves, but from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As the conversation continued and the other missionaries started throwing out bible references, Alex was able to recite the references from memory even before the other missionary had a chance to look it up.  Finally the other missionaries asked if Alex and his companion were Mormon missionaries.  Alex said in his letter:
"...we weren’t going to lie, so I put my arm around one of them and said we sure are!!"

Needless to say, not a whole lot of progress was made on either side, but chalk one up to new experiences.  You never know where it might lead.

Alex and his companion have really been working hard to get things going in Lawrence.  Every week he tells us about all of the people that they are teaching and how well the work is going.  The Ward that they have been assigned to is really stepping up and helping out in the missionary work.  Alex has mentioned several times how much he enjoys working with the Ward mission leader and what great families there are in the Ward.  Alex also mentioned just how crazy it is that there are so many ties back to home.  He said that there are a lot of people in his area that have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews or grandchildren that live in Utah and some that even went to the same high school with Alex.  Alex found out that one Ward member was actually at Alex's graduation last year.

It is always great to hear from Alex and to read all about the people that he has met.  Hopefully Alex and his companion will be able to stay a little longer in Lawrence rather than getting transferred again.  I know Alex would love that.

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