Monday, December 21, 2015

Murder and Torture (oh no!) 12/21/15


I am so very excited this week because Christmas is coming and I love this time of year. I am also sad because the days of blasting Josh Groban's Christmas album will soon end. TRAGEDY.

I think it might be wise to explain the subject for this weeks email.. Murder and torture are related to two specific events that happened this week. I can easily say, the Lord really protected Hermana Bjork and me this week. From serious rejection, to finding a drugged up man outside of our apartment, to enduring extreme torture in an organic food distribution, to being invited to a strip club...We have had some tales to tell. What a blessing it is to be on Lords errand. So here we go!

Earlier this week, while walking in a slighter nicer area, we came across a man who was VERY ANTI-LDS. After shutting us down rudely upon our invitation to share a Christmas video, we asked him innocently if he had had a bad experience with the church. He said NO, we just teach false doctrine and that nobody in their right mind should listen to us. Before we could respond, he launched into an in depth description of lies and false accusations about our faith. He even went as far as to mock the "burning in the bosom" feeling we can receive when the Holy Ghost testifies. Not cool man... My companion was very offended. We tried our best to stand our ground and we ended up just trying to testify over the sound of his insults. What a drag that conversation was. UGHH.

One night this week, after a long grueling day of more rejection and lost investigators, we stumbled wearily to our apartment. We stopped in our tracks when a man on a bike called out to us in greeting. He came over to us and it became clear that he was extremely high. We tried sharing our Christmas video and asked for an appointment to share more. However.. This guy wasn't really banging on all cylinders so he was dead set on asking us where we lived and when we could come see him. He asked us if we lived here in these apartments and we had to lie to him.. Straight up! He would not leave us be and we were both really concerned. Finally by some miracle, he drove off a few feet and watched us for awhile before taking off. CREEPY. After checking to see if the coast was clear we dashed into our apartment and dead-bolted the door. What a night!

Okay this is my favorite event this week because Hermana and I were SO PROTECTED. Our mission president has asked each companionship to walk and talk on the streets for an hour and a half a day. To fulfill this duty, we had to finish our walking and talking pretty late one night. My companion drove to a place that seemed pretty safe and we proceeded to walk the neighborhood. We like to find houses that have a lot of people outside that we can talk to , and one of these houses fell right into our path. WHaHoo! We introduced ourselves to a man working on his suburban while all of his buddies smoked week in the dark and dirty garage. Little did we know what we were getting into.. Instead of accepting our invitations, he extended his own to have us accompany him to the strip club..."then we could tell him all about our video there.." We ignored the comment and proceeded to ask for an appointment. For the next 20 minutes, the man and his extremely colorful vocabulary weaved a tale of near death experiences, being stabbed, shot, and homeless, he had nearly seen it all! He had done time, and had been living on the lowest of levels for the longest time. Surprisingly he knew the Bible pretty well, even if his version of Noah's story was a little skewed. He compared his life to Job and how all bad things were befalling him, including someone smashing out the windows in his car. But of course he was preparing his shot gun for revenge against the guy. (uhhh...)The craziest part about all of this was that the man was dead serious! When he finally let us talk, we testified about the reality and comfort of the atonement. The next thing we knew the man was in tears telling us about all of his suicide attempts and the horrors he has known. We gave the situation our best effort but we decided not to push our luck and we bugged out of there quick. It sure isn't every day you meet a murderer who scares you to death. 

Okay final little story.. we volunteered at the Salvation Army this week to help distribute donated food to families in need. Of course all of the donated food had to top of the line, organic, good quality food that I pay the big bucks for... Aghh I was in absolute agony. I was so tempted to fill a box to the brim of all my favorite brands and take it for myself. So selfish I know but I was really suffering. I overcame this trial and now I just look back and hope that the people REALLY APPRECIATE the quality of food they are getting!

Well I hope you all have a FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS, that you eat well and give much. I love each and every one of  you and I send you all my hugs and love. 
God Speed and Stay Safe!
Hermana Tobler

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