I have so many stories from this past week I could share, but I'm not sure how much time I will have today, so instead I'll just share two random ones:
Service is just a part of the mission, and as such we look for every opportunity to help the people in our area. Of course, sometimes we get a little more than we wanted (biting off more than we can chew)-it's something that happens every once and a while, I guess you win some and you lose some. This weeks lose? We cleaned black mold out of a lady's two fridges. As we were cleaning it out I kept thinking "yep, I have locked myself into cancer in the next five years or so..." Like I said, I think we lost Russian Roulette this week.
This past week we also got invited to an Adventist church. We have an investigator who's dad is a pastor of a church that isn't quite evangelical, but its not Adventist either... (something that happens a lot in the islands-just mixes of whatever people want). Anyways, we went to the church and there were drums AND an electric guitar! They even had some chanting and loud singing. After about 10 minutes of confusion between the guitar and the chanting, the pastor singled my companion and I out in front of the 30 or so people there. And then the next 30 minutes was the pastor screaming into the mic and just laying into LDS missionaries and the Church. The whole congregation was just staring at us seeing if we would react or I guess how we would react. I have never seen so many smirking faces-everyone seemed to believe the pastor, and after a half an hour of him laying it in us I realized the gospel didn't deserve to be mocked so harshly. Or really, ever...you know, God will not be mocked.
So that's when I turned to my companion and just said "I'm getting that microphone."
Bless Elder Okano and his horrified face as he realized what I was saying. He reached out trying to grab my arm or stop me in any way, but I was determined by that point. I had stood up and somehow the Pastor had stopped his rambling blasphemy for a moment-wondering I guess as to what I was going to do.
The pastor then asked if I had a question. I replied yes, my question was if I could have the microphone and say something before we had to leave. He somehow obliged. I walked up to the front and looked into the crowd of people who had just witnessed 30 minutes of this pastor ripping into us. It seemed they were all hoping we were going to break in that 30 minutes? (I'll give you a hint-you can't break a missionary who gives up their family for 2 years in only 30 minutes.)
I then thanked them all for being there, and for letting me speak. I expressed love for their faith in God and their love for their church. I know a little of their doctrine, and so I stated a few points of what they believe in that we two believe, or at least honor as well. (It was mostly that I wished the whole world would keep the 10 commandments as well). Then, I bore my witness of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Elder Okano who at this point had stood with me, then did the same.
There was no electric guitar to back us up, nor were the drums rocking or the people dancing in the background or yelling and jumping around. Instead, it was pretty silent. Which I am sure you can only imagine meant a sweet spirit was able to enter the room. We then said a prayer for them and prayed for their children to always remain faithful to God. And then we left.