This I did this week...
Monday (March 7th): Went and did some service (flood clean-up) at the Lawrences. Played Settlers of Catan at a members. Taught a few lessons in the evening.
Tuesday: More service. Cleaning up and setting back up the laser tag arena that a member owns. Our 12-man zone is all coming to Findlay today for a Zone P-day where we are going to play (free) laser tag for as long as we want! It's a pretty cool place - pirate themed and two stories. Gunna kick some butt today! We taught an older lady named Nedra. We found her through tracting and at her door briefly taught her the restoration. She said she wouldn't mind a Book of Mormon to read and since then we've stopped by four or five times. We have taught her about the Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ and she has read the first few books in the Book of Mormon. Nedra believes that all churches are the same and it doesn't matter which we join as long as we have that belief in Christ (which a lot of people believe actually). Everyone is entitled to their believes and we respect what Nedra thinks. But if the Book of Mormon is true, that means that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet. And if he truly was a prophet, that means he DID see God, the Father, and His son, Jesus Christ who told him to join none of the churches on the earth at that time. That a restoration was needed so that the complete gospel and church that Jesus Christ set up on the earth would once again be established. The only way one can know if the Book of Mormon is true is to read it, ponder its teachings, and pray and ask God if it is true.
Wednesday: We had a Zone Development Meeting. The other 10 missionaries in our Findlay Zone (covers from St. Marys to Fremont) came up for a three hour long meeting in which workshops were held, role plays were practiced, and edification took place. The theme was "Teach People, Not Lessons." We had some of the District Leaders give short workshops and then Elder Haines and I gave a 30 minute one in which we used the Preach My Gospel 2 DVD's to show some powerful examples. Listening is so important in missionary work! Listening to the investigator AND the Spirit. We role played asking inspired, Heaven-sent questions. Questions that help investigators understand better, think deeper, apply the concepts, but most importantly, feel the Spirit. It was a great meeting. I love my zone! That evening we ate with a couple where the wife is a member but the husband is not. The wife had never had the missionaries over as her husband is a little bit "anti" but she felt prompted to after receiving a voicemail from us asking if we could stop by. Everyone was a little bit nervous/on edge at first (I think) but it turned out to be a wonderful dinner! We shared a short scripture about Christ being our foundation (Helaman 5:12) and as we were leaving he told us we could come back whenever we wanted - that this dinner didn't need to be the last one! We were happy that it went well.
Thursday - Friday: Lots of driving, lots of teaching, etc. Friday we were asked to give talks on Sunday.
Saturday: The Toledo Stake had a Young Men's activity (President Andy Kirkham was in charge of it!). It was a really powerful experience for the young men and helped them to get a feel for missionary work. They put them in districts (a classroom of 7 youth and 2 missionaries) and we taught them the Doctrine of Christ and then role played. One of the boys in my district brought a non-member friend so he and I taught him and then I had them teach me. It was kind of cool to be taught by a non-member who had JUST learned something. My favorite part was the muffins and fruit they had in the beginning... (just kidding)
Sunday: I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting about the importance of the Holy Ghost in gaining a testimony. My companion gave one about the importance of the Holy Ghost in missionary work. The talk went well! I had warned one of the ward members that I was giving a talk and not to make faces at me (Brother Lay - we like to tease each other a lot, he's older-ish). He said "Ohhhh! Okay!" And I didn't think anything of it... A youth speaks, then my companion speaks, then I get up to speak. As soon as I look up, I see in the very back Brother Lay standing up, fingers sprawled, thumbs at the side of his face, making a "neener neener neener" motion with his body. I was about to BUST out with laughter when I accidentally said into the microphone "Brother Lay! Sit down!" ...the whole ward turned around as he sat down, laughing his head off and then turned back to me. I did NOT mean to say that out loud and then started my talk. It was pretty funny. I got a lot of compliments about my talk and people asking what Brother Lay did. Someone asked if it part of my plan, to move all the attention off me and send it somewhere else to make me less nervous. I told him I'm not THAT smart... I was happy with my talk and glad that people liked it.
One last cool story. For about a week now my wallet has been missing. I lost it the night when the river was rapidly raising and we were quickly making sandbags for people. We had checked all over the apartment, all over the truck, at places we had been that day, checked the Mayor's office/Lost and Found, the police station, asked members, prayed like crazy... I couldn't find it anywhere! I had given up on finding it and was in the process of getting a new Driver's License and debit/credit cards, when Monday night a member calls me: "Are you missing a wallet?" I nearly fell over when she told me someone had found it and given it to her. In my wallet was my ministerial certificate (which pretty much shows people that we really are missionaries, like a missionary license). A man was biking to work one morning and saw a white thing in the snow (I put my wallet items in this white handbook). He looked at it and saw that it belonged to a kid in California. He was going to mail it to me when he saw this little scrap of paper that said "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" - the ministerial certificate was completely torn, wet, and ruined except for the part with the church name on it. He knew a member of the church, called her and she took it from him. It was such a blessing! Now I don't have to become an Ohioan! :)
Well, we have to go meet our Zone at the Laser Tag arena now. We've heard bits and peaces about the natural disasters in Japan and back west. What terrible news. It's times like these where we can find peace and comfort in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for my family and for the safety that the Lord has bestowed upon them. I hope we can all continue to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and become more Christ-like every day! Love you all!