Hello Family, Friends, and Everyone Else (You can be my friend too!),
This week was GREAT!! Lots of fun stuff happened, especially one story that I'll tell you (even if it is a little embarassing) :)
So here's what happened:
On Friday, I was on exchanges with Elder Smith. We went and taught an investigator of ours. As we started teaching, our investigator (Brother Norman) said, "That's pre-plot! I don't want you to tell me pre-plot stuff. Just flip through the book and read whatever it lands on!" I wasn't sure what to do since we had planned on teaching about prayer (what we thought he needed). I started flipping back and forth through the pages and Elder Smith started talking with him about prayer. Brother Norman thought it was nice, but persisted that we flip through and stop on a certain page. We complied and read a random verse. I don't remember what it was, but it was a good verse and it was sort of relevant.
After a while, we started to teach him the Restoration again (since he had mentioned that "It doesn't matter what church I go to. We'll all end up in the same place). As we did taught, he said, "That's pre-plot! See? You tell me about His Church and then they all die and the table breaks into a million pieces and people start taking pieces and making churches based off of those and then you keep going. Pre-plot. I don't like pre-plot. That's why I asked you to just open the book and read whatever it lands on."
Elder Smith and I weren't sure what to say. We sat in silence for what seemed to be an eternity, and then he said something that I will NEVER forget. He said something that has changed my whole attitude on missionary work. He said something that has filled me full of life.
He said, " You know, sometimes when you're sitting there and we're talking, I feel like I'm talking to a robot."
YES! A robot! I am SO GRATEFUL that he told me that!!! What would have happened if I had gone the next 18 months teaching like a robot?!
It makes me think back on when I sold pest control door to door in Tennessee. It was in the summer of 2006 and I was trying to do my best at it. One of the managers went out with me one day and we started going door to door. I wanted to know how to be better at sales.
He told me that what usually happens is that people work and work and do their best at sales but they're still giving a canned presentation. After a while, they get really frustrated and basically say, "Forget this stuff!" and then they speak like a normal human being and they're successful!
That's what happened to me, more-or-less. I came out of that lesson thinking, "Forget all this stuff! Forget every little missionary phrase I learned! Forget these analogies that have been passed down from missionary to missionary! A robot?! I'm not going to be a robot!" Then I went out and worked, put on a BIG smile, was bold and upfront, and just TALKED. It has been GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! People respond well, we teach to their needs (more so than before), and it's effective! God bless Americans for their frankness :)
So that's the major breakthrough of the week! Also, there isn't any snow here, in case you're wondering. It's going to be in the 60's and 50's most of this week. Maybe a storm on Christmas Eve or Day, but we'll see. Surprisingly mild winter in Oklahoma this year!
Thanks for all of your prayers and support and letters and love! I love each of you and I hope everything is going well! Smile a lot! :)
Elder Woolley :)