“Boy was it Funny and That Man Will Smoke One Less Cigarette”

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Elder Reinstein is sporting his “Peedoc” shirt thanks to Bishop Nelson.

Elder Reinstein Week 22

Well, actually a lot of interesting stories happened this week. But I’ll stick to one for the sake of time and length. This experience had Elder Bourne busting a gut, multiple times in the past couple of days. I hope my account can do it justice (although, I have never been too good at telling stories).

So let’s start with the situation, Elder Bourne, a member (Armindo) and I are waiting for a man to meet us for a new lesson at the terminal of Chapas (busses) around 20 (8 p.m.) on a Saturday night. It is fairly quiet in the adjacent bar and terminal. We begin to realize around 20:20 (8:20 p.m.) this guy isn’t going to show up. At this moment a drunk comes up to us, beckoning us over to the other side of the road, because he wants to hear the “Palavra de Deus” (word of God). So we think, “what the heck, maybe we’ll get a lesson out of this!” Well, he wants us “young people” to help him follow God. So we tell him, first he has drop that cigarette in his hand. “Oh no, I can’t do that now! I’ll stop that tomorrow!”

So he begins some rant, I forget what. In the meantime, I am trying to pluck the cigarette out of his hands, but he keeps moving his hand away. Finally, he acknowledges what I am doing, but proudly says he has more cigarettes right there in his shirt pocket! So I proceed to pluck those out, again in the middle of another rant. Finally, we begin to leave but now he wants those cigarettes back! “Give me!” “Do you want to follow the path of the devil, or of God?” “Give me!” I hold them out for him to choose, and well, he pulls a little too hard, and they break in half. Just at that moment a chapa pulls up, and we run to catch it and get out, realizing that this in no way became a lesson, but boy was it funny and that man will smoke one less cigarette.

But the story does not end there… The next day at church in the middle of Sunday School, a man starts asking a question, and I realize, it is the same guy – dressed up in a suit and all! He somehow found the church, and was very interested to find out more. I went up to him after the class to get his contact information, and he tells me “I’ve decided that I want to continue with this church, but how can I get my wife to come to?” We set up a lesson, and we are sitting with both of them tomorrow. Oh, but it gets better, because some of our recent converts, Edson and Tiago, come up to me after and say they know that guy. His wife is their teacher! Apparently taking that drunken man’s cigarettes is exactly what he needed to begin to walk in the ways of God. The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Sorry for the length, but otherwise great week. Had a great training in Maputo where I actually did translation from English to Portuguese for a native missionary, which was a cool experience. Excited for the future!

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