Monday, August 8, 2011

Austin August 9, 2011 Kenosha, Wisconsin

Dear Family,
We are on fire here in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We just tore through another week getting 20 lessons and plenty of new investigators and referrals from members and non-members alike. It was almost just a hilariously weird week. It's almost guaranteed that the more you are out the more likely that just crazy stuff will happen. While we were teaching this one guy in his front yard I heard the engine of a bus driving down the road in front of his house. We kept on teaching the guy and it was going really well, he really understood the restoration and committed to read the Book of Mormon. Then I noticed this African American man and Hispanic-looking teenager walking up to us. The guy interrupted our lesson and handed us a pamphlet. He told us they were just talking to people on the street and encouraged us to read it and told us he wasn't trying to pull anyone away from their church or anything. So I thought, okay, fair-enough; we do the same thing so I can't be too annoyed. And then I thought he was done and then he started probing asking, "So are you guys saved?" I looked over at our investigator expecting him to answer because at that point it hadn't occurred to me that he was really just talking to us and I forgot our investigator didn't speak any English. And so I answer, Yes. And then he asked, "Well how do you know you're saved." "Because grace in Jesus' atonement saves me and through faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost." I replied, hoping to be able to shake him off fast and get back to the lesson. But no no, he wasn't satisfied with my answer, "Well sir, the baptism isn't what saves us. That is merely a demonstration, it symbolizes His death, burial and resurrection. It is merely how we show to God that we are truly saved through Jesus." To which I possibly too boredly replied, "Which is why I said that I am saved through Jesus' grace and atonement." So I asked him, "Do you know what we do?"
-"No, I'm not sure I'm familiar with what you do."
-"Where are missionaries for our -"
-"Oh that's great, we have missionaries in Brazil and Peru. We support them as they spread the word of God"
I realized he was really just there are fight with us on no matter what we said. So I just stopped paying attention to him. He eventually tapered off and walked away. The whole conversation his co-hort shaking his head in agreeance to everything the Baptist pastor said. I looked over and saw them hop on the bus that I had heard earlier, like a SCHOOL bus with like 12 teenagers in it. I looked around and realized there was no one else on the entire block. He literally stopped that giant bus and got out to stop our lesson and argue with us. It was way lame.
Then another day we were riding to our last appointment for the day and I noticed a tiny, tiny rabbit in the road near the curb. I decided to stop to try to scare it in to the grass. When I approached him he tried and tried to jump above the curb but he couldn't even jump high enough. So I told Elder Woodward we should try to catch him. It was pretty funny with us running around the street, bent over trying to catch him. He'd only run from one side of the street to the other and when he'd get to the curb I was sure he would just run and jump over it and head off in to the grass but instead would just jump straight forward and slam his head in to the side of the curb. It was so cute and sad. He did it like 4 times and finally got so disoriented that we were able to grab him. He was no bigger than one of my palms. We took the spur of the moment and decided to keep him (against our best judgement). So we went to a nearby member's house to get a cage for him (after we figured out that the investigator we were going to visit wasn't home anyways.) And we biked him with a little rabbit in a cage. We got home and realized we had no food for him and so we headed back out to this Italian family that we met on the street that sold vegetables from their front yard (that's a funny story, I'll have to share that one next week) and he gave us some rabbit food because we knew he owned rabbits. We also ran in to his neighbor and had a way sweet lesson and passed him on to the English Elders and they tell us that he is doing well (which is about the only good thing that came out of all of this). We headed back home and tried to feed him but he wouldn't never do anything but just sit in the corner of the cage and just stare at nothing. So we hit the sack and just left him in the cage. When we woke up (Sunday morning) he wasn't in the cage. Yeah we didn't put the top on the cage but the walls are a good foot high and he couldn't even jump 5 inches on to a stinkin' curb. We were befuddled. We started tearing through our apartment to find him and eventually Elder Woodward took some stuff from under his bed and I could tell he found him because he jerked back. It kind of startled him; there was Genesis (we named him Genesis) just sitting there....in the dark...staring back. So we rounded him up and put him back in the cage and left for church but THIS time with the cage closed. But then when we got back from church HE GOT OUT AGAIN. So we declared him a devil animal and we found him in the corner of our closet and we went outside and put him in the grass in the front yard. We sat there for 5 minutes and he didn't even go anywhere. It was so bizarre just like a horror movie or something, it's like he doesn't move if we are looking at him and then he just POOF and then reappears under beds and in closets from an ENCLOSED CAGE whenever we're not there.
So that was weird and kind of funny.
Well, I got to go. Everything is going sooo well. I started P90X today and it was ROUGH but hurt oh so good.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

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