I'm sure you're all wondering about the Subject line so I'll get straight to it. Something I have not quite figured out is Catholics and the Virgin Mary. When we walk into the house of a Catholic, it is quite normal we find a lot of paintings of Mary and the same, if not fewer paintings/pictures of Christ. They have prayers they say to Maria, and I just don't understand it. Maybe one of you could shed some light on that. Yes, we do believe she was a great woman and a chosen vessel of God to bring forth Christ into this world, and yes she raised Jesus but I don't understand why some people pray to her.
Besides that, I am still having such a fun time in Long Beach. We meet the most interesting people! Most of them tend to approach us, and not long after such approach I learn that they're not quite right in the head. If there's anything I have gained a testimony of in the mission, it's substance abuse. Whether one is a current user or a past hard user, we can surely distinguish by they way they talk and think. One of these great sons of God ,Mark, approached me and my companion the other day and began to talk to us. He proceeded to tell us how we as missionaries are on the right path, and that we are saved in the book of Lambs while others aren't. Even though he was holding a stuffed animal and wasn't quite there mentally, it did give me an opportunity to bear testimony how we are just trying to teach everyone how God is our loving heavenly Father and how it will be well with us through keeping the commandments. He began to list off some of the commandments then said this, my favorite quote to this day.
"yep, yep you've got to repent not three, not five, but seven times and be baptized as a born-again Evangelist..." So yep. Elder Horton's having fun.
Another thing about Long Beach. Multiple times a day we see people, sometimes homeless, riding by on a bike with a speaker attached and they're just blasting music. It's always something different, but it's a lot of rap and stoner-type music.
At a members house 2 little perritos began to fight and bite each other. While all the sisters in the room starting freaking out and not knowing what to do, I calmly walked up and picked both the dogs up to separate them. Was I afraid one of them would bite me? Psh.... not at all...
Okay well those are some awesome experiences that Elder Horton is having. Long Beach is by far the craziest place I've been and since I didn't know what to include in this email, I just put some of those. Let me finish my email with the most important story of the week.
We got one hermana and her son to come and teach a lesson with us. We went and knocked the door of this investigator, and when she wasn't home, we asked if they would go with us to talk to a potential. They happily agreed, and this potential investigator let us right in. We had already talked to her about the Plan of Salvation once before but this time we were able to teach a lesson. So out of the blue, we taught the plan of Salvation. We had not prepared with this hermana, but the lesson went so well. I noticed at one point, I was speaking words that were not mine. I know the spirit used my mouth to speak the words to her heart. Now, she's an investigator! We are going to talk to her !
This work is so real. It's of God. If you have the chance, join His mighty army and beat against the foe.