Two Sundays ago we received a call from our Bishop. He expressed his concern as there are five priests graduating from high school this year and not one of them currently has plans to serve a mission within the next year. He had been praying about it and told us that he needed our help. For the next 6 to 10 to however many weeks it will take, he wants us teaching priests quorum every Sunday. The biggest worry is that none of these boys have testimonies for themselves. We are to teach them like they are investigators and help each one of these boys figure it out.
Yesterday was the first time we taught them. There is a couple that sneak out each week, so we grabbed as many as we could and took them in Bishop's office. 10 boys in total, plus Bishop and the Young Men's President.
They were dead. Literally, half way through the lesson I made them all stand up and jump up and down. They had no energy and really not much of an interest in what we had to say. We straight up told them from the beginning that they would be stuck with us until we get through it all, and if there is no participation, then we would be in there for the next year with them.
Of the 10, we got two of them to open up a little. They didn't give the Sunday School answers that get you by, but real questions and answers that they are clearly trying to figure out. Two out of ten. We'll take it.
Nearing the end of the lesson, I had a thought hit me, that I have had come to mind MANY times on my mission. So I shared it with these priests and I feel like it sums up what we want each one of these boys to do, what each of us need to do! It went a little like this:
Think of Joseph Smith. He was 14 years old. At 14 years old, he didn't know what in the world to do. His parents were trying to lead him one way, and everyone around him was trying to convince him to join with them, but he had no idea what to believe. He wasn't going to take anyone's word for it, and we don't want you to take anyone's word for the church, either. So Joseph prayed and asked. He posed a question to God. Think about it. This ENTIRE church is based off a question. If Joseph had not asked, you and I and everyone else in this church building would not be sitting here today. But the fact of the matter is that he did, and we are here today, but that doesn't mean you have to take everyone else's word for it. We want you to do the exact same thing that Joseph Smith did, ask a question and figure it out for yourself. If you really want to know, God WILL give you an answer.
We then had each one of them text us how often they were going to read from the Book of Mormon every week, while we are teaching them. We let them pick whatever amount of time they wanted, but they were told that they HAVE to keep their commitment and we will be following up with each of them. Their answers ranged from, attempt to read a verse a week to 10 minutes a day. We'll take anything we can get.
For the next 6 to 10 to however many weeks I still have, I'm going to send a little update each week as to what happens with these priests. One of my favorite things that I do when I teach investigators, I try and picture them in white in the temple. It helps give me a greater perspective on the end goal we have in mind. Yesterday, I imagined all these young men in white, a little more lively, and with THEIR OWN testimonies of the truthfulness of this gospel. Dad- I'm beginning to see what you're trying to do with all the young men at home. You can't force anyone, you can only invite and encourage them to ask the question for themself. I'm excited for what the upcoming Sundays have in store! Now we have to pray that we didn't scare them all, and that they will still come back next week....
Love you all