Friday, October 19, 2007

Saying goodbye with bowling

Angelo Quattro was laid to rest yesterday in the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter. He served in the Army during WW2. He was loving, had 2 children, 2 grand-children, and 3 great-grand children. He cooked, bowled, and made 5 lamps in his lifetime out of Popsicle sticks (one of which my husband helped with). He was a long time member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and was very strong in his faith, and I respected that.
This past week I've been praying really hard that Heavenly Father would open up a missionary opportunity to my family with the passing of Angelo. It seemed like the perfect time to share the plan of salvation and talk about Heavenly Father's plan for us. I don't know how well the seed is taking, but for the last week I've been talking to my husband about my beliefs and the Mormon faith. He listens more, and has been asking more questions but I don't know if he's ready.
Yesterday we talked after the first service, on the way to the cemetery about the talk that one of the Brothers had given, and about how little sense it made, and how bleak it all sounded. I felt hollow, and the Spirit was noticeably absent from the procession. The talk was glaringly un-inspired. I was a bit afraid of how these teachings would settle with TB. In the car, we talked about what we know really happens after death, and about the real council in heaven and what took place there. I went into how much was answered by the restored gospel and how the pieces just fit, you know? They just fall into place.
Well, it was a really tough day for my husband, who viewed Angelo as his real father, the man who taught him what he knew of how to be a man. I understand the pain of losing a father. My father (step-father actually but i didn't think of him that way) passed away about 4 years ago and it was the single hardest time of my life. But it helped me draw closer to Heavenly Father and deepened my testimony. I prayed all day that this would turn out to be one of those situations, and not one that causes him to lose faith.
So yesterday after we'd been home for only about an hour, just trying to settle in and relax, there was a knock on the screen door and I thought it was TB coming home from the bowling alley where we had the reception (per Angelo's wishes). Instead I opened the door to find the missionaries standing there! I was so grateful for them just "stopping by", and it worked out because I was able to tell them about the questions that my husband had asked me, and they were better able to answer them. They asked if they can come over tomorrow evening and teach him the plan of salvation. He didn't really say anything and I couldn't tell if he didn't want to have the lesson and just didn't want to tell them no, or if he was still just feeling grief so much that he couldn't speak. So I just told them that they were welcome to come over, and hopefully it will be the seed that takes roots and brings forth good fruit.
Now, on an unrelated note, I was left an anonymous comment directing me to a website about Jehovah's witness and some of their court dealings, and a general overview of their beliefs. The idea was for me to forward that on to my MIL. I spent about 3 hours reading over the info contained there, and I found it very enlightening, but I didn't feel that it would be in good taste to send that to her at this time. I don't think that shining a light in the dark corners of the Kingdom Hall would be the best missionary tool I could use, to try to bring her to the restored gospel. I think this would be better done with love and kindness, serving and example, and finesse. I will pray hard for the best approach in this situation, but I thank you for the insightful information. It does explain some earlier dealings I had with her a few years ago in family court over the custody of our oldest son. (And in fairness to her, she was unknowingly suffering from menopause, and I was suffering depression and anxiety, so neither of us were thinking very clearly at the time.) I will continue to discuss our beliefs openly with her, as that seemed to work just fine earlier in the week, and continue to try to serve her in what ever way I can during this time. I think that would be best.

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