The mission is crazy. It's crazy how much I love these people after 7 weeks. It's crazy how badly it breaks my heart to see the people I've come to lvoe so much suffer through things. It's crazy how much I love doing little things. I was picking up sticks in preparation of mowing an investigator's lawn, and I was ridiculously happy. I couldn't believe that this is my life and what a privilege it is to get to serve as a missionary. Biking? My favorite actividad! That's a good thing, because we cover the entire ward boundary now and have very limited miles in the car. It feels so good to be back on my bike! I love it, but I think I had pent up a lot of energy, because I've had a ton this week, and Sister Ray and I learned that she has to lead in biking because I go to fast (didn't mean to). Sister Ray is super sharp, and I've been amazed at how astute she is and how quickly she's been able to pick things up about the people we work with and the area. She took care of her grandma before coming out and walks, bikes and does everything super slowly. I find ways to compensate and have found things to occupy myself so I don't go crazy like picking up trash in front of houses while I wait for her to get everything settled, or recording thigns in my planner, doing push-ups while I wait for her to have everything ready to walk out the door. She is adorable, a great teacher, and just altogether a great missionary. We are having an absolute blast together and have already had a lot of success. I LOVE SISTER RAY!
We were walking through an apartment complex on our way to see someone, and we said something in passing to a man washing his car for his wife. We ended up having a good conversation about the gospel and set up a time to go teach his family. We were getting ready to pray with him when another guy passed in his car and said, "excuse me, are y'all praying? I'm going to pull over and join you." It was pretty cool. The second guy more wanted to warn us about our religion, but it was good conversation.
We taught a young man Sister Wright and I had contacted and it was great to see his faith grow. We are hoping to use a less active member of our ward to help teach him. We have been able to work more toes in the door with some other less active members. You know people can't resist our charm. I joke, we don't do anything, but it's great to see people start to soften and let us and God in.
Our investigator who wants to be baptized is still going through serious hardships. She was really sad to see Sister Wright go as they had a strong connection, and we haven't been able to see her since. She is sick and ordered by the doctors not to go to work. She has been taken care of by family, which is great, but we have been trying really hard to get in and give her a blessing, but haven't been able to. Some frustrating experiences, but it will all work out in God's time.
Other investigators are doing splendidly and letting us come back more after distancing themselves previously. We've gotten to serve and work hard in and outside of people's homes with weeds, grass, cooking, cleaning. Love it. These are great people.
We went to a baptism for an 8 year old boy in the ward. We tried to get investigators there, but it didn't work out. That was such a strong, spiritual experience. Stinking Primary songs made me cry the whole time thinking about our sick investigator and badly I wanted that for her--and for everyone! I want it so bad, and the Primary songs are so simple and beautiful and true! Again, it will all work out in God's time.
The less-active member who agreed to take yoga lessons and opened up to another sister in the ward is doing splendidly. After an appointment that we broke our backs to set up and get to fell through with our sick investigator, I called her and pretty much ordered food (she's a good friend, I can do that). We went over that night and actually taught her aunt who has been visiting with her. She has come to church a few times, but has no religious background and has been lost and confused with the teachings, but too scared to ask questions or meet with the missionaries. She was very receptive. We're excited to teach her more. She is so humble and willing to listen and was eager to start reading the Book of Mormon, pray, and meet with us more. One of the best parts was to watch the less active member help teach her, after she has been going through dark times, and questioning her own testimony. Her having opportunities to serve others has been the best cure for her depressing times. Love her to death, she is seriously one of my best friends in the South.
Well, this is AWESOME. I'm learning a ton, loving a ton, biking a ton, and having a blast.
Y'all keep being awesome.
Sister Liz Sheffer