This week was nothing short of miraculous!
Sister Wright pointed out to me that two of our investigators now are white, I got kind of excited about that since they are generally less accepting. They are also our investigators who more seldom keep their commitments, lol. But I love them, we have a new one who is my unexpected good friend. As soon as we get over the overwhelming smell of smoke upon putting a foot in her house, I feel at home and have so enjoyed getting to teach her and help her move things around the house. She has some health issues, but is so smart and funny when she is alert despite her medication! She is in her 40s and lives with her 'husband' William who I am also enjoying teaching. He participates minimally, and doesn't really consider himself to be taking the lessons, but we try to schedule them when he is there, because he does listen actively.
We got into the home of a less-active member and her three sons (husband is always gone) after 4 months of the missionaries attempting to. That was amazing. We seriously sat and said maybe two sentences and watched and listened in awe as she talked herself through her reasons for attending another church, gun control, common core, and then why she should come back to the LDS church and read the Book of Mormon. It was something else, we seriously do nothing but create an environment with the spirit, and invite to keep commitments. We went back later and mowed her lawn and cleaned her front and back porch, I'm sure I picked up over 200 cigarettes. Sister Wright who is quite a hygienic person was a little grossed out, but you just come to leave these people so much, you are more than happy to get down and dirty to help make their home beautiful. Her kids are awesome, she homeschools and they are super bright and very in tune with her. I'm excited to work with them more. We had a member come and mowed her lawn after we finished and she fed us lunch. We learned that she also has an underactive thyroid and does her own research and testing from labs and gave us some very enlightening info as to what could be going on with Sister Wright super helpful.
PJ finally met with us again, it is always such an incredible experience every time that we are together. It makes so much sense that Satan would fight so hard against us being able to meet together. I seriously had chills the entire time, she is such a powerful spirit! She committed to baptism again! We gave her a church tour, which Satan also fought really hard against, but we made it happen. Also an incredibly powerful experience. We ended in the chapel and Sister Wright sang that super popular arrangement of I Know That My Redeemer Lives while I accompanied on the piano. Or course it was beautiful, but PJ made HUGE deal about it, and couldn't believe it. I about lost it when I looked up from the piano and saw her just sitting in a pew crying and shaking her head. She told the member who came with us "Did you hear that?!" She went on and on, but of course, it wasn't us, it was the spirit. I love hearing PJ call the church 'her church.' Her grandson she takes care of was sick on Sunday and she couldn't come to church, so we are still fighting against Satan. Amazing experiences.
We had an amazing experience with one of our investigators who we thought dropped us. We decided to go by her house when we were in the area, and she was outside talking with a neighbor, she started to tell us that she couldn't talk then because there was an emergency situation going on. Her daughter had ran out of gas at a school picking up her little boy. We had met her daughter before, she was never very nice to us. We ended up in a rush taking two empty milk jugs and the little money she had for gas with leftover money a member gave us for lunch a few weeks ago when we helped her move and made it to the school with a makeshift funnel out of a slick (sweatproof) folder I had gotten and were able to help her daughter. She was humbled and asked about the church after opening up about so many troubles she is dealing with. She is in a pretty tough situation, but now we can help her come closer to Christ. Our investigator said that "God sent a miracle" referring to us coming by at the perfect time, and has been in contact with us again, and wants to come back to church.
Another less active member who is depressed and pregnant, but one of my best friends here made some serious breakthroughs. She doesn't feel loved or accepted by the ward for her own reasons, so we weren't sure how a visit was going to go with her visiting teacher who wanted to help. Her visiting teacher is the Stake PResident's wife, very well-educated, the same one who helped us with yoga. She is an incredible person, but can be intimidating, so we weren't sure if our less-active friend would accept her or let her in. We went with her for a visit, and ended up being there for two hours. With the experiences the visiting teacher had overcoming a rare disease no one ever survives and lots of other miracles, she was able to get into our friend's heart and convince her to come to a meditation class, which is exactly what she needs. It was amazing. Again, we do nothing, but because she loved and trusted us, we were able to provide the opportunity for the visiting teacher to work a miracle.
We had dinner at the stake PResident's home with this same woman. Their home looks like it came straight out of Pride and Prejudice, and it is amazing to see the relationship they have. The Stake President is incredibly task-oriented, I had never seen an yman so dedicated to washing dishes. He grilled us with doctrinal questions over dinner, I loved it. It helped me to see how much I've learned coming out here.
I have come to connect with many of the ward members and investigators on deeper levels. This is good because TRANSFERS ARE THIS WEEK. They are transferring all 3 of the other sisters in the ward, and 1 of the elders. The other sisters have all been here for a really long time, and it is the only area in which they have served. The ward and the sisters are pretty attached, so it was an emotional Sunday. Bishop announced their departure over the pulpit, so everyone wants to feed us before Wednesday. The sisters have done so much good and the ward really loves them. I am a little overwhelmed trying to remember everything about everyone in the ward, and all of the missionary efforts they are leaving. We are not sure if they are calling three more sisters to come into the ward, or if it will just be me and a new companion and a set of elders. I've been counseled to be prepared to take over the whole ward boundaries with my new companion in case there is not another set of sisters. I am pretty excited, but there's a lot of work to do.
I am still in awe at the confidence that is placed in us as missionaries, and at the work we are privileged to do , and the miracles we get be part of by doing so little. I love the people in Montgomery to death, and I'm grateful to have more time here. This work is truly amazing.
I get to stay in my apartment, so my address will still be the same. I'll get to send a brief email home on Wednesday after I pick up my new companion.
Steadfast in Christ!
P.S. please excuse the poor writing/editing, there isn't time to go back and make it beautiful