I have to tell you about one of my favorite moments last Monday with our investigator with the runaway daughter and all of that. It had been a while since we were able to contact her, but we both felt that we should stop by night. Her daughter answered the door and tried to tell us it wasn't a good time, but we heard our investigator from the kitchen say, come on in, I can't sit with y'all, but I can talk for a few. We talked to her and heard updates about work and what was keeping her from contacting us and attending church while she washed dishes (she wouldn't let us help). The phone rang, and she didn't get to it in time, then it rang again--and she didn't particularly like that. The phone conversation went something like this:
"Now, who is this who keep calling me? David? Well, listen Son, you don't just turn around and call me again when I don't answer, I'm in the middle of something! I'm trying to talk with my church lady missionary friends, and you just keep calling! Don't call me again, WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE CHURCH!" She hung up the phone, and beckoned us all into her living room, saying "y'all come in and sit down, tell me something good!" I said some grateful prayers for whoever David is, because I don't think she would have got to teach her had he not called. It was perfect because during Elder Holland's talk last week, I wrote her name down with a few exclamation marks in my notes. We watched Elder Holland's talk with her that night, and it really spoke to her. She looked me in the eye flabbergasted as soon as he was done, and whispered, "He was talking to ME!"
There have been several other instances this week when we've had the opportunity to watch conference talks with our investigators or less-active members and watch it speak to them. The talks are so inspired. Just like the scriptures, the same message, the doctrine of Christ is the answer to EVERYONE's prayers. The scriptures provide healing for all who are willing to seek it. It is truly amazing. I love the scriptures, and I love that I get to study them and speak of their message all day.
There is an older woman in the ward who rarely makes it to church. We have visited her a few times and offered to help her with her housework as she still works from home and was overwhelmed with some projects. We finally set up a time, as she was resistant to letting us help. She called us the day of the appointment and insisted that she got some time off from work and finished her projects, but she wanted to take us to lunch. She is so cool. She has a Master's degree in Library Science, so she basically knows everything, I love talking to her. She says I remind her of her daughter. She says since her children are a bit far away, she can't take them out, so she figured she could do it for someone else's daughter. I'm really touched at how the members take care of us. We definitely don't get spoiled all the time, but it amazed me when in my interview with President Hanks this week, he asked "how are you feeling?" Later in the week, one of our ward missionaries, sincerely asked Sister Ray and I if we were okay, saying that he noticed we were a little quiet in correlation. It took me off guard to have men ask how I'm feeling. Members here truly do care about us, and are concerned about our well-being. I have no doubt that many would come if we ever needed them. This work is hard, and the missionaries are young, but I love how the church works together.
This is something that makes it really hard to leave. We got our transfer calls. Sister Ray is staying here and training a new missionary. I am also training a new missionary, but will be in a new area. I was hoping to stay in Montgomery for a minute, but it will be a fun adventure, and the more I think about it, the more excited I get at the opportunities we will have to learn and figure the area out together. However, I certainly wasn't prepared for how it is to leave the people here in Montgomery. I remember when all the other sisters were transferred out 6 weeks ago and all the crying. I figured I wouldn't be like that when it did come my time to leave, but I totally was. Luckily it was Stake Conference, so I didn't have to talk to all of the ward members that I usually do, and I'm hoping to just slip out and leave letters for some of them. There are 56 missionaries in the Montgomery Stake (which covers a lot) So many! We all sang with the Stake Choir, "The Light Divine" that song had never touched me as much as it does now. Our missions are sacred. This is hard, y'all. You come to fiercely love those you serve most, and I gave my all to these Montgomery folk. Of course, I have complete confidence in Sister Ray to take care of all of our people. I'll send a short email on Wednesday letting y'all know when I arrive safely in the new area with the new Sister.
I love y'all so much! Thanks for being so awesome!