Wednesday, June 4, 2014
June 2nd 2014
My first week of this transfer before district meeting, the sisters brought our attention to a cockroach in the Women's restroom. I thought, "Shoot. I'm a Sister Training Leader now, I have to be the man and kill the roach." God qualified me to do something I normally wouldn't and without any sissy squeals I disposed of the creature. Snapshot of last preparation day: I'm sitting on the floor leaning against my dresser writing letters when I feel something on my neck. I fling it off in front of me, and peering into my soul are the beady eyes of a 3 inch cockroach. Within a split second, (mind you with no sissy squeals) I'm on my feet, my letter-writing materials are strewn over six different parts of the room, and the roach is drenched in hairspray. Roach Wars Episode III: Two nights later: Sister Pratt is sleeping over on exchanges and at 5:30, I awake to feeling something swiftly crawl across my arm, it made its way down my blanket and across my foot, down my bed and onto the floor. While tempted to just be a pansy and sleep the last hour on the couch, I realized that would not only be disobedient, but terribly disloyal to my dear friend Sister Pratt. Thus, I chased the nasty thing out of the room with windex, stomped it like a man, drenched it in Windex for good measure, and after lots of self-talk, disposed of it. If the Lord can help me get over my fear of roaches, He can help me do anything. I now sleep with Windex by my bed. Darn Bama Bugs.
This week was pretty crazy. I got to do exchanges in my area starting Tuesday morning with Sister Pratt, who was Sister Wells' companion in Huntsville before I got there. She is a great friend, it is crazy the connection we have. We actually ended up extending to a 48 hour exchange, because we felt the Sisters needed it, and that was definitely needed and made a big impact on all of us. She is definitely one of the reasons I got this calling, and I love seeing that. She is a wonderful missionary. While in Leeds, we taught our investigator Mark--a 19 yr old kid with a crazy past. He has hardly any trust in people and can't trust the Bible since it's written by men, and is loving the BOok of Mormon so far, but having a hard time recognizing answers to his prayers that it's true--he doesn't want to be taken for a fool. We really love this poor, broken kid, and he is progressing immensely, coming to church, and continuing to read and pray. He was even able to get a job through networking through members he met. We've had pretty awesome lessons with him recently. Also while on exchanges, we taught almost all the commandments in a night to Tim, who got baptized yesterday. He received them so well! He's a rockstar.
If y'all remember Samantha, who I met with Sister Dodini my second night in Leeds, Sister Pratt and I also taught her and she committed to be baptized on June 28th! That was an awesome lesson. When introducing the Book of Mormon, we always stress that it's a testament of Jesus Christ, because many people here don't realize that, and think it's something completely different. We went through the pictures at the front and I asked why she thought the first one was a picture of Christ. She said, "well....," and then flipped to the cover, and pointed to "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" Favorite moment of the week. She just gets it! She loves the gospel!
While in that neighborhood we were able to teach the husband of an investigator who wasn't interested in the lessons before, and hope to teach he and his wife together. He was amazed at the concept of the priesthood and said he wants to see it in action--come to church! We also were able to have a great lesson with a less active member who can't make it to church much due to serious health problems. We had something different planned, but the spirit prompted both of us to reteach the Plan of Salvation. That was powerful.
We did lots of contacting and met super awesome people, we're good friends with some gamers down town, and I've gained an appreciation of how creative they are to create these games, and this super cute lady who works for a boutique downtown. So prepared!
Finally switched back, and Sister Dodini and I got to work together for the afternoon Thursday and Friday morning before our district meeting where we met the Locust Fork Hermanas to do exchanges with them. It was way cool to get to do an exchange in Spanish in Locust Fork and Oneonta (Hermanas always cover huge areas). We got to wake up at 4:45 to help with a pancake breakfast with the Young Women. It was nice to get to know the branch the Hermanas serve. I love the YW there! I hope to get to work with them again sometime. Hermana Nuckols is the sweetest person in the world. She's from Mesa, so I'll get to see her again. She is a gift to recognize everyone's needs, remember every detail about every person, and minister with an abundance of love to meet everyone's needs.
Saturday we switched back just in time to help with the wedding of Tim! Tim started investigating after he started dating Kathy--an active member in the ward. Saturday was his wedding, and Sunday his baptism. I got to play for both of them, which was neat. The wedding was so beautiful. Kathy thanked everyone at the reception, and said they would be taking pictures in the Primary room, and invited whoever was cutting cake to do that while people at their leisure would take pictures with the wedding party. No one seemed to be assigned to do that, so I jumped up as well as the Relief Society President, Sister Witbeck. She cracks me up. I was cutting what I felt were pretty generous pieces of the ice cream cake while she handed me plates. She kept softly saying under her breath to me, "you know, there's a whole other cake, you can make the pieces bigger than that." I kept making them bigger and bigger, and she said, "Honey, we're in the South, you've got to make them bigger," "Oh goodness, it's all I can do, not to just take my finger, and lick up this extra stuff here. So funny. She took away the utensils when we were done, and said, "Okay, now I'm going to pretend like I'm going to wash these, and I'm going to lick them." Funny you say I'm keeping healthy mom, because I'm trying, but have definitely obtained some 'southern squish.'
We're trying to implement a new contacting idea with the sister called "pit stop." On our way to appointments, we pull into a gas station, or any parking lot with people, roll down our window and just tell people we're not from here, briefly tell them our missionary purpose and ask if they anyone who would be receptive, even them to a unique message about Jesus Christ...and whatever else we're prompted to say. It's a fun way to get contacts in on the way to our appointments. Awkward, but so is everything else in missionary work, eat the TOAST. We've racked up quite a few potentials doing this the past few days.
After the amazing baptism yesterday, other sisters (also STLs) who came down for it, pulled me into another room to talk about some stuff going on with a struggling sister, and now I'm in Milbrook, just outside Montgomery on emergency exchanges. Crazy stuff. Someday I'll see my companion for more than a few hours at a time.
Thank y'all for writing and praying, and being awesome. I love hearing about all that y'all are doing.
Anyway, the church is so true. God is so good. I want to give EVERYTHING and then some to Him, because this is the greatest work ever. Y'all are doing so well with the work in the home and in the kingdom.