When things get crazy, I'm so grateful for the power of laughter.
We laugh a lot, but here are a few things I wrote down that were
much-needed comic relief.
Right before gospel principles a primary worker brought her baby to
her husband so she could do sharing time or something. He commenced
feeding the baby the snacks his wife had in the diaper bag. "1 for
you, 3 for me...mmmm...there's nothing better than semi-stale
Charles Barkley's mother lives in Leeds. We saw her sitting outside
with some other people yesterday afternoon. We were driving with a
member, or I would've tried to contact them.
That same neighborhood, there was a man still in his police officer
garb, driving home in a normal car and blasting good ol' ghetto tunes.
Made me smile.
While we were walking through that same neighborhood, Sister Dodini
tried to contact a lady walking into her house.
Sister Dodini (brightly): Hiiiii, can I ask you a question?
Ivy: No! Are y'all Jehovah's witnesses
Us in unison: No ma'am
Sister Dodini: we're missionaries, and we're not from this area and
like to ask people who are if they know of people who could use
service or a unique message about Jesus Christ
Ivy: *pointing at her neighbor's door* go see her...I'm finna go
sleep...but y'all come back
We went to her neighbor's who just called from inside for us to come
in. She is an adorable, plump, white lady who does bible study from
her home. "We have to study the bible behind closed doors before we
can expect to share the word with people in the highways and the
byways!" We shared a little, and she is non-denominational and
fulfilling her calling from Jesus by doing bible studies in her home.
After some time with her, I asked if I could say a prayer with her.
She let me pray and as soon as I was finished started praying her self
and finished off with a "oooh. mmm. halleLUjah, halleLUJAH!
HALLELUJAHALKJIPOIWERBJKBVLKAUWEVRHGLVUIWERJ..." She was starting to
speak in tongues. I looked over at Sister Dodini and her face was
absolutely priceless. I love that lady. I want to come back for a
bible study to see who comes, if they listen to her, I'm sure they'd
be open to hearing our message also.
Mondays we alternate doing fhe with a few families in the ward, always
trying to cater to investigators. Kaylee has come a few times, and
after sharing a lesson on the plan of salvation, we asked what she has
been making of the lessons. She is active in another church, but says
this makes much more sense to her, and seems to fit her personal needs
more than what she gets at the church she goes to. We will start
regularly taking the discussions with another set of sisters since she
lives outside our boundaries. It was a sweet, spiritual experience.
Tuesday we went up to Gadsden for exchanges. We switched who we had
planned to go with since one of the sisters broke down, and clearly
needed to get out of the area. I stayed in Gadsden to work with Sister
Allred. She's a go-getter, always focused and driven by her goals.
After some great lessons with less actives and others, we went to
Walmart to get her numbers for contacting. We passed the make-up aisle
with a young woman and her baby, and I felt immediately we needed to
go back and talk to her. We walked to her and I explained who we were.
She started to cry and said that her father had passed away that
morning and she knew God sent us to her to answer her prayers. She's a
Of course lots of other things...bible study was awesome...we were
following up with someone we met previously, but didn't have the
address in our current planners. Sister Dodini though it was a certain
door and knocked on it. Wanda answered and we explained we were
looking for Quedarious. She said he lived in another apartment, but we
asked if we could share our message with her. She let us in, and
during the restoration disputed the idea of prophets existing again,
she said she couldn't believe any human telling her they had a message
for her from God. I followed a prompting in telling her I feel that
she has a gift in being an independent spirit and being able to
recognize the false prophets the bible tells us of, and explained we
were simply inviting her to listen to this message and pray to use
that same gift of discernment she has to see if God could call a
prophet again as He had before...or something like that. She softened
and by the time we got to Joseph Smith, we bore our testimonies, and
she said this message made sense to her, and she felt clarity and
peace. She also said it was very out of her character to answer the
door to people she's not expecting, and something made her let us in
and let us share. She knows we were sent by God. I'm so excited to
teach her again.
Another cool experience on an exchange...
We were driving down Charles Barkeley avenue in the rain after being
rejected in following up with Ivy. There was a lady standing outside
of her car, and mid-sentence in talking with Hermana Johnson, I pulled
over and rolled down the window to talk to this lady. She told us to
go see her adopted daughter. We did, and she is awesome. She is my age
with two little kids and is totally prepared for the gospel. Neat
Sad news. Our hearts are broken! Mark came to Sacrament meeting last
week, and sneaked out afterward--he has had to leave after sacrament
meeting a few times before to work, so we weren't super concerned and
texted him to ask if any of his questions were answered. (we always
invite him to bring questions to church and this week, he wouldn't
tell us what they were, but said he had serious questions that needed
answering). He didn't respond. In our attempts to call and text him
for the next few days he didn't respond. This wasn't like Mark, so we
contacted some people who knew people he worked with. We finally
learned through his boss that Mark had gotten really depressed to a
suicidal point, and quit work and moved to North Carolina where his
dad lives. We were very upset by this since there was such a
noticeable difference in him lately--and he was clearly so much
happier! The last lesson we had with him, we were both marveling at
how much he had smiled and laughed and joked, and just seemed lighter,
as he normally seems heavy-spirited and dark. He had come so far!
Comic relief--we learned of this during our weekly planning. I'm
always playing with pens, and have been using the cheap, blue
papermate pens since they don't have things on them that I can break.
I just remember having my face in my hands, and when I came up looking
at my pen in my hand--apparently I was so upset that I had mindlessly
managed to fold it in half. Sister Dodini cracked up, and we were able
to pray for him and continue planning for everyone else.
We did get back in contact with Nicole! We reset her baptism for
August 16th, and made a fun calendar with a point system. She can get
points daily for praying, reading her scriptures, journaling, watching
mormon messages, doing service, exercising, and all kinds of other
things to keep her busy and away from things and people that drag her
down. When she gets so many points, we have different rewards such as
pedicure nights, thrift store shopping with us, etc. She's excited and
feels like a little kid again. She is in essence having to replace
everything in her life--all of her friends, habits, thoughts, etc. She
said that although she has relapsed in many of her commitments, she
knows this gospel is true and won't give up the fight for anything. It
is a fight. She fights a lot. I love this girl so much! We are keeping
her close and seeing her every single day because she needs. it.
MerryAnn spoke in church yesterday. It was awesome. I consider it an
emmaus experience seeing her bear her testimony from the pulpit and
seeing how she has changed. We will be good friends forever.