July 20th, 2015
What better way to end my time in Midwood than having an extra crazy week with extra crazy people! I am being transferred which is crazy but I am so excited for wherever I get sent! We also had a lot of amazing spiritual highlights that you should get ready for.
So a few crazy stories: on Thursday we decided to clean up the 178 referrals that have been sent to us in the last week. That's 178 people who requested bibles or Book of Mormon or pamphlets off of Mormon.org that need to be called and have an appointment set up with. Amidst this 3-hour ordeal we found some humorous things to keep us awake. One lady had an email address that was something like "firstname.lastname@example.org" another lady's phone rang and rang and it finally went to voicemail "hi this is Shara, please leave a message" there was some shuffling and after a few seconds I hear "uhhhh? Oh." And then the phone clicked. I seriously could hardly leave a message I was laughing so hard. She like, didn't know how to turn it off. Those are just the surface too. So many good ones. I called one lady who agreed to meet with us and who wanted a Book of Mormon. If they want a BOM you know it's real cause everybody and their dog wants a bible but the people who are ready usually want a BOM. So we set up a lesson for the next day at 10 am.
A little backtrack: Thursday night I had to go to the foot doctor again and get Wendy dug out and frozen off. He dug her out real good and froze the heck out of my foot. I seriously couldn't walk! Haha. So the next morning I get up to work out and I couldn't even stand on the dang thing, it was so swollen! But we had this appointment at 10 and the lady seemed to be ready to jump in the font so I was like "dang it, we're going!" So we go to this lady's house, it wasn't far from the church but as we walked through the neighborhood it was a bit uncomfortable. There were different groups of large black dudes who looked like they were doing drug deals. The building she lived in had most of the windows broken out of the panes and it was just super sketchy. But I guess I didn't think anything of it as we rang her doorbell. As soon as she opened the door there were red flags going up all over the place. Her eyes looked funny and the weed density in the apartment was like 97% I could barely breathe. So we started out our lesson and she quickly went into a bunch of sketchy stuff that was going on in her life with the police, her landlord, drug deals, and people breaking into her apartment. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt as I'm sitting here listening to her drama. My companion, mind you, has completely zoned out. She didn't say a word the whole time. I think the weed started to get to her. So I was trying to steer the lesson to a close but she wouldn't let me interject! It was so weird, as I sat there listening to her go off about her life I became more and more scared for my own life. She talked about how if certain people knew we were in her apartment at that moment they would come kidnap us. At the same time as I was like, glued to my chair and terrified I felt this calm, peaceful direction come over me. I knew exactly what I needed to say, but most of all I knew I needed to say it RIGHT THEN because I was starting I get dizzy. I cut this lady off mid sentence and told her we were going to say a prayer and then leave. It was super awkward because we were in the middle of the "lesson" but I said a prayer that the lady would be comforted in her trials and then we got the heck out of there. I was like "we will be in touch...!" Hah. Not. As we walked away I reflected on the guidance I had received and I was so grateful that I could feel the spirit even in a situation like that and I felt very protected regardless of all that was going on. Sometimes we need that opposition or "crazy" so we can come back to the essential things: the gospel is true and God protects us when we are doing His work.
So I have been on a little funk lately, I have had a hard time talking to people on the bus. It's been weird because I've never had a problem until this last week. So I was sitting near the front of the bus and my companion was in the back and this guy gets on the bus. He sat down next to me and looked at me for a sec and then put his headphones in. You get used to people staring at you here, usually at the name tag, sometimes just your face cause they're creepy haha. He was listening to Florida Georgia Line so I pointed to his phone and asked if he was from the country. I figured God was giving me an extra boost of help to talk to people since I was strugglin with it. We struck up a good conversation and I was just leading into the gospel when I had to get off at my stop! I quickly handed him a card with our phone number and the church address on it. He just smiled and said "we should definitely hang out!" Haha OH NO that fearless went down the drain. He texted a few minutes later and was like "hey it's Allan, I met you on the bus (;" oh my heck I was dying laughing it was so awkward and sad! He def wasn't interested in learning more...about the church at least.
A few other highlights were taking Valerie to the temple for the first time to do baptisms, a block party at our Ward Mission Leader's house, and having one of our really busy investigators take time out of her schedule to come to church on Sunday and surprise us! Valerie is ON FIRE. We taught our investigator and brought Valerie with us and she just hit the nail on the head when we talked about a living prophet. We started teaching Valerie the new member lessons. Usually the way I do it is I have THEM teach US about the restoration or whatever lesson we are doing so we can see what they know. Dude. I felt the spirit so strong from everything she said! She knew the whole thing and she knew it well! It was so beautiful to see the difference in her demeanor from when we started teaching her. The first time she walked into the church she was sooo hyper and antsy and in this lesson she sat there calmly and testified of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I was one proud mama. It is amazing to see the change in other's lives, and even more amazing to see it in your own life and in the lives of those you love.
It seems like everyone has been talking about the Book of Mormon in the last few days. Reading it, knowing if it's true, getting an answer. As I was studying this morning I felt a very powerful spirit about those 3 things. When we read the Book of Mormon and pray to "know" we aren't always praying specifically about "knowing" that the book is true. At least for me, as I read and pray, I receive clear and undeniable guidance about directions to take in life, and knowing that, in turn, helps me to know the Book of Mormon is true because it answers the questions of MY soul. It doesn't matter what the question is. It doesn't matter what the answer is. But the fact that we do receive answers is what matters. I know that the heavens are open. I know we can be guided in our lives on how to best follow the strait and narrow path back to our Father. He gives us the path and all the things we need, it is up to us to figure out how to apply the teachings He has given to our current situations. I know the gospel is true. It is everlasting and infinite, just like Christ's atonement. I love my Savior and am grateful for what He has done for us. May we ever watch for ways to become more like Him.
Thank you for your love and support!
1. Missionary desk...cause I know you all care.
2. Block party!
3. The twins from Paris
4. Last district hurrah before Rogers and Shippen go home.