Friday, December 27, 2013

There Once Was a Nut

December 9, 2013

Hey all!

So I had my first taste of collared greens last Monday. Oh boy, those are NOT my favorite. A less active who shall not be named, made us shrimp (gag), veal, collared greens (not cleaned well enough so Sister Jarman and I both got sick for the next 24 hours), baked potato (with sour cream which I do not like), clams (once again, bleh), and chocolate cake with ice cream (wooo!) So this sister is in her 80s, and her taste buds aren't like what they used to be. She was once a bartender so she really cares about the ambiance. Sister Jarman warned me that she would serve us huge portions and boy was she right. I was praying the entire time I would just be able to eat and not be phased by what I'm eating. I was praying that I wouldn't gag, and that if I did no one noticed. (Side note, no one noticed.) I was sneaky, sneaky and told her back in California, members would put their leftovers on a paper plate so they would be able to feed us for not one but TWO meals. She LOVED that idea so she quickly put the untouched portion onto a paper plate. But I did eat or attempted to eat EVERYTHING. You should be so proud of me, since I am one of the pickiest eaters alive. 

So for those who remember Belinda, a woman I taught in the MTC- we have an investigator who is EXACTLY like Belinda. A friend referred her to us through Salt Lake headquarters. As we were walking to her apartment because we didn't know what stop to get off at the bus, Sister Jarman and I started to sing, "Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked" (and walked, and walked, andddd walked.) It was funny and we now sing that a lot. This new investigator is from Iran and has been in America for 5 years. She told us we could come by and talk to us, but she refuses to be converted (she said that multiple times in fact). But she loves the Mormons because we're 'safe' and we have good standards. We were there for over two hours just answering her questions, and we're meeting her again on Friday I believe.

On Monday, we went to our church building because Salt Lake Headquarters have been going all around the world interviewing sisters about the age change and how it's hastened the work, and our opinion on things. I was able to see Sister Burrows, my companion from the MTC again and it made me happy!

While we were on a MARTA bus on Wednesday going to Leon's house (a recent convert), an old lady got off for no apparent reason and sat on a bench. Come to find out she was having a heart attack so the bus driver (remember how I wanted to be one when I was younger?) had to call 911 and the paramedics came. We were stranded there for over 15 minutes, and because MARTA had to file a report we had to wait for another bus to come. Sister Jarman and I kept thinking to ourselves, "Someone really doesn't want us to go to Leon's house." I hope the lady is OK. 

We finally made it to Leon's and we met Leon’s friend who I’ll call Sophie. She's been trying to stop drinking and we're hoping to get her to go to the Addiction Recovery Program. We taught her about faith and the Book of Mormon. Her favorite scripture is Alma 7:15 (I think) which talks about baptism. Because Sister Jarman and I were prompted to ask her about being committed to baptism, we did, and she accepted! She'll be baptized on the 28th, and she's SO excited! She was able to come to church last week, and she loved it. 

We had our hurrahs, and Leon gave us some pecans.  We had to cook them, crack them open with a can opener, de-shell them, and it was just a LOT of work.

But that's not all, Sister Jarman was making us dinner one day and she was baking them with cinnamon sugar, and burned them to BITS! We smelled something burning and we mourned because it took us a LONG time to crack and de-shell all of those pecans! 

But we tried once more with the rest of our pecans and were successful. Sister Jarman watched the oven VERY carefully.

We put the candied pecans on our ice cream, and we found itty bitty pieces of shells in our ice cream. IT WAS AWFUL.

We had to sort them out of our ice cream and the rest of our pecans and once again, it was a lot of work.

I honestly don't think it was worth it, and I'm never going to crack pecans again. I have a LOT more appreciation for whole pecans because I only cracked maybe one whole pecan the entire time we were cracking pecans. So, the next time you eat pecans, be grateful haha!

Speaking of pecans, the day ALL of our appointments fell through, we were eating pecan bars from a member as we rode on MARTA. We were going back and forth trying to decide if we wanted to eat Oreos, or pecan bars, but we decided on pecan bars. A woman sat down and asked what we were eating so we told her and offered her one. She accepted and she went on and on about how much she loves pecans. We ended up telling her about the Plan of Salvation and invited her to church. Who knew eating pecans could have struck up a conversation? Inspired to eat pecan bars? I think so!

We've continued to visit Sister Brown at the hospital. Her husband Brother Brown went into surgery at 6 am today and we've been continually praying for him all day today. Sister Brown has been transferred to the ICU when we went to see her on Saturday. It's so cute because whenever nurses check up on her, she says, "These are the sister missionaries from my church. Sister Jarman and Sister Sedwick. They're the sweetest girls ever from the Mormon church!" She just makes me smile so big. Her health has been going back and forth from being on liquids, to solids, not going into surgery, maybe going home, not going home. It's just ridiculous. But she MAY be going home today if health permits. Sister Jarman and I may be with her our entire P-day at home if she does go home, so we'll be calling her later on today.

We met with Peggy, who hasn't been to church in over 6 years. She had a wake up call and wanted to meet with us again, and so we taught her the Restoration. The spirit was so strong there were tears all around the room. I've been struggling to not plan on what to say next, which causes me not to listen as much as I should to what the investigator/less active is really saying. But I learned to just listen, and I'll know what to say next. It's been hard for me to do that, but I know if I constantly remind myself (I even have a sticky note that says 'just listen' about my desk) to just listen, I'll be okay. She came to church with her two little boys, and the less active that fed us took her to church. So two less actives for the price of one! Apparently it's a feat to get people to church, and we got two investigators and two less actives to go to church, woohoo! 

I love you all so very much, I appreciate all the e-mails, but to those who do e-mail me, send me your home address! It's so hard to get to everyone in just one hour, I'd love to send some snail mail your way.

-Sister Sudweeks

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