Happy Transfer Day!
Thankfully, Sister J. and I aren't going anywhere! It was such an anxious morning, considering Sister B. and Sister W. slept over with us to see if we'd get a call between 7-10am. It was hilarious because Sister W. talked about how we should call a bunch of companionship's to freak them out about transfers. Just as she said that, I called their number and they screamed and ran to their phone, then realized it was me calling them. They were so mad at me but I was almost rolling on the floor laughing. Every text we got we gasped, and it was the longest morning in my life! So, Sister J. and I are staying, but now Sister J. is even more worried for next transfers considering she's been out for 8 months and has been in one area.
We were able to go out and walk in front of the Book of Mormon Musical twice this week. Once when it was during intermission (apparently it was common for people to storm out because they were insulted) in the freezing cold until 9:40pm. No one came out mad and we passed out a few cards because most of them only came out to smoke and weren't interested. But then we went on Saturday after the matinee ended, and when people were lining up for the night showing. I am so glad that I was able to learn to be bold, and not fear rejection. I was hesitant to ask each person walking by if they wanted a card, but I was able to switch my thought process from "I can't do it," to "I can do it with God." By the end, Sister J. was talking to a guy named Derrick who isn't in our area, and I was yanking out her cards in her hands while I was giving them out. I was thinking about how much fun it was! I knew that everyone needs a chance to be invited to learn more, and it's all on me if I don't give them that opportunity. I'd much rather have them be held accountable than I!
There were some pretty interesting people as we were passing out cards. One guy came up to me as we were talking to the elders (There were 2-3 companionship's at a time). He looked at me, gasped, and said, "You are so... beautiful", while staring at me. It was a BIT awkward. We moved around some more, and sometimes he would just stand by us and stare at me. There was a man from Costa Rica on a trip with two of his friends and was so excited to see the musical. One of his friends accepted a Book of Mormon, and the Costa Rican really wanted a picture with Sister J. and me. We're really not entirely sure if that was allowed, but he grabbed us and took a picture before we could deny it. So, I wonder if I'm on Facebook somewhere! A few people asked us if we were real Mormons, and then two guys walked on by and said, "Hey elders!" while waving. We're not entirely sure if they were joking or not, since I'm pretty sure two people in skirts aren't guys... There was another guy in his car blasting "Staying Alive" and staring at me seductively (an awful job by the way). I totally shut him down and gave him a card and mentioned about how I'm a missionary for my church for 18 months and walked away from his window. Defeated! All in all, it was a pretty amazing experience. We got two referrals from headquarters due to the musical so we're excited to be teaching them! Hopefully they don't want to just Bible bash us or something.
|Downtown Atlanta: This is where Sister J. and I spend a lot of time teaching.|
Another great experience this week was when we went to go to dinner again at a less active's house, D. R. (His wife is Bulgarian and they had us for dinner in December.) They were so excited to have us again and remembered all that we were talking about, and asked how my solo went because I was so nervous about it. Sister J and I were able to answer some of his 'antagonizing' questions. He wanted to know if we could sin in the pre-mortal life, and why did the offspring of the Lamanites have to be cursed if we aren't punished for others transgressions. We were able to teach him more about the Plan of Salvation, and he was surprised with what we taught because he's never heard about it before. He even took the pamphlet and the articles we printed out and said that he wants us to come over and discuss more. He even jokingly asked if we were forced to go on a mission, but we ended up telling our story why we decided to go on a mission and bore our testimony. It was awesome; he asked us a question that brought in the spirit! I feel so privileged because he's had other missionaries before for dinner, but we're the only ones who he's brought into his home (that's because he was single then) and brought back for a second time. The testing question was, "If the prophet told you to strap on a bomb and go to a mosque and kill people, would you do it?" The answer the missionaries gave him was the deciding factor if he'd invite them over again, and we were the only ones to answer it correctly. So I can very much see Sister J. and I explaining the misconceptions of the church, because the more I'm out here, the more people I see teaching their own doctrine, and not doctrine out of the scriptures.
As we were recording ourselves in the car singing Christmas carols off tune, we got a text from M. saying that she's back with N. in her apartment. (This is the couple where he was arrested for domestic violence and we might have to testify in court.) She declared that N. is a changed man because he was in jail for 3 weeks, and we were so upset. She ended up coming to church, and we're going to be teaching her (and most likely scolding her) on Tuesday. We don't trust N. at all, but they're going to be going to a church Valentine’s Day activity on Saturday so we'll see him then.
We had L., our recent convert, come out teaching with us, but no one was home or our plans fell through. We ended up reading out of the Book of Mormon a chapter that she didn't understand. We were in the car with the AC on because it was pretty hot for twenty minutes or so. She left and as I was backing the car to leave, the car battery died. Sister J. and I prayed with as much faith as we could that it would start again, but it didn't happen. We had to go ask someone if they had jumper cables to jump the car. The police drove on by (probably wondering what two white girls were doing in a sketch part of town) asking if we needed help. We said no because a guy was getting his car to park next to ours. As he was parking he literally got 2 inches away from our headlight and I almost had a heart attack! The police officers ended up watching us as they jumped our car. All of the guys helping us told us to get out of there quickly because it was no place for us to be. So it was a pretty amusing situation, but thankfully we got to our next appointment on time!
Sister B. (the one that had gall bladder surgery) went to church this week! We were overjoyed and I was so happy to see her! She told us that she was feeling so sick at 6am that morning, but she kept telling herself, "I have to get to church; I have to get to church". She took some medicine but still feeling awful as she was driving to church, but once as she got there, she immediately felt better. Miracles! But one of the downsides of their family is that Karma their very naughty dog is pregnant. Noo! I can barely handle one Karma, how are we going to deal with puppies?!
|Sister B. presented us with gifts--the purple coat for Sister J. and this grey shirt for me--which is so long that it could practically be a short dress!|
One last little fun story is that we saw a trailer of 20 mattresses or so. We were driving behind it and got on video 10 or so mattresses falling off the trailer onto the road. We stopped and helped them pick up their mattresses (no bed bugs thankfully), and I taught them about the Restoration and got their contact information. Wouldn't it be the funniest thing if Minister F. got baptized just because we helped them pick up their mattresses off the road and onto their trailer?
R. once again cancelled on us, but he's wanted to see us so bad recently. (He’s the homeless man who taught us that since God is patient with us we need to be patient with Him.) We're contemplating just teaching him over the phone because he's at a shelter now with strict rules. He has to be out by 6am and in by 6pm.
Another great quote I want to end with is once again by Gordon B. Hinckley, "Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things will always work out."
|Following President Hinckley's counsel to have a happy spirit.|
I hope that all of you are always progressing, and Happy Belated Birthday Dustin! I hope you all have a great week, and Happy Early Single Awareness Day!