Monday, August 6, 2012

Got My Hair In Braids

Hi everybody, hope all is well. Thanks for the Barson family letter, Mommy, and thanks Daddy and Mommy for your emails. Lily I hope you got the birthday thing I sent, ahhaa, I forgot to take the price tags off, I was like "Dangit!!!" but don't worry about me spending money, I get a discount at the museum gift shop cuz we do service there. Hahaha.

So did you know, ALL the home phones here start with 772? So people will say the last 4 digits of their phone number when you ask them what it is. And ALL the cell phones here start with 518.

Well, it's been a pretty good week, it has had its ups and downs. The downs are seriously just when we have days that all we do is drop in on people who aren't home and are not interested and we don't teach a single lesson. I remember days back in Palmer that we would have five lessons with less actives and here we get about four or five a week. I miss feeling the Spirit that we feel when we teach, I miss having that be one of the things that draws a companionship closer together. But we try and bear our testimony to people that we tract into or chat with on the street, but most have already turned us down before we can get to our testimony. Actually a lot of people here will stop and chat to you, and may not be interested, but are perfectly nice and have lovely stories about what brought them to Petersburg. We talked to a man with one arm that talked about his philosophy interests and things, and how he feels that all humankind is connected spiritually. We talked to a few young men who looked sunburned and traveled, one was from Germany, one was from Australia, and one was from Seattle and they met him drinking beer down on the docks and now they were all good friends. They were all very polite and sociable.

We tried to help El Colombiano find a job, he needs some type of work that doesn't require speaking English because the sandwich place he was working at hired someone else, which was sad. The sandwich lady told us to go down to the bar to ask if they need a person to clean during the night. So we went, and marched into this bar, and thought that was hilarious, and we asked the girl if she had any night work for our friend? she was very sweet, didn't need him, looked a lil surprised to see two sister missionaries in her bar. It was a very clean, nice bar, smelled like popcorn.

And then that same day we were sitting at this table outside with El Colombiano and he leans forward and tells us, in Spanish (this is in a very intense, almost dramatic voice, I may be exaggerating a little, but whatever), "I was baptized, in Colombia, in the Catholic church." (Pause.) "Then, later, I was baptized...into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in California."

WHAT THE HECK, our investigator might be a member. HAHAHA. We sent a request in for his records on Sunday. The PUNK! Why don't they tell you these things when they first meet you, like the cool Samoan man we talked to on the street the other day, who said, "Are you LDS missionaries? i'm a member." Just like that, shabam, he's a member. No, El Colombiano waits a week. SIGH.
We had a really good lesson with our investigator, The Guy On A Fishin Boat. He came into town for a couple of days. He is friends with one of the Marsh boys (half the Branch is the Marsh family), and he was prepared to start meeting the missionaries that way (which is the best way for investigators to be prepared), cuz the lesson is already set up, fellowshipper in place, and the missionaries just show up. He has a father in the Lutheran council here in town (half the town seems to go to the Lutheran church, very good people, they all seem to respect the LDS church) so he is worried about what would happen if he got baptized. But he accepts everything we teach, prayed about Joseph Smith being a prophet and said he felt "a good vibe." He is going to pray this week about talking to his dad and always about a day for his baptism. Which is awesome. I know that if he really wants to be baptized, the Lord will help him, and provide a way for him to handle whatever happens, even if his father reacts badly. Parents' hearts have a tendency to soften once they see the good changes that take place in their children.

The sweet Fifteen-Year-Old Girl got back from youth conference and girl's camp, and came to church, with her sister. Since missionaries have been teaching the whole family for about a year, that meant we had two investigators at church yesterday, which was awesome cuz for the past two weeks we've had zero (cuz El Colombiano was late to the place where the Lopezes were gonna pick him up so he couldn't make it. But he's probly not an investigator anyway, cuz apparently he's a member). The Fifteen-Year-Old Girl's mother is friends with Sister Hertless, and they both work at the hospital. The place we were living---well that couple who lives there came back from their home in Idaho and so we had to move out for two weeks, and we moved in with Sister Hertless, who just took a job at the hospital about a month ago.She's from Virginia, very chatty, very Southern, very sweet. When the Fifteen-Year-Old Girl's mother found out we moved in with Sister Hertless, she said, "Oh, take these eggs home for the girls." She has her own chickens. Guys these eggs are amazing, the yoke is the size of a dinosaur's eye ball. They made our German chocolate cake that we made taste so good. I usually only tolerate cake-mix-in-a-box cakes.

I love this gospel. I love meeting the people here, like the ones who understand so much and are so ready for the gospel...if they'd stop reading anti-mormon literature about Joseph Smith and listening to seminars from ex-Mormons who may, yes, be very compassionate, but have been led astray by SOMETHING. I KNOW this church is true. It's Christ's gospel, we don't make this stuff up. It's from God, not man. And God wants all of us to return to him. If people have left the church, they are missing out on more blessings than they are already experiencing. I'm not just talking about temporal blessings, like a nice house, or a sudden job opportunity, or things like that. I'm talking about peace, knowledge, clarity of mind, light, truth, joy, and feeling the love of God every day of your life through the power of the Holy Ghost. That only comes through hard work, obedience, and faith. None of us are perfect. We are soo sooo flawed. But it is worth it to keep trying.

-sister ashbookofmormon

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