December 01, 2010
All the time I am just pourin my emotions all over people. I used to wonder if that would freak people out or if I should change… but here’s the deal: God called me to be who I am. Here. For Him. He knew I would be a mess and I’d just love everyone and cry and testify people into the ground on their doorsteps.
So I can just keep bein this person because someone around here must need exactly the kind of mess I have to offer.
I just love Sister Goldy! We went to sing to her again. She couldn’t kiss my cheek because her lips were all dry from morphine so she just smooshed her face in my face and I just hugged her and loved it.
(See? Lots of people wouldn’t let an old lady smoosh their face. Emotional messes are needed around here.)
We sang to her again. She’s on a feeding tube that they’ll shut off after she’s seen the rest of her family. And then “we’re takin her home,” her daughter said. “The Lord talks to me all day,” said Sister Goldy. “I’ll be okay.” Love this woman.
Other pieces of joy I wanna send you:
1. Sacrament Meeting. My good friend Tomato was giving a talk. Tomato is from the Philippines and has had a hard life. Rough rough life. He was taken in by a family in our ward a few months ago and was recently baptized. He is 22 like me and speaks very simply. Here’s something I scribbled down from his testimony on Sunday:
“I will endure to the end” he said. “I will live with my Savior and we will talk about how good life is up there. I will survive this, and I will help other people. This church is true. This path is really hard, but it teaches me what support is, what a family is. That is small but it’s really big for me. The word convert is really big. I know the spirit is here because I feel it and it is very personal to me.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Big Tough Tomato is up there cryin and I am just cryin too. All over again.
2. Remember how I said miracles abound? Let me tell you about something. Our Mission President has really been emphasizing the importance of finding families. It’s a rumor that pretty soon we’ll be required to contact from 5 to 7pm every day– so that we’ll make ourselves available to meet families when they are all at home. This means we’ll need to have dinner either at 4 or at 7… or just eat some snacks in the car. It’s not official yet but we decided to try it. We pray all the time for families. We look at the map and ask God to direct us to the ones that have been prepared. Sometimes we start with the whole area and narrow it down a piece at a time until He tells us where to go.
Here’s the miracle: We have set appointments with 12 different families this transfer. TWELVE! TWELVE FAMILIES! We’re talkin parents and little kids all crazy in the living room, on their way to being sealed for eternity. Heads of the household, grown men on their knees praying for the first time. This is HUGE people! This is God and faith and eternal potential. I am in awe. Some of these people are moving away, some are less interested than others. Some have since decided to stop meeting with us. But twelve families in five weeks? Miracles!
On the other hand, we’ve dropped nine of our people. This means we no longer teach nine of the people who I love deep down. Nine people I had huge hopes for have hit blocks that they are either not ready or willing to conquer. This part has been really hard.
On top of that there are six other people that we’ve passed. This means we don’t teach them anymore because they are in someone else’s area. Some moved. Some we found and taught beautiful earth-shaking first lessons to in the park… and then got their address and passed it on to the missionaries in their area. Some are the right age for singles ward and would better progress with people their own age. The hard part about this is that sometimes people get lost in the transition. None of those we’ve passed are really thriving with their new missionaries and that is a bummer.
So we’re in the car on the way back from Sister Goldy and I am tryin to pull it together. We’re on our way to Siuna’s house, this time for an appointment with his son who’s recently been baptized. Little Siuna is havin trouble showin up for seminary and church and we’re worried about him. We get there and he’s not home. His big brother walks to the back room and calls him. We can hear him back there. “Dude, where are you? The Sisters are here. Come home. Dude! You need to come home.”
I love this. Little Siuna’s family isn’t always up to being taught the gospel themselves, but they know it changed their brother’s whole life and they want him to keep going. He comes home but asks us to come back at 3:30. We go visit one of our families for our next appt. They’re not home either. We’ve brought a DVD for their neighbor who turned us away from her last appointment. She walks by us in the hall. We hand her the movie and try to talk to her. Blown off. Shut down. “Ya’ll just call me sometime,” she says. We know what that means, but of course we WILL BE callin!
We knock on the office on this complex to see if the manager has delivered a different DVD to a referral. Her friend asked us to give it to her but didn’t give us the apartment number. The manager can’t give it to us so we’re relying on him to drop it by. He used to be a member of the church. He’s not in the office but we’re smooshin our faces up to the window to see if the DVD is gone– or still on his desk. It’s still there. We are peekers and snoopers when it comes to this stuff. We walk to the complex across the street to see a potential investigator. Up the stairs and through a billion smelly hallways. Not there. Leave a note. Drive to another complex and leave a note for a member whose father just died. Go see her neighbor who is interested in meeting with us. She is an old lady and wants to go on a walk. She tells us a million stories while we try to control the conversation. “Grandma Arla you have so many stories! We especially like the ones about how you used to meet with missionaries. We’re a little jealous of them and were wondering if we could meet with you sometime.”
She averts the question multiple times by inviting us to her historical society. AH! My missionary life!
No time again… so more next week!