June 27, 2011
*It is ten zillion degrees.
*We were back at Liz’s house (the one that got me Cheerwine) this week with her and her husband Shoes. Shoes used to go to an Evangelical church and let me tell you– I love listenin to Evangelicals pray. They pray with so much soul and I just want to Hallelujah with them. “Thank you for making your gospel so fresh and so bold,” he said. Amen.
*Sister Warr is pretty feisty once you get to know her but she is quiet at first and has trouble talking to strangers. A lot of trouble. Especially when she only has a small window of time. I.e. when someone’s shutting the door in her face. I always back her up. No one’s gonna squash my Sister Warr. Nope. And she’s learnin to do this on her own too.
So here is some evidence that Sister Warr does, in fact, like me…
At the restaurant on my birthday:
“I wonder if they do something for birthdays…?” she asks.
“I don’t know. The places I worked usually did.”
Later the waitress walks by and after a few seconds of painful
hesitation Sister Warr finally eeks out an “Excuse me…”
Then she tells them it’s my birthday.
The waitress says I can have a sundae!
“Chocolate sauce, caramel, or no sauce?” she asks.
“Chocolate please!” (Duh.)
As she walks away, Sister Warr looks at me with triumph in her eyes.
“Sister Brown, I spoke! I spoke!”
“Yeah Sister Warr! Thanks!”
I split my sundae with her.
Sometimes in the way she prays for us, I can really tell how much she cares. I love that.
We are workin hard together.
*Saturdays are always great because people could be home anytime– so you don’t have to wait until night time to drop by someone’s house. A typical Saturday for us gets planned like this: Studies till 10. Dinner appointment around 6 and hopefully, on a good day, a lesson around 7:30. That means from 10 to 6 we are open– except for lunch. We have
a list on the board of all our potential investigators (people we hope to teach but haven’t yet, usually those we met while we were out knocking doors) and what color of the map they live in.
We go to the green and drop by our first potential, and then we knock 3 new doors. Then our second potential and 3 new doors and on and on until we finish the green area. Then we go to the blue, and the pink, and the red and purple and
orange and yellow, etc. It takes all day. A few of the neighborhoods we’ve knocked entirely– so we have to find somewhere else to do our new doors. I am so proud.
It feels good to sit down for dinner at a member’s house and know all of their neighbors from knocking.
Saturdays are rough but if you pull through, something eventually happens.
Sister Warr calls it the wave theory.
A pattern of ups and downs. Like on a bike– if you pedal and pedal and pedal up the hill, eventually you hit the top and you can coast down the other side, throw your hands in the air, and feel the wind for a while. Sometimes the hills are higher than others, but she’s right. That’s how it works every time. Eventually there is relief and miracles.
I love Saturdays because if we get in the door with someone, we can stay and help. We can stay and teach. We don’t have any appointments or anything we’re about to be late to so our full attention stays with that person until we feel we’ve done what we needed to do there. We find our purpose with someone and coast down the hill till we’re done.
It feels great to find your purpose.
Once we were on H Street. There was a potential at the end of the street. We met their daughter when she was out washing the car one day and she said her parents are Christian and are home on weekend evenings. We’ve gone back every weekend but they never seem to be there. So last Saturday we tried again.
A few houses down was an old lady who was trying to mow the lawn with a manual lawn-mower. You know the kind with no gas starter thing– you just push it and the blades go round and round. Not only did she look way too old to be doing that– she was holding onto two different leashes while she did it– each with a yappy little dog on the end.
Are you getting this: One old lady? One rickety lawn mower. Two dogs goin nuts.
We went over to try and help her. The dogs went even more nuts. This cute little lady is turning in circles trying to unravel herself from the leashes around her legs. She said hi to us before I did! That never happens! Turns out this little lady has a killer Massachusetts accent. We’ll call her Curly. Curly has a quiet voice but she’s sassy. She goes to a church around here that she loves. She moved here years ago but never had friends until she started going there. She’s
watching her son’s dogs. She doesn’t know her neighbors so she mows her lawn herself. She doesn’t like electric mowers. She says she’s tough. Her husband died when they were young so she learned how to do “a man’s work.” I love this lady. We tell her about us too. We give her our number so we can mow her lawn. She doesn’t look like she plans on letting us do that– but she says we can come back.
So every time we try the family at the end of H Street, we try Curly too. Yesterday we hit H Street at about 6 o’clock. We didn’t have an appointment till 8 and to be honest, I was pooped. It was the end of a hard week and two hours felt like a long long time. We knock on Curly’s door. I can see her coming to answer it! She’s home! All her furniture and
everything else she owns is in a big pile on the hard wood floor in the living room. She’s just had her carpet cleaned. She did it all herself! Her bed is in pieces and stuff is stacked all over it and on top of it and around it. “Can we put that back together for you before we go?” we ask. We argued over it. Finally she let us. She shows us how we have to fix the dust ruffle just right and then she gets a call from her daughter. While she talks in the other room we grab the mattress and finish it off. She is so happy. Her pride is a little hurt but you can tell she’s excited. She’s been sleeping on the couch
After that she takes us to the kitchen to get us some cookies. I love Curly. She collects quotes and little sayings she loves on her fridge. They are scribbled on napkins and post-its or cut out of newspapers. I do that too! I copied one down in my planner:
“If nature has made you a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart. And though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that.”
–Frances Hodges Burnett; A Little Princess.
We go out to the patio to eat those cookies and drink some water because it is 10 billion degrees here. She tells us about her family and her dogs and her favorite books. She tells us about how busy she is trying to keep up with the house and her family. She wants to move back to New England to be with her kids but there is so much drama there that it hurts her heart to witness it. She’s not sure she could handle it. And all her friends from church are here. She’s not sure what the right choice is.
“My friends keep saying I’ll just know what to do. They say I’ll just feel it and I’ll know…”
But she doesn’t know.
We talk to her about the spirit and what it feels like. (Gal 5) She can relate. She’s felt it before.
We talk about how she can differentiate between answers from the spirit and opposition from Satan. (D&C 6)
Finally, we tell her everything will be okay and God doesn’t expect her to take on more than she can handle. (Mos 24)
She says she feels like everything in her life has happened for a reason, and this decision will be no different. She says she thinks we are in her life for a reason.
“Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to be Mormon…” she assures us.
We tell her we think she’s in our lives for a reason too. Sister Warr says the prayer at the end. I love when she does that.
People can always tell how much she loves them by the way she sincerely prays for them. Curly can feel it too. She likes to hold hands when she prays. So do I. The spirit was there and it was a miracle hour. I loved it. We set a time to come back and see her again.
When we get in the car I tell Sister Warr, “Now that’s missionary work. We got to put her bed back together and then we listened sincerely and tried to meet her needs the best we could through direction from the spirit. That’s the real deal.”
“I love the real deal,” Sister Warr says with a big tired sigh.
Time to go!