Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In which my face is blessed and we lose an investigator...literally (Bayley)

So earlier this week, Sister Barton and I were tracting, because we are, you know, missionaries, and we knocked on this door where there was this nice old lady who assured us she was quite Catholic and not at all interested but thanks for spreading the message of Jesus (this is pretty much the number one response we get when knocking doors) and then as we were leaving she just keeps talking (this happens a lot too, since a lot of the time the old people we meet are on their own and lonely) and she tells us she has cancer and we tell her we will pray for her and she goes "oh, thank you," and then she reaches up and touches my face and says to me "and I'll pray for your face."

Huh?  My face?  What?  Here's kind of what my thoughts look like at this:
Oh no what is on my face? Oh please not now please tell me I don't have food all over my face or something.  Or wait - am I sunburned?  I must be sunburned.  Wait, wait, did she just compare my face to her cancer?  We pray for her cancer and she'll pray for my face.  Oh wait maybe it's like that one girl in a Knight's Tale where everyone prays for her because she's been cursed with such a beautiful face...
Annnnd then the lady told me she has this Mary Kay "Repair" makeup and I should try and get some but until then she'll keep praying for me
So yeah.  That was nice.  Nothing like nice old ladies on the mission to say they'll pray for your poor face which is in need of repair to keep you humble.  Haha.

But hey!  The mission here is going super great.  Seriously.  I love it so much here.  And this week has been especially good for me learning to recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit.  I've heard a lot from missionaries about them following promptings and knowing they needed to knock on this door or do that and I've really really wanted to be able to recognize these moments in my own mission, but kind of had a hard time for a little bit because recognizing those promptings has always been something I'm working on.  For a long time I was really hoping for a Yoda moment, you know, those times where you just hear a voice telling you something, but the truth is I don't get Yoda moments (and maybe most people don't, I don't know), instead I just have thoughts - thoughts pretty much indiscernible from my own.

Like here's a story.
The other day we were tracting around this street and Sister Barton goes "I think we should go somewhere else, I just don't feel like this is where we should be" and then she asked where we wanted to go and I was looking down our list of potentials and had the thought "hey, let's go check on that family whose house we blessed" (I think I told you that story of them just being like "hey can you bless our house?" and then we did...and that's pretty much the story) and so I told Sister Barton "lets go see that family" and she was like "okay" and then we went and knocked on their door and the woman remembered us and called her daughters out to come see us and told us all about how she wants to draw closer to God and now we're teaching her tomorrow.

BAM.  The Spirit is amazing.

And that wasn't the only experience we had like that this week.
So, moral of the story, if you are working hard and being obedient, you just are always guided by the Spirit.  
It's pretty sweet.

Hey, now time for a sad story.
So this one time we knocked on this guy's door and he was SUPER interested (I may have told you about him actually - I don't know) and we gave him a short lesson at the door and he invited us to come in and share the whole Joseph Smith story but we didn't have a member with us (mission rule: sisters can't go into a place where there isn't another woman, unless we have a female member with us) but we were like "oh that's okay, can we come back tomorrow?" and he said yes please and he'd just be here waiting and was just super excited and Sister Barton and I left grinning like idiots and high-fiving the whole way home.  Oh, and also, this guy's name was Hiero (Hyro? Gyro?) and he had a pretty heavy Hispanic accent, so we didn't quite understand everything he said.  But the next day we were back!  Member at our side and Restoration pamphlets in hand and...he wasn't there.  We were pretty bummed.  The next day we went back and some other guy opened the door and we were like "ummm...hi, is Hiero here?" and he told us that no Hiero didn't even live there (!!!) (and in that moment we realized maybe we should've asked him to repeat what he was saying about when he's home because we hadn't understood him all that super clearly) and we asked him if he knew where Hiero did live and he said maybe and gave us an address and so we went there and stumbled around an oddly organized apartment complex trying to find #147 and when we finally found it do you think it was Hiero?  No, of course not.  So that is the story of how we literally lost an investigator. Super. Bummer.  We're still trying to find him though!  And we will, Will!

Oh, and three things I've noticed about Louisiana.  At least compared to Colorado, here there are far more smokers, divorces, and nice cars.  Seriously.  Every other car here is a BMW or a Corvette or something equally fancy.  Last night we drove past the mansions on the shore of the actual Lake Charles (seriously - MANSIONS) and we were joking about how we should try a "do you want to improve the quality of your lives?  We can tell by your five-car garage and three swimming pools that you're looking for more happiness in this world" door approach.  But we didn't.  It's funny how one morning we can be in some ghetto-ghetto-GHETTO ram-shackled neighborhood and then that evening we're walking along a gold-paved sidewalk. Slight exaggeration.  But only slight.

So yeah!  Being a missionary is seriously the best.  I love it so much.  Even as we're walking down the street with blistered feet and our shirts soaked through with sweat - I love it.  Even when all I eat is peanut butter for six meals in a row (no joke) it's still the best time of my life.

Love you all,
Sister Enright

P.S. I was dead serious about that peanut butter thing.  There has been a famine of dinners the past couple weeks, for some reason, at least for the sisters.  Yesterday at church when we learned that the elders had not one but two dinners lined up for that night and since we haven't had any since... since a while, we made them feel really bad and then, plagued by guilt at the suffering of us poor sisters, they delivered dinner to us last night and we feasted like kings.  Haha.  So the peanut butter diet has been broken.

AND OH MY GOSH I FORGOT TO TELL YOU - we got our first baptismal commitment!  His name is Tim and he is that guy we met my very first day here who called to us to come visit him and the other night we went back to teach him and we taught him about faith and repentance and then baptism and I was like "Tim, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?" and he was like "yeah!  that'd be coo' " and it was pretty much the greatest thing ever and afterwards I fist bumped Sister Barton - apparently super hard, more like a punch - and now he's gonna be baptized and it's going to be amazing.  The whole time that scripture about the worth of souls was going through my head and I could just feel the love Heavenly Father has for Tim and it was amazing.  Now we just need to learn his last name, because the only time he uses it is on the phone and we can't understand him on the phone.

Sister Bayley Enright

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