(Title should b read in Kirby Heyborne's "The RM" voice, as he peers through a window trying to get his home teaching appointment in...you'll see the relevance of this, I promise. Mostly because it's 100% true that as a missionary those social boundaries I already walked so precariously before being a missionary are just gone, and I spend many long minutes on porches, waving to the people who peer out behind windows just to let them know I'm there and won't leave even if they won't answer the door because we know they're there).
Tuesday, July 30: the Great Fall Through Day.
I kid you not.
Sister Barton and I set out that morning PUMPED and ready with approximately 547 lessons set up and like 3 members set to come out with us so that each one of those 547 (approximate) lessons would have a member present so like double missionary points, and THEN...
One by one, each and every appointment fell through. Yup, nobody showed up! Or answered their door. Pretty much everybody hated us on Tuesday. But that's okay! Because we were missionaries, so we had brilliant back-up plans set, and we went and did service and then we tracted...and then tracted some more, and then while we were tracting we knocked on Gary's door, and Gary told us he wasn't interested and then I just sort of went "would it be important to you if there was a prophet on the earth?" and he was like "yeah" and then we started talking to him all about the Restoration and he said "I'm very Catholic, and I love my church, and you're telling me that the Pope isn't God's prophet, and I should be listening to some other guy in Utah? You're telling me the Pope is wrong?"
And I said "yeah."
He wasn't too happy about that right away, but then we kept talking to him and he went from "I'm not interested, never come back" to "I guess you can stop by some other time" to "Yeah come back sometime" to "Come back anytime" to "Come back next week" and we set an appointment and high fived - well, high fived after we left. Because it is moments like that where I realize how much God is there and helping us, and how because of the Spirit I can tell some devout catholic "yeah the Pope's got nothing" and then he lets us come back.
The next day, Wednesday, we had New Missionary Training, so we woke up at approximately negative 1 am (which is an hour that really shouldn't exist and which actually means like 4:30am) in order to make it to Kingwood, TX (or wherever we went) but it was okay because when we got there they gave us bagels. New Missionary Training was wonderful - it was all the new missionaries (the missionaries who came out with me) and their trainers and then President and Sister Crawford, and they just talked to us and trained us to be even better missionaries. And then they also quizzed us on our knowledge of the "How to Begin Teaching Points" (which is like 10 short little paragraphs out of Preach My Gospel) and also our recitation of Joseph Smith History 10-17. They have this whole memorization-and-pass-off-and-get-prizes system thing in the mission, which I love, and so those of us who had HTBTP and JSH memorized got to whip it out and earn points and tassels and pretty much it was Scripture Mastery all over again. It was wonderful. Then we also found out that one of our new elders and his trainer had set the record for shortest amount of time on a mission before rolling their mission vehicle. It was apparently a really terrible accident (like blown tire, three complete rolls, and hitting a tree kind of accident) but they were perfectly fine. We really do see miracles every day out here in the mission field.
This past week I also went on my first exchange, which means I went to Orange, TX and spent 24 hours with the sisters there and their companion (they're in a trio) went to Lake Charles. And when I went in their apartment and they had a fridge full of food and cooked a real dinner and then had pantries full of food, I felt kinda bad for sending Sister Erickson into my apartment with nothing but tortillas and peanut butter. And maybe some Ramen. Actually, our apartment now is also well stocked with ice cream, since Sister Barton and I had to run into the store Saturday night to get money for fast offerings and were like "what is something fast we can buy?" and decided "hey, you never go wrong with ice cream" and though we had every intention of buying like a little pint of ice cream...Bluebell half-gallons were 3/$13, and we didn't stand a chance. I think one of them is like blackberry though, so you know, it's healthy.
Also this past week, the Sulfur elders in our ward had a baptism! It was for a girl named Kayla, who is just 12 years old, and after she got baptized, Sister Barton and I were the ones who helped her out of the font and gave her a towel and we asked how she felt, and how it had felt to be baptized and she told us it was "magical." It was so amazing. I love baptisms. I love seeing people come out of the waters of baptism with a huge smile on their face and in that moment I realize just how perfect and wonderful this work is. The fact that God trusts me to be out here helping people just like Kayla find that pathway that makes them feel "magical"...wow. I love being a missionary every minute of every day, but at baptisms, it's just all the more special to be wearing that nametag.
Thanks to everyone for all your emails and support and prayers. I love you all!
Sister Bayley Enright
|Me and Sister Barton at transfer meeting.|