Well hello there everybody!
My goodness, what a week.
Let's start with Thursday (because obviously that's pretty much the beginning of the week) (not really, missionary time is just weird and warped and you just can't keep track of anything).
Actually, it begins a few days before Thursday - when our gas card stopped working. As missionaries in a mission car, we have a mission credit card in our car that is to be used exclusively for car-related expenses - gas, carwashes, etc. Anyways, so earlier this week we go to fill up the car and the card keeps getting denied, which is not okay. So we call Elder Tolman, who is our mission transportation...guy, and he tells us to borrow one of the elders' cards until he can figure it out. We try and coordinate this with the elders, but it just doesn't work, so pretty much Thursday comes and we have no gas. Actually I just realized that this whole story isn't about Thursday, it's about Friday. I told you I can't keep track of anything anymore.
So Friday comes and we have like no gas in our car, and though we usually just go out on our bikes anyways so this wouldn't be a problem, on Friday it was POURING RAIN and since we already get nearly killed biking when you can actually see outside, we couldn't be biking. Okay, so "nearly killed" is an exaggeration. Mostly. But biking would've been a bad idea. So we start walking. We've made it like four miles from our apartment, are pretty soaked, and doing our best to be really optimistic about the fact that our appointment is like another five or three hundred miles away (something like that) when Elder Tolman calls us back and asks us if we've been going on any shopping sprees recently, because apparently the reason our card hasn't been working is because someone went and spent like $700 and overspent the card. We assured him that no, we're good missionaries and hadn't been going on any shopping sprees (and seriously - if I was going to be a disobedient missionary, I wouldn't have been a stupid one who would use the mission card for my apostate activities) and so he said that he thinks our card info has been stolen and he needs us quickly to give him a list of all our expenses and everything so that he can get this taken care of. Except that information would be on our driving log, which was in the car, which was approximately seven hundred miles away at the apartment. We told him this, and he told us that we needed to turn around then and get it back to him as soon as we could. So we turned around, and the rain starts to pick up super bad and all these cars are honking at us and splashing us and so we decided to take this side road back, you know, so we don't die. Except we forgot that in the rain we are blind, and the streets here are weird, and before we knew it we were completely lost in a mini hurricane. Okay, so more like a mini-mini hurricane, but yeah. That happened. But we finally made it home, called Elder Tolman back, and then just had to endure other missionaries making jokes about us using the mission card to spend $700. I know, hilarious.
In other news, I walked into a pole the other day - while leaving a members home, with the whole member family at the door telling us to be safe. So that was grand. Nothing quite like assuring people that you will be safe only to walk head on into a giant pole. I like maintaining a reputation of elegance and class.
Oh, also, funny story. Missionary lingo is a bit odd - for instance, your trainer is your "mom" or "dad," and when your mission is over you're "dead." So the other day we are sitting with the elders talking about birthdays, and Sister Barton says that her mom's birthday is soon (referring to her mission mom) and Elder Weeks says that his dad's is soon too (referring to his actual dad) and Sister Barton goes "but your daddy's dead" (since Elder Weeks's trainer went home last transfer). Elder Weeks just sort of stares at her and says "what? No he's not!" and Sister Barton is like "um, yeah he is" and meanwhile me and the other elders are just sitting there wondering if Sister Barton is being really callous, and if we should intervene. But then they managed to clear things up. All this talk of being born and moms and dads and dying....Missionaries are weird.
Okay, now for a really incredible spiritual experience.
We have this investigator, Casundra (pronounced "Cassandra") who when we first met her told us that she doesn't believe that God loves her, that even if He's there (which she wasn't too sure about anyways) He wasn't there for her because she'd fallen too many times. Anyways, so we taught her first about prayer, and about God, and also about the Book of Mormon, promising her that this book would help her feel God's love. So anyways, we went to see her on Saturday, and she wanted us to read from the Book of Mormon with her because it's hard for her to understand. So we read with her and taught her some, and then asked the young woman who had come with us, Eva, to bear her testimony about the Book of Mormon. After she was finished, Casundra asked if she could say something. She then told us that though she has only read a little bit of the book, it has helped her realize that God really loves His children, that he cares about us, and that He will help pick her up. She then just sat there staring at the Book of Mormon in her hands, and said softly, "this is a good book." The Spirit there was so strong. Eva started crying, and I just sat there grinning like an idiot because it was just so incredible - to hear Casundra talk about how much her life has changed. It was amazing. And then afterwards we asked her to say the prayer, and after she'd finished a really beautiful prayer, she said "y'all know that I hadn't ever prayed till I met y'all - not since like I was a little girl. But now prayer is so important to me." It was just amazing. When things like that happen, you just realize how TRUE this all this - how true it is that God is our Father, that He hears and answers our prayers, that He loves us, and that the Book of Mormon is true. And you also realize how powerful the Atonement is, and the power it has to change lives.
And THAT is why I love being a missionary. That's why it doesn't matter that I walked forever in a mini-mini hurricane, or that all those appointments fell through, or that our card was stolen. Because it is all tens times worth it - probably even more - to hear someone pray to their Father and realize He's there.
I love you all! I hope you're all safe in the Colorado floods, and know that I pray for you all each day.