Monday, September 16, 2013

Miracles and Cupcakes (Bayley)

So if there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it is this:
You plan, and prepare, and then confirm plans, and re-plan...and then people's agency just disrupts those plans and dashes them into a million pieces.  But good planning means that you are prepared for that, for the unplanned, and that you take advantage of it.  This week we had several days in which every single appointment we had set, every single lesson we had prepared and practiced for, fell through.  And let me tell you - that can be hard.  BUT, if you're doing your job right, and are trusting in God, and are studying hard to be prepared for anything, then the Spirit will guide you right where you need to be that day.

Earlier this week we had an incredible lesson with our investigator, Debra.  We've been really struggling to teach her, simply because it's all but impossible to teach more than a single point in a lesson with her (all my mission prep taught me to ask questions and get investigators to talk, and so I wasn't quite prepared for our main challenge out here to be getting an investigator to be quiet and let us get a word in) but we finally went in headstrong determined to teach her about baptism and the importance of the priesthood.  And after we're done teaching her, she tells us that she's been baptized (Methodist) and that it felt right, but how can she know if it was by the right authority, and that if it wasn't she wants to know, because she wants to be baptized the right way.  Hip hip, hooray!  

Another story.
During Hour of Power this week, we were walking down the street we had prayerfully chosen, and there was this young man sitting outside in his garage.  We went up to him and starting talking to him and then ending up teaching him all about prayer.  He said we made him think a lot, and thanks for coming, but he that he couldn't really set a firm return appointment because he was really busy.  We told him we'd be back Sunday (even though he said he didn't know if he'd be there - we have no problem being obnoxious like that) and yesterday we went back and it was incredible - he told us all about how he has changed since we last talked, about how he cannot stop thinking about what we shared with him, and how before he met us his days just seemed to blend together but that in hearing our message, everything has become clearer.  We taught him again, and he told us to come back often and that he is pretty much always home.  It was so clear to us that the Spirit had really worked within him between our visits.  That's pretty incredible.  That's one of those moments where you go and say a prayer of thanks.  Also known as pretty much every moment on your mission ever.

We also had an investigator come to church with us yesterday!  It is so hard to get investigators to come to church here, so it was kind of a big deal.  This investigator's name is Mary, and we actually met her during like my second hour of power here, and her husband told us we were some horrible cult and cried over our damned souls, and then weeks later Mary called us because her husband had had a stroke and she needed help.  And we've been teaching her ever since.  Since we first found her, she fell and broke her hip and now lives in this little nursing/rehab home until she can walk again.  Did I mention this little nursing home is conveniently located just one block away from the church?  So when we went over Saturday night, we asked if she wanted to come to church with us and she said yes, so Sunday morning us and the Elders went and had a pushing-wheelchair-party, since there's a less active man in the ward who also lives in the nursing home who has to have someone push him to church - so we pushed Mary, and the Elders pushed Brother Patterson, and I'm sure it was quite the merry sight.

I love Mary though. She is reading the Book of Mormon a lot and really loves it.  Also, she told us a funny story the other day.  We were sitting in her room and she needed the trashcan, which is on the other side of her room.  We made some comment about how odd it was for the trashcan to be so far from her bed (since she's pretty much bedridden with her broken hip) and she said yes, that actually she had asked the nurses about that when she had first gotten there, and that she has asked for the trashcan to be moved closer but that the nurse had told her that it wasn't allowed to have trashcans by the bed.  When Mary asked why, the nurse told her that one time an old lady had needed to throw up in the trashcan by her bed, but that in doing so she had fallen out of bed and gotten her head stuck in the trash can.  Yup.  What was so funny was that Mary was laughing so hard while telling us this story, and then Sister Barton and I were laughing super hard, and then when we told Elder Weeks about it later he just sort of blinked and said "well, I guess you had to be there," which isn't true - because let's be honest, an old lady getting her head stuck in a trashcan...that's pretty funny.

Also, on a completely different note, last Monday was Sister Barton's birthday, which means all week we have lived off of nothing but cake and cupcakes.  Seriously.  Sister Barton got cupcakes from home...then we made cupcakes...then we got cake *and* cupcakes from a member....The Elders, myself, and a sister in the ward coordinated a surprise birthday party for her last p-day, and let me tell you - it's kind of hard to plan a surprise party for a person who is never supposed to leave your sight and sound.  But it was accomplished, and we emerged with a cake and a dozen cupcakes.  So a successful party.  This week we shall try to expand our diet to include ice cream as well.

Love you all!  Next week we have a temple trip, and I am so excited to be able to go to temple - it feels like approximately forever since I went there, and it will be my first time going to the Houston Temple, which makes it double exciting since the Houston Temple kind of looks like a Disney castle.


Sister Enright

Awesome Louisiana marshland.  Duh.
Further proof that Louisiana is the prettiest.  Other than Colorado, of course.
The lake charles bridge!  It's super cool.  Pretty much.
My awesome district - they are seriously my favorite.  Elder Roundy, Gilbert, Sister me, Barton, Elder Brewer, Weeks
Also, you get bugbites here.  A LOT OF THEM.  And then you feel like your foot is on fire and you want to cut it off, but instead you take pictures and try and earn some sympathy letters.
Also, the tiniest cutest little baby frog ever.  He jumped off my hand and we stood around him for a long time worried he was dead, but then he wasn't.  Phew.

Sister and Barton and I.  Twice.

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