Monday, November 18, 2013

The Christmas music season has begun (Bayley)

Well hello there everyone!

Yes, yes indeed.  We are listening to Christmas music.  But since neither Sister Johnson or I actually brought our own, we are listening to the Christmas CDs that have been left behind by previous missionaries, and for the most part, there are reasons for their being left behind.  Like the CD that is Christmas songs as played on a music box, or the one that has a seriously atrocious opera cover of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." *shudder*

But anyways.

So this week was pretty stellar.  Lots of miracles, lots of southern cooking (and by that I mean others cooking, my eating) and some actually relatively cold days which was sort of my favorite, except that I didn't really think of it ever being cold when I packed for my mission, and so found myself highly inadequately prepared for it.  Biking in the cold wet wind with a cool cotton skirt (because it's so warm here, right?) and no tights is kind of one of the worst things ever, so we just had to keep our car super over heated to make up for it.  But then of course it warmed right up and got excessively warm, so that we got in our car one morning and almost died.  True story.  

Anyways, so a brief story.

This last week we were giving the dinner message to a family in the ward, and were talking about feeling the Holy Ghost, and this one little boy starts going off about how the Holy Ghost is like bubbles, and how when you blow bubbles and they pop on you, you can just barely feel them and pretty much that's what feeling the Holy Ghost is like.  Yup.  I was seriously dying, laughing so hard my companion had to take over and finish the message.  I don't know why I thought it was so funny...but it was.  It was adorable though, because afterwards, we challenged them to all sit still for a minute after their prayers with their eyes shut so they could try and feel the Holy Ghost, and so we all knelt down to say the closing prayer and this same little kid was like "EVERYBODY REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT AND BE QUIET AFTERWARDS I WANT TO FEEL THE HOLY GHOST" and so then we said "amen" and he just sat there kneeling with his eyes clamped shut for like five minutes, the rest of us were all sort of opening our eyes and looking at each other wondering when he was going to open his eyes.  Finally he did, and said "ok.  I felt it.  Mom can we have brownies now?"  Haha.

We also have this guy we're working with who we think is a little schizophrenic (like approximately 30% of our teaching/less-active pool is) who says he is already a member of the church, but we don't quite know if that is true, and so we were sitting with him asking questions and talking about Joseph Smith and stuff and he just starts going off all about how in his last Mormon church they had him in the arts and crafts class, and he couldn't "level up" out of it until he stopped smoking, and how there were different levels at the church and people in different levels got different rewards and could go to different classes and whatnot, and we were like "um, well, I'm not quite sure that was a Mormon church" (because he's been to so many different churches, he gets them mixed up in his head all the time) and he was like "oh, ok" and then later we were talking to a member about the whole thing, and he jokingly says "well that's a weird way to look at it, but I guess it's true - I was baptized and I've been to the temple and I'm married so I'm like a level 5 Mormon" and so now we're making level Mormon jokes, and it's funny but we also we should probably stop, haha.

But anyways - the miracle stories!

First of all: Heather.

So we met Heather months ago - seriously.  Sister Barton and I knocked on her door and she was like "yes please this sounds so amazing come back another time" so we went back another time and she was like "yes please I need this but not right now" and eventually we just stopped trying.  But then the other day I felt like we needed to go see Heather, it's been a few months anyways (because mission time is ridiculous and it goes by so fast you don't even realize it) and we knocked on her door and she let us right in and we taught her a lesson and she asked to come by the next day so we did and then long story short she's getting baptized.  Actually that wasn't really a "long story short," because we invited her to be baptized like right then at that second lesson - but then even after that she still wanted to be baptized, which is always a bonus.  But wait, there's more.  We were talking to her about the church that is here, and she goes "wait a second, it is on Sale Lane?" and she starts describing our church building to us and we were honestly shocked, because NOBODY here knows where our church is - it's tucked away on this little road, Sale Lane, and when we say "Sale" everybody thinks it's on Sale *Road,* and I'm fairly certain that a good number of the people we teach who don't show up for church on Sunday aren't there because they're at the giant Methodist church on Sale Rd thinking it's the Mormon church.  Except hopefully it wouldn't take long for it to be made clear that wasn't the case.  But anyways - so we were like "yeah!  That's our church!" and then she tells us that she used to go to that church all the time when she was little with her next door neighbor, who was apparently a Mormon.  And then she goes "I guess God's been wanting me to be there my whole life - and he's finally guiding me back there" to which we were like "yeah, pretty much."

Second of all: Annabelle.

Annabelle is seriously the sweetest most wonderful girl ever - her mom and grandma are members, and one day we got a phone call from her mom, Sister Guidry, that "hey, my daughter wants to talk to y'all about getting the lessons and getting baptized," which is kind of like the phone call every missionary dreams of receiving.  So we've been teaching her, and she is all set to be baptized on December 1.  But anyways, the other day after our lesson she tells us that she prayed about her baptism date, and that when she did that she got the warmest feeling, and it made her so happy, and she just couldn't explain it.  And then she told us she always felt this happiness every time she met with us, and when she went to church, and read the Book of Mormon.  It was incredible.  It has been one of my favorite things on my mission so far to see people feel the Spirit.  It's amazing.  With Heather, with Annabelle, with so many people this week, they have all born testimony to us about the happiness they have felt.  And you know what?  I know it's not me doing that.  Sister Johnson and I are not amazing teachers, we are not professionally trained - we're just little ol' missionaries.  But if we are doing our duty, God can work through us, and that is what I know is happening each time my investigators feel the Spirit, and feel that happiness.  And you know, this isn't limited to just us full time missionaries.  To all of you - when we are doing what is right, and what God wants us to do, we have his Spirit with us, and other people can see and feel that.  And God can use you as an instrument in His hands, to bring forth his work no matter who you are, where you are, or what you're doing.  

Pretty neat, huh?

Sister Enright

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