Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Storm - Texas Style (Bayley)

So I may or may not have spent last p-day engaged in a highly intense game of Risk, that ended with Elder Poplin and I standing over the board yelling and throwing the dice in a frenzied attempt to finish the game, while all the other missionaries commented on how ridiculous we were being.  Haha.  The funniest part was when we set the game up at the very beginning and were all "ooh, ok, we only have 3 hours, this is going to be tight" and Sister Boam kind of laughed as if we were making a joke and Elder Poplin, Monson, and I all looked at her and were like "no, Sister Boam, this is serious business here."  Very quickly the majority of the players trickled out until it was just Elder Poplin and I locked in battle for world domination.  I have played many intense games of Risk in my life, but let me tell you, everything is more intense as a missionary.  Oh, and for the record, we did manage to finish the game in like 3 hours on the dot.  Missionary time management skills for the win.
Anyways, after that exciting start to the week, not too much happened.  We knocked on doors, we awkwardly stalked people missionary-style (nothing quite like having the person you were planning on dropping in on drive up to their house and sit in their car for like 15 minutes while you and your companion stand awkwardly behind a tree watching to see when they get out of the car so you can time your coincidental run-in just right - oh and did I mention that during this time your zone leaders drive by and see you awkwardly stalking someone?  Yes, yes that may have happened, and yes, I did just use the word "awkwardly" an atrocious number of times in that sentence, but whatever) we taught lessons, we got dropped like rocks by people who just don't want to inherit Celestial glory, apparently.  Just living the life.  Oh, and we also survived a Texas winter storm.  Hahaha.  Let me tell you about this.  So Thursday is a bit chilly, and everyone we go see, be them member or investigator or whoever, warns us about the winter storm that is about to hit.  We get text messages from concerned members about our well being during this "winter storm."  We get advice about how to stay warm.  And then the "storm" hits.  Now here's the thing - when I think "winter storm" I think blizzard - snow, ice, wind, the works.  That's not what happened here.  Our winter storm here is just cold.  Like cut you to the bone, freezing, freezing cold.  And on top of that, it rains.  Like icy daggers falling from the sky sort of rain, so that we are out knocking doors and our faces are so numb that our voices are slurred.  Yeah.  But here's the real problem with the cold here - everything ices over, and nobody in Texas knows what to do with ice apparently.  So like that night, while it was raining, they cancelled school the next day simply because they didn't want anyone out driving because someone out driving meant like four million accidents apparently.  Our mission president kept us in our apartments for several extra hours Friday morning even because he didn't want us out on the roads.  The best part, though, was seeing people here trying to deal with the ice and all after the storm had passed.  My favorite was the guy using an entire box of matches to melt the ice on his windshield.  Oh, the South.  You gotta love it.
But anyways.  So this week we did have one awesome miracle - we taught Celia.  And she is amazing.  We found Celia actually several weeks ago, when we were out walking and turned down a street to see swarms of j-dubs (Jehovah's Witnesses) allllll over the place.  One or two of them approached us and were like "are you Jehovah's Witnesses?" and we were like "nope! we're the Mormons!" (at which point the older j-dub literally reached out and pulled the young girl away from us - seriously) and so we wished them well and kept walking and then I was like "Sister Boam, we should knock the other side of the street - before the j-dubs get there" and she's like "Sister Enright no you've got to be joking" and I was like "LET'S DO IT" and that's when we found Celia.  She's amazing, and she talked to us for a while but then asked if we could come back another time, but then when we went back she said the same thing, and the same next time, and the same after that, but I just really felt like she was awesome and we needed to teach her - and this week we were finally able to!  Thanks to that winter storm, she didn't want to stand outside and talk to us.  She is really incredible though.  We were talking about God and about who he is to her and she says "well, I know it may sound kind of weird, but to me I think of him as a parent."  That she already has that understanding of her relationship with God is incredible.  If there's anything I've learned on my mission, it is of the importance of our personal relationships with our Heavenly Father.  SO many people don't realize that he's not just almighty God - but he's their Father, and he loves them and is looking out for them and wants the best for them.  But when people realize that, and feel that, *then* God can really work miracles in their lives because they finally are close to him.  It's pretty incredible.
Whelp.  This weekend is transfer calls - there is a lot of excitement in our mission right now over what is happening because we are losing so many missionaries this transfer, there are going to have to be some organizational changes to make up for it.  Guess we'll see, but I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in Pasadena for some time.
Love you all!  Say your prayers.  Read your scriptures.  Give the missionaries cookies.  All that good stuff.
Sister Enright

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