So first of all, I informed you all last week that I'd spent my pday in an epic Risk game, and it seems only appropriate to provide the contrast and tell you that this last week my time was spent instead playing football. Yes, playing football. And by "playing football" I mean the other missionaries played football while I ran around and tried to look like I knew what was going on, clapping when the other people clapped and trying to look like I cared, except more than one time I ended up being on the wrong side of the field while the rest of my team looked at me like I was and idiot. It's fine, fine. We can't all be football stars. Obviously.
Anyways, so I have a few stories for you today, the first one being that IT ACTUALLY SNOWED IN TEXAS. Yes, yes indeed. Did it snow for more than 2 minutes and stick to the ground or car or anything? No. But it did snow. It was quite funny actually. That day -- was FREEZING, and also ice was falling from the sky (literally - not rain, not snow, not hail, just evil pellets of ice) and because we are crazy (or actually because I'm crazy, Sister Boam wasn't too keen on the idea) we went out walking to our plans, hoping to garner some sympathy points. And we FINALLY managed to get in with someone, out of the freezing ice storm, and we sitting in her nice warm house just starting to talk about prophets and how important they are, when all of the sudden she leaps up and exclaims "IT'S SNOWING" and rushes out the front door and tells us to come with her we can teach her outside but can you believe it's actually SNOWING so we went outside, and everybody had emerged from their houses and was walking around in disbelief and awe, snapping pictures and videoing and acting like the way everyone in Narnia acts when the snow finally begins to melt because Aslan has returned - so I guess sort of like in Narnia except the reverse situation. So yeah, that's the story of how we finally got out of the cold only to then teach our lesson standing outside in the cold snow that eventually turned to sleet and ice again. Thanks Texas.
Story #2. The baptist preacher. So during our Hour of Power we were out knocking on doors and mostly stumbling our way through some awkward Spanish door contacts, but then finally someone English answered the door! Which was really exciting until he started laying into us about all the evil Mormon practices we supported, the first of which was plural marriage (yup, never dealt with this problem before). So we politely tell him that our church actually *does* believe in Jesus Christ (He is in the name of our church even) and actually we *do* read the Bible and no we don't practice plural marriage and he goes "no no, see, that's what they want you to think. But I had a friend who drove through Utah once and he said it's all over the place, but they just don't want you to think that" and we sort of blinked and were like "ok, that's nice that he drove through Utah, but, um, we actually *are* Mormons." Of course he didn't care about what we were saying, so we talked politely with him for a little bit longer and then left. Sometimes, that happens, but I have learned that no matter our situation and no matter what is being said to us, we are ALWAYS representatives of Jesus Christ, and we must stand strong and true to who we are and do what Christ would do, and know that so long as we speak truth and don't get angry and start bashing, the spirit will be there with us always. Which leads me to story number 3 - Marisol.
I've talked a bit before about how amazing it is to be instruments in the hands of God, and that's all missionary work is about really - being there so God can do His work through us. Well, Sister Boam and I had an incredible experience with that this past week. We had an appointment fall through, and had some people we wanted to try and figured we would just walk to them since it's not like we were on a time crunch and being out walking meant we not only saved miles but could also meet and talk to people on the way. So we're out walking basically forever, and nobody is home and nothing is happening, but we know that so long as we just are working and praying and trying, God can use us. And He did. We're walking along the side of the street (because who needs sidewalks in the South, right? It's not like Pasadena roads are alarmingly narrow anyways) when this woman driving towards us slows down and stops right next to us and calls to us out her window. "Will you go see my daughter?" she asks. We've never met or even seen this woman before, but she tells us all about how her 12 year old daughter has been dealing with a lot of problems and has a lot of negative influences in her life and even ran away from home, and she needs good direction and she knew we could help. We said that we would love to, and asked when and where. The woman told us her daughter was at home right then, we could just go by. So we took the address and walked over to the house, where we met Marisol and her aunt and grandparents. Even though they had no idea who we were - nor did her mother - she let us right in and went and got a Bible. We talked to her all about how God is her loving Heavenly Father, and partway through our lesson her mother returned home and joined in the discussion. At the end we all kneeled and Marisol prayed to know if Heavenly Father was really there. It was amazing, the Spirit was so strong. And just to think, if we hadn't been out walking and at that certain place at that certain time, we wouldn't have met Marisol. And maybe it felt like walking was doing us no good because nobody was home and nobody wanted to see us, but we were there and God used us and guided us to those who were in need. To me that is one of the greatest joys of missionary work.
I love you all! I hope you all had a wonderful Groundhog Day, and quoted Bill Murray excessively, as is only appropriate.
P.S. Transfer calls were this weekend, but I am staying in Pasadena. I am, however, losing Sister Boam :( and instead getting a brand new missionary to train!