Monday, February 10, 2014

First week of Motherhood (Bayley)

*mission motherhood, that is.

So. Right. Transfers.  This last Tuesday, Sister Boam and I bid our farewells in Houston and I picked up my baby missionary - Sister Crump!  She is awesome.  She is from Utah, the oldest of four, and so excited to be here.  We have been together not even a week and have already seen our fair share of miracles.  But what else is new?  That's the mission life, right?

First of all, let me tell you a story about our investigator Hollis.  So Hollis is wonderful, I love that guy.  He is 79 years old, searching for greater happiness and "the truth," and loves the Joseph Smith story.  His hangups are 1) drinking coffee, and 2) he's addicted to sports. No joke, he seriously cannot bear to be away from watching sports for just a few hours eachSunday, so it's a real struggle to get him to come to church.  It seems ridiculous, and honestly I am probably like the worst missionary to help him through this specific concern since I have like 0 empathy for that particular challenge.  In fact, I asked my district leader if he thought it'd be okay if I took a baseball bat to Hollis's TV as an attempt to help him break his addiction (Elder Bock said that there wasn't anything in the white handbook that said otherwise, but that President might not be 100% down with it).  But anyways, so we've been helping him quit coffee and have given him all these suggestions and helps and whatever, and this last week we sit down with him and he's like "you know what girls, this no coffee thing isn't going very well, because I went and bought that hot chocolate that you told me about and it's disgusting!" and I just sort of sat there wondering if I really and truly had just heard the words "hot chocolate" and "disgusting" used in conjunction with one another, and what could I possibly say to that and finally our member is like "well what kind of hot chocolate did you buy?" and he goes into the kitchen and brings out a tin of Nesquik.  Yup. Nesquik.  And we were like "well DUH that's not hot chocolate, Hollis!" and he was like "but it says chocolate - look, right here!" and when we told him it was for chocolate milk, not hot chocolate, he goes on like this 15 minute rant about how if it wasn't chocolate they shouldn't market it as chocolate and how was he supposed to find hot chocolate when everything said "chocolate."  Hahaha.  Finally we were like "listen Hollis, how about you ask a store associate to help you?" and he was like "well what if they don't know what hot chocolate is?!" and we were all "trust us, they will - everyone knows what hot chocolate is" and he said "well then how come I don't?!"  I don't know, Hollis.  I just don't know.  See how important missionary work is?  Bringing truths and happiness to those who know not where to find it - not just talking about the gospel, but also about hot chocolate.  HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT HOT CHOCOLATE IS LIKE FOR REALS THAT IS MY LIFE.

Another story.
So we have this guy here named Richard who was baptized several months ago and then just never came back to church.  We have a lot of that, actually.  It's super sad.  After people get baptized and make that choice, there is serious opposition from Satan because of course he KNOWS that they are on the right path, and so he does all he can to knock them off early because he knows the further down they go the harder it will be for him to get them.  But anyways.  So we finally manage to sit down with Richard and teach him a lesson, it's been FOREVER, our appointments with him always fall through.  But finally we're teaching him!  So we're talking some very basic stuff here - like receiving answers to prayers and recognizing the Holy Ghost, and we're talking about how he has gained that confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this church is true, and I asked him that now that he knows that, what is he going to do with that knowledge, and we sit there waiting for him to answer...and keep waiting...and keep waiting.  Keep in mind that the Spirit is like WAY strong in the room, and we can tell that Richard not only feels it, but feels uncomfortable with how strong it is.  So finally after like a good 10 minutes of silence, he just stands up and is like "I have to go."  And just leaves in the middle of our lesson.  Yup.  That hasn't happened yet. First time for everything on the mission I guess.  It was good though, because you could tell that the Spirit was working with him helping him realize there are changes he needs to make.  But then we told the elders about it and now everyone thinks it's hilarious that I spirit-scared off someone in the middle of a lesson.  Which is fine, really.  I can live with that reputation.

Okay, so last story.  We have a couple we are working with who are super awesome.  The wife is a recent convert as of last summer, and her husband has been investigating the church but his baptism has been placed on hold until the two of them can be remarried (marital law in Texas is no fun at all - it's like they *are* married but not really but sort of but actually no, a fact that surfaced after her baptism, which has been fun to discuss with them both as we've been helping him prepare for baptism.  But yeah, anyways). However, they have been facing the most severe financial struggles and have been living in a hotel with no employment, no transportation, and really very little hope. This past week, though we didn't know it at the time that we made plans to go and see them, they were conned out of what little money they had left, and were left with absolutely nothing. When we stopped by at the hotel, we arrived to find them in really the worst we've ever seen them. Both were crying, both were a wreck, and they just told us how they felt so hopeless and abandoned. We had prepared a lesson to share with them, but it was very clearly not what was needed. We reassured them of their Heavenly Father's love for them, and knelt and said a prayer with them that they would be at peace and trust in God. Though we couldn't do anything for their circumstance, we did all we could to bring the spirit into that little hotel room. It's so hard to see people in situations like that, and all you want to do is do EVERYTHING for them but it just doesn't work like that.  So anyways, just 2 days later, we decided to stop by again and see how they were doing. The situation was much different than the one we had left, they were both doing much better, had talked with Bishop, and had made plans to help them with their financial situation. But then the husband told us something amazing - he thanked us for coming over when we had that day before, and told us that the exact moment that we had knocked on their door he had been at breaking point, and didn't know what he was going to do, but knew that it would've been bad, but that we had come and the prayer we had said and short message we shared had been exactly what he needed to hear, and it "diffused" him.  Moments like that remind me of how incredible it is to be a missionary, and how important it is that we as missionaries follow the Spirit.  We didn't know the situation that was going on with that couple that day when we made plans to go see them, but God did, and he arranged everything so perfectly so that we could help them. We really are just instruments in His hands, and I just love seeing His work being accomplished so perfectly all the time.

I love you all!  Keep feeding the missionaries because the missionaries here could use it - yesterday in Relief Society literally NO ONE had signed up to feed any of the 5 sets of missionaries, so I just kept sending the meal calendar back down the row over and over again until finally someone signed feed the other sisters.  Close enough.

Sister Bayley

Me and Sistah Boam, last day

Lake Charles people at transfers!!! Some of my favorite people in the world. No joke.

Posterity pic! My grandma Sis Hamilton, my momma Sistah Barton, me, and my baby Sister Crump

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