Sometimes on the mish you get toand feel like it's been approximately 1200 years and also just like 1 day since you emailed last. That's kind of how this past week has been. Missionary time is seriously the weirdest thing ever. I think I've said that over and over again for the past...um, however long I've been a missionary - forever, a couple weeks, who knows, but it's still true. I'm not okay with how fast my mission is flying by, and Sister Crump and I actually have this running joke of just telling people I've only been out a month, because I don't like to think of how little time I have left out here - it's not okay. So not okay.
But anyways, that said, let's talk about Pasadena.
I love Pasadena. Have I mentioned that before? Because I really do. With all its millions of chihuahuas and pit bulls (seriously seeing a breed of dog other than those two is like seeing an alien) and the loud Spanish-music parties that last all night and the streets covered in garbage bags because nobody here uses garbarge cans to take the trash out (fo realz), this place is a place of miracles, and I love it. I don't know how God does it, but he manages to send us out to not just specific missions where we are needed, but to those specific areas that will touch our hearts forever.
Let me tell you about Shawna. Hers is a miracle story. We met Shawna several weeks ago, she was sitting outside her apartment and we just went up and started talking to her because we're missionaries and we're trained to not recognize any social boundaries. We got to talking and she told us all about how she attends a local non-denominational Christian church and just positively LOVES it. But she was willing to listen to what we had to say, and we've been by several times since then to teach her, but she has always wanted to stay loyal to her church. But then she took her Book of Mormon with her to her Bible study class , and accidentally left it there. Upon realizing she'd lost her Book of Mormon, she called up her pastor's wife to see if she had left it at the church. The woman answered by laying into her about meeting with those Mormons, those crazy cultists with a million wives and husbands, to which Shawna responded that the Mormon girls she had met with were quite nice, so please don't talk about them like that, and they don't have a million husbands - they're not married and "probably don't even have boyfriends." Haha. Yes, she did say that. But then she asked where the Book of Mormon was, and her pastor's wife told her that she had thrown that garbage away. And Shawna was not happy with that. When she told us the story, she told us how she couldn't believe that any Christian would say such horrible things about anyone else, and how dare they throw away another person's book, and the word of God at that! She told us she never wants to go back to that church because it just can't be where God wants her if things like that happen there, and can she come to our church instead. Yes, yes indeed. It's not everyday that we kneel and thank our Heavenly Father for a Book of Mormon being thrown away, but that day we certainly did. God works in mysterious ways! Shawna came to church yesterday and loved it, and is excited for her baptism which is set for the end of this month.
Another tender mercy of the Lord came when all of our appointments had fallen through - for a stunning turn of events - and so we were walking in this apartment complex in the rain and decided to contact the only person (other than missionaries) who was apparently crazy enough to be walking in this weather. So we got to talking to him and he agreed to let us come teach him and we were getting his name, which was James, and we asked for his last name, which he said was Sullivan. Sister Crump and I exchanged looks and were like "James Sullivan? Like...Sully? From Monsters Inc?" and he nods and goes "yep - and my middle inital is even 'P'." And that's the story of how we met James P. Sullivan in the middle of Pasadena, TX. We have every intention of baptizing him (well, we do with everyone we meet) not only because, well, because everyone needs to be baptized, but also because it would be the greatest thing to have someone say the baptismal prayer for "James P. Sullivan." Yes indeed, there are tender mercies all around us.
One last story. Yesterday we had at church one of my favorite families here, a woman named Lacey and her two sons, Camren and Logan, who are just a wee bit crazy - just enough to be my favorite little kids. Well, mostly Camren is crazy. He's like 3 years old and never ever ever EVER sits still. So in the middle of sacrament meeting yesterday, actually in the middle of the actual sacrament (you know, when everyone is being as quiet as possible) Camren decided to crawl under the pew in front of us so Lacey dives down and grabs his legs and pulls him up and Camren yells as loud as he can "MISSIONARIES! HELP ME!" Basically it was the greatest thing ever, and it was a good thing the whole Stake Presidency was there to see me and my companion bust out laughing in the middle of sacrament meeting. It's fine, fine.
But anyways, I love you all! We have like five meals lined up for this week, so you all must be doing your part to feed the missionaries wherever you are :D
Sister Bayley Enright