This was a stellar week. And a wet and cold one at that. But as far as missionary work it was a great week. My greenie, Sis Holman, and I worked really hard and our efforts paid off. She is a trooper. We were asked by Pres Weaver to do seven 5to7's a week when he got to the mission. Tracting seven days a week is tough stuff. Even just logistically and schedule wise. We have two wards we attend on Sundays so we are in church and meetings from 8am to 4-4:30 pm every sunday. So to tract directly after church takes a lot out of us. We are tired and starving. But I knew that whatever we did our first week of the transfer, her first week of her mission, would set the precedent for all of the folowing weeks and transfers for the rest of both mine and her missions. Yes, its hard. But just like a lot of other things I am asked to do are hard, I am obedient anyway. So the same applied to seven 5-7's. I never accomplished that with Sis Mills. I guess we didn't have enough faith to. In a talk titled "Desire" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in this last General Conference he said the following: "Our desires dictate our thoughts and our thoughts dictate our actions." And then from that point on I believe that our actions shape our habits and our habits shape our character. Desire is relative to our faith. Bottom line: Greenie Faith is a force to be reckoned with.
So we didn't have any nasty meals this week. The Hew-lens, the ones from HI, are our new best friends. I called them up and asked if they could feed us when a dinner appt fell through. Brother Hew-len in his best pigeon english said, "Shuuuurre, come ova!!" We had stew, rice, some macaroni type salad in it with Krab, cantelope and Tillamook ice cream. They sent us home with a container of Butter Mochi or as they call it "Buttamochee." We go over there for shave ice too. They are the best family! Our whole meal calendar is booked for September. The members love feeding us.
Sis Holman and I set up 6 church tours this week!!! Well, 3 for this past week and 3 for this next week. This past week only one of them went through and that was Taylor's parents. Oh my goodness. Talk about a spiritual experience. First of all, they both showed up. Showing up is a feat in and of itself. I don't know how many times I've waited by the church doors like a puppy at a window waiting for people to arrive for a church tour. Only to get dogged. Pun intended. But anyway, they came! So in everything we do and everytime we teach in the WA-TAC we make sure there is fellowship there. Someone from the ward that is an instant friend or connection in their newly forming gospel network. We were needing fellowship for this church tour and we thought of Sis Thompson who happens to live on the next street over from them. We called her an hour before the tour and asked her to come. She said she picks her kids up from the bus at 3:45 so 4:00 would be cutting it close. Then she was like "You know what...I'll just pick them up and we can go to the church straight from the bus stop." AMAZINGGG!!! Member missionary in action!! So she was great fellowship on the tour. Christy knew her already from a lesson that she had come for and the Spirit was just there. We taught and discussed a lot about the Savior and his Atonement when we were all sitting in the chapel. The chapel, I'm telling you is the conduit for the Spirit to just illuminate a person. Christy at one point started crying. Long story short not only are they both allowing Taylor to get baptized but Christy is planning on bringing the entire family to church. MIRACLE.
So two days later on Thursday we go over to Taylor's house to teach Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We brought the Finnegans as fellowship because Elder Finnegan is retired Air Force and Taylor eventually wants to join the airforce. The lesson went great. Spirit was there. Christy was sitting in and totally getting in to it. Dang it, we should have put her on date to be baptized!! Still kicking myself about not. Sister Finnegan bore great testimony about her conversion story in Scotland. I asked Sis Holman before we went in to teach the lesson if she would be the one to recommit Taylor to Baptism. She said that she would and she did!! OH man the greatest feeling ever. So much joy to see someone that you found at the door learn the Gospel one step at a time and to make a decision to follow the Savior's example and to be baptized. So he is getting baptized on Sunday!! So when Taylor didn't show up to church, nor did his family, yesterday we got a little worried. We went over there yesterday evening after our dinner appt to see how he was doing. There was a great deal of heaviness about him and his head was hanging low. Its a long story but I got down to the root of it all and asked Taylor if he believed the Book of Mormon was true. He said that he didn't know (AHHHHHH that is devasting to hear). I asked him if he has been reading it everyday and if he has prayed about whether or not it is true. He said that he hasn't been reading it lately and that he has not prayed about it being true. So we had him read with us the challenge in Moroni 10:3-5 and extended the invitation to read about the BOM and then to ask God for himself if it was true and that if he did that, sincerely wanting to know, that God would reveal the truth to him by the power of the Holy Ghost. So yeah...I have to have faith that this baptism will go through on Sunday. We set up his appointment to get interviewed for baptism this Wednesday. We are going to DPC. (Daily Positive Contact) Every day this week.
Oh man...ok. So this is crazy, awesome, stinky miracle. Yes, a stinky miracle. Like it literally stinks. So we had an appt fall through, a church tour actually, and we went to the person's apt after they didn't show up. They forgot and invited company over so we rescheduled for a different time. So I decide that we should spend an hour tracting the rest of the apt complex. Boom, the first door we knock. So we are walking up to this door and on the side of the apt building we see a bunch of stuffed animals and toys in the window. Perfect they have kids. Families = the dream of every missionary. Knock on the door. We hear screaming of small children inside. The door flies open. "Seriously? Seriously right now? Mormon missionaries. You have got to be kidding me right now." That was the comment that we were greeted with at the door by a woman named Maggie. We hadn't even said a word at that point. She is standing there hair a mess. Bra straps hanging out. Baby slung on her hip with its mouth covered in dried spaghetti-O's. Bags under her eyes. She just looked like....a hot mess. No sooner than we could say another word were we greeted by three other children. All 5 yrs old and under. Two of which have severe autism. Wow. She has a lot on her plate. She said that everytime she is right on the verge of a breakdown.....she runs into missionaries. Rather, missionaries run into her. She said that she usually sends the missionaries away but today she wasn't going to. A good 5 minutes had gone by of her telling us how "creepy" missionaries are for always popping up in her life ever since she was 16yrs old. We didn't even give her our names, we just asked her if she needed any service. She lets us in. Oh myyy goodness. Someone call the CPS. No joke, she was like "I hesitated letting you in because you'll probably go call CPS on me." Um...the smell of urine and fecal matter was ripe. Yeah....at first I thought that it was just from the large floppy eared bunny that was hopping around on and off his "pee pad" that is typically found under elderly patients at hospitals. The kitchen was an explosion of old food and dirty dishes. It was disturbing. But! We are missionaries. We don't get grossed out by anything right! Wrong. It was hard to stomach it. She goes on to tell us the craziest stories and experiences she had throughout her life with the Mormon church and particularly the missionaries. She said she typically really likes missionaries but some of them have been "crap-tastic." By the way....she is EXTREMELY sarcastic, roots for team pessimism, is a convert to Judaism who attends Silverdale Baptist church where she likes to go "muffin muggin'" as she likes to call it. Basically show up to their events, hear a little sermon, and get a free muffin or two afterward. HAHAHAHA my email will never quite capture the extent of crazy this lady is. Crazy cool though. Speaking of capture...when we went back the next day to give service in the form of helping her clean her apt I may or may not have scooped up a human turd ball. Sorry for those of you with weak stomachs. I had asked if she had a broom. Nope. Dustpan. Nope. She hands me a stack of papers. A cell phone bill and a parent newsletter from her kids school to sweep in the kitchen. Soon after I am handed my cleaning device I sweep a pile of junk from under the dishwasher. Lo and behold I won the contest for whoever could get grossed out the fastest. She basically asked us to take them on a church tour. We scheduled it. We waited. They never came. LAME! Hopefully it was only because the brakes on their van went out. Seriously though. Their breaks were busted so we got them some C-Clamps from our ward mission leader so that they could fix it up and come on a church tour. In the mission its called WEIT-ing. Whatever It Takes.
I found this quote while studying in the chapter about Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel about Dilligence:
"I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit, if he gets the spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work- there is no satisfactory substitute. " President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Rest assured we are working hard in Silverdale. I am trying to be the best missionary and the best trainer for my Greenie. We are just loving the work and loving the people we are serving and that is why we are continuing to see miracles!
Love you all,