Thursday, February 21, 2013

Letter #21: To the exskreme

For today's update, I thought I'd teach you all a little bit of "ghetto speak." 

  • The most important word to know is probably "finna." This means "fixin' ta," which translates to "going to" or "planning to." For example, if you heard someone say, "I finna take a shower," what they really mean is "I'm going to take a shower." Same with "I ain't finna be there"= "I'm not planning to be there." Or Sis Holyan's favorite phrase whenever she's driving and people wander through the road (which happens quite frequently): "Watch it homeboy, I finna hit you"
  • Another important term to know is the "str"/"skr" conversion. Whenever you hear the syllables "skr" together, you can assume the person means "str." For example: skrength translates to strength, skreet translates to street, skraight=straight, exskreme= extreme. You get the idea.
I have to admit that some of this lingo is starting to creep into my vocabulary. I have been guilty of using "finna" on occasion, like saying, "We finna baptize her this weekend." Whoops!

Yesterday we had a SWEET baptism! Mysterie has been going to church on/off since she was 13 (7 years ago!) but never wanted to get baptized...she just never felt "ready." Missionaries have taught her on multiple occasions but would just never make the commitment to be baptized. Well, we decided we were going to get Mysterie baptized. A couple weeks ago she actually had her baptismal interview last week and pased but still said she "wasn't ready." About a week and a half ago we decided we were going to baptize her on Thursday night after institute...but then we weren't able to meet with her and she didn't come to institute. We were disappointed, but decided we'd try and set her with a date for later in the week. Then, more than halfway through institute, she showed up! We figured we'd talk to her after class. We were both pretty worn out and didn't quite feel up to trying to baptize her.
But then we both felt a little bit agitated about just sitting there and not doing anything...Sister Holyan was like, "Sister, what do you think? Should we try to go through with the baptism?" We decided to go outside and pray about it. We left the class and as soon as I started saying the prayer the spirit just overwhelmed us and we knew we had to invite Mysterie to be baptized that night. So we ran to the font and started filling it up, then pulled Mysterie out of class and had a lesson with her. The spirit was incredibly strong and all 3 of us were was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. We testified, promised blessings, and just let her know that her Savior was inviting her to be baptized right away and partake of all those blessings. Unfortunately, she still insisted that she "wasn't ready." The spirit was definitely working in her, but she decided she wasn't ready to take that step. It was really sad. As we said a closing prayer, I kept crying; but this time it was because I really was sad for her. We were able to feel God's love so strongly for her that it was just heartbreaking to know that she wasn't accepting the Savior's invitation.
But even though we were sad that she didn't get baptized, I think we showed the Lord that He can trust us to follow promptings from the Spirit. It was kind of scary to just pull her out of class and tell her that we were filling the font up for her, but we were bold AND loving and were able to experience something incredible. We both kind of felt like it was a turning point of sorts in our missions.

But luckily the story has a happy ending! We meet with her again this Thursday during institute and had a lesson with her & her uncle, who is a member. We again just testified a lot and her uncle also bore his testimony. The spirit was super strong again, and then I just felt prompted to share Alma 7:15 with her (MIRACLE scripture!). The scripture talks about fearing no, setting aside our sins, and coming unto Christ by being baptized. After I shared it, I asked her, "Mysterie, will you fear not and come unto Christ by being baptized?" And she said YES! MIRACLE! So she got baptized this weekend and it was awesome. She was so happy. Our district leader was like, "Sisters, you should feel legendary! You are the missionaries to finally baptize Mysterie!" So it was pretty cool. Her whole family was there and it was awesome to be a part of that experience, especially because she was so ready for baptism. She'd been ready for ages. 

Let's see...what else happened this week... Yesterday Heavenly Father sent us a bunch of tender mercies. It was the middle of the day and we were both pretty tired (read: unmotivated). We both were just like, We could really use some ice cream. Ice cream was all I wanted. And all of a sudden, what do we hear in the still February air? The strains of cheesy children's tunes that could only belong to an ice cream truck! So we chased him down and got our ice cream. SO satisfying. And THEN later that night we stopped at Chipotle to get some dinner. Sometimes we try to go without eating (we don't have a ton of money for food on our cards, especially since we end up eating out so much) but we were super hungry. So we go to the restaurant and get in line and these people right in front of us turn around, shake our hands, and say, "Sisters! How are you?! We're members of your church from Washington!" And then they bought us dinner! SUPER AWESOMEEEEEEEEE! 

Also we're teaching a kid named Elvis, which is just cool in itself. Earlier this week we were going to teach him...a member of the branch was driving us and we had another member with us so he could meet some people from the branch. He lives in a gated community with security guards. The guy was on the phone trying to verify us and he talked to Elvis's mom, who didn't know who we were. So he came back to the car and asked, "Who are y'all here to see?" And all in unison, we yell out, "ELVIS!" It was SOO funny. Just imagine 4 giggling 20-something girls screaming that they're here to see Elvis. Made me wish I was a product of the '50s.

Well, love you all tons! A couple people have written me letters and asked if there's anything they can do for me. I actually did think of something... We can only listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir in my mission, and I only have 2 MoTab CDs (and one of them is a Christmas cd!). So if anyone wants to make me a sweet MoTab mix CD that'd be legit. 

sister dougal

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