Monday, July 8, 2013

Letter #41: wildness, wonderfulness, and a whole lot of laughter

Like usual, this week was full of wildness and wonderfulness and lots of laughter.

This transfer Sis Steg & I are both planning to really focus on MEMBER WORK. This is kind of a new thing for both of us...neither of us has ever done too much member work, but the Ft. Laud ward has tons of part-member families that we want to work with. There is one family in particular that we both felt very strongly about. We are also trying to focus on working our area God's way and not getting too comfortable...making sure that we are always fulfilling our purpose and stepping outside of our comfort zones.
Our area is SO amazing and I am so grateful to be here. I feel like every time we meet someone, we come out of the lesson or harvest blessing and say to eachother, "Okay, THEY'RE amazing!" This week we went over to bless this woman Elaine whom the elders had met at Walmart. We knocked on her door but she wasn't home. We were about to leave when Sis Stegelmeier said, "Let's try this house right here." We knocked and met Naomi and Rebekah, who let us into their home to leave a blessing. It was probably one of the most spiritual blessings of my mission! It was so strong and they accepted baptism right away. We went back to see them the next day and have seen them every day since and they are an INCREDIBLE family! They have so much faith and are truly looking to follow after their Savior. Then on Saturday, after teaching them we came out and it looked like Elaine was home. We went and knocked on her door and she told us, "God sent you at the perfect time!" She let us in to pray and told us how just that day some awful things had happened in their family. She truly knew we were sent there at that moment to bless her. She is incredible...she has been so prepared and doesn't smoke, drink, break the law of chastity, or anything like that. She also knows she needs to get work off on Sundays so that she can come to church and be baptized! And then, if that's not enough miracles, when we were leaving her house we saw a woman sitting on the porch next door. We went over and blessed her and she also accepted baptism! Three incredible miracles, all living right next door to each other! I know we are receiving these blessings because of our diligence and our prayers to be led by the Spirit to those who are ready.

We had our first baptisms in the Ft. Laud ward this Sunday, and they were awesome. Afterwards, when we talked to Patricia and asked how she felt, she said "I feel beautiful." Jacque just couldn't stop saying, "I am so happy today!" I just love the people here so much! While I was in Nova, I never thought that anything could be better than working with the YSA. But I think I must confess that I love the Ft. Laud ward and working with families even more :) Well, okay, it's a toss-up. I love them both. But there is something so special about working with families! 
OH MY, I wish you could have been there to see the baptisms. We had Brotha T, a recent convert (actually one of Elder Pond's converts if you remember me writing about him before) do the baptizing. He is the the coolest. And he LOVES that baptismal font. Right before the baptism, we were trying to take pictures and we couldn't find him anywhere. We were running around the church looking for him...and finally we found him in the font! He was just standing in the water blissfully turning around in circles with his arms out behind him. We dragged him out for a picture and then he went right back in! And we had to get him out again so that the service could start. Then after he finished baptizing, instead of following Jacque out of the font, he just leaned back and laid down in the water. Our ward mission leader was like, "Brotha T, you're not getting baptized again! Come out of there!" So funny. There were so many funny things this week that I don't even think I could pin my finger on what made us laugh the most. It's probably a toss-up between:
a. Brotha T in the baptismal font
b. Me imitating a sheep in one of our lessons and ramming my head into Sis Steg's shoulder while uttering, "maaah, maaah" [yes, that happened. and yes, it was in a lesson.]
c. Teaching our 78-yr-old investigator who talked about how she got pulled over by the po-lice because they thought she was drunk [in reality, she had left the eye doctor after they put drops in her eyes and she couldn't see]
d. Somehow ending up attending priesthood meeting at Nova...yeah, remember that one time when we supposedly left Nova? Somehow we didn't really. And we ended up being there for half of their meetings yesterday.
e. THE DONK PARADE. So this week was 4th of July, which in deepside means e'ryone's out grilling and driving their donked cars. I can't even explain to you what these cars look like. I wish I had a super good picture of one. They're these cars with wild colors on big rims. And they were all out on the road on the 4th. Sis Steg and I were practically drooling and making monkey noises watching them go by. One would drive by...followed by another even BETTER one...and we were like, "Ohhhhh oooh, look at that one...OOOH OOOH LOOK AT THAT ONE...OOOOOOH MY DID YOU SEE THAT ONE!" 
f. Me wearing a "wrap cap" aka do-rag that we got at dollar tree
g. Watching this guy in this crazy outfit breaking it down at the bus stop. There were booty shakes and hip swivels going on. IT WAS SO WILD. We loved it and I took as many pictures as I could. 
h. two words: carrot juice. two more words: with ginger. And the fact that we gave it to the assistants. I think their text sums it up: "That carrot juice was atrocious. #foolmeonce"
i. Me singing a David Archuleta and Louie Armstrong mash-up
j. Making a deal with the assistants that they could only borrow our blender if they showed up at our door also singing an Archuleta/Armstrong mashup. (One of them strongly resembles David)
k. The "G.I. Nova" poster we left on the assistants' door before Elder Gust (RIP!) went home. This girl in our ward gave us some movie posters and so we decorated one of them and left it on the assistants' door. SO FUNNY. You probs had to be there.
l. We have this SUPER GHETTO investigator. She's a wild time and we love her. But last time we were there she kept telling us about how she's been "bustin' her bumps" (aka popping pimples) and I wanted to die laughing in the lesson because she kept saying it and it was so funny!
m. I invited a motorcyle dude to church! He was next to us at a stop light. I rolled down my window and tried to hand him a church card, but he was like, "Sweetheart, if you're gonna preach the gospel you're gonna have to get on your feet." and so I got out of the car and went over and handed it to him.

This transfer as sister training leaders,we are really focusing on TEACHING SKILLS with our sisters. A big focus right now is to help the sisters teach doctrine simply. I I read something this week in a talk by President Eyring called "The Power of Teaching Doctrine" that was awesome. Pres Eyring says, "Because we need the Holy Ghost [in our teaching], we must be cautious and careful not to go beyond teaching true doctrine. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth. His confirmation is invited by our avoiding speculation or personal interpretation. That can be hard to do. You love the person you are trying to influence. He or she may have ignored the doctrine they have been taught. It is tempting to try something new and sensational. But we invite the Holy Ghost as our companion when we are careful to teach only true doctrine. One of the surest ways to avoid even getting near false doctrine is to choose to be simple in our teaching. Safety is gained by that simplicity, and little is lost." I had some awesome revelation this week about Christ's doctrine vs. missionary doctrine [promising blessings that aren't grounded in scriptural doctrine]. 

Sister Gordon is training [in a Spanish area]! I am so proud of her! My granddaughter Hermana Sanchez is suuuper cute! I think she definitely takes after her grandmother ;)

love you all!
sister dougal

1 comment:

Few things make a missionary happier than getting letters! And...comments are kind of like comment away!