Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Of Tan-Lines & Time Warps!

Happy spring, everyone!  You can always tell when it’s spring in South Carolina, because everything has turned green with pollen, and the weather is perfect!
This week has been full of exchanges.  I kicked off in Georgetown Branch with Sister Roundy from my MTC district.  So fun!  We got to see some really funny people and in-between we got to re-hash old MTC memories…it was a most excellent time!  My favorite part was the time we got to spend with their recent-convert, Amanda.  We went to a branch-party with her, and it was amazing to see the branch just take her in and love the heck out of her…the members down here are great that way. 
Exchange #2 was here in Summerville with Sister Daniels. She is so fun!  We’ve decided that we’re pretty much the same person, besides the fact that I grew up in AZ and she grew up in Texas.  Best moment in that exchange:  Most definitely dinner with Brother & Sister Duren…More specifically the spiritual thought that happened afterwards.  We borrowed their New Testament, because we had been walking all day & weren’t carrying one (no need down here…everyone in the south has a bible!) and asked them to close their eyes.  We went slowly back and forth, reading the account of the Savior’s Atonement in Luke 22:39-48.  There was an amazing spirit in the room, and when we got to the part where Christ, who is exhausted and hurting, gently rebukes Peter for falling asleep, the feeling got intense, and tears started streaming down Brother Duren’s face.  Now Brother Duren is a tough, mechanic type, the last person I’d ever expect to cry during a lesson…and yet, he was so touched by the Savior’s love for one, he just sat there and cried.  At that moment, the spirit really testified to me that the story I was reading was true.  Gah!  I love being a missionary!
Another fun part of this week:  We’ve been walking a ton because we’ve run almost completely out of miles (okay, so…not so fun but really, really good exercise!) My feet look so funny…half white, half tan.  Way cute.  But, while we were walking, we ran into this really cool guy named Justin.  When we were walking by his house he was working on a motorcycle in his garage.  As we walked up the drive way to go contact him, we noticed that his garage was full of motorcycles in various states of disrepair.  We introduced ourselves and asked about all the bikes (he seriously had like 17…), and his story was cool.  I guess he used to be an alcoholic, until one day he decided enough was enough, and he wasn’t happy.  So he started fixing broken down bikes to keep him out of the bars.  Way cool.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and are excited to keep working with him.
One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is church.  In the beginning of my mission it stressed me out! (Shout out to Sister Gardner/Walker for keeping me sane back then) But how I love it now!  This Sunday Kitt came (this man is seriously like an active member…he just needs to be baptized!)  Our investigator Mr. Green surprised us and came (he’s lookin’ for a Mormon wife…haha…) and at least 8 of the less-active members we’ve been working with came!  It was stinkin’ miraculous! 
One last thought before I sign off:  in PEC on Sunday our bishop was in the middle of something when he abruptly stopped speaking.  He turned to his scriptures and said “you know…I’ve had a thought on my mind all week and I think I need to share it with you.  When we get up in Sacrament Meeting & share our testimonies, we all say something like I know the Gospel is true or the Gospel has changed my life. What if someone not yet of our faith was to ask you what is the Gospel everyone keeps talking about?  What is the Gospel?  What would you say?” The room fell silent.  There they were 9 or so experienced priesthood leaders, and not one of them could tell the Bishop what the Gospel was…could you?  My challenge to y’all this week:  Take a good, long look at 3 Nephi 27.  I feel like we add so much fluff, so much programming sometimes that we forget why we’re really believers.  Let’s all be brilliant in the basics of the Gospel.
Well I love you!  And y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

I love Bryndee's sketches.  This is her most recent.  If you can't tell it is a picture of the back of our Savior sitting on a bench with his arm around someone...giving them comfort.

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