Thursday, June 5, 2014

Families, Fish Fries, & Fireflies; Oh My!

This week was good…lots of up’s and not-so-up’s, but that’s missionary life…the worst it’s ever been is WONDERFUL!

-Exchanges!  Sister Anderson from Sacramento, CA came and did exchanges with me.  It was kind of fun being on the other end of these and left me feeling so grateful for the time I have to spend as a regular missionary…don’t get me wrong, I loved being in leadership for so long, but it’s cool to be in my own little corner of the state, focusing solely on the work…Perfect!
-Ward Fish Fry!  I guess that’s a normal thing in the south…I’ve heard of tons of wards doing it.  Basically, they get a boatload of fish and the High Priests fry it all up and have a cook-out.  Needless to say I spent a lot of time at the sides table…hush-puppies & macaroni salad galore!  We had one of our Pohnpeiian families there and they had so much fun!  Marcolia, Me’lela, Dee and Synjunn had a ball playing corn-hole (another southern thing, so I hear…) and Marcarita (mom) got some great ward fellowship.  A good time was had by all!
-Fireflies!  First of the year!  Stoked on that!
-Families!  So, this week, Sister Call and I decided to specifically pray for a family to teach.  My whole mission it seems I’ve taught a lot of single people (which are great too…I’m not knocking it) but I’ve always wanted to baptize a family.  So, we’ve been praying for it and taking every opportunity to exercise faith.
So Sunday all of our plans had fallen through, and we were knocking, when the inspiration came to go visit a former investigator.  We follow the prompting, drive over to her house (side note:  her house is bright pink!)  and knock and knock again.  Shoot not home.  So we walked back to our car, and there are 2 little girls (maybe Ellie’s age) playing right outside our car.  We go talk to them and ask to talk to their parents.  Mom comes out…
-Me:  He we’re the local missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  We’ve been coming around the neighborhood today, and sharing a message about Jesus Christ…”
She cuts me off.  “Well if it’s about Jesus Christ I could use it.  Wanna come in?”
So we go in, sit down, and it turns out to be a cute little family of five, who moved here a year ago, and have been to about 4 different churches since they moved. They started asking questions about the youth program, our pastor, if we passed a plate around…etc.  The more we explained, the more excited they got.  We talked about the Book of Mormon, and their minds were blown!  They were so happy!  They set an appointment for us (which never happens…) and we left them having family scripture study in 3rd Nephi 11.  Way cool!
Welp, to tie it all up, I wanted to write about a thought I had this week.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my expectations when I first came out on a mission.  Everyone pictures a mission as the best 2 years…or at least I did…
EXPECTATION:  Knocking doors.  Hanging out the members.  The worst thing that could happen was a slammed door.  Teaching families that kept commitments.  People always said it was hard, but it couldn’t really be that hard…now could it?
Then I got here…
REALITY:  There are things much harder than slammed doors.  People fall off date.  People struggle with addictions.  Families fall apart.  People get incredibly sick.  Missionaries, who you grow to love, struggle…some want to go home.  You deal with real people problems, things I only thought (based on my sheltered suburbia lifestyle)  existed in the movies and tabloids.  It’s been so different and so so much harder than I thought…but…the interesting thing is the things that make it so horribly difficult make it wonderful too.  The strength of people is AMAZING!  People keep commitments.  People conquer addictions.  People fight for what’s right and true.  Miracles happen!  It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever been witness too!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!
Sistah Dee (I’m thinking she has been in the South a little too long)
Bryndee and Sister Call on their new bikes!

Another Bryndee sketch...Helmet + Dress = Ridiculous!
Se La Vie...

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