Well, you win some you lose some. And in this case you lose them all. Haha. This week was one of cancellations on cancellations on cancellations. But in all that time we had we met some really cool people.
D is really struggling. There was a period of four days this week we lost him. He wouldn't answer our calls or texts. This is very unusual for Danny. We left him notes every day on his door. When we finally saw him for the first time he answered the door and was too drunk to stand. We were so bummed. We talked for a while, and before we left he said a prayer. "Dear God, thank you for these sisters who care about me and love me so much they come day after day after day.. They really don't bother me at all." We've been seeing him everyday still, and he is doing better. He was at church this week, which was awesome. After church though he texted us and said "You'd better put a leash on Sis Rafaela, she was dragging me around like a lost puppy lol." Sis Rafaela is a member and was showing him around to classes hahah. Tonight we are going to introduce the stop smoking program, he even went out and bought everything on the list we gave him. He will get there, but he need time- more than we have left with him..
I've learned that the non members and converts we meet say some of the most beautiful prayers. Their raw and unrehearsed, real prayers are anything but "travel home safely," and "nourish and strengthen our bodies." Their prayers are the way they're meant to be- conversational. Whatever they're thinking, not what they've heard 100 times before. We as life- long members should follow their example.
Saturday after a lesson we found a guy named Bill. We almost gave up on finding his apartment, we had to knock on three other people's door to help us find him. When he opened the door, and we began introducing ourselves as missionaries, he saw the Book of Mormon in my hands and said wait. He returned with a dusty Book of Mormon and said: "I believe it. I've read it. I've been studying it since 1992 and I've been looking for the church that believes it for 23 years." Bill's wife had passed away just days before. He was not in good shape. I couldn't believe the timing. I asked him "Do you want to know where your wife is?" We taught the plan of salvation. His wife had been what had kept him from investigating the book for the past 20 years, being a strong Methodist.
Yesterday afternoon as we were walking home from an appointment, we came upon a guy sitting on his porch. He was so friendly, and invited us up. He was Puerto Rican, and as we found out he spoke Spanish, we did too. We only got a few sentences out before he stopped us. "Wait!." He came back with his friend and his ten year old son from inside the house. "Okay, go." We continued teaching. He was so excited he found some fluent Spanish speakers. His friend, Ivan, turned out to be an amazing guy. This house was a half-way house, and he shared his recovery story. He had been a heroine addict all his life, until he became sober two years ago. He spoke about a void he had in his heart all his life.
This void he spoke about, put into all people's hearts by trials or heartache is what enables there to be place in their hearts for our message. Our trials humble us. I am a witness of that. I think it one of the blessings we receive when we are set apart as missionaries is the blessing of not only love for the people, but grief. To feel what they feel, and in part take the weight on our own backs. After all isn't this what Christ did, literally and through the atonement?
"Only God can count the sacrifice, only God can measure the sorrow, only God can know the hearts of those who serve Him- then and now." -Elder Eyring
In D&C 97:8: "....all among you who know their hearts are honest, and are broken... and are willing to obey their covenants by sacrifice- yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command- they are accepted of me."
Gary, the Puerto Rican, and Ivan invited us back this Sunday for some "real Puerto Rican food." Can't wait. They were good people.
We saw Sandi and her son Dominik again, Dominik is quite the handful. He was seen way too much for a four year old, and it explains the behavior. Sandi is still fighting meth addictions, and the two of them have spent most their lives homeless. Though we can't do much in ways of money for them, I had the idea to bring them all the leftover meals to them. We get fed every single night here by the members, and they all send us home leftovers, which we do not eat (tryin to fight the statistics, yafeel? We also walk with ankle weights everywhere we go as we tract and walk places hahah. Excited to use my fitbit. ) Anyway, we started bringing them leftovers, that would otherwise be thrown away. She is so grateful for them.
We do meet our fair share of crazies out here. Haha. We always text a member in the ward, Brother Matson, who volunteers to work and teach in the Butler prison, to approve if we can or should not see people. Most of the people we meet have been in there, and we will either get a "go ahead," or a "proceed with caution, move by the spirit." And sometimes it is a "no." Haha.
This week we had quite the gang on Sunday. We filled almost two pews, us and our investigators. I wonder what the members think, gang is the appropriate word, haha. Soon enough we'll have all of Butler prison in there hahaha. I wonder if anyone ever mistakes my fitbit for a house arrest bracelet hahah.
Sister Davis and I got asked on a few dates this week.. one a 35 year old ex- convict hahah. We kindly explained we do not date as missionaries, but if they had interest in Jesus Christ and our message, we would love to share it with them. Hahaha
We are being safe out here, we are being smart. Each and every decision we make makes has big consequences- and who we meet. Which route to take, which street to walk, to walk or to drive, etc. It is a difficult skill, to distinguish your own thoughts from the spirit. In the conversion story of Bill Carpenter I told you guys to watch last week he said:
"When the spirit speaks to you you have to act on it, because if you don't it departs, and opens up your agency."
Anyway, it's been another good week. Thank you for all the prayers, support, and encouragement.
Love you all,