It's been a pretty rough week. Discouraging to say the least. It started Monday night- we were at Bishop Critchlow's house for dinner and Phyllis called. I wouldn't normally answer the phone at a dinner appt but it was P, so I answered. She said she was just calling to tell us that she didn't want us coming back anymore. I hung up and my greenie comp starts saying "what'd she say what's she say!" In front of everyone. I just about started crying at the dinner table, haha. P knew it all. She knows. So that has kind of ruined my week.
Next, Bs date has been pushed back. He was supposed to be getting baptized Saturday but he gave in and smoked.
Then, yesterday we got a text from L saying he couldn't get baptized. There, I got all the bad news out first. Haha so
Okay, now I'll explain. As well as the smoking, Wednesday we decided we would go over the baptismal interview questions with B just for preparation. Well... Had a "whoop, there it is" moment, a little unexpected problem came up with one of the questions. But it's a good thing we went over them with before, he'll have to be interviewed with the mission president now.
L explained that he didn't agree with our belief about the cross. (By the way, he's got a big cross tattoo on his arm.) We will be explaining about why we focus more on the why of the atonement than the how of the atonement. Aka we focus on the purpose of the atonement rather than the details of the suffering. He ended up coming to the ward activity Saturday night, and seemed just fine. I think when we explain that there is nothing against actually wearing a cross, that it's more of a personal decision, and he can, he will come around. He has really opened up lately.
All four of our investigators with their own baptismal dates got to attend a baptism for a little boy in the ward after church yesterday, which hopefully they felt the spirit.
We're still seeing the Speeds almost every day. Since it's still more of a service thing than teaching, we've just been using our lunch hour to help them. With them, we know we have to take it slow, before we begin teaching them. This week we scrubbed down their walls, which were black and molding. Their pregnant daughter was throwing up all day from the smell. We were also digging through boxes with them looking for Jayden's government issued checks that get her free milk. They were lost in the move, so she hasn't had any for the month, and won't have any for the next three months. No luck yet.
Kind of cute, last week I was looking in our cupboard at my growing Nutella stash... Which had grown to five jars. So I've given up eating sugar, and I remembered seeing Nutella at the Speed's house. So I sacrificed my stash to them, and they were so happy. All the kids took it right to the kitchen and ate it, Jayden covered her Nutella toast in green sprinkles and came back with her face and fingers covered. Worth the sacrifice, haha. Mom, I figured you wouldn't mind giving it up to such a worthy cause.
In return, their dad showed us some self defense. Haha. Maybe it'll come in handy one day in the island.
The speeds came to the ward Pioneer Day! It was pretty funny, we found someone in the ward who could drive all five of them, minus the dad. The member showed up to pick them up in a kilt and a batman shirt.... Their neighbors were laughing and taking pictures as they got in his car. First impression of the mormons, haha. They got to meet many members, some of which seemed a little wary of the unconventional family, but all in all the kids had a lot of fun, and knew other kids there. Baby steps. Haha. All the kids really like us, Jayden included. She always yells "don't go bu-bye!" when we leave💔 the 10 year old boy Aaron really loves the bible, he and his twin sister Dakota go to a baptist church. He just placed second in a competition in Boston for a bible competition. So I think I might give him a Book of Mormon soon..
So the PA-ramble is very real. People here CAN TALK. Sometimes we go 30 minutes without saying a word because they don't even take a breath. The record is an hour and a half of this lady straight talking. Well, I'm becoming a very good listener.
Moving on. We met this woman Renee. She just moved here from Cranberry PA, coincidentally met the missionaries there the day she left and had a BOM. She knows nothing about the church, but also by coincidence has a nephew on a mission in Italy. She has started looking out for us. She made sure to inform us of all the crack houses in the island and printed out a map marking of all the sex offender's houses in Butler. Hahaha.
She called us Monday, there was a shooting on our street Monday night... She was making sure we were home and okay and doors locked. She's sweet. She always makes sure to walk us to our car, across the street haha. The other day her neighbor got arrested as we were outside. Cops are everywhere in the island, and they do not enter without vests in that area.
Oh, and I've started carrying the mace mom sent me on my keys.(: The white handbook only says no carrying knives or guns, nothing about mace. 👍
Ivan always looks our for "his hermanas" still as well. He makes sure we eat, and always asks us about who we're teaching. So they've got our back. Haha
So we had many many appointments fall through this week, but it gave us the chance to meet lots of people. I told Sister Welch when winter comes and it gets cold it will be much harder to find people, so we're storing up people to teach now for the winter, hahah.
By the way, were teaching this guy who's either killed two people or lost two people, does anyone know which side means which with teardrop tattoos??💧💧 That was this guy named Maurice, he ended up being a "golden investigator." He was awesome.
Another we met was this cute little family. We were walking down the street, and we saw a woman crying, holding her baby, and a three or four year old boy behind her. I heard her saying to her husband "we have no where to go."
It was so sad. I was nervous, but I stopped and asked if we could do anything to help at the risk of being told off. She said no thank you. So we kept walking. We got about two blocks down the street and I felt like we needed to go back. Sister welch thought I was crazy, but we went back. Now we would surely get yelled at. Haha. I asked if I could share a thought with them, and she said yes. She had tears running down her face now, and she told us she wanted us to come back. I'm sure glad I listened.
We also met by accident Ernesto and Nefdali, two guys from Guatemala! We walked up to talk to them, and I heard the accent, I got so excited hahah. I started speaking in Spanish and they lit up and said "ohh, you're the mormons! I have read your book but I lost it, can you get me another one?" I guess they were familiar with the church from back home.
We taught the restoration in Spanish, well, I had to translate everything for sister welch, haha but it worked out. They both agreed to read and said they wanted to come to church when they weren't working. I even translated Sister Welch's prayer to Spanish haha. It was awesome, and so great to use my Spanish again. It's been really hard not having a Spanish comp. My language hour is not very effective on my own and I get zero practice now. President Johnson hinted in my interview this week that I'd be using it "real soon," so maybe I'll be heading out east soon where all the Spanish is at. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, amidst that it has just seemed like every appt is falling through. I swear people know it's us before they even see us at the door. Well, Sister Welch is learning about rejection, that's for sure. And I've never worked harder. We don't take lunch or dinner hours, every second is spent out. Training is going well. We get our training hour in every day.
Well, hope for a better one next week. The discouragement is real. The work is slow here.
No plans for Pday today, the elders are doing a district pday today... They're going tanning. Hahaha we passed.
Have a great week, love you all!
Here are some pictures that sum up my week- The Speeds, Pioneer Day, and some very Pennsylvania people
Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive
Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive Gracias a la resurrección, Jesucristo vive. Gracias a Él, tú puedes vencer el pecado y sentir dicha eterna. Averigua cómo descubrir, recibir y compartir el gozo de la resurrección en el sitio ÉlVive.mormon.org