To my family and friends
First- I love you all. All your letters and emails and support mean the world, even a hello makes my day out here. Please forgive my slacking in responses. I struggle to find any time at all to write back! Please be patient, and thank you!
So the most important thing I found out this week (for those who only read the first few lines) is we got transfer callsnight and I'm training! I am pretty surprised.. I just finished my own training that same day. I still feel pretty green myself. But I'm excited. I head down to Pittsburgh early morning for training and I'll get my new greenie comp then! While I'm really nervous to be training so soon, I think it will be good for me. Whip myself in shape and keep that greenie fire going haha. Pressure's on! (Prayers would be very much appreciated.) This also means I'll be in Butler for another two transfers, which I am very happy about. Butler is the place to be. I am getting very nervous to see who my next comp will be.. I said this before.. But I don't think I could possibly have three good companions in a row. I am going to miss Sister Davis so much! You kind of get close to someone when you live with them for 12 weeks solid! Haha. She has been so great, I couldn't have chosen a better trainer. Just when I thought I was getting comfortable, haha. She's heading up to Lancaster, where they actually teach in Spanish, ONLY in Spanish! (Goals) In honor of our last week together we had a sleepover on our roof night, felt a whole lot like we were camping, and no one rolled off the roof ,so it was a success.
I am debating finding a new apt now that I know I'm sticking around. This place is horrid. So many bugs.... Yeah it's definitely not The Village. Haha. But moving takes a lot of time... And work.
On to this week.
So this week we had the opportunity to help a family move.. We were walking down the street and I saw a moving truck out front so we knocked on the door to ask if they needed help. They were reluctant to make two young girls in dresses help, but the help was needed. The dad was doing ALL he moving for a household of seven kids on his own. And with one hand, the other was reconstructed and could not be used. So we showed up the next day in service clothes.
The conditions of this house were horrible.. Unlivable really. And to see their 1 year old laying in the midst of everything, in a shirt that was barely holding together, little feet blackened and beat up, crying was so heartbreaking. And the new house.... Was no house at all. There were holes in the floor you could see through to the level below, and the ceiling was falling apart. No water. I felt absolutely horrible that their one year old, little Jayden would be living there. I had been sick to my stomach about it all week. In fact, one day I was praying for their family, especially Jayden. I stood up and the phone rang. It was a member we had just visited the night before, Brother Beers. We had told them about moving them that day. He said he wanted to anonymously "help the family out that is down on their luck."
Something else really bothered me. As we helped move that day, I met their 15 year old daughter who is about to have a baby. I overheard her boyfriend ask his friend "How do I be a father?" And the answer he got was "pay the child support on time." Unfortunately for many people here that's what being a father means.
Now that I've depressed you all, I'll move on to happier news.
Lamonte is getting baptized! He has really come so far. Anyway I am so happy for the entire Hoy family. And by the way, you'll see his name in the NFL one day. Mark my words, hahah. Their dad still will not sit in on lessons.. But sometimes you can see him listening around the corner. He knows this is what his family needs, but it will bring a lot of change on his part. He and their mom are not married. His heart will be softened one day.
We have started teaching a guy named Jonathon. Good things will come with him. He was involved in a car accident when he was young and has some severe spinal injuries. More to come with him later.
Unfortunately we are at a standstill with Ivan. It is so frustrating when you know their intentions are good, but they just don't understand. It's frustrating as the teacher. Normally we would have "dropped" someone like Ivan, who is not progressing by now. But we've been hanging on hoping something would click. night he texted us. He knew Sister Davis is leaving- so without a license or a ride, he had ridden a bike in the pouring rain to get ingredients for dinner for us. Haha, that's just the kind of person he is.
At this point we have taught him everything there is to teach, we have explained that. So all we could do was leave him with our testimonies. It's so hard when you want someone to see it so badly. But he is just not ready.
Phyllis continues to be amazing. This week we had been challenging her to pray about modern revelation and the modern day prophet. One afternoon she called us. She said- "I was praying and I felt moved to read in Matthew about false prophets. (At this point Sister Davis and I thought we were losing her, haha) I read about how false prophets live 'lives of iniquity' and for money, and I know that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet."
We were able to watch President Packer's funeral with her, and we got to introduce her to the twelve. She attended church with us , all three hours. What a lady!
I finally got to meet Alfonso this week, a less active member. He has the strongest testimony a person can have- he is a convert of 8 years, but hasn't been to church in 5. Get this- the reason he doesn't come to church? Because he cries when he feels the spirit. And "no grown black man should cry." But he said every time he walks in the meeting he cries like a baby. He told us about how much the gospel has changed his life. "I'm not the same OG I used to be." Hahah. He really has such a firm testimony, it was hard to believe he had not been in five years. He needs to meet the Bishop. Bishop Critchlow cries every time he speaks- every time. He's just an all and all good person. Maybe we'll have to introduce them. Haha.
It's been a decent week. Keeping very busy. If there is anything anyone would like to know about let me know.(:
We're currently spending our Pday downtown Pittsburgh. This place is WOW. Pictures don't do it justice, I love the city!! We've just been wandering all day.. PPG building... Market square... Oakland.... Cathedral of learning (AKA hogwarts)... Etc. pictures to come! I love this place. Feels like I'm in NYC. But better. We're heading to the overlook of Pittsburgh with the Oakland Elders here very soon, so I'm waiting to send pictures(:
This week I just feel very grateful. I have been given so much. I have a loving supportive family and friends, and though it is filled with bugs, I have an apartment with a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. And though I literally live off of cereal, (and what mom sends in packages) I have food to eat. #blessed. Where much is given much is required.
"Find someone who is having a hard time … and do something for them." -President Thomas S. Monson
Like Brother Beers, you may be the answer to one, or many prayers
And if you didn't know, the church is true.
I may have time to write y'all back this week.