Monday, January 18, 2016

First Snow of the Season, Butt Dialing 911, Crazy Wolf Lady, & an Evening with the Washington's - Praise the Lord!!! - 01/18/2016

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week! It has been a pretty good one for us. 

Monday was just a super chill Pday, nothing really exciting there. 

Tuesday we had our meetings and then we went to work on the farm. It was really fun. The kids we we're helping were enjoying it and seeing the smiles on there face just makes your whole day better. While we were helping with riding in the barn, it started to snow! It was the first time that is has snowed this season and let me tell you Elder Bentley and I were pretty excited. 

On Wednesday we spent the day meeting with recent converts and less actives.  We also met with Harold, who is the member who takes care of our meal calendar. He is a very interesting man. He is really lonely so he loves to spend time with the missionaries.  After dinner we had our lesson with Betsy. We were teaching the world of wisdom and the Ten Commandments. I was kind of nervous about this lesson because the very first time we met with Betsy, she was wearing a I Heart Coffee shirt. We went over the lesson. Other thank her kids being really rambunctious and our phone butt dialing 911, the lesson went well. She didn't bring up any concerns about the word of wisdom and she committed to follow it.

On Thursday we met with some less actives. One of the guys we had met with had been a member since the 80's, but he stopped going to church 18 months after his baptism because of a few trials in his life. He is currently agnostic and he doesn't know if he will ever come back to church. He said he has nothing against the church, he just has something with God. It made me pretty sad that he has spent a good chunk of his life in that state of mind. I hope he will turn around sooner rather than later. We were also able to spend some time with Brother and Sister Chaney for dinner. Brother Chaney was baptized about a year ago and he is a really solid member of the ward. After dinner we went to our ward mission leader's house to have our ward correlation. It went really well, Brother Matsen is really good at what he does. 

On Friday we spent a lot of time at the bottom of our area visiting some lonely members. We visited this lady named Sister Puckett. She is known throughout the mission as the crazy wolf lady.
She is very kind and she loves the missionaries. One of the things we helped her out with was buying some supplies, so she can make some shirts. (She was the lady who made our wolf dream catcher shirts). We also had a finding activity at the metro. It went pretty well. I was able to teach a couple of lessons, but nobody was really interested.

Saturday we spent pretty much the entire day checking on all of our 17 referrals. It actually went really well. We were able to drop in on a couple and we were also able to set up a couple of appointments for this week. Saturday evening we had a very interesting dinner. Probably one of the craziest dinners on my mission. It was at the Washington home. A little background on the Washington family. Sister Washington is African-American and she is very proud of that. She is one of those people that just goes on and on about race. She has been a member for quite a while now, but she has been less active for years. She has just started coming back to church for about a year now. Sister Washington is married to Darrel, who is also a member, but he is not active at the moment. They have three boys. Sister Washington invited two of her friends for over for dinner. We found this out when we arrived at her home. She put Elder Bentley and I together with her nonmember friends in the front room by ourselves. Sister Washington proceeded to tell us to start talking about the church with them. It was pretty awkward, but we tried our hardest to make the best out of it.  All throughout the dinner, relatives of the Washington family kept piling into the cramped apartment. All of them moved into the family room to watch the football game, while Elder Bentley and I were in the front room trying to make good conversation with these friends of Sister Washington. When we were about finished up eating, Sister Washington invited us into the front room with everybody else. She told us that she wanted us to share a quick message and tell people who we were. She then proceeded to mute the TV while everyone was still trying to watch the football game. She then told everyone to be quite and listen to us. So I told  the small crowd of about 20 people that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we go around teaching people about how they can live happy lives and how they can come closer to Jesus Christ.
Elder Bentley shared his brief testimony and added that we do not worship Joseph Smith. After he had concluded speaking, Sister Washington went around the entire room having everybody say something religious. There was a wide spectrum of religions represented in the household. Most of these people were Christian, but there were a couple of Muslims. When it came to be Sister Washington's turn, her whole speech was pretty much about racism. She told everyone that the church was no longer just for white people, but it is also for the black people now. One of  her sons told her to stop making it all about racism. She then told him that it is all about racism. This whole conversation was very awkward because Elder Bentley and I made up two of the three white people in the entire house. The rest of the 20 were all African-American/African. I found it very amusing, it brought me back to the good old days in Anacostia. When everyone finished with what they had to say, Sister Washington randomly broke out into an old Baptist hymn that I had never heard of. Everyone started to sing along. If you have ever seen one of those Baptist choirs in a movie or on TV, that is pretty much what it looked like.  Elder Bentley and I were just awkwardly standing in the corner not knowing what to do.  Ha ha, it was a very fun night. 

On Sunday we had church like all the other Sundays, but this Sunday Betsy came once again. Yeah!! She had an awesome time with her kids. Her two kids went to primary and they both loved it. Her older son Alex went to young men's and he also seem to enjoy it. The ward did such a great job of fellowshipping all of them. Betsy is planning on being being baptized on 31st of January. We're very excited for her. Later Sunday night we went to the visitor center for the Why I Believe fireside.
It was excellent, the main speaker was a man by the name of Terryl Lynn Givens. He is a professor down in Richmond Virginia. He has written a few Books.  He wrote The Crucible of Doubt, The God Who Weeps, and Wrestling with an Angel. He gave an awesome talk! After the fireside I talked to the sister missionary who has also been working with Betsy. She told me that she had been talking with her about the Word of Wisdom. Betsy told her that after her fasting, she had not had the desire to drink Coffee. That made me very happy to hear.

Anyway that was our week in a nut shell. Thanks for all of the emails that you guys have been sending. It really means a lot. 

Have a fantastic week!

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