Thursday, May 12, 2016
Of Exchanges and Phone Calls
P-day's aren't very exciting. I was under the false impression before I came out on my mission that p-days were full of fun stuff. They generally aren't. They're supposed to be a break from the usual rigor of the week and let you relax a little bit. They're kind of stressful. You don't have very much time but you're supposed to wash your clothes, wash the car, clean the apartment, do all your grocery shopping, and email home while still doing your two hours of study in the morning and being done with everything by 6 pm so that you can go out and proselyte. So you get all that done and at most you have 2 hours leftover to do something else. Some missionaries nap during those two hours. We mostly sit around playing card games, and every once in awhile we have time to play Dungeons and Dragons with Barbara Octaviani. I guess it's all worth it for those few Mondays where we have time to play D&D.
Last week after p-day was "over" we went out to see one of our investigators. We got there just in time to help a guy get his car out of a ditch. Some crazies had run him off the road and the carriage of the car was stuck on top of a log and the wheels were turning in a mud ditch so he couldn't get anywhere. We were able to jack his car up so we could pull the log out and stick a piece of wood under the tire so he finally got out. The whole process took about 45 minutes. It was probably the most excitement we had had all day.
This week we picked up again an investigator that we had dropped back in my first week on the mission. He had had all of the lessons but he never kept any of his commitments. And he especially wasn't praying which is definitely the most important step in conversion because it allows you to receive answers and direction from our Heavenly Father. We had come to teach his wife since she is a less-active and she had some questions she wanted answered. He sat in and asked some questions which allowed Sister McCleery to ask the question/call him out on what the root cause of him not progressing was. He was afraid of receiving answers because then he was worried about being accountable for his knowledge through his obedience to that knowledge. Sister McCleery flat out told him that he already knew it was true but asked if he had simply not prayed to have a true confirmation through the Holy Ghost because he was afraid of messing up. He said yes. And we assured him that was why Heavenly Father gave us Christ and his Atonement. So we could repent. That no matter how many times we messed up, as long as we were truly repentant, he would always forgive us.
We find with a lot of people that they feel like they've run out of chances with our Heavenly Father. As if after our 10th 50th or 1000th mistake, he throws up his hands and goes "that's it! I'm not dealing with your issues anymore!" But that's not how Heavenly Father works. We're children. And just like children, we're learning to walk. That's what life on this earth is about. It's about learning to stand on our own. When a child is learning to walk, they fall. They fall over and over again. But we don't give up on them after they've fallen for the 10th, 50th, or 1000th time and tell them "that's it. You've run out of chances. You don't get to learn to walk." You help them get back up and take another step.
This Wednesday I went on another exchange to Baybrook which is the area right next to ours. Literally. The sisters live in the same apartment complex as us so we just packed up and walked our stuff fifty feet to the other apartment. Baybrook is a biking area. It was super fun but all of our plans fell through and we had an hour and a half where we just biked around looking for people to talk to. We were able to place only 5 pass-along cards in that whole hour and a half. Then we went to supper and home because my temporary companion was sick.
I must be destined to be companion to sick sisters because during last week's exchange I was with another sick sister.
I basically went on another exchange the very next day because sister McCleery had another Missionary Leader Conference and they told us to drive to Missouri City the night before and stay with those sisters. We took our bed bundles and rolled them out on the floor. I was actually quite comfortable and they said I looked as much as they were all getting up the next morning. So Hermana Whitmer and Sister McCleery went to MLC and Hermana Yungfleish and I worked in Missouri City. She had language study and that's when I decided that I'd start doing language study in my free time because I decided to join her for it and enjoyed it.
The Skype Call home yesterday was AWESOME! I wish I could've seen more of the family but it was great just seeing Mom, Dad, Colin, and Clio as they all spoke to me. Everyone talks about how homesick they get after calls home but I think I'm fine. I'm probably mostly just used to it since I've been at college for so long. Maybe it would've been different if I had seen Thomas and or Shannon since while at college I got used to seeing them almost everyday.
I love you all. And love hearing from you and hope to continue to read all of your awesome emails each week.