Sunday, September 11, 2016
An Interesting Labor Day
A day in the life of a missionary is never what you expect. Yesterday was definitely one of those days. The white handbook says that holidays are a great time to proselyte because families are together and home. HA! It's been my experience here in Houston South that families are together but GONE on holidays. So Sister Waite and I were a bit apprehensive about the day ahead (and a little bit sour about our p-day being shifted) but off to work we went. The first people we went to see was a family. The parents are teachers so we were sure they'd be home for a holiday break. They were but it was a very interesting visit. The first half of the visit was awesome; we just talked about our churches and what we loved about them. But something was said that made me decide to just share testimony, explain what our missionary purpose is, and go. But the dad reacted by explaining to me all the reasons why the church isn't true. At the end of it he and his wife basically said "we love you and that's why we let you come and teach because we're worried about your salvation" or, in translation, "we want to save you from mormonism." Yeah... it was fun. We told them we wouldn't really be coming back but they said please stop by whenever we're in the neighborhood. Definitely a lesson to write home about.
Then all of our other lessons fell through because, like I said, everybody leaves on holidays. So we went to our apartment and worked on Our Map. I think I explained it to you last week but our area is HUGE. We've decided to blow of the center of our area - Victoria and it's immediate outskirts - which is where a majority of our members live but is only about one tenth of our area (and that one tenth is the same size as my last area). We made it REALLY BIG. It's like 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide and we're starting to pin on the names of members where they live so we can divide the area into sections with approximately equal number of members and save miles by working in specific sections each day (since we only have 1250 miles a month which is only 150 more miles than I had in Friendswood you know the Friendswood that's 1/10 the size of the Victoria area). The map is coming along really well and it's helping me learn the ward better.
We had just come to a stopping point on the map and were about to have supper before heading back out to do some proselyting when we got a call from the Branch President of Port Lavaca. He said that a member from the branch was just about to head into surgery in the hospital just across the street from our apartment and that his wife was stressing out and really needed someone there. So we went right over. We got sent in circles for a little bit trying to find her but then found a member from our ward waiting for her in the waiting room. They had been with her for quite a while and had brought her some snacks since she hadn't eaten much that day; we were their reprieve (I later commented about this member family to Sister Waite. They're granddaughter was with them and you could tell she was tired of having been there for a while. But I said that she'll probably look back on this experience and many others and remember that her grandparents were the type to always do anything and everything they could for those in need within their immediate reach. I told Sister Waite that someday that's something I'd want my children and grandchildren to remember about me). After they left, we just sat with this sister and tried to keep her preoccupied. We asked about her family, where they grew up, what they did for fun, and how her husband and her met (it was a very cute story). Then her mother showed up and we chatted with her about her kids and grandkids and how much they loved their aunt (the sister who we were waiting with). Then the doctor came out and told us how the surgery went. It issue was far less serious than they thought it was and the surgery went far easier and better than expected. He'll make a full recovery. We were very grateful for the priesthood blessing he received just the other day. (Some people get angry when you attribute health successes like that to God but we're not degrading the work of the doctor. In fact, we are thankful for the doctor who dedicated many years of their life to studying medicine without whom the surgery could not have been performed but we're thankful to God for placing us in the correct hospital to be with the right doctor and to help the Doctor recall all that they need to in the time of most need and pressure.) We then gave the sister a hug and went to eat since it was now nearly 8 and we hadn't eaten since 10. And then went home and nightly planned.
So, it was a very interesting Labor Day.