...as a missionary!
I'm almost 3 weeks in the field now; crazy, huh?
I don't have a ton of time, but I'll write as much as possible! . . . so on to life in the week of your missionary!
This week has been good. I feel like I'm getting more into the hang of things as a missionary! I've realized that part of that is just getting over my "need" to be normal. Like it or not, missionaries just AREN'T normal. Normalcy is taken away from you the moment you put on the tag, if not sooner. Things like wearing a skirt and nylons every day, knocking on random people's doors and asking if you can teach them about Jesus, riding a bike in a skirt and book bag, and (my favorite) standing in the middle of a public parking lot to back your companion out of her parking space, these things just aren't "normal"! However, now that I've realized that I'm not going to be "normal" for the next 15 1/2 months of my life, I'm at least coming to terms with it :) I still don't love tracting, but I don't loathe it quite like I did that first week; I really don't mind wearing a skirt everyday too bad, though I do sometimes miss jeans; I actually rather enjoy riding a bike, even in a skirt; and as for the backing thing, well, I'm at least grateful that we have a car!!!
We're toward the end of our miles, so we've been biking a little this last week. I really do enjoy it! It's hot, yes, but you at least get a nice breeze, and it tends to be a nice, somewhat solitary time to think. I like it way more than I expected. I makes me feel like a real missionary. My companion isn't such a fan (she tends to be a bit trepidatious on a bike), but she's getting better about it.
We had Zone conference this last week, which was really great! My comp and I sang "Consider the Lillies," and it was really nice! My companion graduated in vocal performance from BYU-Hawaii just before her mission, and she's really good. Our voices blend really nicely, and we love singing together! We've sung for quite a few people at their doors, which I really enjoy.
And now for my picture-perfect "making memories" mission moment (that's alliteration...) this week! Mom, prepare to be thoroughly grossed out. We went to dinner at a member's apartment earlier this week. They're very humble people, in very humble circumstances; slightly odd, but really nice. Picture, if you will, your daughter, sitting next to her companion, eating hot dogs and potato chips on a couch in a tiny, very crowded (with 20 years worth of stuff), and (here you go, Mom) roach-infested apartment. Yep, roach-infested. They were everywhere. They weren't big "Palmetto bug" roaches; they were the little and medium sized ones, but they were all over. I tried really hard just to focus on the people we were with, and not look around the room because I about died every time I did. Uuuuuuuh, it just makes me shudder thinking about it, but I did it.
We have a baptism coming up in two weeks!!! I'm so excited! He's a young man (~21) named Freddy, and he's getting baptized on the 9th of August! I'm really excited because except for his very first lesson, I've been there to teach him all the way. He's really, really great, and I'm sure excited!
We're also teaching a family that I'm really excited about! We met their son, Joshua when we were out delivering a Bible to a media referral about two weeks ago. After we introduced ourselves ("Hi, I'm Sister Wilson; Hi, I'm Sister Foutz"), he looked at us and said, "Hi, I'm Brother Joshua!" He's great! He's 16, has a younger brother, Angel, who's 8, and his parents. He also has two older brothers, but the oldest is married and lives somewhere else, and the other is actually in Juvenile detention right now. They're catholic, but Joshua doesn't really buy it, and has LOTS of questions that his priests and teachers could never answer, but the gospel does! After our first visit with them, he told us that he'd learned more that night than he had in his 2 years of confirmation in his church! His mom is a really sweet lady, and seems very interested, and his dad we just met at the end of our last visit. The dad is a little more skeptical, but seems really open. We left them "The Restoration" DVD, and will be visiting them again on Thursday this week. They're a great family, and I'm really excited about teaching them! Oh, and Angel is kind of a little ganster (there's lots of them around here). It was so funny last week3! After I told them about the first vision, I asked Angel "So Angel, what happened?!" He had been holding the picture as I spoke, and he turned it around to look at it and said (throwing his hands around like a gangster) "Well, I'm not really sure, but it looks like this dude (Joseph Smith) is talkin' or prayin' or something, and this one's (Heavenly Father) talkin' to him, but I don't really know what this dude's (Jesus) doin'. Yeah, I, I don't really know." It was SO funny!
We also went this week and contacted a former investigator in our area. Her name is Melissa, and she's 18. Also amazing. She really felt the Spirit as we visited her, and she's excited to start meeting with missionaries again. She said that they really made a big impact on her life before when they were teaching her, and at one point in our talking with her (especially relating the 1st vision to her and telling her that she's a daughter of God, and the He really does know and love her perfectly) said, "Wow, I just don't know how to say what I feel right now." It was such a good experience. Her parents are very devout Catholics though, and wouldn't let her go to church before, which is probably why the missionaries had to drop her. We're hoping and praying for a miracle that she can come to church and really progress. We sang "Grand Eres Tu" ("How Great Thou Art") for her and her parents before we left, which was a great experience. I think her parents really felt the Spirit too.
So yeah, I'm doing really well. This is definitely still the hardest thing I've ever done, but it really is worth it!
I hope you're all doing well - I love and pray for you every day!
I love being a missionary!!!
Hermana Sallie :)
ps My comp and I stopped into a Heath Food store today (we were waiting for our car at Pep Boys...1 - 1 1/2 hours actually turned out to be 3...), and it smelled like childhood to me. I also heard some James Taylor song in the grocery store (something about Philadelphia and the Mason-Dixon Line), which reminded me of home and family reunions and such. It was a happy memory :)