My mouth hurts from smiling so much this week! haha! I don't know if that's a sign that I find myself smiling even when we're just walking and nobody is around. :)
I didn't get to listen to the Mission President Meeting on Sunday because we were driving back from Apache so we could get to Elgin on time to visit some members. I didn't know that all the missionaries are going over to the Marriott Center. That's a decently long walk. But hey, that would be so nice to get out of the MTC. I hear it's like a prison. Oh wait, I was just there and sometimes I felt like I was in prison!!! Haha I LOVED it there and wouldn't trade that experience for anything!
Your story about the "spiritual glasses" is so true. I've learned that we need to look with an eternal view on life instead of getting bugged about the little things in our lives. Another thing is that in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, the Nephites would bring a small portion of their armies to "draw" the Lamanites out of their strongholds. Then while the whole Lamanite Army would be chasing after this small army the rest of the Nephites would take over the Lamanites strongholds. Basically - don't chase after the little things. Don't ever leave your "stronghold" - because that's when the devil will take over!
In church yesterday, Brother Harrison gave a talk about why we need to come to church. He compared it to a football game. This had my attention! While the huddle is sometimes overlooked in football games - it's VERY important. That's why we need to pause for a second, regroup, and go out and try to execute the next play. So church is the huddle that we need each week to where we gather, regroup, and slow down for a second before we go back into life (the game). I thought that was awesome. Church really does help! Thank you for forcing me to go to church - I realize how important is it now! :)
I was excited to hear about Zack's mission call. He's going to be a solid missionary in Mexico. It's amazing to me how fast time really does go by - I've been out 4 months aleady. In no time, I'm going to be sitting by the pool with you drinking a Coke! I couldn't believe it when I woke up this morning and realized it was MONDAY again! haha
This has been an amzing week. We tried our best to work as hard as possible but I have to start out with some bad news. Cindy is getting knee surgery on Tuesday so her baptism will have to be pushed back a week since her knee can't get wet. Something cool about her is that she already wants people to hear about the gospel. We've given her a bunch of Books of Mormon so she can write her testimony in them and give them to people. It's pretty cool and I'm excited for her.
In other bad news, President Taylor leaves this week. I'm sad to see him go - but I guess I might have the record since I will probably have 4 different mission presidents . . .
Monday: We had Zone P-day in Lawton. One of the Zone Leaders - Elder George knows Megan Smith! They wen't to college together and he's an awesome guy - I think he's coming to Darko this week. At the training we talked about miracles and our foundation. We learned that some missionaries get worn out, comfortable and lazy with missionary work so we talked about what we can do to keep the fire burning.
Tuesday: We dug a grave. A lady in ward's dog died. His name was Spartacus, 18 years old and 175 pounds. She was just so sad.
We had a bunch of appointments drop so we spent a lot of the day walking around waiting for an appointment later that we had. But when we were on our way over there, they texted and said they couldn't meet. So we decided to go over and check on Jim and Jens. On the way we came across this group of people - 6 or 7 of them that all had a beer and cigarette in hand. There was this one guy who was so drunk that he was cross-eyed. His name is Frank and he wanted us to say like 50 prayers with him. I got to talking to another guy named Randall about the Book of Mormon and he grabbed my shoulder and told me that I needed to say a prayer for him. So I stood up, took his arm and walked him over to a chair so he wouldn't fall over. He began to tell me how he just hadn't felt right since he denied saying a prayer with us (which happened about 2 weeks ago) and wanted to say that prayer with us now. So we said a prayer with them and then Randall asked me about our beliefs. I don't know what it is, but everyone that wants to bash us or question our beliefs always wants to talk to me. No joke, it's happened like 6 times this week!
As we were leaving, I shook everyone's hand and when I shook Frank's hand, he told me to pray for him and then he pulled me into this like hug thing. He had my hand in his right hand and his left hand was on my head - so I put my hand on the back of his head and said a little prayer for him. I gave him a picture so that we would remember that we stopped by. Just another day in Dodge . . .
Wednesday: We had Christmas! The mission came and gave us some new furniture! E Tripp got a completely new bed so I took his old box springs and mattress and stacked them up with mine so now I havea SUPER BED! haha I literally have to jump just to get on top of it, but it's alright!
We drove up to Elgin to find some work for the Sisters who are coming at the end of the transfer. While we were walking this guy rolled up in this super sick black car from the 50's. He's the husband of a member so we kicked it at their place for a minute and he showed us his cars.
Thursday: We did our weekly planning, visited a member that just moved in, and visited Cindy. She is doing amazing and has some friends that she would like to introduce us to!
Friday: We did exchanges. So E Hoopes from Chickasha came to Darko with Nelson and me. We talked to a guy named Allen for about an hour and tried to help him come back to church. We had a member come with us for about 4 hours and we met a bunch of people. We even taught a lesson to a lady who was sitting in her truck.
We have another new investigator named Chawntae who has met the missionaries before but says that she is now ready to hear the word. She's awesome. We also got dropped by Mona. But we're not gving up yet - she found out that her mom passed away this week so we're going to go back and teach her the Plan of Salvation.
We ended up at another house where I shared 3 Nephi 20:21 (I think) where it talks about Christ setting an example for us that we need to follow. I compared it to being a parent and told her and all of her friends very bluntly that if you want your kids to have a better life and not get mixed up in worldly things (drinking/drugs etc) then they need to step it up and set a better example for them. If your kids see you drinking and doing other things that aren't good then how can you expect your children to think it's not okay!??!?!?! I walked away a little frustrated.
Saturday: We had two funerals. The first one was for a lady who had downs syndrome and aparently loved Elvis. So tis Elvis impersonator came and sang at her funeral. Nothing kills the spirit like Elvis. :) Brother Sullivan gave this amazing talk and then Elvis sang the closing son and yup . . . no comment.
We then drove up to Fort Cobb with Sister Wright to get her a new fridge. We moved it in and then went back to another funeral. Debra Cocker was there! (Uncle Charles' sister-in-law)
That night we met up with a full family of investigators. We are helping them see Christ in their lives. They are truly amazing and I can feel a lot of potential in them!
Sunday: We did a lot of driving and had a lesson with Cindy and 2 of her friends. We taught them about the Restoration and it was strangely powerful to see how strong Cindy's testimony is of the gospel simply because of how much happiness it's brought her.
We also went to one of our investigator's homes and had to cast out evil spirits. They have been seeing a lot of cracy things happen so we got that taken care of. The feeling of the evil spirts leaving was remarkable!
I'm sorry, I've gotta run but don't worry about me. I'm safe, having fun, and I really love this work! I'm going to be super sad to leave Darko :( I've had some amazing experience and built some good relationships here. But I guess all I can do it enjoy the time I have here until I'm called to go to Argentina.
Have an awesome week. Keep the Faith and remember that no matter where I am that I love you!
P.S. - Thank you always teaching me manners. It's a lot easier to learn when you're young! :)