Dear Everyone -
This week has been a long and pretty slow week. We keep trying to see people for first or second appointments, and they always seem to be gone. There's lots of drama going on... And I'm in the middle of all of it. The white handbook it says I can't counsel people. Drama drama...
I gotta maintain a love for the people, and just keep inviting them back.
Positives, positives... Oh! Ok, so I don't know if I have introduced them yet, but there are 2 people here that are extremely important in my experiences here in Collierville. There's Holly. She's in her mid-30s. She joined the church in early spring, and she was a middle school English teacher until last school year. Now she's sitting around. BUT she loves to see us missionaries. Her personality reminds me of everyone in my D&D group shoved into one (Yeah, shout out to you guys! Hope the campaign is still going well without your air pirate!), so I get along with her very well. It's never a dull moment with her.
The other person is Zach. He was baptized on October 12, and we've been keeping close with him for a long time. When I say we, I mean the missionaries. I've only been here 2 weeks, so what do I know? Zach is all sorts of amazing. He's 18. Even though double-step isn't my thing, the passion he has for listening to his music in his stereo-laden car is contagious. He has a strong testimony and has life experiences to back it up. Good kid, lots of fun to be around, and I'll have to get a picture with these people at some point within the next week.
So, back to my positive story.
Zach was out with me, Elder Fry and Brother Pennington (you'll hear about him a lot, too. He's the Second Ward's mission leader, and he takes us down to Mississippi every Thursday. He's also the most fun person to be around). We went out to give someone a blessing, and came back to Baskin Robins for shakes. After that, we were cruising down the street when Zach said. "I've never been to Goodwill, would it be ok to stop there?" Goodwill is the non-Mormon equivilant of Deseret Industries.
Anyway, we popped in there, and Zach found a pair of spankin' new Polo shoes. As we were walking through the aisles, an employee commented from the side, "So what does 'Elder' mean?" Meet Vernita. She is very Biblically knowledgable. We taught her a couple things in the few minutes we had about some specific doctrines within the church about families and such, and she believed every word. Her husband was in the hospital all of September and has been sitting in bed ever since. She's a little out of our area, but we're hoping we can have the opportunity to teach her. She's a golden person. We left Goodwill, and commended Zach on having the impression to go there in the first place.
The thing about Zach is, whenever he comes out with us, we always have an amazing experience. He had a friend that died recently after fighting cancer for 7 years. His testimony and story has touched every person he's talked about it with. The people we were teaching definitely needed the message at the time, too. He's been a great asset and blessing in our teaching.
Unfortunately, little teaching has been going on in the first place. We're usually visiting less-active or inactive people. And even then, they're really stubborn and don't think they can come back to church after what they've done. There are also some people from part-member families that know everything; they just refuse to be baptized until they feel they're "ready". If you're a returned missionary, you just rolled your eyes at that whole paragraph. It's very frustrating.
This is only Week 2. I just gotta keep working at it. My Southern is getting better (or worse...however you look at it), but it mostly shines around other Southerners. One of those adapting things I do or whatever. Thanks for all the emails, and thanks for thinking of me. Elder Staib is still out here, working how he can, when he can.