Yesterday was branch conference. We had a fantastic turnout, including a lot of people that came from the stake. I got to see some old friends from the Jonesboro Ward, which was nice. We had many investigators come to church and all the lessons were good. There was a big potluck after church and everyone had a good time. Just a good Sunday.
Can I take a holiday? A serious, stay-in-bed-and-relax holiday? Because my body muscles are all sorts of "in pain" from the service we've given in past few days. And my mind has been all sorts of "grossed out" from said service.
The first project we aided in was helping a sister in the branch move. She's older with two grandchildren living with her. She was moving from a 2-room house to a second-story apartment. Most of what needed moving was a whole bunch of heavy furniture. You remember those stereo system that were basically a large table with a speaker built into each end, and then a record player hidden in the middle? Imagine someone my size carrying that up two flights of stairs. It happened. That, along with dressers and armoires and other things that caused blisters, sweat and aching.
We worked from 7am to 12pm, and Elder Mayberry and I were the only ones doing it.
Ah! MIGHT I ADD that everything in the home was covered in COCKROACHES!? Whenever we picked a table up or moved a couch, a flurry of cockroaches spread from that point. I found a Bible on the ground and even checked it to make sure nothing was in it, and when I got it open, 5 cockroaches plopped all over my lap. The skin-crawling experience, combined with the heavy lifting, WAS NOT FUN.
The following morning (Saturday), our branch had what we called an "Awful Waffle" get-together. All the waffles you want along with any topping imaginable. It was delicious. We had games afterward, along with more service to clean up the outside of the church. We had many investigators show up, and I became a croquet champion. It was a fun morning.
That EVENING, however, we had to put up metal fencing around a poison ivy patch so that goats could come in and eat the itchy infestation. I didn't get any rashes from the ivy, thankfully, but I'm pretty sure dozens of chiggers had a hay-day on my legs.
So in short... I'm tired. But when you're the only young people in an area where older people need to take care of their homes, you're in high demand.
Ray is warming back up to us. He's been coming to family night and talks to us again, despite his concerns over his son. He's living day to day on a prayer.
Please pray for Brianna. There's been a misunderstanding in the family, and she is looking for housing right now in Paragould, just east of Pocahontas. She just needs a lot of prayers right now...
It's hard to see so many hard things happening to the people here in Pocahontas. And as missionary, it all seems to funnel our way. People want us to solve their problems, but we simply can't. One family we're teaching is getting off their government support because of a recent court trial, and now they're asking us to take care of them, basically. We help how we can, but there are things (like paying gas bills) that simply cannot be done. It's overwhelming...
We'll see how this next week plays out. So many people's lives are teetering on the edge of a cliff, it seems. We're doing what we can to have them tied to Christ's sturdy foundation. Prayers at this time would be appreciated. I love y'all, and hope you can be examples to those around you wherever you are.