this week.. hahaha this week... you mean this month?! hahaha so its kind of funny a mission + time. it makes absolutely no sense. the days we were on the bikes this week seemed to be a lot longer than the days we had the car! man do i appreciate the car. not because im a giant fatty... but literally i have been getting eaten alive with mosquito's... like words cannot describe how awful my legs look. & there seems to be a different breed of them & the bites swell up to be about quarter sized. yikes. i look awful (thank heavens skirts are long as a sista!)
i'll start off with a funny story. so me & sister stewart decided to do our best to talk to EVERYONE we see on the streets to help gain our potential investigators pool. lolololol. but it kept being like awkward situations... like someone running with headphones in (who wants to stop them!?) then the people were on the other side (we look stalkerish enough as it is!) then finally, finally we see this man. his beard was kind of like an amish beard. & he was holding a umbrella but from far away i thought it was a gun. sister stewart was like "we'll go talk to him!" and i was like... "i think he has a gun, maybe this isn't a good idea!" hahaha anyways she said "hello, how are you today?" and in a very--- rude? tone he said "im fine, better question for you ladies... HOW ARE YOUR SOULS?!" hahaha--- "fine thanks!" *rides quickly off* im guessing he's religious & thinks we have no souls.. since ya know... mormons dont! just kidding-- i have a soul.
people say some of the funniest things to us. like no joke the south is mean in the kindest way. i dont think anyone would ever slam the door in our faces, but they would say "bless your kind little heart, your going to hell" hahaha. its fun though & i dont feel like im all that sensitive anymore? cool!
so cool story of the week! so before i came to good ol' oak ridge... sister stewart & her former companion met this guy named "donny"... well donny had said that he had met with missionaries before & said yes to them coming & teaching him. well since then me & sister stewart have called & texted him a few times to see when we could set up a time to teach. we played lots of phone tag and appointments kept falling through with him. but i kept thinking "wow this is so cool he returns our calls & keeps putting forth so much effort to see us." because honestly, no one really seems to be that interested at first. but FINALLY we show up to his door, scheduled appointments & all. but we had no member team ups so we could not go inside his home (& i thought, oh no! he is going to use this as an excuse to not listen!) but instead he said lets go down to burger king & have a lesson there! cool?! so we went & once we started teaching him he told us he was actually baptized in 1996, had been in the military, and lost contact with the church. he said he knows he should have come back to the church sooner, but things kept getting in the way. he was married to a full blown southern baptist & said she didn't agree with the "mormons" so he used that as an excuse not to go, but now they are divorced. he said he felt in 1998 that he should go back, didn't. he met with the missionaries in 2001, but then was put back into the military... and FINALLY he met with us. he is just the cutest thing-- he was like "is it normal for mormons to fall away from the church sometimes, am i the only one?" all concerned that he was this awful person! hahaha. but he really has a strong desire to come back & go through the temple finally. AND he attended all 3 hours of church this sunday. which by the way was so exciting! & we are re-giving the missionary lessons to him, because he wants them again! i realized at the moment he told us he was a member that for me "it wasn't all about numbers" because i was so excited that he had come this far & was finally ready. but to me--- donny counts as a baptism just for the solid reason that he is coming back after so many years!
I apologize that my email will be freakishly long-- i have a hour & half to email & so much to tell!
so--- we had a way creepy experience this week (actually 2).. so i think it was tuesday? but we were on bikes & every single appointment fell through, & we couldn't reach anyone... so we decided to tract... which is last resort in our mission--- our mission president says that he really doesn't want us to "schedule" tracting because there are better ways of finding people. but since we had nothing else to turn to-- we decided to start knocking on doors. well we met one nice lady that agreed to let us come back, and a few not-so-nice-nice people & went on our way. then we were walking (& this part of town isn't the nicest btw) and we saw this woman outside her house and we started walking up this driveway to talk to her... but the house that was next to her shared a driveway with her & there were these men there. & they all stood up and started walking towards us. nothing big right?! well-- we kept walking and one of the guys was smoking (what looked to me like a blunt- not so much a cig) and was just staring at us up & down in the creepiest way ever. then this guy who was obviously under the influence of something starts running towards us yelling "MORMONITES, JEHOVAH WITNESS, MORMON WOMEN!" yikes?! i got this sick feeling. but all these men were getting closer & closer just way bad vibes ya know? & me being silly me was like "maybe i'll give them a pass along card!" hahaha but sister stewart grabbed my arm & pulled me back a little... then she was like "we are just looking for the alisons, do you know where they live?" and they were getting closer.. so we started backing up slowly & finally these little girls came up & said "we are the alisons!" so we rushed to there house... but the guys watched us until we left the street! gahhh. sister stewart said she had never felt a stronger impression to "get out of there!" in her entire mission. but-- a blessing came out of it all. today we get to go teach the alisons. haha!
so quick other creepy story! we were teaching these friends: (jessica & steven are together, and alison & mikey were together-- romantically) well... they are drama drama drama. anyways one day we had a lesson with them & they said it wasn't a good time & stevens fist was bleeding so we just said a quick prayer with them and left. well we haven't been able to get in contact with them since then. but we are teaching--- stevens dad who's name is steve (weird)... anyways we talked to steve about it and i guess jessica & mikey were having an affiar while the other two were at work.. and turns out mikey was on the run from alabama because he is a registered sex offender! gross--- you know how many times he tried to convince us to come into his appartment when he was home alone?! thank goodness for mission rules! anyways mikey is gone & so is alison. which is sad because they were supposed to go to church this week! i really thought alison would be baptized soon! oh well.
but a mission is hard- and there doesn't go a day where i dont think both of these things "what the heck am i doing here?" and "this is exactly why i am here!"... i hope if any almost missionaries read my emails they understand just how truly hard a mission is going to be--- but i hope they also understand how rewarding it can be-- if you let it!
we still have tim planned for a baptism on july 19th but that will mean he has to attend the next two weeks of church. im not entirely sure he understands the depth of this message & that we are a lifetime type church--- he preaches sometimes at another church---?
BTW! i get on usually tues or wed to use my mormon.org time---> and i am allowed to check my email during that time, just not allowed to respond. so if you (jess, gpa & joshy-- or whoever else) is too lazy to send me mail mail... you can write me a letter via email & that will suffice (:
also-- in July we are probs getting IPADS. which means i will probs become a FB missionary. but i wont use my old account because i dont want to ruin it & i will be able to friend y'all. cool?! hopefully.
idk if you have been paying attention to oakridge weather--- but it storms a lot here! i love it. one day it rained so hard that i literally looked like i had got in the shower with my clothes on. quite the experience though!
well--- i hope all is well with everyone at home & that everyone misses me ;) love you!
ps--- this friday = one month down... (yes, i still love my countdowns)
^cheesy pic-- but they roads in oakridge are so cool. they are all in alphabetical order & are names of states & colleges.
^maxine wanted us to plant this plant for her--- and he started pouring-- the pic does not even do it justice
^ i felt like i had just gotten out of the shower!