Pardon the labor day delay, but hopefully all is well. I'll do this email by way of day by day updating:
Monday: We got permission to go to the carnival with a less active member who didn't want to go alone. It was awesome. But super weird to be in that kind of environment. It's disorienting as a missionary, hahah.
Tuesday: We taught a lesson with an atheist and her newly-christian brother. She has already asked us not to visit with her, but he requested that we return and answer some questions. The questions he has are all deep doctrine, super deep doctrine, but at the end of the lesson, he told his sister she should pray. She refused because she didn't believe she was talking to anyone, and so he prayed for her to the universe. And it was probably one of the most powerful prayers I've ever heard. He prayed somewhat satirically, in her honor, trying not to address God while still directly conversing with him, thanking Him for the science that has made the creation of the world possible, and all the elements that combine to give us this life. It was amazing. And then her couldn't help but close "In the mighty name of Christ who saves us". It was powerful. Because it indicated to me that God listens to us, that the spirit can be felt no matter what your beliefs are, the Lord will confirm when we are trying to learn of his nature.
Wednesday was a whirlwind. We drove into the city for trainer's meeting and President Walkenhorst BLEW MY MIND as he slowly answered every prayer I've been offering for weeks. How to be a better missionary, how to love the people we serve, how to be patient, how to find joy in the work. He offered so many suggestions, so much insight, so many words of encouragement. It pumped me up and made me excited to have the opportunity to help another missionary feel the joys of missionary work! So to answer everyones' questions, YES I'm nervous, but I'm excited and eager to be given an opportunity to help somebody, and to improve as a missionary.
Thursday was a long day. We taught four million people. I remembered the significance and relevance to my life that Mosiah 5:2 has had. And how it applies to me even still as a missionary. I am a different person, with a different level of tolerance, with different desires, with a different heart. But the same quirky, weird personality. So that's what happened on Thursday. And I got into the shower with my glasses on.
Fridays are usually pretty similar to one another, Studies, District Meeting, Service, Dinner, but in the evening we got to watch Saturday's Warrior at a ward party. It was ridiculous(ly awesome). And so 80's. I'm shocked I've never seen it before. This morning in my studies, I was studying pre-earth life and I learned how inaccurate it is. But it doesn't discredit its awesomeness. I'll stop saying awesome now. Oh, and an investigator texted us, he thinks our companionship phone is just my phone for some reason, and asked me if I'd like to go to dinner and a movie. Which has actually been a huge problem for us this transfer... We keep finding Hispanic men to teach that are our age, and they have a hard time recognizing our purpose so they offer us beer and then we quickly take off. Language barrier problems... We've starting just stating, "Tiene interest en aprendiendo mas de Jesucristo, o no?" "Are you interested in learning more about Jesus Christ or not?"... Woah... It sounds way more harsh in English.
Saturday. Okay. So Saturday. Have you heard of the movie "The Purge"? This movie is apparently Satan at its finest. If you don't know what it is, look it up. August 30 was the day set aside for the "Oklahoma Purge" so because of this movie, our mission president would not let us go out and do work in the evening, which had us panicked that there would be havoc wrought in Enid, OK, but we accomplished plenty in the day. We were able to set dates for baptism with three guys who are so sincere! Jesus Jr., Hugo, and Mauricio. We've taught them several lessons sitting on chairs shaped like footballs in their garage and every time the spirit is intense. I'm so grateful for their faith and preparedness. We taught them the Doctrine of Christ and they felt confident that it was true. The Spanish elders has a baptism on Saturday of a man named Jesus who basically walked up to them and said, "I know your church is true and I want to be baptized." And he hasn't missed a week of church since. He is the first Spanish baptism in this area since October! It was very cool to see. Hugo, Mauricio, and Jesus Jr. all came to the baptism and it was so wonderful to see them there!
On Sunday there was a re-occurring theme at church that when we put in any effort, no matter how small, we are blessed. Our Heavenly Father will give us grand results even when we use the smallest degree of our faith to act. I am a firm believer that obedience to the commandments is the only way we will ever reach our full potential. Sometimes we think, "why is my life so hard?" and it's almost always because there's more we could be doing to strengthen our relationship with God... Because when it comes down to it, that is the only reason we are here at all. To prove to our Heavenly Father that we trust him that He can make us happy.
It's been a busy week, lots of preparing for next week and trying to make sure everything is in order for the new missionary, but I'm excited to meet her! I love you all and I hope you had a great day off for Labor Day! The church is true! Keep the commandments and see blessings!
-I don't think I like cats... because this is constantly my body language when they crawl on me...