It's been a great week full of miracles!! We have an investigator and her son who we put on date last week in our members home but later this week after she had gone a day without smoking she texted us wanting to call the whole thing off. She said she felt like everything was moving way too fast and needed to slow down. She promised she would come to church but didn't want us to come over until after. Let me tell you, that was very frustrating!!!! We gave her the space she asked for and prayed and prayed and prayed! finally came and by the time sacrament meeting started she still wasn't there! Then we got a text from her saying that she had parked in the parking lot and as she watched people walking in she felt totally inadequate and unworthy to go in so she left. She said that she felt like she was trying to be someone that she wasn't. By the way, this was her 5th full day without a cigarette! I asked her if we could come by later to talk to her and she said that was ok.
We knew that she was having an extra hard time because of the withdrawals from the cigarettes so we brought a member with us that has professional experience helping people quit. That helped a lot!! We were able to have an open and honest conversation about how she was feeling and then bear powerful testimony of aspects of the gospel to help her resolve her concerns of feeling unworthy. We read part of President Monson's talk from the Preisthood session this last conference about the German warship called the Bismark which was deemed indestructible. What eventually destroyed the Bismark was a torpedo that damaged the rudder. Now it had no way to choose which way to steer. We explained that she was like the Bismark and self doubt was jamming her rudder and keeping her from improving her life. She felt so much better and is refocused and committed to working towards her and her sons baptism!
Funny story: While street contacting in the ghetto yesterday, we talked to an african american teenager and what looked to be his 8 year old little brother. We asked them if they had gone to church that day. The little boy said, "I've got my own church. I'm a Hebrew Israelite!" Elder Jolley asked him if he even knew what that meant because we were a little confused. He said, "I'm a Hebrew Israelite! Of course I know what that means!" Before we left we gave them a pass along card with a picture of Jesus coming out of the tomb. He took a look at it and said, "This aint my Jesus! My jesus is black and has dread locks!"
People always ask us, "What's the craziest thing you've eaten on your mission?" Up until this week all I could really say was maybe Little Caesar's.. Well we had dinner with a Spanish family in our ward and they had made us..... Menudo!!!! :D Immediately I thought back to Damon's first experience with Menudo on his mission and he wrote "I can stomach Menudo!" because menudo is cow stomach cut into chunks and boiled in a pot of some spanish word I can't pronounce. It was awful.. I can't say I can stomach Menudo. So how did I get out of that dinner without offending the family?? I'll tell you :D They gave us tortillas to dip in the menudo and so I asked if people ever put the cow stomach on the tortillas and ate it that way. They said yes and encouraged me to try it. I loaded all that menudo on that tortilla!! I took a bite and then drank some of my Hawaiian punch to help it go down. Pleased that I was eating, they turned their attention back to my companion who wasn't chewing at all, he was just putting the menudo in his mouth and swallowing it down with his Hawaiian punch! While they were distracted I slipped my menudo taco into my sock! I do feel a little bad and I'm very embarrassed to be writing about it.. One day Menudo and I will face each other again and I will conquer.. But I have lived to fight another day.
My challenge wasn't over that night though because for an extra treat the family brought out.......... Cow foot!!!! Whoo hooo!! Basically it's the ankle of the cow and it's been prepared in a way that the meat and cartalige all look the same and it's really slimy and you kind of have to slurp it to eat it. It's basically the consistency of phlegm. Alakhsdsg;alkhsdg;l.... I shudder when I think about it. I was able to eat that better than Menudo though. Plus the cow foot was bigger than the menudo tortilla and I didn't think I'd be able to hide the cow foot in my other sock and get away with it :) I hope you don't think any less of me from being so weak!
Well, I'm still alive and ready for another week! I love you all!
Love Elder Janis