October 27, 2014 letter
Well this week was probably the absolute BEST week of my life :D We were blessed to get 7 new investigators this week from a variety of sources, most of which were referrals from members or other missionaries. My favorite person is this guy named Charles. He also goes by Chuck, Papa, "or anything young too." He's a 57 year old black southern baptist, ex Army ranger, and ex drill sergeant. He's about 6'0 and is pretty stocky and has a cowboy mustache that goes all the way down his jaw like a handlebar mustache hahaha. It was easy to tell that he used to be a drill sergeant because when we first knocked on his door his dogs went crazy and then he went crazy too screaming at them to "SHUUUUUUDUP!" He was eating a Popsicle and before even introducing himself to us he said, "I'm going to feed my dogs Popsicles so their brains freeze and they die." Later in our conversation with him he said that he wishes he could go back in time and slap Jesus Christ's apostles who fell asleep while Christ was praying in Gethsemane. I am SO determined to get this man baptized it's not even funny. The church needs this guy. He's great :)
I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with one of the District Leaders in our zone this week. I learned a lot from him... A lot of things NOT to do! I normally wouldn't write about something like this but it's so funny I have to share. When people ask him where he's from he says, "I'm from heaven." Usually they would laugh and say, "that's cute, but really, where are you from?" Then he would say again, "I'm from heaven." Then it would just get super awkward. Anyways, he did this at our dinner appointment and it totally ruined member trust with this family. There were some guests there eating with us who were cousins of the family and one of the ladies asked me how long I've been out on my mission. Immediately, this Elder aggressively rebuked her saying, "Don't ask him a question like that. You should ask him about something that is important to missionary work like who his investigators are so you can pray for them by name". If it wasn't awkward before, it was awkward then. The lady did as she was told and asked me who my investigators were. I told her we were working with some super cool people but then answered her first question about how long I've been out and then I changed the topic. Also Elder Jolley and I spent most of our food money this month on matching ties so food has been a little scarce. For lunch, this Elder ate 4 bowls of cereal and 2 burritos which pretty much wiped out our milk and cereal supply. I can just say I was glad to get Elder Jolley back the next day! He was so mad that the milk was gone because he is a dairy farmer from Vermont and likes his milk :)
This weekend we have two baptism, Jen and her 8 year old son jonathan. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. Jen is such a good lady and she has gone through so much in her life. 3 weeks ago she quit smoking after being addicted to it for the last 30 years. She has no desire to smoke and is so excited for her baptism. The ward loves them and they love the ward!
I have a testimony that this work is true!!!! It is God's work!
Love Elder Janis