The computers at the library are shut down (again) so we had to wait to email until today, so we're trying to do that quick! I feel like everything I was going to tell you is so "last week" since it's already Tuesday and it seems like so much has already happened. And I don't have my journal so I can't remember a ton...but here goes!
So last week started out the same way it had been finishing, not very good. I know we're not supposed to bash and argue with people, but I was so frustrated one day of people yelling at me and telling me all this horrible stuff about our religion and us and I was not just going to take it. Elder Holland said to defend our faith--defend it with kindness and courtesy, but defend it. So I did. Sort of. :) Anyway, as this guy last week was just bashing on every belief I hold dear to my heart, the thought came to me of just how easy it would be to go home-to give up and not live this lifestyle. And I'm talking about the lifestyle of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not just a missionary. The gospel requires work. It requires a lot of effort each and every day. But back to my point, it would be so easy to give up IF I didn't know just how worth it this work really is. If I didn't know how worth it it was, and know that what I do DOES matter, then yeah. Missions wouldn't even be worth it. BUT! I do know how worth it it is. I know this all changes lives for the better, and our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us helping as many of our brothers and sisters as we can. They need us. They need our testimonies. So to the latest guy that chewed us out, I still love him. I hope he will soften his heart one day and allow missionaries to share the wonderful, happiest message ever of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that he too can experience true and lasting joy. Right now is not the time for him, but maybe one day. It did kind of make me laugh when he said he'd pray for us to find the truth. (He's a Baptist Pastor, by the way). A lot of people offer to pray for us, that we'll find the "truth" they know one day. We just say thank you and we pray for them as well :)
Things have been getting better though, we are finding a lot of people that we can potentially teach, but none that are really solid and wanting to learn yet. I hope we find those people soon, I know they are waiting. We are teaching an awesome lady named Laura. Her husband is a less active member and she is a very strong Baptist and wants her kids/family in church, but her husband said he will only go to the LDS Church. Which is good because he is in the military and it was a member in North Carolina who really offended him saying that "how dare he be in the military and kill people and then even think of coming to church" and other horrible stuff like that. What?!?!? He's fighting for our freedom!!! So he hasn't been back since but he still told his wife that this is the only church he will go to. He wasn't able to come to church, but Laura was able to make it with her kids! Hopefully she enjoyed it, I mean, Sister Jeppson and I spoke in Sacrament meeting so how could anyone not? Haha, just kidding. But they actually were really good talks! :) But anyway, we're seeing her again and we're super excited! Her mom just passed away about a month ago and we're teaching the Plan of Salvation so it should be really good. The Plan of Salvation is so amazing I love teaching it. I love teaching all of the lessons because they all are such a blessing! We've been taught that you never really need to adjust what you plan to teach, but that you can always adjust howyou teach something in order to apply it to the investigator personally and show them that the gospel truly is for them. It's for everybody. I love that about the gospel, no matter what you are going through, the gospel can and does help. It's so awesome!
That's all that I really remember that's worth sharing, but I have lots of pictures for y'all! I'll send them all on separate emails so prepare yourself. I'll see if I can get some of the videos from Sister Jeppson as well. Lots to share!
I hope you all have a fabulous week this week! Make it count! Share the gospel, people can see your light, let them know what it really is! "Don't shine so that others see you, shine so that through you, others might see Him." I know I've shared that quote before, but it's a good one! Totally true. I love you guys!!!
Also this week, it was super cool because I was able to help someone here help his brother who lives in Albany! I remembered the elders number who are serving in Albany and they got in touch with this brother and things are starting to look up for him! I just felt so useful-it was an awesome missionary moment!! :) Thought I'd share :
First few pictures... I let Tana paint my nails. Sometimes on a mission, you do things you don't want to do. And you learn to have a good attitude about it and deal with it :) She's a sweet girl so it was alright this time ;)
Shaving Brother Cartmell's head!! Sister J and I shaved our initials in his hair ;)
Our room in our trailer
It is HOT out here! It's really actually only gotten to about 104 I think a couple times, but still. We're always in the 90s and it just feels so hot....
Yesterday we got to go to Magnolia Springs and see turtles and alligators! I don't know if i'll be able to send the video, but we got the turtles to eat out of our hands! The biggest alligators that came out were about 5 feet, but they were pretty cool to see. I can't see the pics small on here, but there were a couple we took as we saw this alligator from afar, then as it got closer we just saw bubbles keep getting closer and then bam! His head popped up right in front of us covered in mud. Pretty cool! Kinda freaked us out a little
Sister Jeppson fell asleep in the car on the way back. Haha
Sunset. Looked a lot cooler 5 seconds before I took the picture
We met this little boy Avery last night, isn't he cute?! He has Down Syndrome and was sooo cute and funny! Totally made our night.
District Meeting today. Transfer calls arenight and we know one elder is leaving, his visa came for Brazil! Wahoo! He's the elder behind me. And the elder in front is going home in 3 weeks, back to Logan, UT
Elder Barrera, who is leaving for Brazil
Elder Barrera and his companion, Elder Weigle. They thought they were so funny when they lost a bet and had to pay up and make us brownies, Elder Weigle let them fall off the car onto the parking lot and then gave them to us without telling us that little detail. We made brownies for today in our cupcake tin and you better believe his was full of salt. Don't mess with us....