Saturday, September 6, 2014

There are no Predictions in the Life of a Missionary

Hello dearest family and friends!!

Something I have learned while being a missionary is that there are no predictions that can be made. Life is never really what you expect it to be, and you just have to be on board for the ride and make the best of whatever comes your way. I skimmed last week's email to see what I could update y'all on, and holy moly it's been a week and a half almost since I emailed last and I feel like I don't have many updates on the people I talked about. It's so crazy to me the things that change over the course of a week. Sometimes over the course of a day. 

We haven't made much progress with Jamaal and his brothers, or Jamaica and Jamille and all their family. They don't seem interested... every time we go over someone who isn't them tells us they aren't there or that they're sleeping. We don't always believe them...Only time will tell I suppose.

Myra is out of the hospital and doing well. She had gall stones removed, and a couple surgeries later she is at home recovering. I feel like her and Diane are the biggest roller coaster-but Myra is back on track to knowing the Church is true and she said she isn't going to let anyone tell her different or stop her from coming. She wants her entire family to hear the gospel as well, so that was an awesome moment. We had one of the best lessons that we have had with her and her daughter last Saturday. We were able to watch the Restoration video with them and talk about Joseph Smith and it really was wonderful. They both seemed to have a good understanding and questions they had were answered. When Myra regains more of her health she is coming to church, and Diane hopefully will come this week. We invited Myra to be baptized again and she brought up her birthday, which is in November. I'd hate to wait that long, but that would be a very special day if that is the Lord's plan for her. I know I probably won't be here to see the day she enters into the waters of baptism, but I am so indeed grateful of the wonderful opportunity I had to be a part of these ladies' lives and to share any part of the gospel with them. You don't have to be a part of someone's baptism day to know you helped them, I truly would rather see both of them in Heaven one day. It's the eternal progress that matters. 

A few other people are doing well! We saw Laura last week and she is so awesome, haha. She's really strong in her Baptist faith and is really at the crossroads deciding if this Church is true or not. She said she went to her church and some members there made some not nice comments about us and our religion and they asked her why she would investigate such a thing and she flat out told them that this was her husband's religion and she wants her family in church and he won't go anywhere else so she's being open to it to see what it's all about. She really does intimidate me for some reason so when she told us that I was thinking "Man, I'm glad I wasn't them!" Hahaha. I really do love Laura though she is so awesome. 

Next we met this lady named Elise! She is 73 years old but looks about 50. She's one of my favorite people ever now. She is so excited and enthused about the gospel. We were at her house looking for someone else and she was there and invited us right in--said maybe she had something to learn from us :) She was so giddy--literally jumping up and down in her chair as we shared our beliefs and she had the same ones. Her eyes get so wide and she has the greatest excitement about everything :) We found out she has a twin sister that lives next door so we're teaching her too. And we found out like six other people we know and/or are teaching are all related. Just one big happy family living on a couple different streets, that us awesome missionaries just keep showing up on their doorsteps... ;) haha. It's so fun. I'll try and send a picture of Elise later, I asked to take one with her but she was in her nightgown and wouldn't let me. I'll try and have one next week.

And last but not least, we met this guy named Shannon. We were talking to his neighbor and mom and he came up and was super flirtatious and not that cool.. But from things he said we went over and started teaching him and it turns out he is super cool, and super prepared. He has done a lot of things in his life he isn't proud of and really has a desire to change. We have focused a lot on the power of the Atonement and for him to know that he can be forgiven, it is so cool to be there and see him start to experience true happiness. You can tell he hasn't had that in a long time. It's so cool to me to be able to see what his life is now, and the incredible potential he has and what he can become. The lessons are awesome. We had Montana with us for one and we walked out and she said she had goosebumps. So yeah, super cool. He really is one of the most honest and genuine people I have ever met, and he is seeking for a change. He wants the goodness of the gospel for everyone around him too, which is way cool. He didn't come to church last week, but now that we've actually met with him and he knows how great the gospel is, he said he will be there this coming Sunday. He also said he'll come to our Book of Mormon class tomorrow night, so that should be good. I just love how strong the Spirit is felt when we're teaching him!! Prayers at his house are the best. Since the first time we prayed with him we've always knelt down and I just love it that way. He cuts out every distraction as well. Closes the front door, slides his phone under the couch, everything. He's all about protecting us as well. He said he trusts us so much and really cares about us and would never let anyone hurt or disrespect us ever. And he was right, when one situation came up leaving his house he made sure we got to our car safe without being bothered by anybody. He's cool is all I have to say :) I don't know if he will be able to get baptized any time soon, but if he is, I am looking forward to that day. One day he will make it, no matter how long it takes... and just a side note that was kind of cool, I wanted to share the scripture in Matthew 11:28-30 with him so I asked if he had a Bible. He went to go look for it, and he brought one out saying that was all he had and he didn't even know where it came from. Guess what. It was one of the Bible our Church distributes to people, hahaha. That was a pretty cool moment. Who has a Bible from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Wasn't brand new either, I wish we knew when that actually was put in his (or his mom's) possession. Just cool coincidences, that aren't really coincidences. No such thing as a coincidence with God :) 

I do have a picture we took with Shannon, but I'll try and get some with more people next week. However, we aren't allowed to go to Elise's house anymore because of a situation with one guy in particular. Things are kind of a mess here and I don't know if we'll be able to go back to Shannon's either. We'll see.... It seems like every solid investigator we get because of something that they say or someone near them it kind of ruins it all. It really is so sad to me and I hate to have this situation even exist, but what can you do... you do the best you can, with what you can, for as long as you can. And "just keep swimming!" :)

Hope y'all are enjoying everything back home, school for those of you who are in it! Not really jealous of any of you, but I do hope you are having fun! Haha. I wish you all the best and I love you!! Talk to you again next week :)

All my love,
Sister Kaylee Applegate

Sister Taylor, Shannon, and I 
Oh, Walmart...
This is Margaret! Isn't she the cutest lady ever!! She is 93 years old, can you believe that?! Healthiest lady you'll probably ever meet too, she's incredible. We want her to get baptized :) 
Welcome to the South. 
District Meeting! I know I said Elder Barrera got his Visa for Brazil and was leaving last transfer, but it actually didn't work out... but NOW he's leaving! Haha. The process is complete and he will be on a plane to Brazil on the 15th. Elder Barrera is the elder kneeling in front of me. Adios! 

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