I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand

Hey y’all! Life just keeps getting better and better! I can’t even believe how blessed I am!

Okay… funniest thing of my life happened this week and I’m so excited to tell you. We’ve been meeting with Mike, Marchelle, and Kim. Marchelle is Kim’s mom and Mike is their neighbor. They’re making good progress and keeping their commitments so far. Wednesday night we stopped by Kim and Marchelle’s apartment to set up an appointment. We ended up talking to them for a long time and they talked about the spirit they feel when they’re around us. We explained that what they’re feeling isn’t us, it’s the spirit and the gospel. They both started crying- loudly, black people have the talent of being really loud haha- and then Kim says, "I’ve had lots and lots of white friends, but y’all are by far the best. You know what? Y’all are gangstas. Y’ALL ARE GANGSTAS FOR JESUS!" Hahahahahaha oh my gosh we DIED. Literally we got into our car after and laughed for 15 minutes straight. She also told us we have black girl figures and that she’s going to invite allllll her family and friends to our lessons with them. Dang I just love them so much. I really wish I could describe to y’all what it’s like to be standing in an apartment in the hood, where they have no lights or air conditioning, with black people telling you that you’re a gangster for Jesus and that you’d fit right in them. There’s really nothing like it and for real it was basically the best night of my life. (these are the same people that replaced ye with y’all in the scriptures a couple weeks ago)

Earlier in the day on Wednesday we went to Tupelo again! This time for interviews with President Sainsbury. We’ve gone to either Birmingham or Tupelo every week since I’ve been here haha. Both are 2 hours away. It’s so fun, such a party. Interviews were great! We feel like we know both President and Sister Sainsbury a lot better now. They are hands down the sweetest people ever! Love them so so much!

The past few days have been so full of working with members and it has been the best!! They make such a difference, missionary work cannot be done without members. Missionaries come and go so quickly and so often, members are here to stay!

We met Robin this week, she just moved here from New Orleans because her daughter needed her help. She has had lots of trials lately and they have really humbled her. She has such a big heart and just wants to help everyone she can. She has a son who also loved talking to us and looking at the pictures of Jesus we have. They both had such good questions! The Lord loves questions! They’re truly how we learn. Lots of churches here teach that questions are bad. They’re actually the best!!

We carry Book of Mormons in our hands when we tract, and I’ve learned that it is so important to hold it proudly and show it off! There are SO many people who sacrificed SO much so that we could have this book. We need to be proud of it! What are the Book of Mormon prophets and Joseph Smith thinking when I’m carrying that book and just treating it like anything else? This book changes lives! It deserves nothing less! It’s truly a gift.

There are lots of patterns in the Book of Mormon. One of the main ones is that the people are wicked, they are punished, they’re righteous for a time and then the cycle starts all over again. How can we avoid this cycle and just be righteous all the time? Do the opposite of what they’re doing when they’re in their wicked stage. I especially love this in Helaman 12:4-5. I switched the words quick/slow with each other-

4 "…and how slow to do iniquity, and how quick to do good, are the children of men; yea, how slow to hearken to the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vein things of the world."
5 "Yea, how slow to be lifted up in pride, yea, how slow to boast, and to do all manner of iniquity; and how quick they are to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear to His counsels, yea how quick to walk in wisdom’s paths."

In other news there’s a massive heat wave hitting the south right now. The mission has sent out several advisories and we’re not allowed to tract from 11-4. It’s actually pretty awesome though like you can go and just stand outside for 2 minutes and you’ll be sweating. Don’t worry though we’re being smart and knowing our limits and drinking so much water. The weather here is so trippy because we’ve also had a few really intense storms this week. You just hit a wall of really really heavy rain. We were driving home from the church on Saturday and hit one of those walls and we had to stop because it was too dangerous to drive. But then we got home and all of Sheffield was 100% dry. It’s the craziest thing. SO fun.

Let me know how your lives are going! For reals it’s so much fun to hear from everyone!
I couldn’t be happier! This gospel is so so so so true!!

All my love,
Sister Oscarson

​This is Colbert Heights or "The Mountain." Hahaha I am not kidding you they think this is a mountain, it’s as good as they have. It’s beautiful but I laugh every time someone calls it a mountain because really it’s a hill.

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