Hey y’all! This week had sooo many ups and downs, but definitely more ups, as always.
Our area book and phone are both a huge mess, so we’ve slowly but surely been tackling both of them. We’ve just been going through the millions of contacts on our phone that we have no idea who they are and calling all of them and trying to set up appointments. Last week we called a man named Daniel and he said he would be happy to meet with us. MIRACLE. Or so we thought. Monday night we took a laurel in the ward, Maggie, with us to his house. He and his wife and 2 year old son and ADORABLE and have the cutestttttt house. I was SO excited when we first met them. We sat down and the first thing Daniel did was ask each of us to bear our testimonies. Um ok gladly! The first 20 minutes were AWESOME. And then he proceeded to bible bash. For 2 hours straight. It was brutal. It was really unexpected because usually bashers are older men. Serving in the bible belt, bashes are nothing new. But this one was so so bad. And to be honest it shook me a little bit. Apparently a few weeks ago they invited the elders to dinner and bashed them while they were eating… we heard about this from the elders afterwards but had no idea this is the same family we were going to. Daniel is very well educated in theology and has even read the Book of Mormon. He got SO hung up on temporal things like horses and Nephite currency. (literally everyone gets caught up in the horses thing.) In the middle of it all Sister Saatkamp bore very powerful testimony of Christ and how the Book of Mormon has brought her closer to Him. The spirit was SO strong it was nearly tangible. Sis. Saatkamp started crying because the spirit was so strong and Daniel replied with, "let me tell you, you are going to regret being a member of your church and saying all those things." It literally took all the strength I had to not get up and start yelling at him right there. He and his wife said they do this because they love us and are worried about the welfare of our souls. They would not let us leave but after we got out of there we took Maggie and got ice cream because we felt soooo bad for taking her in there with us. Sister Saatkamp and I were very discouraged afterwards. Lately it had been seeming like all anyone wanted to do was bible bash with us. I LOVE being in the bible belt, but there are times when these people are the most frustrating in the world. We talked about it for a long time afterwards. We decided that 2 Nephi 9:28 pretty much sums it up:
"…When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish."
Daniel seems very wise and well read. But just because he’s read the Book of Mormon doesn’t mean he read with an open heart or any real intent. His ‘wisdom’ profits no one.
Tuesday we parked in front of some random person’s house to start tracting. As we’re getting out of the car a man comes out of the house and starts talking to us and invites us inside. He and his mom are members and were very active up until May. The only reason they stopped coming is because people stopped giving them rides to church. They still make sure they keep the sabbath day holy and had been praying hard that they would be able to find a ride to church. Miracles upon miracles that we just parked in front of their house. We had no idea who they were, because they were marked as active on the ward roster and nobody had ever mentioned them before. We found them a ride and they came to church yesterday! This week we have been able to visit and help lots and lots of less actives and it has been the most amazing thing.
There is an assisted living center really close to our apartment that we volunteer at sometimes. On Thursday they had "Manicures with Missionaries" and we went and painted all the adorable old ladies nails. It was the best.
This transfer has absolutely FLOWN by. Transfers are next week and we’ll get transfer calls on Saturday… crazyyyyyyy huh?
Remember how much you are loved and that your God will never abandon you! Everything will be worth it! Remember the classic words of this hymn-
"Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell– All is well! All is well!"
All my love,
p.s. sorry we took basically no pictures this week