Tuesday, July 19, 2016
There's Two Choices in the "Thug Life": Hell or Jail
Oh man I have the best support system ever! And I'm loving Florida so that's good. This week was brutally hot. High 90s or 100s every single day. These two little girls came up to us when we were knocking and said they remembered us. We gave them pass along cards and asked them how they were. One of them said, "It's so hot I'm fin to melt my little black behind off!" Sister Garlick agreed that it was very hot and she said, "Yeah and you're white, too! So you're melting like a Popsicle. I wanna lick you!" Kids are so funny. I love the people of Florida!!
Which brings me to the subject line for my email this week-James and Albert both came to church! James had a stroke about a year ago and is in a wheelchair. Albert took it upon himself to push James around the church. I've never met someone so eager to serve! He had a chapel tour this week while members were cleaning the church and he was telling us how he does painting, plastering, fixes AC units, does plumbing...and the list goes on. He just wants to help! He's amazing. Anyway, during sunday school we were talking about responsibilty and the teacher asked James what he'd learned about responsibility in his life. He told about how he used to be kind of a thug and things like that then said he's learned that "There's only two choices when you're a thug: Hell or jail." How true James! He's so great. They both continually express a desire to be closer to God and promised us they'd be in church next week without us even asking. Now we're trying to get some families lined up to drive us all to the temple in Fort Lauderdale so they can see it. Considering how happy James was to get outside when we taught him and sat on the grass (he was in his wheelchair, obvs) I just know he'd love to go to the temple.
We had zone training this week and I found out one of my zone leaders is from Bountiful! And he went to USU for a year! His name is Elder Ariotti and I've decided he's pretty okay since we've apparently lived the same life. He also asked me what other areas I'd served in and was shocked that this was my first. He didn't think I was a new missionary-holla holla! I was born like 46 years old though, so I guess it's a maturity thing? Also I do what I want and that tends to give the impression that you know what you're doing. As if! I just follow the Spirit and try not to get in His way.
I got to go on my first exchange this week with Sister Kronmiller. I went to Royal Palm and worked with her there. We tried to visit this investigator they'd worked with who'd gone to the hospital then they never heard from her. We stopped by her house and there was a realtor's lock on the door. We definitely looked in her windows and there was still furniture and pictures...and a very creepy blue light. We decided to leave a note and ended up saying something like, "If you know anything about Ann's whereabouts please contact us." I felt like I was in a Nancy Drew game! Like someone was going to pop out and warn us not to keep pursuing this. It was way eerie.
Sister Garlick and I biked to go see James and it started POURING when we were biking home. It was way fun! The heaviest rain I've ever experienced. We were definitely blessed because it only started when we were headed home. Being a missionary is the coolest.
I made a really cool connection about Jesus Christ this week that I'd like to share. Think about Christ in the old testament-very strict, right? Now think of him in the new testament-way more loving, right? Why is that? BECAUSE HE UNDERSTOOD US. Boom. Before the new testament he didn't understand what it was like to be on Earth. Christ truly knows each of us personally and understands everything we feel. He doesn't ever give up on us. Jesus Christ loves YOU. He would have suffered the atonement for YOU ALONE. Crazy to think about having someone so amazing on our side.
Sister Garlick and I were so guided by the Spirit last night. Our appointment fell through, so we decided to go knock. Sister Garlick told me to turn right but I really felt like we should go left so we did. This happened a few more times and we ended up in a part of our area we hadn't been to before. We didn't find anybody who wanted us to come back, but everyone we prayed with expressed that they knew God had sent us. We met with a woman who had come home from the hospital the day before after a three month stay and a double- amputation. What??? I love the Gospel and I know it's true! There's no way my thoughts guided us to these people.
I love you all!