Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday, November 25 2013

Dear Family,
My week as an Oak Grove missionary has been interesting to say the least. First off, we forcibly translated my companion. Intense. When it's a missionary's last transfer their companion "kills them" meaning that they went home, and from then on you refer to them as dead. My whole mission life has been around dying missionaries; my first two transfers involved killing zone leaders, third transfer meant a dead district leader, and then my fourth transfer another zone leader died. This is Sister Parkinson's last transfer, but due to health she left yesterday to finish out the next three weeks working in the office. I interpret this to mean that she was translated. She's a genius, and an avid fan of senior couples, so she was excited to go off, and fix all the problems that the senior couples don't even know exist yet. She's going to rock it.

No real updates as to our dear German ladies; one of them is married to a long haul truck driver who rolled back in town this week, and isn't too keen on happiness, so we haven't been able to visit. Also two of them were sick, so this week their health should be better, and the husband should be gone, which will mean we can actually teach them more! Yay!

Just got wind of some sad news from my Purvis companions. T dropped them this morning. Evidently the Salt Lake City missionaries seriously offended him, and so even though he has nothing wrong with my companions/ wants to still keep in contact, he won't continue investigating the church right now. I am most put out about this. Earlier this week I was studying the Old Testament student manual, and I was pretty impressed with it's stricture against "steadying the ark." It was a commentary on 2 Samuel 6 in which Uzzah gets struck down (offed) by God for reaching out and touching the ark of the covenant, because he was afraid it would fall. The manual said that we shouldn't presume to "save God and His kingdom through our own efforts"--that good intentions aside, we need to have faith and not pridefully/casually approach that which should only be approached under the strictest of conditions. Essentially we need to be obedient even when we feel like by bending the rules we are helping. I was all like, "Whew. That's deep stuff." It's really hard to distinguish between ark-steadier tendencies, and forward thinking that will lead to good, which is probably why the scriptures suggest being meek and lowly of heart, as that's really the safer route to take. "Look down, look down, don't look them in the eye" and all, if you want to take a Les Miserables route to it. Stuff to ponder about. ANYWAYS the Salt Lake City missionaries were steadying the ark by not discontinuing contact with T when they were supposed to, and then not discontinuing contact when their supervisor told them to (after my comps called the office to try to find out what was being taught to T so we could correlate), and because they decided that they knew what was best (they even had a lesson over the phone last week in which they connected the call with a Baptist convert from Georgia. Basically they were getting T fellowshippers, without actually fellowshipping him into the local church) they went too far, and now he's gone. Take away lesson? Don't steady the ark.

We are going to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner over at the Trussell compound (their family makes up a lot of the ward) with all the missionaries on Thursday, but on Wednesday we are having a Thanksgiving dinner with all of our investigators/ other random people, because this old lady who lives in our apartment complex has a giant turkey, and wants our help fixing dinner/ providing people to share it with. It's taking a lot of coordinating, but it's going to be awesome.

I have found my favorite store ever here. It's called Dirt Cheap. Basically it's a DI for new clothes that stores don't want. Love it. Last week I went with Purvis companions to get warm clothes, and then today Sister Mongie wanted to go so I went again. I'm obsessed. I should be good on warm clothes now, although if you wanted to send me my brown boots (the ones with the buckles, I'd rather have my red boots, but I'm afraid they would die), my tan old navy coat lined in yellow, possibly a random warm looking cardigan, I would be much obliged. Tell Grandma thanks so much for me!

Love you all, 
Sister Markle

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