Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear Family,
It keeps going from t-shirt weather to ridiculously cold here. I've decided that humidity is the worst thing ever invented--it turns heat into hotter-than-hades-melty-death, and it turns cold into frigid-death-glacier-chilly-sauce. Those are real meteorological terms. Look them up. 

We got a double-dose of zone conference; on Tuesday we had the normal one where we stayed in Hattiesburg, and then on Saturday we went all the way down to Gulfport to be instructed by Elder Zwick of the Seventy. Fun fact, Elder Zwick is actually President McDonough's cousin. Say whaaaat. He didn't talk about very specific things to work on besides member missionary work, but he did talk a lot about sanctifying ourselves. He said that we can triple our baptisms in the next year, and that we should each be getting an iPad mini by May-ish. Turns out the South won't be TOO behind the times.

Our dear German ladies (plus son, and neighbor), have been unteachable the past couple weeks. Heaps of trials, so even when we stop by to check on them, they are too stressed to really get much out of even mini lessons. The bishop told us to have them come in for a meeting with him, so if they decide to do that, then maybe things will start looking up. They keep telling us to not give up on them, so we won't, there's just not much we can do right now.

We started teaching a little family this week, and we're really excited about them. Their names are Amanda and B, and they have a six-ish year old. Amanda's main concern is knowing whether God still loves her despite all the trials she's going through, and even though we've only taught her twice, she's really excited about learning more. B works offshore (21 days off, 21 days on), so he's leaving this week--not empty handed though, we made sure he has a nice new copy of the Book of Mormon to keep him company.

Get prepared for the craziest story of the week. Are your ready? Alright. If you say so.

There are a lot of pieces to this story, but I'll try to give you the condensed account (and fail miserably as always). On Friday during studies, Sister Mongie and I decided to start going over the scripture references our mission president wants us to memorize for each lesson. After weekly planning we went to the doctor's for Sister Mongie's back. While there I pulled out a pass-along copy of the Book of Mormon, and opened up to where I had left off from personal study (Alma 32). I got the idea that I should start marking favorite verses, underlining some good things, and that I should write my testimony in the front. All pretty standard stuff for some missionaries, but I haven't marked a Book of Mormon in forever, and the last time I did it was for someone specific. I have never written my testimony in the front of a Book of Mormon (bad girl, I know), but I started doing it anyway because I had the thought that this was going to someone important. 

Fast forward to about 6:00 that night. The guy we were trying to follow-up with wasn't home so when we got in the car Sister Mongie said, "Right, or left?" which signaled that we were going to start tracting. We were in our super rich area, and it was cold and rainy. I said left, and then in my mind remembered this little culdesac that was coming up quick on the next left. I told her left again, and we pulled over to start. First house, nice Methodist lady. Not interested. Second house, no answer. Assumed they weren't interested. Third house, lady got really upset with us for making her get out of bed (she just had surgery). Door slam. Not interested. We were both feeling pretty guilty about upsetting the lady behind door number 3, so we weren't feeling the most enthusiastic while knocking door number 4. That was about to change. 

A young man opened the door, and before we were able to say anything he asked us how we were doing, and invited us in to get warm. His cute wife appeared, and he asked us if we needed anything to eat or drink. We were pretty confused. We introduced ourselves, they introduced themselves (R+L), and he cleared off his dining room table, and told us to sit down. R then told us to give him our spiel; tell him what we believe, and why we're different from the rest of Christianity. Best restoration lesson ever. R asked really really good questions, and would repeat back to us what we were teaching him in his own words to make sure he was understanding everything. He knows the bible really well, so when we gave him the pamphlet at the start of the lesson he flipped open to a random page, saw the words "Melchizedek Priesthood" and "Aaronic Priesthood," and then quizzed us on who both those men. When we got up to the sacred grove he stopped us, and asked, "So is this where the squirrel comes in?" We gave him really puzzled looks, and he said he was sure there something about a squirrel. Evidently there are some weird rumors going around about Mormons and squirrels. That was really funny. Back on topic. He committed himself to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, and when we tried suggesting a chapter for him to read, he told us that we would read whichever one we thought was especially good, but that he planned on reading the whole thing. He was really enthused by how small it seemed until he found out there are over 500 pages, then he back tracked and said he would read as much as he could. Basically they are the cutest little family (I didn't mention the super cute 2-ish year old son), and when we left I kept questioning whether they were members pranking us or not. It was just too perfect. Our plans had changed at least three times that day but in the end everything came together; you can bet your bottom dollar that we made good use of the scriptures we had memorized that morning, and that that Book of Mormon of mine went to someone really important.

Oak Grove's supply of miracles doesn't seem to be exhausted yet, so keep up the prayers and we'll see what God has in store for us next ;)

Love you all!
Sister Markle

P.S. Tell CC congrats/ happy birthday/ check is in the mail. Scratch out that last part.

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