Family!I hit my halfway mark! I did not burn a shirt; I'm pretty sure a shirt is just for six months, there's something else you burn at nine months, but I didn't know what it was. All I could remember was that Katie said sisters in her mission would take a pregnancy picture... Haha so I did! That's the last of the weird traditions I know about, so it looks like this is the home stretch!
My talk in church isn't until next week, at which point maybe I'll give the lady some pointed looks. It turns out that everyone in ward council thought she was a out of line, but they're also too fearful of her wrath to poke the sleeping dragon. This is also the woman who barred the sister's recent convert from Young Womans on account of the fact that she's 16 and pregnant, and she doesn't want her to be a bad example. The girl has only been back to church once since then. Relief Society is too boring for a 16 year old (no offense mom... :) so hopefully when she has her baby in the next week or two that rule can be changed. I don't think it would really be helpful to poke the sleeping dragon either, so hopefully we can make friends with her, and influence her to better opinions in a sneakier manner. We'll see how that goes.
I finally met our investigator with a baptismal date this week! Her name is Ashley, and she has three kids (a 12 year old and 9 year old twins) that are all working towards baptism too. They are.... um... rambunctious. Plus Ashley takes her time to learn each principle, so it takes us a few times stressing each concept before she understands. Plus we're like her only friends here, so she's hard to focus on gospel stuff because there's other things that she cares more about. She wants her kids to grow up in church though, so we're running with that. I think Ashley will probably cause my premature death at some point. As in my brain will overheat and explode if I ever think too long about how her brain works. Yup. Also I learned a new word from her. She dropped out of the beauty school here because it was "ratchet." The ward member we were with showed me a YouTube video clip so that I could learn the meaning of the word. I've gathered that it's a cross between "hot mess" and trashy and ghetto. Essentially you don't ever want to be called ratchet. So ya. Bless Ashley's heart she sure does try.
We pray really really specifically as of late. As in, prayers always get answered, but God has a sense of humor, so you should be really specific otherwise you will get exactly what you asked for. Like, we had prayed that we would be able to see the aforementioned pregnant recent convert (I still hadn't met her, and she's been kind of avoidy), and then we saw her... except she was asleep on the couch, so the more appropriate prayer would have been "see her while conscious and have a meaningful conversation with her." Another example. It snowed here, and we decided that since neither of us had ever tracted while it was snowing, we should go. I made Welch turn down the street that I'd dubbed "sandwich street" (it's name is "Italian Club" which sounds like a sandwich) even though there were only two houses on it. One house said "No Trespassing," which I learned from Welch means they might pull a gun on you if you knock (she served in Hattiesburg so she is the authority on ghetto), so we went to the other little house after praying that they would let us in, and that they would be interested, and that we could teach them. They let us in, they were interested, and we taught them. What we SHOULD have prayed was that they would let us in, that they would be interested, that we could teach them, and that they would answer the door/phone when we had a return appointment. Our bad. Being avoided is becoming a familiar theme. Haters gonna hate. Mormons gonna morm.
For my nine month mark we spent the morning volunteering at the Greenville marathon. I temporarily turned into a human sized ice cube. It was fun. We went with Amy and Amanda, and helped the ward at our aid station AKA mile marker 17's water booth. We were informed of the proper way to give a cup to the runners: hold your arm completely outstretched with the cup resting lightly on your flat palm, while you yell repeatedly whether you have water or gatorade. This is the only approved method for liquid delivery. Any other method will result in a prompt correction. We stood in the icy-death-cold for five hours until my toes were amputated and we had to go home. Don't worry, my toes have since grown back.
Despite all the cold, this transfer has had a great start, so I think it will be a good one. We'll do all the things. I love you all, and hope you have a great week too!