Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dear Family,
Sometimes we try to be good little Samaritans and help this lady with her yard. Near the beginning of this transfer we helped D and the Elders move a giant heap of mushroom infested wood from the side of her house to the side of the road so a truck could take it away. It took forever, but the next day she came to church, and really really liked it. While she wanted to learn more, her current focus is cleaning up her old rundown house, so she can rent it out and move back to Chicago in a couple weeks. She's in way over her head. We were able to help again last Saturday, and while the Elders finished on the wood, Sister Welch tore out old fence posts, and I took clippers to millions of weeds n' things. That's the back-story.

On Saturday Sister Welch and I became fed-up with all the giant bug bites and patches of little bug bites all over our bodies. I bought new bug spray, thinking that maybe since the stuff we've been using was almost out it had lost it's effectiveness. As the day went on, we began wondering whether or not we actually had bed bugs or something else nasty, so while picking something up from a member's house, we had them inspect our diseased skin. After a few other theories, they finally landed on poison ivy. We had the pharmacist at Walmart take a gander, and the suspicion was confirmed. Poison ivy is the Devil's plant. Essentially we want to cheese grader our skin off. I've got lumpy bumps all over my legs and one of my arms, and now I have a bunch on my stomach too. We're now in the process of decontaminating our house, because in the morning I keep waking up with new bumps. I also wake up a bunch in the middle of the night and find myself scratching. Bad news. Leaves of three, leave it be (side note: I find the fact that poison ivy grows in everyone's yards here very disturbing. I find it even more disturbing that people live here anyway. At church everyone took turns laughing at us, and nodding sympathetically, while giving us home remedies. While we did not go so far as putting gasoline on our skin, we may have tried Comet... Desperate times call for desperate measures).
That was my biggest news of the week. We had STL exchanges as well as Zone Conference this week too, so that was all pretty fun. At the start of the transfer we asked the sisters to plan exchanges around Zone Conference or interviews, so that we could work both our areas instead of double working ours for a change. There's already two sets of missionaries in Greenville, so when the STLs stay here we have to send someone to work the further out towns, but miles have been pretty tight this month. Instead, Sister Welch went with one of the sisters to work their area in Jackson, and I stayed with one of them here (since we had Zone Conference the next day, we had to drive to Jackson anyway, so no extra miles were wasted). Somehow she escaped being infected with poison ivy, so maybe our apartment isn't too too contaminated, even though our bodies beg to differ. I got to bike all Thursday with her, which was so fun after having such a long bike fast :) haha I shouldn't have been so happy about it, because I probably jinxed myself; next week is transfers, and not only is Sister Welch probably leaving, but we might be turning into a car share with the Elders. Who doesn't like to bike, right?
Almost all our appointments fell through on Thursday, but while I was biking with the STL I had the thought we should go try S. S is the lady we met a while back that accepted a baptism date, but works at Subway on Sundays. We'd only taught her a couple times, but then for a few weeks we had absolutely no contact with her. She wouldn't answer our calls or texts, and was never home when we stopped by. I figured we might as well try, and happy day, she was home! She gave us big hugs, and said she missed us, and I told her we had tried to contact her, but could never catch her. Guess where she's been? Jail. Yup. Jail. Definitely not the first thing my brain jumps to when I lose contact with investigators, that's for sure. I don't even know how to explain why she was incarcerated, but basically she got in a fight with someone. All that bidness, plus family troubles, plus extra shifts at Subway = one stressed out S. She asked if we could just get started with the lesson, so she could calm down, and she even volunteered to say the opening and closing prayers. The first time she prayed was at the close of our very first lesson, so it was cool to see the progress she's made since then. Working on Sundays, plus the possibility of probation or parole are standing between her and her baptism, but despite all that I was just so grateful we're back in contact. Yay for promptings!
That's crazy that CC and Alli were both having surgery at the same time, AND SINCE WHEN WAS ALLI GETTING MARRIED?! You guys get to go to Cancun?! How'd CC decide who got to go with, and when are you going? I definitely expect some pictures.
Love y'all!
Sister Markle

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