It has been a very hard but awesome week! On Tuesday we were in a Zone Meeting alllllll day. Basically. It was like a Zone Conference without the President. We are going through some new training every month that will be full fledged in every mission starting in May next year. So it was pretty fun. On Tuesday we had a lesson with Jeanette Swallow. She is amazing! I love her to death. She is the mayor's secretary, but something that is very difficult with her is that she basically speaks in parables. No lie. She'll be like... "I had a dream" and she interprets her dreams to us and how they relate to the Gospel. IT IS SO CONFUSING! We all get something different from what she is saying, so we are having a hard time figuring her out. We asked her a couple of weeks ago if she had prayed about The Book of Mormon? And her response was "I'm being disobedient"! WHAT! So she knows that it's true, but she's not acting on it. We think she also doesn't believe that there is one true church. So that is another hurdle, but we think once we make everything click in her mind, that she will be a wonderful influence on the branch here. She has A LOT of influence on people in this town.
On Wednesday we met Donald and Lujuana and had a kind of "get to know you and give you a Book of Mormon" lesson. So we are having another lesson with them this Friday, and it should be really good. They are a funny couple. She talks a lot and laughs and he's quiet but hilarious. I love them and just can't wait to start teaching them. The only real downer with them is that they live far away, so we can really only see them once a week. Sad day.
Wednesday we also had a lesson with Barbara Hollands. She is a woman that is in her 60's and is just as sweet as can be. It was really sad, but it was good at the same time, but we asked her to say a closing prayer, and she started to pray and as she prayed she said that this was the first time she had prayed out loud, that she did want to know if this was true, and then something hit her and she just started bawling and said "I'm so sorry! I am so ashamed of everything I have done." And she just kept repeating it. It was heart wrenching. Right after she had finished her prayer, her daughter walked in. We couldn't even talk to her about what was going on! But we are seeing her tomorrow night, so hopefully I will have more news next week.
Friday we had a lesson with Nedra, Kelli, and Carolyn. None of them were really big WOW lessons, but they were still good. With Nedra, we taught her a Gospel of Jesus Christ (or a 3rd), and we decided that we weren't going to bring up Law of Chastity just yet, because that can be awkward, but she ended up bringing it up on her own! So that was great! Kelli's husband was there this time, but he didn't seem too interested, and their daughter was really fussy, but we tried to watch The Resotration. It was still good. Kelli couldn't take her eyes off of it. And Carolyn's daughter was really aggravating her during our lesson. Tobi (her daughter) ended up leaving half way through our lesson, and we found out that Tobi had moved her Dad, Carolyn's ex-husband, and his wife in with her! Horrible! We also found out that Tobi is on drugs, has a 2 year old little girl, and doesn't want to quit doing them. It's really sad. A LOT of Grandma's end up raising their daughters children here.
On Saturday, we tracted almost all day...we didn't find ANYONE that wanted to let us in or be a new investigator. And boy howdy, it has been HOT! Yesterday (Sunday), it was 100 degrees, with the humidity it was supposed to be about 110. It was hot. I'm getting used to sweating though ha, ha! Still makes me quite grumpy though being in the heat. Ha, it's hard. But I am doing it!
Saturday we also were able to go and meet a former member who we are going to be teaching! His name is Paul Fontenot. He is a really sweet guy. He had his name removed from the church a while back and said he wants to come back to church and have the missionary lessons again. SO YAY! We have someone to teach who wants to be baptized again! YIPEEEEEEE!
Zandi's baby was blessed yesterday. Zandi is Beverly and Wayne's daughter. So they came to church again! Zandi's baby is named Ethan Gabriel and he is just so freakin' cute! I really hate that as missionaries we can't hold children. Ha, it's HARD!
But anyway, it has been a really hard week. The days are definitely just inching by, but the weeks are zooming by. Is it horrible I'm ready to get out of Oakdale? I just feel like I can't help these people any more. I love them, but I feel like it's time to go. But anyway! I know this is where I need to be for the moment. So I guess I just need to make the best of these last 2 weeks here. And if I don't leave, at least I'll have helped the area come to a high point!
I know this is the true gospel and I am so grateful to be serving here in Louisiana. I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful time at Lake Powell and you better send me some pictures. You are all the best!
Love, Sister Earl