It has been an over all pretty good week! But before I talk about that, I will answer some questions...There hasn't been a ton of stuff going on here about Katrina, I mean there are specials on TV, but not too much here. LaPlace wasn't hit too bad, so there isn't a ton of rebuilding going on here or anything like that. There are definitely some people that moved from New Orleans to here, but I haven't talked with too many of them...some of them are the scarier people. But yeah! LaPlace is great! It really reminds me of Orem. I really like it here. I don't think I like being in super small towns. I don't think I ever will. Even with missionary work, you keep busy, but you run out of ideas of how to find people!!
We haven't moved yet, but we'll find out today if that will even be happening. We live in a little bit...not the greatest neighborhood. Some drug dealers or something live across the sidewalk in the other building, and people keep stealing our parking spot, which isn't a big deal, but it's really annoying ha, ha! But yeah, we'll be moving soon enough. If not to a different area it'll be a different apartment. I'll let you know when that happens.
I haven't got the skirts yet, but the mail hasn't come today so we'll see! But it sounds like things are going well there! I'm excited Jeff got the promotion, Todd declared a major, and you will definitely have to let me know how Andy (and the other boys) do in the LOTOJA. That's way cool that you are going to be working at the temple now mom! I think you'll really like it. I wish we could go more here on my mission. I've been once, and I won't get to go again until December. Ha, it seems forever away, but really, it's 3 months! Can you believe it? I will be 22 in 3 months. AH! I'M OLD! Speaking of... I FOUND MY FIRST WHITE HAIR! It was a sad day. I have quite a few white hairs. I think being a missionary is stressful and since I'm not coloring my hair, I am going to notice them a lot more.
Anyway, enough about that! Well, this week, we were able to meet A LOT of members and do A LOT of finding. But first we will talk about the finding! We didn't really meet anyone Monday or Tuesday, and Wednesday we decided to venture out to Gramercy. Gramercy is a pretty nice area, bigger homes, more catholics. But we were knocking on some doors and we were able to make some return appointments with people ha, but the funny story is when we met LeVar, Josh and Tinky. We were just doing a regular old contact, and I asked LeVar "Have you ever wondered why there aren't prophets on the earth today?" (Or a question similar to it) and he stared at me blankly for a minute and said "I'm sorry, what was the question? You have beautiful eyes." Ha, um I went bright red, and the rest of the contact was uber awkward, but we were still able to teach him gospel principles. Ha, he was asking leading questions like "So where do Mormon girls party?" We talked about the Word of Wisdom. "Is it hard being away from your husbands and boyfriends?" We talked about how now is the time when we are single and don't have those family obligations. Ha, it was awkward but funny. He might really be searching! I don't want to go back because it's awkward, but I guess he still needs to be given a chance.
We were also able to have a lesson with a man named Dwayne. He is an interesting man. He knows a lot about the gospel and he DEFINITELY knows his Bible. He came to church on Sunday and almost all of his concerns were the main topics in each lesson. Ha, he thinks that Bishop and Kerry Brown set him up (Bishop and Kerry are brothers, and Dwayne went to High School with Bishop), but nope, the LORD knew EXACTLY what Dwayne needed to hear ha, ha! I'm pretty sure Dwayne knows it is true, but he doesn't like Brigham Young and how blacks couldn't have the Priesthood till the 70's.
Thursday we were able to meet some pretty awesome people. We are actually teaching one of them in 25 minutes. Her name is Helsis, and she is from Honduras I think. So we are excited to teach her, even if it is in the middle of our preparation day. But yeah! Sister Hill and I will probably be singing at a funeral sometime this week. We have been going over to the Sweatnums every couple of days because their mother is dying, and she should be going any day now. About 3 weeks ago the doctors gave her 24-48 hours to live... it has been a long 3 weeks. But you can tell it's getting close. It's sad, but when we would go sing, she would perk up a little bit, but now that doesn't even happen. It's sad.
Friday we went tracting in this nicer area, and it has been pretty darn rainy the last 3 days. We decided to go knock down this street and it was only drizzling, so Sister Hill thought, "Oh, I don't need my umbrella, I'm from Oregon, this is nothing!" And I almost agreed with her, but thought came, "Nah, grab your umbrella, just in case!" So I did, and we started knocking doors. We got where we were about half a mile from our car, and NO ONE was letting us in. And BAM! It started to down pour like none other. Sister Hill didn't have her umbrella, was wearing white, and I didn't want to get my back pack and the stuff in it wet, so we tried to keep the bag dry with the umbrella. As a result, my whole left side was drenched, her right side was drenched, and luckily I was wearing those shoes that don't get wet! Ha, my skirt was so wet it was weighed down and hitting my feet and the top of the skirt was at my waist! It was crazy! But way fun!
It has just been down pouring for the past 3 days. Yesterday looking outside at one in the afternoon, you would have thought it was dusk. It was dark!!!! It was so much thunder, lightning and rain. You wouldn't believe it.
Anyway, the members here are awesome. They have such a desire to share the gospel they are sharing it like crazy! I love it! We are always recieving referals and I love the ward. And they feed us! Always a bonus. Except when all they eat is gluten and they have to think outside the box for me ha, ha! Anyway, I love you all and hope you are doing well. You are the best and I am so grateful for the love and support you show me every day. I know that my Savior lives. I know that he died for me and felt my every pain and sorrow, for that, I am eternally grateful. I am grateful that he did rise again, and that he lives! It gives me hope for the future, and I know that "Hope is the anchor of our souls... Hope is trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death." (President James E. Faust) We have to have that hope that we will be with our families again, that we will see our Savior, be with our Father in Heaven, and be able to be "so excited, [that we] just can't hide it!" Ha, I love you all so much and I hope my endless babbling makes sense! You're the best, and I have the most wonderful family in the world.
Sister Stacy Jo Earl