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Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20, 2010 - LaPlace, Louisiana

Hello everyone!!!!
Ha, funny if you should ask me if I just had the best week of my life....because it was probably one of the worst weeks on my mission ha, ha. Some good things still happened, but I will save those until the end so I can leave you with a happy upbeat thought! :D
This week started out to be wonderful! We met with Shai's parents on Monday night to try and clear up their went pretty well, in fact we got her Dad to sign her baptismal record. Her mom on the other hand still had some concerns that went unanswered, but they had to leave, so that was that. The week went on and Wednesday she had her baptismal interview. She was all excited and nervous, but she knew that what she was doing was right. Friday (the day before the baptism after we had cleaned the font), we received a phone call from Sister Campbell (Shai's best friends mom) telling us that Shai's mom had come by banging on the door that morning and she told her that Shai was NOT getting baptized. I guess she even said "If this is the one true church, how come my daughter is getting baptized with out my consent when I have sole custody?" Her parents live together and were never married. Her dad just got out of prison, so her mom has basically raised her. So her Dad wasn't the one that needed to sign the baptismal record. Her mom has been hearing that we are a cult, and she just has a lot of questions. So needless to say the baptism was canceled for the 18th. She will be getting baptized in the future, it's just a matter of when Shai's mom will let us teach her, because right now the mom won't listen to us. So when the mom figures out that we aren't a cult, Shai can get baptized. She can keep coming to church and everything, so that is good. BUT on the bright side of that, we will probably start teaching her family. So yay! So you can still send the scriptures, and I will give them to her, because she still can read them :D There is just no need to rush sending them. So whenever you can :)
Anyway, the rest of the week...we lost sight of a lot of important things this week. Let's face it, we are not perfect ha! But we have had a lot of discussions on how we can improve. This week we made some fliers for general conference that we are posting around town, so hopefully we will be able to see some people come because of that! We also spent some time working on the details for Shai's baptism (like making the flier, cleaning the font, etc), and then Sister Hill was sick with a fever and a cough. So we were in quite a bit and it was hard to get a lot of work done this week. So all I know is that this next week will be AMAZING! Because we are going to find so many new people to teach.
Ha, funny things to tell you about cleaning the baptismal font. You'd never believe it, but I cleaned it, and there were like 20 cockroaches in the baptismal font (there hasn't been a baptism here since last December). There was some mold/moss, and about 15 dead cockroaches, and 5 live ones... it was a little bit gross...but we cleaned and it looks BEAUTIFUL! We have a child in the ward that is getting baptized this next month, so it's good that we cleaned it even if our baptism didn't happen.
On Wednesday we had a lesson with Belinda, and it went much better than it has before. Belinda will just through out RANDOM questions, and she kept saying she didn't see how we were different from other religions (even with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon...), so we finally just taught a complete lesson, and she realized that it IS a little different from others. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, and she liked it, but she has been reading this book about "a lady who has seen hell"... I hate those books. First of all, why would you want to know what hell is like? Second, it really distracts people from understanding the 3 kingdoms of glory. So we told her to pray about it. It was a pretty good lesson over all, but I think we just need to help her see how this gospel will bless her life.
Thursday was planning, and in the middle of our personal study we get a knock at the door. It's Mr. Mike! Ha, Mr. Mike is our maintenance man and he had come to fix our sink, because it was leaking. Mr. Mike is a very talkative man, and we just talked about life for a while. We weren't able to really get a personal study or companion study in, so that was pretty much a bummer, BUT! As a result of his talking a lot, we learned that we wants a copy of the Book of Mormon, to understand where it came from, and he said we could come by and teach his wife. They are both Catholic, and he is the nicest guy ever, so I'm sure his wife is too. I'm excited to start teaching them. We just have to figure out the best time to go.
Thursday we were also supposed to have a lesson with Debi Swetnam, but we got there and she totally forgot we were coming and she forgot that it was her daughters birthday, so we rescheduled for the next day. But while we were there on Thursday, we were invited to stay for cake and ice cream. We were able to talk with one of her daughters friends, and her name is Cristina. She has been through quite a lot in her life. We talked with her for about 20 minutes, and we learned a lot. She is 23, and she just had a little girl about 4 weeks ago. She said having this girl has made her change her life around, and she wants to come closer to God, but it's going to take her time. We told her that what we share will definitely help her come closer to God. She was kind of leery of maybe talking with us more, but she warmed up to us, and when she gets back in town, we are going to start teaching her. She is a really neat girl and I am excited to teach her.
Friday we taught Debi about the Restoration. Ha, she told us she has ADD and can't focus on really anything....well for someone with ADD she focused pretty well. She had a lot of good questions, and she was more excited about the Book of Mormon after the lesson. Last night we saw her at dinner (they feed us every Sunday), and she said she didn't come to church because she didn't have anything to wear (because all of her clothes have gone missing, she has them she just has to dig them out this week)...not the best excuse, but she is a little bit depressed about the death of her mother-in-law (who is basically like her mom) and is going through a lot. But, she told us she had been reading a pamphlet that we left her, but she lost it. So we went and got her another one, and we had been home about an hour, and she called us and said "Who are Martin Luther and John Calvin?" That is in a little section about the Great Apostasy, which meant...SHE WAS READING FOR REALS!!!!!! I was pretty excited. So right now, she is our only progressing investigator. Next week we will have more, but yeah.
Saturday we were in all day and Sister Hill slept almost all day. I made a cake that we took to Shai's mom, she wasn't home so we left it on the porch chair (and the cake ended up most likely sitting out all night). But that was pretty much all we did that day. She slept I baked, and made a poster. And seriously family and everyone, if you haven't checked out the new, you should. Because it is awesome. You should also make a profile. It's a great way to have a missionary opportunity. You can connect it to your facebook or blog, and you can tell your friends... "hey I just made a profile you should check it out!" And if you connect it to your facebook, non-members can contact you if they have questions about things that you have said. Seriously you should make a profile.
Oh and on Sunday, Randy Swetnam came to church again! He is Debi's brother-in-law, and I think I have talked about him. But it is interesting, because he has come from such a crazy past. He used to be in the branch presidency here, then he went off the deep end, and now he is slowly starting to come back. You can see the wheels turning in his head, and how repentance is working in his life. It is really neat to see him making this change and ah, it's cool. Anyway. That is pretty much the week that we had. It wasn't too great, but some good things did happen.
I know that the Lord is with us, even when we don't realize it. I know that he is there for us, whenever we need him. We just have to "reach up and take his hand." I think so many times we loose sight of what is important, even as missionaries, we are easily distracted. We need to continue to do those little things, like having SINCERE prayers, truly reading and studying the scriptures, and listening to the Spirit. When we aren't doing these things, it makes it that much easier for Satan to knock us down or to tempt us. I am so grateful to be here in La Place serving the Lord. I know that this is where I am supposed to be, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you all and I am grateful that I am apart of this wonderful family!
Love you,
Sister Earl

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