Monday, March 7, 2016

Pepper Spray- because Missionaries DO get chased by Dogs!

Emailing at the library with Sister Squires

Hola family and friends!! 

This week has been good and of course super adventurous. 

To start out with sad news- transfer calls were on Saturday.  It's seriously the most nerve racking thing ever. So we were going about our night and the call never came.  We had a meeting with our ward mission leader and we knew if we didn't get a call before the meeting, then we were safe. We never got the call before the meeting so we got pretty excited.  We didn't have cell service at his house, so when we got out we had a text from our sister training leaders to see if we got the call. We called them back and told them we didn't.  Well long story short, right after we got off the phone with them, we noticed we had a voice mail but didn't have any missed calls. We listened to the voice mail and it was President. President only calls of you're going to be a some type of leader or trainer. Instantly, we knew Sister Squires was going to be called as an STL (Sister Training Leader) because they are calling like 9-13 new ones because so many people are leaving and there are 13 new Hermanas coming in so they need almost all the Hermanas to train. So we called him back and he asked her to be an STL.  Right after she hung up, we just cried. Once we were home, we just cried more with each other. (I think we got a little attached to each other) I am so sad she is leaving, but she is going to be the best STL EVER!!!!! I am staying here and getting a new companion.  I'm scared. Haha, it will all be good though. Pray for me. 

Well this week has been really interesting. We had tons of appointments bail and cancel on us which resulted in us tracting like crazy.  What's new?  Haha,  we had all of our plans fall through on Wednesday, so we spent that whole day walking and tracting. After about 2 hours of tracting this neighborhood, we decided to change to a different scenery. We got to this sketchy neighborhood and started on our way.  Well, ALL the houses had dogs. People in Powhatan have crazy long gravel drive ways, so at each house, we started up our journey of the long driveways and dogs would always be standing there.  If you can already guess, the dogs would start running at us, we would panic and get chased. These dogs were big. We were so scared. I always thought it was a joke about missionaries being chased by dogs.... I'm here to say it's TRUE!!  Members in our ward gave us pepper spray last night because they know how sketchy the area is and how everyone has dogs, so we are going to have to whip those bad boys out soon. 

We were so frustrated all day because we didn't find any success by tracting.  We have tracted all day, we were tired and frustrated and just wanted to sit down and give up. But we know if we kept going and had faith, we would be lead and guided to someone.  We just kept telling ourselves we had to finish this street.  We got to the second to last door and this sweet lady named Donna answered the door. She let us right in.  We were so confused.  She even offered us water!! S he was busy and had to get paper work done, but she invited us to come back and talk with her. We were really happy and knew God put her in our path.  It definitely was a little tender mercy. 

Ok,  crazy story, so you remember the man we met at the dump and said he was a Mormon and then came to church last Sunday?  His name is Charles Pratt.  Well we didn't have any contact information for him so we weren't able to get a hold of him outside of church. Well, we were sitting in sacrament yesterday and we turned around and he was right there!  He came again!!!  After sacrament he came to gospel principles with us and told us he really needs to start coming regularly. Sunday school was starting and Elder Sopp is our gospel principles teacher. He was asking questions to Charles to get to know him and then Charles drops the bomb on us that he was excommunicated and explains how it happened.  About 15 years ago he was married to this crazy lady and she didn't like him going to church or anything because it was taking his time away from her and she hated Mormons.  So, behind his back, she wrote a letter to the church saying how he wants to leave and be excommunicated. She forged his signature. The bishop talked to him about it and he wouldn’t believe him that it wasn't him, so that day forward, he hasn't been to church.  After class we stayed and talked with him and Elder Sopp and he asked the question of "how can I be baptized again?  What do I need to do?"  He is really interested in coming back.  So we are going to go over this week and help him out a bit. He divorced his last wife and now lives with a girl and she isn't too fond of Mormons. So we will see how that goes. It are excited for him! 

It's finally starting to warm up this week!!  Yay. We helped brother Noe do some yard work earlier this week. There are sticks everywhere, duh cause there's trees everywhere!!! So we helped him pick up sticks so he can mow his lawn soon. There were so many sticks in his yard there was enough to have a big bon fire. So of course, we went over that night with s'more supplies and had a Bon fire with him. 

James, pretty much our only solid investigator, is doing so good. He is still on the fence about baptism because he is a little bit of a partier and doesn't "know" (or want) to live the life style of being LDS.  His wife, Lisa, is really helpful with him though. She also went off the deep end when she was around 16 and just started coming back to church regularly about a month ago because she got a calling to be the primary 2nd counselor. She doesn't drink or anything with him anymore and is being a really good example to him. We have been getting really close to them the past 3 weeks. They have a date night every Friday night and go out to eat and they invited us with them!!!  Woohoo date night!!!  We went to Texas Roadhouse. It was so good, it never disappoints me. We then helped them paint their room on Saturday. We like them a lot. They are way fun. 
Date night!  We had a wait at Texas Roadhouse, so we went to Best Buy
and saw weird technology stuff I haven't seen before.

We had a zone meeting this week and Sister Squires, another sister in our zone, Sister Fox, and I did a musical number. Sister Squires and I played the ukulele and we all sang. We made a little arrangement of Called To Serve. It went really well. 
Don't make fun of me- it was my first time.  I'm looking
 down because the notes are on my lap- ha ha.

At zone meeting, we talked a lot about the Savior’s life. I started studying a little more about it during my personal study. I started to think about how Jesus Christ went out and taught his gospel and how much he was rejected, spit upon and laughed at.  Now I think of all the times I am rejected by the people here because they don't want to hear our message and it really makes me think about the Savior and how much he really did try to help those around him and help us.  What I see is only a sliver of what happened to him. I think getting numerous doors shut on me is hard, but he had so much more. He was rejected over and over, mocked, back stabbed and then crucified. I'm so grateful for him and the life he lived and the example he was to everyone. It amazes me after everything that happened to him, he still asked Heavenly Father to forgive those who hurt him. It makes me really want to change my attitude when I go out and do his work. Instead of having a bad attitude or being sad when someone is mean to us or rejects us, I just need to know and remember how much Jesus Christ did for me and all of us and press forward with a good attitude. It's been a hard week for Sister Squires and I, but after thinking and learning about that, I have seen my attitude change a lot more when I am rejected. It’s so sad for those who do say no because they don't get to hear the gospel, but God has a plan for them, they will have an open heart and mind one day and will be able to accept it or not.  

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 3:24- prophesied of Joseph Smith and how wonderful he was. He would do good in both word and deed and be an instrument in God’s hand. And it came true!! I've also been really into studying Joseph Smith’s life the past 4 months and it amazes me how cool he was. I thought I knew a lot about Joseph Smith, but I learned that I didn't. It's been really cool to know more about the background and history of how the restoration occurred and to see all the events leading up to the restoration. This gospel really is so amazing!! 

I love y'all so so much. I hope you have a wonderful week!! 

Love Sister Brooks!

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