The big news of the week is we spent almost all of Thursday getting rid of bed bugs in our apartment. Sister Williams and I have woken up with strange red marks on our arms and legs for a week so we decided to do something about it. To be honest, I thought bed bugs were going to be a bigger deal when I first came to Indiana, but then thought they were a myth, so when we were getting bitten I was in denial. Luckily Sister W is aware of that kind of junk so we vacuumed, washed and dried all of our clothing and bedding, threw away our pillows (both of mine.. :/), and set off a bed bug bomb. Okay, those things are ridiculous. We got home that night and there was a bug on the wall. Then the next night we found another on the opposite wall by my bed. It's so annoying. The bites don't even hurt, they just look like we have chicken pox or something. I had like six on my right leg by my knee. Like seriously bugs, you are biting me for sleeping in my own bed. That's not right. Anyway, I've developed a lot of angst for the ugly little things. I enjoyed flushing them down the toilet. We think they are gone though. No bites since those two days!
So we have this recent convert who is hilarious. He has the most unique personality I've encountered on my mission. Every conversation is an interesting one. He called us on Saturday night and told us he was going to the hospital. We couldn't really do anything but said we would visit him the next day. When we were telling the bishop and rest of the Priesthood Executive council on Sunday, he texted us and said he would be at church. It was a surprise, but it was good! He has a tough personality to teach to because you can't be too bold cause he gets offended really easily. It's always walking on eggshells. He's a good guy though. He always has good comments when he is called on in classes!
We did service at a members house on Wednesday. She had us eradicate all the vines and weeds from her garden. They had been put in and not maintained by the previous owner. We spent two hours and accomplished a lot, but not enough to be finished. It was so fun, but our allergies were so active! We almost died. She fed us lunch and let us change in her bathroom. It was cool getting to know her. I think we have really earned the trust of this ward. There's so many we haven't personally met yet, but they have loved us from the beginning and know we are working hard.
We contacted an inactive family who has two non-member daughters. They are really nice to the missionaries, but the ward is a little wary of visiting them. They have strong feelings about some of the church policies that are hard for them to justify being active members because of the differences. They need love. We go over and play with the 8 year old daughter and try to build up the self-esteem of the 15 year old. It's interesting how the experiences I have had with low self-esteem and self-worth over the years have helped me to understand others better. Every time she talks to us about her life, it's so much more obvious that she is looking for a source of esteem. We taught her about the Atonement and repentance a little bit. She was really anxious to learn about repentance. Bearing testimony can be so powerful. Their home is very contentious, but we were able to feel the spirit so strongly. What set the tone was watching this video: "Gethsemane - Claire Ryann at 2 Years old" It is so sweet and adorable but also reverent and spiritual. If you haven't, go watch it! Hopefully things with this family will start to progress. She is coming to a Youth activity on Wednesday for the end of the school year! It will be fun!
We met Linda this week. She just lost her husband about a year ago. It was a surprise and is still painful for her. She is angry at God and struggling with her faith right now. We knocked on her door and talked for a minute before she invited us in. We visited for about 45 minutes. She told us her story of the last year and cried a lot. We testified of the Atonement and Jesus Christ. And how she can find strength through him and the sacrifice he made for each of us. It was a really spiritual lesson. She could definitely feel the spirit. We shared our testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it brings us closer to God when we read it and pray about it. She is so thirsty for something to strengthen her. We gave her to book and she was happy to read it. We are praying for her so hard. She is so fragile right now but I know the gospel of Jesus Christ will help her through all trials, and likewise for each of us.
I love going into lessons like that with nothing but the spirit and my testimony (of course my knowledge of the scriptures and such as well). Allowing the spirit to direct your life is so much more successful than trying to figure it all out by yourself. There is a talk from last General Conference that says "The Lord will make more out of your life than you can by yourself." Trust in the Lord. He will not lead you to darkness without being there to lead you through it, too.
We went on exchanges with the sisters in North Vernon, which is ironically south of us. I went to Seymour with Sister Doyle. She planned for us to go to an apartment complex to tract into Spanish speaking people. Apparently she got the wrong impression from my Spanish name tag and the limited amount of Spanish vocabulary I possess... Whilst tracting, I took the lead on the door contacts. We met this man named Rene who spoke some English but it was very broken. Our Spanish was even more broken than his English, but we tried Spanish anyway. HA. It was really cool. He goes to a pentecostal church because his friend is the pastor. We told him the name of our church and he pointed out that it had Christ's name in it. I asked him if he knew the scriptures. I referenced 3 Nephi 27:3-8 which says that if a church is called by any other name, it is not His Church. It was so cool how he started to think about that. They got an appointment to meet with him next week to give him a church tour with a member who speaks Spanish. It was really neat getting to see a little bit into the world of a Spanish missionary. (: I loved it!
Overall it was a really great week! We have zone conference this week and have to give a 50 minute training.. YIKES! We are excited though! Thank you for all the support and prayers! I love all you people! Sorry for the long email! <3
1. Frank, Sister Purvis' chunky cat
2. the de-bedbug day at the laundromat
3. Exchanges with Sister Doyle (: