Monday, March 6, 2017

Well, it's been a week

I can't really say much else beyond the title. This week has been all things. Hilarious, stressful, exhausting, rewarding, confusing, enlightening and just flat out ridiculous. 

On exchanges with the Garner sisters. We went to Cookout and Bojangles to introduce Sister Jensen. She was not a fan of Boberry biscuits. Every single one of our appointments after dinner fell through, so we went tracting. Sister Tagge and I made a new cat friend. 

Nothing too exciting. Zone council and lots of tracting. The Garner sisters went back to Garner (they had been staying with us since Saturday). 

The beginning of the insanity. President called us at 7 am and said that he still wanted the Garner sister to stay with us. Sister Jensen had really been struggling and wanting to go home. They had been staying with us so that we could be around her and do all we could to keep her out here. Apparently we weren't supposed to let them go back to Garner, so we called them back and let them know to come back with us after district meeting. Sister Jensen came with me and Sister Wall went with Sister Tagge. Around 4 we got a call from President saying Sister Jensen would be flying home tomorrow and they would pick her up from our apartment at 6 am. So that meant we had to get all of her stuff to our apartment tonight and figure out what we were going to do until Sister Tagge's new companion arrives tomorrow
Funny story from today: Casey. We have taught Casey once before and had an appointment for today. We show up for our appointment and her son tells us she is putting the baby down for a nap. So we go knock a few doors and come back. Still trying to put the baby down. Okay, we'll go contact some referrals in the area and do some more tracting. 20 minutes later we go back to Casey's and her husband answered this time. Apparently Casey had fallen asleep with the baby and was totally out😛

Thursday: I'm pretty sure that today was the longest day of my life. Looking back at all the things that happened today, I honestly can't wrap my brain around the fact that they all happened in a 24 hour span.

We woke up at 6 to say goodbye to Sister Jensen, but then we got to go back to sleep for about 20 minutes. Sister Tagge of course couldn't be by herself so we were in a trio for most of the day. There was a trio down in Shallotte that President split up, one of them will be coming up here. After studies (which were a complete mess, we were all so exhausted that none of us could focus on anything) we drove up to Garner to get the oil changed in the Garner sisters car. (Except we went to the wrong place first😝) While we waited for that we sat in Wendy's to do our weekly planning. After about an hour, the car was done so we went back to get the car and then went back to Wendy's to get lunch. We just went through the drive through, rather than awkwardly go back in after sitting there for an hour. They forgot Sister Wall's fries, and we didn't realize it until about a mile later. We thought this was absolutely hilarious and were all laughing so hard we cried. Sister Wall said "NO FRIES?!?! this day can't get any worse".......bad choice. It got worse. 
After a last minute turn to get Sister Wall her fries, we go to the Garner apartment to eat, finish weekly planning,  do companion study, and wait for Sister Tagge's new companion. Then we had a member of our ward come pick us up because we had driven the Garner car and ours was still in Holly Springs. Luckily our appointment was in our apartment complex, because Sister Wall's wallet was still in the Garner car. Which meant we couldn't drive anywhere. Yep, she jinxed it when she said the day couldn't get any worse 😉. It all worked out though, our dinner came to pick us up and then she took us to the Relief Society activity after dinner. We had been asked to talk for a couple minutes at the activity, so we had to go.  
We had a really neat experience of being led to someone today. We had about 30 minutes to tract after our dinner appointment and we prayed to find a new investigator . After about 20 minutes we hadn't met anyone interested, so we prayed again to be led to the person that Heavenly Father wanted us to meet. I felt drawn to this one specific house, so we skipped the next 4 houses to knock on this one. A man opens the door and we start introducing ourselves. He interrupts us and tells us he is Mormon but they haven't gone in about a year. We later found out from our bishop that they just had their names removed a couple months ago. The husband was friendly and seemed open to us coming back, he was just concerned about his wife. She is the one that has the most hard feelings to the church, but the husband seemed willing to have us come back in a few weeks. Even though he didn't become a new investigator, I have no doubt that we were supposed to meet him. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of all of His children, especially those that have strayed and are in need of a reminder of His love and awareness. 
Then we go to the Relief Society activity, which is where I met Mary Poppins. It was the RS birthday party and they were talking about all the different bags women have and what they mean to us. There was a diaper bag, a scripture case (us), a backpack, a handmade crochet bag, etc. Mary Poppins pulled them all out of her magic carpetbag and then the person whose bag it was talked about what it meant to them. The Garner sisters drove down to bring Sister Wall her wallet. So at least the day ended really well, but man, was it an exhausting day!

I love when my first impressions get proved wrong! We were tracting and the man pulls into his driveway (#awkward). We introduce ourselves and ask him if he has a faith in Jesus Christ. He is still in his car at this point and tells us he does and that he has a story. Confession, I totally expected this man to start telling us all the reasons we are wrong and why nothing we believe is true. Nope! He was actually super sincere and really nice! He told us all about how much he loves King Benjamin (yep, the King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon) and how a lot of our society's problems would be solved if we just did what King Benjamin did. Ummmm, what? That is not at all what I expected but I am so grateful I didn't immediately leave. Clearly I need to work on having charity for people and not judging them. He is so cool! He has had a rough couple years, but he still maintains his faith. He has a lot of similar beliefs and values. 

Another day of sitting in a fast food place for over an hour. This time it was because we were getting our own oil changed. So we took the downtime to plan for our instruction coming up. Being a sister training leader just means I go on lots of exchanges and am always planning for an instruction. Meetings, exchanges, and instructing at meetings. That's my life now. 
Oh yeah, we also got the cops called on us tonight

Church. No one came 😔
BUT we found 3 new investigators who are all awesome and really excited about meeting with us! 2 of them have met with missionaries before and still have a copy of the Book of Mormon and the other one lives next to a member who has told her about the gospel. 
Some tender mercies: 
Spaghetti. While we were tracting, I really wanted spaghetti. Then our dinner made us spaghetti!!
Someone gave us a water bottle while we were tracting. 
One of our recent converts got the priesthood. 
Someone said exactly what I needed to hear during testimony meeting. 

Okay, I just realized that it sounds like I had a completely awful week. I didn't, promise! It was actually a really good week, just full of craziness. This week has stretched me and tested me, but I have learned so much from it. My mission has been such an incredible blessing and I wouldn't change a single day of it, even the terribly long days.This week has taught me to be more patient and to keep working, even when I am totally exhausted and just want to sleep. Those are the times that the miracles happen, when I go just a little further than I thought I could. 

Love y'all
Sister Pyper

Aftereffects of a rainstorm
Wednesday night it poured and we all got soaked. It was the best!! I have missed the thunderstorms. 

My new friend
We went tracting on Monday night and this cat followed us from house to house for a solid 45 minutes. <3

For those of who you haven't been privileged to go to Cookout or Bojangles, we went to both. Sister Jensen hadn't had either, so all  of us went to lunch together. We went to Cookout to get lunch and then brought it with us to get her a Boberry biscuit (A sweet biscuit with blueberries in it and icing on top). Yep, we totally brought food from Cookout into Bojangles :) If that doesn't describe the South I don't know what does :)

I met Mary Poppins :)

The South

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