HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! to all the mothers in my life: Mom, Val, Lindsey, Grandma Bonnie, Grandma Marian & Grandma Frankie.
[Mom] I'll be calling you at 5pm Vegas time and I can talk for an hour. I'm trying not to get "trunky" about it, but it's harder than I thought it would be. I miss you all more than I thought I would. I think it's because I'm having all these experiences and I'm realizing that I can't explain or share all of them with you and that makes me sad. Everyone needs to serve a mission in order to know what it's like.
This last week has been full of ups and downs. The family that we found, Matt & Angie and her kids, got "anti-ed" which is a term for what happens a lot out here. If your congregation or people you know find out that you're talking to the Mormons they'll feed you anti-Mormon propaganda. So, Angie called us about how the Book of Mormon has been re-written over 4,000 times and all this other bogus stuff and then skipped her next appointment, wouldn't answer the phone and wouldn't return our calls. Yesterday we went by to see her and they let us right in and we resolved most of their issues but it's very back and forth with them. Matt in particular will argue with us by telling us that he believes everything we say and that it can all be found in the Bible.
At one point I was like, "So you're telling us that you know what we're saying is true and for some reason that means that you shouldn't come to our church? How does that work?" Satan is working very hard on them but I feel the spirit stronger in their home than in any other home we teach in. They are so ready and so prepared. They're just getting hung up on things like whether or not hell will have a lake of fire or not, or if angels are spirits or not. We keep telling them that stuff doesn't matter, but I think they're just scared because they already know it's true and they'll have to start keeping the Word of Wisdom if they admit it. Anyways, when they do finally get baptized, they're going to be a great help to our ward.
I said it before but I'm constantly amazed at how fully the bishop and the few strong families in the ward have to work. They give EVERYTHING. ALL their time and ALL their energy to this work. I'm praying that a couple of families that have strong testimonies will move into the ward so that we can get a good base for the ward.
Johnathan & Kaylee Ogden are getting baptized on Mothers Day & I'm so excited. They're the cutest little kids. They're half Korean, which is rare out here. They have the funniest questions & answers during our lessons. Kaylee's the girl from last week that thought "apostles" was "popsicles". When I call you, I'm sure that's all I'll talk about on Sunday.
We're still not able to get out for much of the day because of illnesses, but when we do get out, I love it. It's hard, I think, to have companions that are at such bookends in their missions because we don't see eye to eye on everything, but we're trying to work through things.
We're really hopeful that Jackie will be baptized at the end of this transfer. We have to get him married to Linda which means that we have to get Linda divorced & we also have to get him to quit dipping, but I think we'll do it. He's been a week clean now which he never thought he'd be able to do. On Saturday we went over there and read from Alma 24 with him about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and how they buried their weapons of war. Then we went outside & dug a hole and buried all the cans of tobbacco he still had. We're hoping that will help him.
We met the sweetest man the other day named Willard. We were tracting & he was walking on the street. He has to walk a lot because he had a stroke & his arm and one leg don't work too well anymore. He's such a sweet man. He told us about how he was dead for four minutes but God wasn't ready for him yet so he got sent back. He was glad he did get sent back because he wasn't right with God yet & needed more time. Then he started crying because right after that, his daughter and her outlaw boyfriend stole his life savings & his wife died. He's had a hard life. Now he's living with his niece because they can't find his daughter & he has no way to work. But he's such a sweet man. We committed him to baptism & I feel really strongly that he'll get baptized & later sealed to his wife.
We had Zone Conference this week & it was a great boost. Sister Glende talked about Charity & the pure love OF Christ. She said that "of" can mean three things: from, for and like. Then she went on to talk about the pure love from Christ, pure love for Christ and pure love like Christ. It was powerful. President talked about the 7 habits of spirituality & I can't remember them all right now, but I'll send them later.
The Senior couple in our Zone were at one point a mission president couple, temple president couple & patriarch. Elder Westover shared a story from a patriarchal blessing given by his friend to an older lady who had recently joined the church. She was told in that blessing that she was supposed to join the church in her youth, but the missionary that was to baptize her chose not to serve his mission. How sad for that man when he realizes what he missed out on. We left Zone Conference & had to pull over on the highway because the weather was awful. It was that day that Rachael James' home got hit. The weather was very bad, but we were blessed and kept safe.
Something new that has started since being a missionary for me: I talk & do weird things in my sleep. I'm very jumpy in my sleep, too. Sister Gossett always says that if I hear even the smallest sound I "pop up like a wild gypsy". I've never been told that I sleep talk before, but she swears I do. The other night I was in a spelling bee, I guess, because I said, "Mommy: M-O-M-M-Y. Mommy" & then I went on to spell other words. I even sang a made up song the other night. Who knew?
My time's running out but I wanted to start a couple of weekly email traditions. First is the
Word of the Week:
It's pronounced Ma (the "a" sound is the sound you make when you say "apple" or "ask") and then Maw (the "a" is the sound you make when you say "awful" or "awesome").
Ma-Maw. The same pronunciation goes with Pa-Paw. They mean Grandma & Grandpa.
People who write me get extra blessings that week. I'll have a full list of past recipients next week, but this weeks are: Camillio Estevez Butler, Ma-Maw Bonnie & Pa-Paw Rex, Marianne & Chief Pieper, Nixon Nelson & Miles Nelson.
Well, my time is up. I'm excited to talk to you on Sunday! Keep Michael in your prayers because he's having surgery next week! I love you, Mom! (& everyone else) but especially Mom!
The church is TRUE! Share it!
Love, Sis Nelson