Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Slow-dance With A Blonde Indian

Have y'all ever seen the Kentucky State Flag? If you haven't, you need to. It's really awesome. In the center of the flag are two men: a dark-headed Caucasian and a blonde-headed Native American. They're slow-dancing...
... I think. They could be shaking hands, but I'm pretty sure they're slow-dancing. Mom sent me a flag in the mail and we hung it on the wall and I've studied it quite a bit. Where in the world did this white man find a blonde Indian? Why are they slow-dancing? What inspired Kentucky to use this as a symbol of their state? [apparently Brooke has never seen a depiction of a blonde-haired, buckskin-clad frontiersman before. Only Indians wear fringed leather breeches and shirts, I suppose. I don't suppose it could possibly be two of the most famous Kentuckians that ever lived: Daniel Boone and Abe Lincoln. Oh well...I like her take better. ]

So far I've only come up with an answer to that last question. I don't know who they are or why they're doing what they're doing, BUT, I understand Kentucky's use of it. Since I've been here in the Bluegrass State, I've had tons of instances and experiences that were technically possible, but not probable, especially for my Las Vegas mind-set. Lots of times I've done things or seen things or heard things that are as weird and at the same time as intruiging as a blonde Indian slow-dancing with a white man. You know what is happening isn't logical or natural, but you can't help looking away. Example: butt-cracks galore, couples that consist of a young, good-looking guy and an old, overweight lady, bugs that sound like car alarms, men with ponytails, women with beards, etc.

This last week has been different from the last few weeks we've had. It felt weird to not have a baptism on Saturday, but it motivated us to go out and find some more of God's elect, ready-to-get-wet children. On Tuesday we went and taught Judy Jones' mom with Bishop Barton and his wife. Mary is a really grouchy, withered lady. She's 82. A long time ago when I was in High School I decided that I was going to have a porch swing when I had a house of my own and if I was single as an old lady that I would sit out on that porch swing and watch all of the people in my neighborhood and yell at all of the kids that knocked a ball into my yard or stopped to smell one of my flowers. My goal would be to have all the kids in the neighborhood afraid of me and think I was a witch and dare each other to get up the courage to ding-dong ditch me. It's a lofty goal, but one I think I can rise to if circumstances allow.

That's how Mary would be if her circumstances would allow. Sadly, she lives miles from any neighbors and doesn't have a porch swing to sit out on. So, she terrorizes her daughter and son-in-law while she sits in a recliner all day. We actually taught her with Judy the first time we taught Judy. She pretended like she didn't want to listen, but refused Judy's offer to help her into another room. During the lesson she would ask questions, remind us that she wasn't going to change her religion and then try and be quiet again until she simply had to ask another question. The next lesson, she told Judy we had to have it in a different room because she wasn't listening to us anymore and she also wasn't moving so that we could come in. She's been like that ever since I've known her. She came to Judy's baptism but wouldn't sit next to us. When she talked to us she was nice but then said that she was offended by our church. On their way out, Bishop stopped Judy and Mary and talked to Mary for a while and told her that she should let us missionaries teach her. She said she'd like that. Then the next week she said she didn't want us to come. Then on Sunday she came to church again (she's been 3 times now even though she "doesn't like the church". She drives an hour, sits for three hours and drives back an hour all for a church she "doesn't like".) and asked us why we haven't taught her yet. Haha. She's really grouchy and fickle. She reminds me of the lady in Pollyanna, what's her name? It was her idea to use the string. She was picking out her coffin and everything. I wish I could remember her name. [Mrs. Snow - played by Agnes Moorhead. A family favorite film - we know almost every line by heart. "Why, Mrs. Snow, that's a fib.  It was MY idea."  "Hearts and flowers.....enough to make you sick!!] Anyway, Mary reminds me of her. She wants so badly to not like the church but she can't help it. We had a good lesson with Bishop there and already brought up baptism with her. She'll be baptized, I'm pretty sure.

On Thursday we drove around Lily for 2 hours trying to find a house that isn't on any maps. When we finally found it, the lady we had been referred to didn't answer, but her husband did. He was quite rude to us and basically told us never to come back. Later that night though, we went to see Gail Childress. I don't know if I've told you about her or not. I think I have. But anyway, she's this little lady in her 50's that calls herself "obeast" because she only has half a lung and one knee and cancer and diabetes. She's dying. But, she's the sweetest, most saintly person I've ever met. She's always watching some church movie and can quote them to you as you watch them. She's so grateful if she ever gets to attend sacrament meeting. She loves the Lord and will tell you that over and over while you're with her. She says that she misses Heavenly Father and wants to go see him again but that if she's still here, she'll do all she can to help Him. She writes letters every month to sisters who are inactive and has prepared over 10,000 names for temple work. She's a doll. None of her family is active and she prays and prays that they will be and I don't know how they aren't because she's such an angel, but they aren't. Anyways, she's always such a boost to us when we see her. She was raised in the backwoods and got married when she was 16 and said that it's better that way so that neither of you have too much of an opinion on things so you can grow up together.

Friday we visited a girl in London. We gave her a Book of Mormon a couple weeks ago and last time we saw her we asked her if she had read and she said, "Yep. I got all the way through Genesis." "Umm... did you read the Bible?" "No, the Book of Mormon." "The Book of Mormon doesn't have Genesis in it." "Oh, well, I read the first book of the Book of Mormon." 

Right... This visit we had with her on Friday we asked her the same question and she said, "Yeah. I read the first book." "Cool. Which book?" "Affromani, I think it's called?" "Nephi." "Yeah. That one." "You read the whole thing?" "Yeah." "How many chapters?" "5". "1 Nephi has 22 chapters in it." "Yeah. I read 22 chapters." Right...

Affromani? Really?

Johnathan Ogden who is 10 got a cell phone this week. It's awesome.

Willard finished the Book of Mormon this week. I call him a crybaby because he's so sensitive. I asked him if he cried as he read through Moroni (or "Maury" as he pronounces it.) He said, "I cried through the whole thing." He's doing really well! He started reading the Pearl of Great Price yesterday.

I wish you all could see the colors out here. There are flowers here that I honestly thought were just in the movies. Every week there's a different color of wildflower on the sides of the streets. It's gorgeous.

A couple days ago my left eye (my good eye) started hurting. I woke up the next day with it swollen on the outside. Today it's red and swollen on the inside. I look great. Also, I got a chigger the other night and if you don't know what those are or what they do, look it up. It's really creepy. I literally dug it out of my skin. You're not supposed to do that, but I wasn't about to let it stay in there. Also, one of the families we visited called us the day after we saw them. We had hugged them and played with their dog and sat in their home for an hour. They told us they have lice. I about broke out all over my body, I was so nervous. I prayed like crazy the next two days. Thankfully, we don't have any. But I can promise I'll never get too close to that family again.

Mom, thanks for the update on the trip. I almost threw up or Sister Ralph'd all over myself when I read about the bird flying into your chin. I also panicked when you told me about Nina being lost in Manhattan. Thank goodness Hayley always has to know where everyone is at all times. I'm so glad you got to meet Sister Correia! Isn't she a doll? I need more details though on your meeting.

Word of the Week: Pronounced "wunst". Kentucky's form of "Once". I saw your church wunst on tv. Never wunst have I rode in an aeroplane. Wunst I get my check, I'll pay you back.

Extra Blessings: Pinegar family! I loved knowing you were all so close to me these last couple weeks. KUBO & LARS! Thank you for the post(er) card and the Smell package and the letters. I loved them!

I love you all and I love being a missionary! If anyone wants a good rebuking they should read D&C 60:2-3,7-8,13!
The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns-
Sis Nelson

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