Thursday, October 3, 2013

Turd the cat sends me to the ER

Wellll I guess I'll get the Emergency Room story out of the way since it's probably all your really wondering about. But I have to tell about my whole day Thursday.
It was just a normal thirsty Thursday, started out great until I decided we needed to check up on some people before our 1:30 appt, so we end up taking the long way to the church and some psycho lady doesn't see me so I'm swerving out of the way just in case and go off the slanted curb and immediately try to get back on without taking it at an angle and my bike started skidding out and I supermanned the side walk. Not too bad though actually, mostly my right leg is missing skin for about 6x2 inches. I was like lets just get to the church before the adrenaline wears off and it starts hurting. I cleaned it and we taught Travis the preacher and Chase, and it was a normal lesson but at the end when they tried to schedule we had to drop them:( it was so sad. The mood in the room just dropped, there was sadness all over everyone, besides my companion she was glad about it. It had to happen I guess, we just had to explain that as missionaries we can't continue to teach them without any progression. Then we just told them to call us when they had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. It was way harder than I thought, and they were way more upset than I thought they'd be. We had an x-police detective there teaching with us and he was like, "y'all were getting to them!" Anyways, it was more pain on top of a painful day. Did I mention I think he's Duck Dynasty's preacher? I'll know for sure soon.
Whoa this is the longest story in the world. At dinner than night we were at a members house with some cats, we eat there all the time and I just don't rub my eyes and I'm always fine. Until the stupid cat whose name, no joke, is "Turd" rubs all against my uncovered wound. My eyes and skin started itching really bad so I made us leave. Then in the car I felt my eyes swelling almost shut and my throat swelling too. Sister McDonough heard me wheezing over the phone and said to go to the ER. I thought they would just stick me with an epi-pen and let me go but noooo before I knew it I was on a hospital bed with heated blankets, hooked up to oxygen, and an IV in my arm. You'd think I was dying. It was a little ridiculous but they said it had to happen and about an hour later I was all good. I really hate needles so as the nurse was doing the IV she was praying. It was so funny, just prayin' out loud for me, only in the South.
I only have time to tell about one other thing that happened. We went to check up on our investigator who we love Courtney. She was a little skeptical about telling us about her week but we got it out of her. Turns out there was an evil spirit in her house. It was in her young daughters room and some freaky stuff happened. We were able to get some Priesthood over there later that night and they gave a blessing on the home and we told her how she can get rid of it. We were also able to tell her that because she had committed to baptism and was doing so well, the adversary was working as hard as it could. Doing anything it could to scare her. She had called a bunch of other Preachers and whatnot but said the house had been great since we came and the blessing was done. She came to church on Sunday too!
Other than that we did a "church swap" with a guy named Linonel. He came to our church in the morning, and we went to his Pentecostal church last night. It was pretty much everything I dreamed it would be with preaching and shouting and speaking in tongues. Half of it was like a Christian rock concert, you bet I was up clappin' to the music with everyone. Everything the Preachers were saying was good but they were disorganized and speaking so fast and so loud that nothing could sink in. There was no room to think of anything for yourself. It was missing the why and the how of things. Just a testimony to how the spirit is the real teacher when he impresses things on our minds.
Thanks for all the exciting news and support annnnnd everything. Love you guys a lot and have to try not to miss you too much!
Sister Stevens

Mesma Coisa

At stake conference

Another week and another transfer in West Monroe! It's t-day can you believe it. Starting transfer #4 in the MJM. I am just loving life as usual. We were on bikes this week, we got caught in the rain so many times, ended up having to go under abandoned porches to wait it out a few times. Cause when it rains it RAINS, 3 seconds in it is worse than 3 seconds in a shower.
This transfer we got the required tracting hours every week! It was so good! Tracting is not as successful here so we have covered a ton of ground. This week we have had some really good moments though. One lesson was to this old black lady just sitting on her porch, we were telling her about the Book of Mormon and she just kept being like, "Are you serious!?!" and we were like, "YES! It's a big deal!". Can't wait to go back to her tomorrow, she called to tell us she couldn't make our appointment and rescheduled, that's how you know they're gold! We also went into this girls house, like the first time the whole week someone actually let us IN. We taught the whooole restoration and she wouldn't say much, even when we would ask questions. Which is so different cause let me tell you, people here like to taaaalk. She just listened and looked at us mesmerized, but it was hard to tell if any of it was getting through. Then at the end she kept saying, "I learned something" and "thank you for teaching me". It was so good! We go back there tomorrow too.
It was Stake Conference, which was sooo fun! I got to see so many other missionaries and catch up with the Bastrop Sisters, and the Bastrop members! I got to just stand and talk to all the people who used to take care of me it was the best. Just as good as seeing people was all the talks and topics. Our Mission President got up and spoke about missionary work. It was a lot of what Elder Kopishke said but with his own twist. As members we have so much knowledge that is so incredibly important, it is what we need to be sharing, even if it's just clearing up misconceptions. People that hear the message of the restoration are better off than they were whether they accept it at the time or not. That's what we have to keep remembering, people have their agency, it's more than accepting the gospel, it's acting on it, that's that hard part! President also talked about how Christ is the author, AND finisher of every persons faith. We can and need to invite as much as we can so that everyone has the opportunity to allow Christ to give them more and more, to continually add to their faith.
I just love these people here. I need to work on loving those with harder hearts as well as those with open hearts. I reeaally tried that when we tracted for 3 hours on Sunday, no matter who it was I told myself I loved them so much and that whoever answered would have so much potential. It ended up making it so that when we rejected I couldn't even hide the disappointment from my face, I think it made them feel awkward and bad for saying no. Usually I'm pretty good about hiding it and just cheerfully moving on but not when I made an extra effort to love them. On the bright side, whenever someone did let us teach there was extra enthusiasm.
It's good to hear from home! I can't believe it's fall! I also can't believe Kelly turns 18 in less than a month!
Keep up the good work y'all. I never thought I would say that. I don't even notice peoples accents here anymore, and if you can't tell by the emails, my English is going downhill faster than my Portuguese! Oh well.
Love you guyzzzz,

Seester Stevens

West Monroe Week 5

Sorry about last weeks email. I hate emailing in the middle of the week. Also we were having a day of disappointment, we were 0 for 4 for our set appointments. BUT the fifth one went through with a really cool lady who we get along with so well. She has kind of a tragic story, raised in the church by her aunt (parents died when she was about 10) and then her aunt left it when she was 17 and so she ended up fading out of it. She's at a point where she knows her life is wayyy better when she's doing the things she is supposed to and living closer to the Lord. She's from the West so not that I don't love the South but it's refreshing. We just get each other! We are going to start teaching her husband the lessons as well so that is super exciting.
On Thursday we were walking around the ghetto and this guy yelled at us so we went and talked to him. Turned out he's a youth pastor and just wanted to bash, this is what we get a lot of. He took my Bible opened to Genesis "we have the beginning!" then to Revelation "and the end! Now how you think you gonna add any!? Bible's got it all, none of this Book of the Norman ya heard?" (that's really what people call it) All of that is normal the funny part is that on our way to that house I found a little sheath and thought one of elders might like it so I picked it up and in the middle of explaining the importance of the Book of Mormon one of his friends saw it in my bag and was like, "we got the sword to go with that" and then one of them came out with two huge swords and before I knew it one was in my hand and he was yelling, "aight we gonna fight! Latron get this on instagram!" So right as we were about to go head to head the other guy grabs it out from my hand and charges him with it. It was some good comic relief for that day. And I got a dagger out of it.
We continue to teach Karl and Travis the Preacher, it's going pretty well, they are still stuck on some anti stuff but really liked our gospel discussion. This week is going to be big though, he wants to learn about the Priesthood because he performs ordinances without it. Pretty nervous, but the Bishop is most likely going to be there so it's going to be really good. The Ward is starting to take us seriously and the damage reversed one member at a time.
The one thing I wanted to write about last week is the bike crash I got it. I was adjusting my little lantern and trying to get it on the right setting and lost balance and ended up jumping off my bike and throwing it in a ditch. Well I had to go in and rescue it but there didn't seem to be any damage... Until we got to a stop sign and I found out it had disconnected the brake wires just in time to crash into my companion. It's a miracle that's the worst wreck at this point.
Can you believe I've been out 5 months!? I can't. I always want to write you a testimony but I just don't know where to start, I cannot even start because there's too much to say and any words I can type just wouldn't do!
I miss you all a lot, thank you for being the best. Especially for being such good examples, would not be here without you. Everyday I think about how I'm not even worthy to have such an awesome family. Love you guys a looot.
Seester Stevens

A Quick Update

Our library was broken on Monday so here I am now. Not much to say about this week. Biking this week was wayy better than biking last week, except for yesterday because we got booked on the farthest parts of our area. 
We had some meetings with the President on Wednesday, which are always a pleasure, he is the absolute best. Then on Thursday we did exchanges. It's the second time my trainer Sister Johnson has come for exchanges and both times she has gone with the other companion(s)! It's the wost! It was Thristy Thursday and my comp couldn't ride a bike so we were on foot in this part of town where we have tried a lot but have like no potential. We were outside and on our feet for 5 solid hours, usually in an hour you get into sooomewhere but no. That's kind of how a lot of the week went, it takes a lot of searching to find those prepared. The South has an awesome number of people willing to die for Jesus, but a small number willing to change their lives for him.
I wish I could remember something that happened to tell but it has just been so crazy all the days blur together. It has been really good though, I have a lot of hope for this area, I feel like I'll be here through the end of the transfer so that will be good.
I went to my first "viewing" yesterday. I've still never been to a funeral so this was a good first step I guess. It was for a man in the ward who I never met, but still pretty sad. I was super nervous cause I've never seen anyone in a coffin before, but it turned out just being really peaceful.
Miss you guys, thanks for being the best.

Sister Stevens