Well, it’s official. I’m a real life missionary now. I graduated training on Sunday! Now I’m justa regular old Joe Shmoe. Which is fine. We just get one less hour to study in the mornings now & one more hour to have our nets in the water!
We met with our family again. The Johnsons. Our miracle. We met with Laura (who just finished 1 Nephi in Th Book of Mormon!) before her husband got home & she confided with us that she thinks she’s ready to almost kind of maybe admit that she probably might potentially think this is true. She also told us about how she doesn’t think her husband is ready to make that same commitment. She wants to make these changes as a family so she might have to slow down in order for her husband to keep up. I love them so much & am so grateful that I’ve been able to be a part of their spiritual journey. It is amazing to watch people decide that they want to become better people through closeness in Christ. Ugh. I just love it.
On Thursday we went to the food kitchen to help serve lunch with Sister Nilsson, Sister Walters, & our investigator Jonathan. When we arrived they informed us that there wasn’t a menu so we just had to look through all the food and come up with something to make. It was so fun!! They get donated some really nice food. We decided on soy and ginger chicken with rice and corn. We found some rolls and put garlic and shredded Parmesan on the top. It was so fun and the people were all so nice! Afterwards, we surprised Jonathan with two suits that the ward had donated for him so he had something to wear to church other than jeans. He was so happy & he showed up to church the next week looking so dapper!! Everyone gave him compliments & you could tell that his confidence really soared.
Do you remember Natalie? She made a goal to be baptized by Easter, but her abusive boyfriend was preventing that from happening. She would often call us crying, telling us that she just wanted to leave all her stuff behind while he was work but saying that she felt prompted to stay put. She followed that prompting. Staying strong in her decisions and beliefs. This week, that “man” moved out of her house, her son was able to move in with her, and she was able to keep her possessions. Miracles happen everyday, my friends. I am blessed beyond belief to have a front row seat to watching the atonement of Christ change lives. If all goes well, Natalie will be baptized next month.
I had the opportunity this week to accidentally get invited inside to a Do Not Contact’s (a member that doesn’t want to be contacted by the church) house where he told us all about the religion he is a part of & how we are dammed to Hell. I don’t want to be rude…..but I used to think the anti-Christ were satanists. Now I think the anti-Christ is actually the Christian sect that he is a part of. I never looked into a soul so black as his in my entire life. Sister Pasko & I both felt prompted to leave at one point, but we were too scared to. AND THEN we heard this odd random thumping in the back of the house for about ten minutes, when he got this look on his face and whispered quietly to us, “you need to leave right now”. All of the sudden we hear, a blood-curdling scream come from the back of the house. “GET OUT OF MY HOOOOUUUSE!!!! GET OOOOUT!!!!! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!”
We ran so fast that Sister Pasko left her purse behind. I’ll save the story of how she got it back for another day. The rest of the day was spent walking a couple miles in the drizzly rain-fog knocking on kind stranger’s doors.
Sunday was great. Our ward is so powerful & every fast & testimony meeting is a giant spirit filled bawl fest. There was a baptism for a young 8 year old after church that Jonathan was able to attend. It was so incredible. Oh man. It was so special as a missionary to be able to watch that. I can’t imagine how it will feel when it’s someone I’ve helped get there!
Yesterday we had a Zone Meeting that President Craig attended. It was focused mainly on how importance obedience is. We also talked a lot about the new iPad program that started this week. Church headquarters decided that it is not helpful for the missionary to leave them without the skills necessary to navigate the internet correctly. Pornography has become such a normal part of Internet browsing that they want their returned missionaries to know how to combat it & prevent it. When Elder Zwick came he talked to us about how just that week he had to call 6 missionary’s parents & tell them their child was coming home due to pornography that had been looked at while on their missions. The church doesn’t want this to happen to anyone anymore, so they have put into affect a great training program. Missionary work sure isn’t what it used to be, amiright?
After the meeting, President Craig pulled Sister Pasko aside & asked her to accept a position as a Sister Training Leader!!! I’m so proud of her. This does mean though, that I will be receiving a new companion. Her name is Sister Jensen & Sister Pasko says she’s great, so I’ll just trust her on that one(: I pick her up tomorrow, so next week you’ll hear about all our tales together in JAX Beach. I hope we will be able to keep this area alive & thriving like Sister Pasko & I have been able to.
Much love to all!!
p.s. My mailbox has been rather empty lately…