Dear Family and Friends,
It feels so strange to be emailing on a Wednesday. I don’t know what to do with myself! This past week has been wonderful. I made it a goal to really dive into the area and not focus on what I left behind in Searcy and it has been amazing! I feel like I’ve been here forever! Memphis is the promised land.
This week started out slow. Monday night and all of Tuesday, basically every appointment we had fell through. It was not ideal. We were both getting kind of frustrated when person after person was cancelling, or just not answering their door. We prayed and asked for guidance about where we should be, but still ended up striking out. We were confused and frustrated about the fact that we couldn’t seem to catch anyone, and we didn’t know why.
Looking back now, I can see that the Lord was preparing us to learn a very different lesson, but more on that later. Wednesday was somewhat better. We had our first Book of Mormon class, which went very well, even though it was mostly just the missionaries in there! Haha. The teacher, Brother M, is great and very excited to be teaching the class. It was only the first week, so hopefully more people will come as it continues.
Thursday we had another slow frustrating day full of cancelled appointments! We had an appointment scheduled with C, our top investigator, but she texted a couple of hours before to let us know we couldn’t come over because she was sick. We decided to take some action and bake her cookies and bring them to her. She ended up being really thankful and promised us that she would not miss our next appointment!! Thursday evening was better. We had a member from the YSA branch come out with us and we tried to visit our YSA investigator, A, but instead we got her YSA age roommate, B. B is pretty weird and kind of out of it, but we were able to teach him a little bit and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon. He challenged us that if he read 22 verses we had to do 22 push ups…It was obviously a very spiritual interaction, but we agreed, haha.
After that experience, we went to teach the L family with Bishop P. It was a great lesson!! We reviewed what they remembered about the Plan of Salvation from last time, and they remembered a lot! The four kids are so cute, and their grandma T is wonderful! After we had reviewed and answered their questions, we read 1 Nephi 4 with them, and they loved the story about Nephi cutting off Laban’s head. One of the boys, JD, kept referring to it as a “game changer.” They are so funny! We really need to get them to church, but because the parents are only ever home on the weekends, they want to spend a bunch of time with the kids and aren’t that interested in going to church…so we have to work on that.
Friday we had weekly planning, which took 5ever. After that we took more cookies to one of our investigators, R. He is an old widower who has lived across the street from some members of the Ward for over 40 years, and is very good friends with them. He was appreciative, and said he had read the Living Christ and the Proclamation that we’d left him with last time. He’s actually Jewish, so we’ll see what happens. We also ate dinner with the B’s Friday night which was wonderful because they are the best and I have loved them for a long time! They are in the Bartlett 2nd Ward, but have two kids in the YSA (M, our Branch Mission Leader & S, our best friend). I have known them really well since I was in Lakeland, so they were definitely a plus about getting transferred to YSA. Their dad teaches the Book of Mormon class I started while I was in Lakeland. They are the funniest people, and we seriously just laughed our heads off all of dinner!!
Saturday we decided that what we really needed to do was just take a walk day and be like real missionaries without a car! We left our apartment at 10:00 am and we walked all day, non-stop, no rides or anything until 9:00 when we were going home and the B’s picked us up. Memphis is June is not ideal walking conditions, and it was HOT, but so worth it! We met so many people and got so many new potential investigators. We are so excited to go back and contact a lot of them this week! I managed to only get a light sunburn, which is an accomplishment for someone as pale as me! I did however, bruise my knuckles knocking doors! (see pic below). How cool of a missionary experience is that? Haha
We also had an amazing lesson with C Saturday afternoon. She is so prepared. She is still reading and really studying the information we give her. When we go over there we don’t even really teach. She asks questions and teaches herself! While we were over there she told us she is seriously considering getting baptized into the Mormon church, and when she told her daughter that her daughter said. “well mom if you become a Mormon, then I’m going to become a Mormon!” C still wants to be sure that this is the right path, but she is honestly seeking her answer, and she will get it sooner than she thinks.
We also got to visit R, this wonderful less-active old lady. She has the beginning stages of dementia and when we go visit her she always has a story about how certain people (people in the Ward, her neighbors, her daughter, anyone really) are out to get her, but she is just too smart for them! She is very cute.
Sunday was great. Six hours of church is a marathon, but it’s so so fun!!!! Sunday night we had dinner with The P family, a new young family who recently moved into the Ward, and they are amazing! They are both returned missionaries and their home and lives are so focused on the gospel, and bringing others to Christ! When we got there, we barely had any time to get to know them, because they had so many missionary experiences and people they’d met that they needed to tell us about! #LifeGoals
Monday we had the mission tour in Arkansas, (thus the reason we have p-day today), so we had to leave Memphis at 5:00 am… which was not ideal, haha. But it was SO worth it! Elder Arnold of the 70 (he gave the talk “To the Rescue” this most recent conference) came and spoke with us and it was so amazing! We started the day with an MLC for all the ZLs & STLs in the mission and it was so cool! The Spirit was so strong as we discussed the ways we could change and improve, to catch all the potential our mission has to offer. He truly made it a discussion and listened to and appreciated our input. He never could quite get our title right though. He kept calling us “Sister Leader Trainers” instead of “Sister Training Leaders,” Hahahaha. He talked a lot about getting out of the car and being out and about, which was exactly what Sister Sanders and I needed!
Sister Arnold was wonderful too. She is about my height, and he is at least 6’5 #TheDream.
I’ll write about Tuesday next week. It was wonderful too!!
I love y’all so much, and I am so thankful for all the support and love I receive daily. I know my Savior lives and I love Him!
A bunch of silly pictures of Sister S & I. I thought y’all should see her!
My bruised knuckle!!
Us with the L family! #Squaddd
Post walk day crazy wispy hair!