Thank Ya'll For Coming
"I'm not tryna get addicted to nothin"
Oh my goodness how I love this cute lady.
We had another lesson this week, ask me what her life story is in 9 months because it's too long, and sad, to really do it justice right now.
She is incredible.
She basically believes everything we say which is a good thing and a bad thing lol We are trying to gauge how much of it she is really taking to heart and how much she just loves everyone that walks in her door. But she seems engaged and even wants her daughters to come when we do to hear the Lords message which is so great.
Earlier that same day, we wanted to play basketball (this was p day) so we weren't wearing dresses or skirts but normal clothes. We usually make sure we change before we go to the store, but we saw no harm in it so we went to the store.
Well we gained a testimony of wearing abnormally formal clothing all of the time when we walked in the door and two minutes later
"Hey 'lil mama won't you come on over hea"
"How you fiiine ladies doin'"
We laughed and walked away as fast as possible but were followed basically the whole time we were there by a small group of boys until we finally got to the parking lot and lost them.
"He looks like he wants to come to church."
Something really cool happened the next day
(something really cool usually happens everyday -sometimes more)
but this was something really, really cool.
After Sister baker and I helped a family in the ward set up their Christmas tree-
We were driving down the road and saw a young girl sitting underneath a tree.
<This experience involves a lot of trees.>
She was by herself, looked lonely, sitting against a beautiful tree in a huge feild of grass.
We pulled over and I got out immediately and walked over to her. As I made the journey from the car to her I realized just how awkward and weird this might look, but after some small talk and conversation (and lots of ants biting me because little did I know I was standing in an ant hill)
something beautiful happened.
She shared with us that she has been coming to this tree for years to escape some of the sad things going on in her home life, the bullying she has gone through at school, and the business of everyday life.
We talked and testified to her about what brings peace and clarity of mind in our life. The Spirit filled our hearts and I realized something I have known that hit me more clearly that day.
I felt like talking about change and how the gospel changes us but I was worried, because she had mentioned how she was made fun of and cast out for not "changing" to be like the "cool kids" which puts a negative light on change. We often tell people that as they follow the Spirit, pray, read, and go to church, a change in their life will take place.
So how do we tell this girl that we are there to help her change, but not because she needs to fit in, and not because she isn't already amazing the way she is?
Satan tries to twist our perception of change by telling us that we shouldn't change because we are perfect the way we are. Half truth.
The whole truth is that a sapling is just as perfect as a full grown big beautiful tree.
The only difference is that one of those has not reached it's destination.
One of those is not yet done changing.
But the sapling cannot get to the final destination without weathering some storms and without the current and future stages of growth.
Therefore that individual tree whatever stage it may be in, is perfect. It is just not complete.
We are all perfect.
Perfectly on our way to becoming complete.
We are missing a lot of things, but given our circumstances, this time period, our families, where we live, and our choices on what we do with what we have, we are doing the best we can.
It's easy to look at someone else and believe they are not perfect, because they seem so far down the road of in-completion, but the fabulous thing about it is that we have all been down that road at some point or another. Even if it is only two miles instead of four, somewhere the hope is that we can make a u turn and we can. Many have. Many are trying to do the right thing and taking it one step at a time in the right direction.
Every different path is perfectly specialized to our own personalities, desires, previous faithfulness, current faithfulness, and love/reliance on the Savior and His atonement that no matter where we are in our growing stages whether it be growing pains or growing gains, we are perfectly on our way to completion. To the final destination.
Her whole countenance changed. It's amazing the Spirit that accompanies the idea of change not from bad to good but from better to best.
Unfortunately one of those storms hit soon after. We gave her a Book of Mormon, were about to leave and her uncle pulled up, gave us a nasty look, avoided eye contact and drove off with her. Which probably explains why she wasn't under that tree the next day at the time she said to meet her there.
Pray for her.
Here are some quick bullets to point out what I've done
-ate some tacos de lengua aka... cow toungue tacos
(the Zone leaders brought them to one training and we all ate it before they told us what we ate. Good news. It was delicious and I enjoyed it way more than I would have had I known)
-Members took us to Cracker Barrel which made me think of my Grandma Pat and our Christmas tradition of breakfast, passing out flowers to those needing a boost in the mall, and playing games. <3 and the gang
-I never get tired of sweet old guys calling me "Suga" and "Darlin"
-I will never get used to people saying here "Up in St. George" because every time I've heard about St. George it's always been South of me, until now.
-Went to the beach and met 48 members of one huge Georgia black family all wearing white shirts getting their family pictures. We were wearing our white #LIGHTtheWORLD shirts so we fit right in, they adopted us into their family, did a mannequin challenge with us, posted us all over their instagrams and Facebook #LIGHTtheWORLD, asked us to preach to them, and let us witness a proposal in their family on the beach. So much happened in such a small time.
I LOVE THEM
- A direct quote from an investigator to me "Are you a prophet?" "No" "You sound like a prophet." "..Thank you:)" "No really, you might be a prophet some day. You never know. You could be a prophet."
-LIGHT THE FETCHING WORLD
-Fetch is not dead
Have you watched the new initiative?!?! it's out, its brilliant, and I still love it. 25 days 25 ways
-Went contacting a less active and it was the most redneck experience of my life easily. Walked up to the door and the guy said "Come on in" before we even knocked. Walked in "Ya'll hungry? got some pork chops? Got some meat?" then his wife "I was fix'n to go hunt'n in about fifteen minutes don't mind me" putting on her camo. There were at least 50 mounted animals on the wall and we watched her load her gun. Then they ranted about how much they hate Hillary and Obama and talked about gun control, being Baptist now, and why they have a bunch of signs on their fence that say "trespassers will be shot. survivors will be shot again." LOL
They were super nice to us though and invited us back. I love them already.
-Thanksgiving was so good. Had a deep fried turkey, dressing (they don't believe in stuffing down here, it's called dressing and instead of bread it's made with corn bread) collard greens, okra, lots of okra (I thought it was a fish when I first got here almost 10 months ago... no it's an actual vegetable)
3 thanksgivings in 4 hours then visits and trying not to explode. <3
I love you all so much
Grandpa Vaughn I hope you had a PERFECT birthday you deserve it. Happy 77 I can't wait to give you a big hug!
-Sister Saunders <3
ps I found my wallet so thanks for the prayers