My dear companion is a Sister Training Leader. What that means is basically every week she goes on exchanges with other Sisters to assess how they're working as a companionship, if their areas are thriving, if they're being obedient, and all that other fun stuff. What that means for me is that every week I go on exchanges with Sister Roberts! Last week we stayed in my area so we kept the car. This week, Sister Springer came to my area to do exchanges with Sister Cozzens. Sister Robert's companion, Sister da Silva, headed out to do exchanges with Sister Springer's companion, so Sister Roberts and I, once again, were companions for 24 hours. In her area. Where they bike everywhere.
Let me tell you, I was so gung ho. I had been dying to ride my bike, Charlotte, and to feel the wind on my face and contact everyone I saw. I had my helmet on, my water bottle filled up, and the dorkiest grin on my face. And then we started biking. It was pretty great at first. It was refreshing to be outside for the first 15 minutes. And then the wind picked up and I mastered within 3 seconds the art of biking with one hand because I had to use the other to hold my skirt down. We almost got hit by a couple of cars and I was smacked in the face by a mean tree branch. Helmet hair is the most disgusting thing and it's amazing that people invite us into their homes when we have sweat dripping from our hairlines. We biked back home after several unsuccessful appointments and I collapsed and decided that dying wouldn't be too terrible.
We took an hour for lunch and right before we would hop back on our bikes, we get a call from a woman in our ward who wanted us to help with a service project. This woman named Sandy was moving out of her home because her boss forgot to pay her and her landlord "needed" her money immediately. She wasn't able to pay, so at the moment she's homeless and is searching for an apartment to live in. She needed help moving all of her things into a moving van. The Elders couldn't help, so the two Sisters were the next line of defense:) It was a great experience! We got most of the job done in under an hour, and putting everything into storage took no time. Sandy wants to get baptized. She has verbally told us that she just wants to know what she needs to do so she can join this church because she believes it's true. What??! She's amazing and we really hope she moves close to us! Lessons erry dayyyy.
Exchanges were fantastic, as they always are. The rest of the week was pretty amazing too:) During interviews with our Mission President, we were asked to improve our prayers. One day I was saying the prayer before we started our daily walk, and I prayed that we'd find people that have been prepared. Sister Cozzens whispered to me, "Be specific," so I paused and asked in my prayer if we could find two people who have been prepared. We ended the prayer and started walking. After no more than five minutes of walking, we found Judy. She was sitting on her front porch with a small puppy bouncing around her. We started talking to her, and it was such a natural conversation! She was very kind and enjoyed talking to the Sisters more than the Elders (she's only had experience with Elders. Can you get any more prepared than having known missionaries beforehand??). We invited her to watch the Because He Lives video, and she said she'd love to!... But she needed to get her friend first. She walked inside and brought out Janet. I love Janet. They watched the video together, and Janet just wept. And wept. And thanked us for showing it to her. We gave a short lesson and they asked us to come back and talk to them more. Judy actually lives in the other Sisters' area, so they'll be getting a new investigator as well! They also breed dogs, so we got so snuggle some puppies. They are so amazing.
Scotty is an interesting human. He has a beautiful family and lives in humble circumstances. Robert lives with them, and he's another interesting human. Both of them are hardcore Jesus lovin' folk, and have heard things about our church. He has a lot of questions about everything, and it doesn't help that both of them have ADHD, so the 15 minute lesson we had prepared turned into an hour and a half of trying to bring them back on topic. Their intentions are pure, but it's a struggle. We'll definitely have to pray for strength next time we see them... At one point in the lesson, I had this overwhelming urge to remind them that we were there to explain the basics of the doctrine, and that the understanding of the nitty gritty, the things they had questions about, would come in time. They were silent long enough for Sister Cozzens to extend the invitation to baptism. We told him that we don't want him unprepared for it, that we'd be here teaching him every week and more if necessary. He told us that he'd always wanted to be baptized. We have him preparing to get baptized on October 18th, and he wants his family to get baptized with him. I guess we'll have to teach all of them everything! It's a blessing. It really is.
Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.