Ohh boy, week two of the transfer down… this one feels like it’s flying by already! Thursday is our last official day on bikes. We’ve almost made it the full 40! Whoooa…
Monday we had the week started off good. We had dinner with a super cute family, the Whartons. They have 4 adorable kids! 3 boys, 1 girl. The little girl, Shyan, is such a tomboy. Can you blame her? She’s 3. During dinner she usually starts to hum the Star Wars theme song, or tell us about softball practice, or tell us how she’s gonna beat up her brothers. Yeah… She’s awesome. So this past Monday we had dinner with them and then did a FHE lesson. We talked about prophets, how general conference is coming up quick… ya know. Then we played “Don’t Eat Pete” except… “Don’t Eat The Prophet!” Yeah – we’re brilliant. So the kids got SUPER excited. Except… after the oldest boy went, the rest just seemed to burst into tears. I guess they were a little young; got surprised by us all shouting, a little embarrassed… it was awesome. 3/4 kids crying! Best. Missionaries. Ever. Needless to say, we probably won’t ever play that game ever again.
On Tuesday we were up in the North of our area… Which is about 8 or 9 miles away. So once you get there, you wanna stay there. You don’t just bike up there for one person. So we were up there, with nothing planned cause everything fell through, and we didn’t just want to turn around and bike back. So we were cruising around, looking for a member home with a bathroom, and we came to a street… “Doesn’t a potential live on this street?” remembered Sister Stofferahn… Yeah, there was one. I had never met her, never been to her house… all I knew is Stoff mentioned there was a cute old German lady who lived on the Banda’s street. So we were just riding and then I looked at a house and said, “I think she lives in that one!” Uh, how would I know? I’ve never met her! But we locked up our bikes, went to the door, and there stood our little German lady, Monika! She invited us in and we had a good little chat. While talking she said, “let me call my daughter and see if she’s close to being here. I bet she’d like to listen”. Our thought was, “Oh gosh. She’s going to use her daughter as an excuse to get rid of us…” But then we kept on talking, she said we could come back… We quickly invited her to a Relief Society activity that was happening on Thursday and then left.
Well the next day we got a call from Monika. “I talked to my daughter and we would like to attend this activity. But I read your pamphlet and saw at the back there’s a dress code for church. Do we dress that way for the activity?” WHOA! Not only is she coming to an activity at the church, but she actually read the pamphlet we left her with! What the… this was too weird. So we made plans for her and her daughter to come to the church the next night and join us for the activity!
Thursday night came and we sat in the foyer waiting for them. Well, they were out in the parking lot debating whether or not to come in… Finally, they did. Whew! The spirit grabbed them by the shoulders and drug them in. They almost left to go get coffee! So they came in, it was super awkward for a minute, people weren’t saying hello… Then the activity started. We learned how to make homemade bread and jam (cause that’s not super Mormon or anything…) but they seemed to be having a good time. Monika’s daughter, Nona, turned to us and said, “So what does it take to be a Mormon? How do you know if you’ve become one?” Uh… So we had a good little chat on what we do as missionaries, baptism, all that jazz… And she never flinched. She didn’t put up a wall! People started coming up to them and introducing themselves, chatting, making them feel welcome… Then she said, “Well I think I’d like to come here again. When does church start?” Uh… Is this real life? So after we ate yummy bread and jam, we gave them a church tour. They loved it. Nona was so receptive! It was crazy. She loved the idea of relief society. It was so great.
Off they went, on their way home. Turns out, in the parking lot, this crazy little member stopped them and invited them to a fundraiser we were having this coming Saturday. We didn’t invite them cause we didn’t want to ask them to pay… Ya know? We didn’t want it to seem like we were just trying to get money out of them. Cause… we don’t do that here. That’s something nice that sets us apart from other churches. Well, they decided right then that they wanted to go. So on Friday, we stopped at Monika’s since she’s a widow of 5 years, and gave her a little Valentines Day treat. She informed us then that they were coming the next day! We were so scared.
Saturday rolls around, Nona and Monika show up, and… They loved it. The ward did such a great job decorating for this dinner! It was awesome. It was called, “Love One Another Cafe”, they had the young men wait on everyone, the young women were hostesses, helped in the kitchen… They had people playing beautiful romantic music live… They had a photographer there with a cute set up… It was amazing. It didn’t look like a church gym! So Monika and Nona were very impressed. However, they informed us they couldn’t come to church the next day cause they didn’t have any dresses. However, they really wanted us to come and give them the lessons. Nona is so ready. She wants to get things done! She is really excited and wants to get her husband involved. Monikda is little more hesitant. She doesn’t want to quit smoking… Nona is so ready and will do anything it takes to quit. She even asked if we believed in healing and if someone in our church could heal her. Uhh… yeah? So we had a great talk about the priesthood. She thought it all made sense!
So basically, we are super pumped. Nona is awesome. Monika is awesome. We are so excited to work with them!
I know this is getting crazy long… But I have to talk about Friday morning.
We had a wonderful visit from Elder Aidukaitus of the seventy. He’s from Brazil. He was stinkin’ awesome! Wow… He talked about setting goals, creating a vision, how to accomplish things… he was so funny. He’d chastise us, watch the horror on our faces, smile, giggle, and say, “Elders and Sisters, the Lord appreciates your service. You’re doing many good things, He just wants it done better. Okay? Let’s move on.” Then giggle some more. It was scary, but hilarious, but terrifying, but wonderful… all at the same time. He was awesome. So he talked about how the field is white, ready to harvest. Then posed this questions, “Elders and sisters, if the field is ready to be harvested, why aren’t every single one of you baptizing weekly?” Uh…. awkward… “You have to set your goals to match what you want to accomplish. If you set a goal of zero baptisms for the week, are you showing the Lord you have caught the vision and believe that He will help you harvest the field?” Hm… uh…. really awkward… “Do you always have to have a name to back up a goal? Shouldn’t you just expect the Lord to make up the difference if you’re doing all that you can?” Aww man… sinking in chairs… “Elders and Sisters, go baptize weekly.” AHHHH!! REALLY!? WE CAN DO THAT??!!! Internal eruptions for everyone! It was mind blowing. It all made sense… It was awesome.
So literally, right after we leave this meeting, we got a phone call. Some lady called us and said, “Hi my name is Carolyn Bornn and I was told by a friend in Kingwood that I’m supposed to be in your ward. Can you find me a ride to church this Sunday? I’m very excited to go.” “Uh, yeah! Sure! What’s your address? Um… are you a member?” “Oh no, I haven’t been baptized. I just moved back to the area and really feel like now is the time in my life to get back to church. I’d really appreciate it if you could arrange my baptism as well!” ?!?!!!?????!!!!!!??? IS THIS REAL LIFE?!! We literally just got told to baptize weekly, and this lady calls ready to be baptized. She’s been attending the LDS church since 2003. The ward she was fellowshipped in is the ward she’s been holding out for to be baptized in. Well, she decided this past week that it doesn’t matter where she’s baptized… She just needs to jump in and do it! Isn’t that great?!
She’s not in our ward boundaries.
So we had to pass her off to the other sisters… Yep. Our “Elder Aidukaitus Miracle” got stolen away from us. She literally knows everything about the church. She is ready to be baptized. We texted the Crawfords and told them the miracle… They showed the text to Elder Aidukaitus and he just giggled, they say. He was so awesome..
Sister Stofferahn and I also did our first Spanish contact! It went like this…. I said hello to this guy, “Hi!” he just waved back. “Oh… he doesn’t speak English…” I look over my shoulder and Sister Stofferahn is talking to him! AHHH! So I go back. She then begins our little memorized thing of, “We’re missionaries who don’t speak very good Spanish, but there’s other missionaries who do. Can they come to your house?” Well he just starts to gooooo off in Spanish. We were picking up bits and pieces, then we heard “Colorado”. WHAT??! So then we were done. We just gave him a Spanish Mormon.org card. It was terrible…
But – we did it. and now the Elders can help us improve! haha! It was awesome.
So this was a glorious week. We had a great time. It was definitely a week of learning… We get to go to the temple this Wednesday at 11. We are so excited; we really need the time to ponder. So much work needs to be done! But yes – we are doing good and things are picking up!
I love being a missionary. There’s no greater work! Sometimes I think about what I could be doing… working, school, dating… and I just don’t think any of it could satisfy me. It all sounds so weird. Blah. I love this gospel so very much! It is a gospel of pure joy (:
I miss and love y’all so much! Thanks for the love and prayers.
— Sister Stockinger