Basically – I’ve been moved to the promised land of the mission. VIDOR, TEXAS! I don’t think y’all will ever fully understand how happy I am to be here. Vidor has been a dream of mine ever since… Well, ever since I was born into the mission. It’s a dream come true!
My companion is Sister Leigh Martinez. She just came from Huffman and was in Summerwood just before me. So yes – we are both brand new to Vidor! We’ve had the joy of figuring everything out together (: They call it “White washing” – like when you shove someone’s face in the snow, which is awful and painful… Well, two new missionaries to an area is awful and painful. But we’re getting the hang of it! (:
There are four wards in Vidor and we are the only sisters. We cover the Williamson 2nd Ward. Our ward is the one who struggles the most. We have the most in-actives and tons of semi-actives. There were less than 100 people at sacrament.
We live in a trailer! A real life trailer (: haha it’s so… “vintage”… it’s the real deal. It comes with a sketchy shower, a family of roaches, wasps, spiders, and moths. It comes with a microwave full of ants, and nasty rotting food in the fridge! I kind of feel like I’m camping… But it’s awesome! I really feel like I’m experiencing a true missionary lifestyle now.
But the country has welcomed me nicely! Our relief society president, Connie Williamson, drove us home from transfer meeting. She fed us 4 times in less than a week… All my mission, people have said, “If you don’t have a meal, just come on by!” but I’ve never had to take people up on that since our meal calendar is chuck full. Well… not in Vidor. We’ve dropped in on them a lot (: And she’s always been nice. She doesn’t really talk a lot; just sort of stares at us. She’s not what you normally see in a relief society president, but I love her! She’s helped us a lot already.
All the elders who serve out here are happy to have us. Apparently the sisters before us (and sisters have only been here 6 months… elders have dominated Vidor for years) had a problem with working in the elders areas. I thought they were kidding, but… no… all of our recent potentials and investigators belong in other wards, so we’ve had to pass everything off. So we’ve been able to spend a lot of time looking for new people to teach! We have a couple of people in our area the sisters left us, but not a whole ton. But the elders are thrilled to have us! I’ve served around a couple of them before so it’s AWESOME. We are going to have so much fun!
One girl we are working with is named Aly Haynes. She’s 13 years old. This poor girl has seen more in her life than any person should have to at her age… her dad passed away and now her adoptive mother is slowly dying of heart failure. She’s amazing though; she attributes everything back to God. She is SO THANKFUL and always so happy to have us over! She is so ready to be a part of the gospel. We were able to make some calls and get a member to go with us; Sister Mott. Sister Mott and I both cried as Aly said the closing prayer to our first little lesson. She said something like this, “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for letting me feed the pets today, thank you for feeding me today, thank you for my mother. God, she’s not getting any better, but I thank you for her life today. Thank you for the ladies visiting me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”. Yeah… I cried and cried when we got in the car. She’s amazing.
Another lady we’re working with is in her 50’s and is pretty much certified crazy. We found her in the formers list… Her name is Susie (: She has severe bi-polorism. Her teaching record says she once stabbed a man, but we didn’t let such a minor detail deter us from meeting a daughter of God! I really like her (: She’s going to be fun.
On Saturday I convinced Sister Martinez to ride bikes with me. I don’t know that we will ever do that again. Remember how I almost got eaten by a great dane in woodville? Well… When we started riding, a dog started chasing us literally right as we left the Williamson’s driveway! (We store out bikes in their garage). So I was screaming from the very start. Well, we detoured and went down another road; we got chased by two smaller dogs and they nipped at my ankles. Nothing too damaging, but horrifying enough. Well, onward we rode. When we went down another street, this dog was laying in the middle of the road. Sister Martinez has the mentality that if we act like we’re in charge, the dog will respect our authority. I do not agree. Dogs who kill just kill! They are cold blooded and heartless! Well this dog nearly bit Sister Martinez, but she still wouldn’t back down on her theory. So that’s 4 so far… As we continued to ride, dogs were trying to jump their fences, chase us up and down from the yard… It was scary. It’s like an email went out letting them know we were on our way! We finally took our bikes home cause I had had enough. We got the car and went to our dinner appointment with the Zambranos. Well dinner wasn’t ready and his wife wasn’t home yet, so we went down the street to look for people. We knocked on a door, and the girl sort of laughed at us… So no luck. The next house has an open car port. We walked passed it and to the door. Right as I was about to knock, it’s like someone released their ravenous beasts on us! Honestly – I really think someone did let their dogs off the chain out back. But these two huge dogs came tearing out of the car port and started to attack us! Sister Martinez tried to keep her cool but I LOST IT! Heavenly Father totally protected us though. The dogs started to bite Sister Martinez and she was able to move her bag just before they took a chunk out of her booty. But I, unknown to myself, began to mace them. Yes – Sister Clegg’s parents had sent me pepper spray when I was in Woodville! Just minutes before this happened, I had the thought to stick the mace onto the keys. I almost put the keys in my bag after the girl laughed at us, but decided just to carry them. But I started to mace them and didn’t even realize it! I froze when I saw orange stuff coming out of my hand, and I realized what I was doing! Pretty soon they were both rubbing their faces on the grass, so I grabbed Sister Martinez by the arm and started running. I could not stop shaking. We literally almost got torn to pieces. A part of me felt really bad for macing dogs, but I don’t even care. They were going to kill us! There are so many stray dogs here, and dogs who’ve been trained to hunt and kill, so I’m not so sure we’ll be riding our bikes ever again.
So that’s the most exciting thing that happened this week… I’m so excited to be out here in Vidor! I love the country. I love these people so much already! It really feels like I’ve been here my whole life. Driving into Vidor on Tuesday felt so familiar. I know that Heavenly Father places us where we need to be!
Oh – our ward mission leader is stinking awesome! He and his wife own a photography business. The field has been slow, so they started photographing dogs! Everyone seems to think that’s so weird, except for me… I mean – so much of our family breeds dogs now that it’s just the norm to have their pictures taken! But some of the wedding pictures in their studio are INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait to pick his brain (:
But I miss and love y’all so much. Thanks for all the emails and prayers!