Oh my goodness… This week has been crazy and it hasn’t settled down!
Monday night we drove to Kingwood to sleep at the mission home. Tuesday was our Mission Leadership Council. That was, of course, inspiring and uplifting! I love the Drakes. We had the opportunity to write new mission standards and set the expectations. It was SWEET! Too bad they’re going to be implemented the weekend before I leave… *sigh*
On Wednesday we got a call saying that the next day we’d be moving out of Ma Boddie’s and into an apartment. We knew this was coming, just didn’t know when. Ma’s son is coming home from his mission… I guess she wants to live with him 😛 So we spent a lot of the day packing up and cleaning.
Thursday morning at 9:30 the elders came over to our house to help pack our car. We drove over to the new apartment where we were meeting a senior couple (the guidrys) and our new landlord. OHMYHECK. Our new place… is a dump… Our neighbor is a felon (but his wife kicked him out? maybe?), one apartment previously caught on fire, another one has been condemned, and another one was broken into and had everything stripped out of it. -_- The elders FREAKED when they saw it. They were all, “Sisters, there is no way you can live here!” But we were trying to be tough and not cry, so we just said we’d find a way to make it fit. Apparently every other housing complex in Silsbee is full… I don’t know if I believe it, or if our housing guy is just being stingy. *sigh* so then we went to walmart with the Guidrys cause we have no stuff. My heart has never hurt so bad just watching them ring up the absolute basics our apartment needed. We spent over $300! OF TITHING FUNDS! I couldn’t stop thinking about all the poor single mothers who barely make ends meet, but still have the faith to trust God and pay their tithing… Ugh. So we load up all our stuff, and then the landlord tells us we still have no power turned on. Um, what? Elder Guidry says, “Oh they’ll be fine. They can live without power for a few days. The water works, right?” -_- Is this a joke? Thank goodness Ma is still letting us live with her! Ian doesn’t come home till October 9th.
So Friday we expected the power to get turned on, but of course it didn’t happen. After our zone meeting we went and cleaned as much as we could. I have never – in my whole life – wanted to cry and gag so much. Our apartment smells like it has some serious water damage. We sprinkled and sprayed stuff all over, but I doubt the smell will be gone. Our ward members are not pleased…
While all this craziness is going on, we’re still living out of our suitcases. Um, we just packed our WHOLE ROOM AND BATHROOM! We’re sisters; it’s not like we travel super light! Ugh. We have felt so frazzled. But even with it all going on, we managed to do some missionary work (:
When we were shopping on Monday, I ran into Aaron Smith from Vidor. I started crying as soon as I saw him, but managed to pull myself together. That was a sweet, sweet, tender mercy from heavenly father!
On Wednesday we met with our kiddo recent converts. They’re adorable! Danine and AJ Gore. We went over the plan of salvation… They know so much! They’re incredible. I love them… We also got to go help Athena with some baby stuff since she’s due so soon. I wish we could get her back to church, but with being pregnant she isn’t ready to face people can’t say I blame her… yikes.
We got to visit Vicky and it went in a direction we were SO not expecting. She can’t get baptized now because she “suddenly remembered” her husband telling her that she had been baptized. But it was right after her mom died so she was grieving and didn’t even know she’d gone and done it. So now she thinks satan is trying to tell her to be baptized twice. I was all, “Did she just call me satan for inviting her to be baptized?” This lady is nuts, but I love her! I think she’ll still get baptized. We just gotta pluck away at her fears.
Didi called us outta the blue and set up an appointment, then blew it off…(: haha surprise, surprise!
There’s a family in our ward who is on FIRE with doing missionary work. This is the miracle of the week! After having the craziest of crazy weeks, Sister Stanley stopped me before relief society and told me about the “friend” who’s been attending with them! I met him a few times, but he always runs away from me. Well, his name is Jonathan and he’s 18. When he was a baby, his pallet didn’t form right so he has a pretty severe speech impediment. He also needed brain surgery, but then his parents failed to take him to follow-up stuff. So he’s got some struggles with that. Well now that he’s 18 and a senior in high school, his parents kicked him out. They told him he was of no value or worth so he may as well quit dragging them down. At this point, I’m nearly bawling cause it’s so sad! So the Stanley’s have “adopted” him. He’s been coming to church for about a month, and started to go to seminary with their son James. Well he surprised Brother Stanley and asked him if he could be baptized! WHAT?! So yesterday evening we went and sat down with him and went over the first discussion. He said the most incredible prayer at the end. I nearly started bawling again.
It just blows my mind that some people really feel nothing for their kids. I can’t imagine being raised to believe that I was of no value or worth to my parents. I just know, right now, that this gospel is going to save this boy’s life! He’s about to have his mind blown. He’s super hilarious, so teaching him is good. He just has trouble with comprehension. But James, who’s 17, does a great job of explaining things to him. He was a huge help in our lesson. He’s supposed to get baptized in 2 weeks, but we need to stay with him on lessons. The Stanley’s are crazy busy.
I am so thankful for faithful members! I am so thankful for people who are not afraid to step up and take more on, even though their lives may not be running as smoothly as they hope. The Stanley’s adopted James, their nephew, when he was 6 after both his parents died. Now they’re raising Jonathan, and they’re also sharing the gospel with a man named Jim. They literally emulate Christ in everything they do.
So that was the icing on the cake for the week. It was nuts, but it ended with a huge miracle. I am so thankful to be here in Silsbee! I love this ward. I love being a missionary! I love the fact that I’m still learning. I can’t believe it’s nearly over… I love my mission! TEXAS HOUSTON EAST! I am so thankful for it and the things I’ve learned.
THE CHURCH IS TRUE! Love y’all!
— Sister Stockinger