Well... it was one interesting week here in Ohio. It was pretty good. We had some cool stuff happen... also I experienced some of the meanest people I have ever met... but I survived and as of today I have officially been a missionary for ELEVEN MONTHS. Yep. Mind blown.
But yeah as far as this week goes... not sure why it was like "everyone be a hater" week . Okay just a few people. Well mostly just one guy but it was pretty messed up. But anyways. Last Monday night we met the most hard-hearted person I have EVER met in my life. We were talking to him JUST KIDDING he was talking and not letting us say anything.. and it was so frustrating but at the same time totally funny because he was so ridiculous. He said that all that really matters is his job and his house and cars. He like was hating on people that go to church and said that people who do things without getting paid are "stupid" and then like 10 minutes later he said "My wife keeps saying I run myself thin serving others. I am really such a giver. I am currently working on so many projects for other people." and he was dead serious. And then he was trying to say all these horrible things about Muslims and he was so uneducated so I had to politely correct him. Something I HATE is when people bash other religions, even if it isn't ours. It is just so unnecessary and mean. I wish everyone could just respect others and their beliefs and be a little be more loving and not quite so judgmental. This whole world would be a whole lot better. Anyways he was crazy. At one point this mom and daughter rode by on their bikes and he started cussing and freaking out saying that the mother shouldn't be allowed to have children if she was going to let her little daughter ride a bike in the road... it was so insane. He also said his dog took a bullet for him. He was just crazy. I feel really just sad for those type of people who all they care about is their house and money and the never know what real happiness is. Makes me super grateful that I have the Gospel and have a perspective of what really matters! And I wish I could just make him read the Book of Mormon and help him understand.
And unfortunately that was not even the only frustrating thing of this week. So there is this "investigator" the sisters have "taught" (I don't actually think he has learned anything...) before... but he is actually just so mean. I had met him once briefly.. but not really. So we go to our appointment, and the first thing he does is start bashing everything we believe and accusing us of being a cult. Which is whatever, but he was being really disrespectful and critical and I was doing my very best to politely respond. And then out of nowhere he starts saying the most horrible things about me... and he doesn't even know me! Like he said "In all my 47 years of being a state trooper I have seen a lot of personalities.. and I have never met anyone that has had as bad of a personality as you do. I have loved ALL the other missionaries who have come, but I don't like you one bit at all. I have never met anyone that was so rude and anyone who has such a horrible way of communicating with people. I can't even talk to you. And I have never even seen you smile" and at this point I was just SO CONFUSED because I literally had only said like 8 words and it wasn't anything even rude.... and I said something to try to lighten the mood.. yeah that didn't work hahah.. and then he said "I am just discussing things which I will do with her (my companion) but not with you. You just have a horrible personality." and I said that I was sorry and that we would leave.. and he said he didn't want me there but he wanted my companion there... awkward? So I just stopped talking and then like 10 minutes later he brings up how "horrible" I am AGAIN. So I as nice as I could said "My purpose in coming here is not to have you criticize or analyze everything you think is wrong with me" and he said "Well I am going to. You know what, you are not allowed to talk on my property. So DO NOT TALK." So he literally banned me from "speaking" on his property... what the heck? Is that even real life? And my companion didn't do anything! It seriously was the craziest thing I have ever experienced. So I sat there and just had to deal with it and wish I could actually say what I wanted to but... first of all I am a missionary and I was trying to be the bigger person... and second of all... I was banned from speaking. I am still just baffled. WHAT kind of 60some year old guy is so rude to a 20 year old girl who did nothing to him?? Then as we were walking away he said "hey I am sorry" and it was really just so not genuine.. I mean I will forgive the guy because it is not worth it... but also it was just the most insane experiences. I have never seen anything quite like it. And the worst part is my companion wants to go back to teach him tomorrow..... wonder how that will go? It will be interesting to see if I am able to speak or if I get arrested from his property... hahah I wouldn't doubt it. This guy is crazy. Pray that I don't end up in jail or something for talking....
LUCKILY... those were the only real downer experiences. A lot of cool things did happen!
Like MARK! Okay so he is the guy we found last Saturday. Well, apparently he got sick so he had to cancel our meeting... but on Saturday we got a text randomly from his wife that said
"Praise the Lord! Mark is 5 days cigarette free. After speaking to you girls.. he came inside and said that he needed to change his life so he could be closer to God, and smoking is not part of God's plan for him. So he quit!!" HOW COOL IS THAT. We didn't even say anything about not smoking... that was totally the spirit! And that is so crazy he just cold turkey quit! It was such a huge miracle. I am still so excited about it. It is incredible when people just make changes and act on the feelings they have. Man I am excited to teach him!
We have gotten to see a lot of less active members this past week and we have had some really good lessons. There is this lady who is really sick and has to stay at home and when I first met her she was the saddest person I have ever met. But it is kinda cool as we have been meeting with her it has been fun to see her get slightly happier. She said that when we are there she feels a lot better and feels hope. Which is comforting sometimes to know that we are actually helping someone!
A lot of the investigators they were teaching before I got here have kinda fallen off the face of the planet. Most of them were not really committed which is disappointing.. but it happens. So we have been hitting the streets and doing some good ol tracting. Which I actually love. It is also so entertaining and the coolest stuff happens. We went to one neighborhood and there was a backyard baseball game going on, totally brought back some good memories, but it was so funny we went to knock on one door and this mom answered and said she wasn't interested.. and then her young son (who had been playing baseball) came running and said "Mom! Listen to them! They are just trying to spread good things about God! Please!".. it was so cool! I mean the mom still didn't listen to us but hey. Then the kid offered us water and said he hoped that we would have lots of success. Why can't adults be as nice as 10 year olds?
So this is actually a super weird story. So I picked this street called "Doe Crossing" to tract because it just sounded funny... so we tracted it.. met some cool people but nothing too amazing. Then we went to the other side of town and we were tracting a random street.. and we tracted into some members of our ward that I had never met. Which was a pleasant surprise! Weirdest thing though... they have a daughter who is 18 and she has a friend that she wants us to meet with... and her friend lives on DOE CROSSING. We had just been tracting in her friends neighborhood. Unfortunately we didn't talk to her friend then but the girl called her friend and we are going to have dinner with them on Wednesday! I mean nothing too amazing has happened with it yet... but it is not a coincidence that we tracted her friends neighborhood and then legitimately tracted into them too. So that was cool. It will be fun to see what happens.
Okay so this is actually my very favorite thing that happened this week. We were tracting... and we met this really old sweet lady who is Baptist. But she told us that she had been to Salt Lake and to Temple Square and that she loved it. Then she told us a really cool story. She said that she went to Utah with her son because he had some meetings there. But she said she starting having medical problems and she would randomly pass out and get really sick, and she was worried about what she would do while her son was in meetings. And at this point she started crying as she was telling the story. She said "My son said to me 'Mom, if you get sick or something happens... just get inside the gate. They will take care of you there' and he was right. Those people were so loving. I truly know you are nice people who love others." It straight up gave me chills. That is my new favorite phrase. "Just get inside the gate". And it is SO TRUE. Also it is just so amazing that he and that she knows that the most important thing to us as members of the church is to serve and love others. It really inspired me. And I always want people to know that I will love and help them whenever they need it. That really is what this Gospel is all about.
Another crazy guy I met tracting thought I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Literally he said "are you starting high school this year?" And when I said I was 20 he about had a heart attack and said "Are you kidding me? You are saying you can drive?" hahah it was so funny. I realize I look young but 15 is a bit dramatic.
Let's see what else happened. Attended a wedding for some of our investigators... it was interesting. Met some real interesting people too... like a guy who said he was the true inventor of Star Wars (I didn't tell him that I hate star wars) and that soon (and this is a direct quote people) "CSI is currently testing a document I have that will prove to the entire world that I am the TRUE inventor of Star Wars. Just you wait." hahaha I had THE hardest time not laughing. It was too classic. Also met a guy who said "If everyone in your church is as attractive as you girls are then I definitely want to join" uh CREEPY. Ran away from that as fast as we could.
It was really just a weird week. I don't know how I feel about it. There were definitely some cool things but a lot of really interesting experiences that I am not particularly wanting to have again haha. But I learned a lot. And time just keeps flying. This transfer is half over.... which is terrifying because it means I might be leaving and going back to Kirtland in 3 weeks.... and there is no way I will be ready to leave here yet. Man missions are weird. And awesome. When it comes down to it I truly have learned more in the past 11 months then I ever thought I would. I have had some of the hardest days of my life, but also a lot of the greatest. I have seen God's hand working miracles in so many people's lives, especially in mine. My testimony of the importance of this Gospel has been strengthened every day. And I truly know that Christ lives and that His Atonement is the greatest miracle. And no matter how many people criticize me or say rude things or slam the door, I am grateful that I have this time in my life that I can share what I know with others and help them come closer to Christ in whatever way I can. I really am so lucky. This is the greatest thing I can be doing and I don't regret a single second of it.
I love you all and I hope things are great for everyone. Thanks for your prayers and your letters they really mean a lot!