Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A week in my missionary life in Pittsburgh

BRENTWOOD, Pa. -- Can't believe I can say I've been out a month! Pretty insane how weird time is on a mission. Must be what is like in the Spirit World, days are long, weeks are short, months don't really exist and what is a year?

Monday afternoon, we met with an investigator named Mike and his mom, Mary. We taught the 1st half of the Plan of Salvation and committed him to BAPTISM!  Well, kind of. We offered him a date but he wants some more time to really ponder on whether or not it is true. His mom just follows his lead so we gotta work with her a little more.

Then, we were following up with a referral from the AP's (assistants to the mission president) which was at an apartment complex that had a porch out front. The man we were looking for no longer lived at that address, it was a Nepalese family. They weren't interested but on the porch was a woman and she was listening intently to the conversation we were having with the man who lived there. We went over to talk to her and found out her name is Kala and she wants to learn more about the Gospel. She accepted the Book of Mormon and said she would read it! Hopefully, she will still be willing to listen.

Tuesday, we were BACK in the mission office so Sister Montgomery could finish the map of the mission (which she did thankfully). The Fleet Coordinator, Elder Warnock, said we did such a good job that we got to pick the color of our new Toyota Corolla when it came in. 

So we lost our great Balroc (Lord of the Rings...Moria...? that crazy beast. yup), our 2013 Dodge Caravan. (ok here is the story with Balroc. We live on the 3rd floor and it takes us 56 steps to get to the laundry room/ garage and so we call it Moria. Since the Caravan is kind of a beast we refer to it as Balroc.)
This is Balroc

Wednesday, we had a Little Mermaid experience!! Who knew I had two legs?!?!? We wore jeans to do a service project for Maria, a less active. We got to paint her kitchen and living room, it really was fun to help her out and talk to her about the Gospel. She knows she needs it and wants the best for her daughter, Andrea, who is 15. We also met with Amanda, who lives with a couple who are very active in the church. She still has a lot of questions, we may have overwhelmed her with the Plan of Salvation but we have her coming to church on Sunday, even if it is Fast Sunday. We are a little hesitant with that, but we are sure it'll be ok...hopefully. 

We robbed the Elders' area book of former investigators (the area was split and they got the old area book). We plan on going to find some of those, not the ones who got dropped because of the drug deal that happened right in front of them....don't worry. (:

Thursday, oh dear Thursday. We taught Malik and umm yeah we dropped him. The moment we walked in, something was off. We had weekly planning on Friday and had a pretty cool experience with that. Sister M suggested we write down our vision for him but I kept hitting a wall. There was something that wasn't letting us help him get to baptism. I flipped open the New Testament in frustration and "happened" to open up to the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. Basically, the Pharisee is praying on the corner and shouting to the world how great he is spiritually, and the publican recognizes he is a sinner and begs for forgiveness. I read it to Sister M and she gets this look in her eye and flips to the Book of Mormon where Alma and his brethren go to visit the Zoramites and they are praying on the Rameumptom. 

We had found the problem. Malik needed help overcoming pride. He wasn't willing to let us help him and kept trying to "save our souls" so we had to drop him. It was unfortunate but maybe he will come around. After that devastating experience we were a little rocked.

We went to Dania's and she was simply lovely!! We can't help but love her as a child of God. She seemed so much brighter and when we shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon, even though they were "exercising" on the floor, Jaeda and Jasmine both stopped and listened. We suggested they read from the Book of Mormon and I suggested 3rd Nephi when Christ comes to the Americas and Jaeda and Jasmine both flipped to it and started to read right then and there. They are so thirsty for the Gospel and Dania knows it, too. We are just building trust and helping them to the best of our ability.

Later that day, we had a CRAZY rainstorm blow through. It rained all day and was FREEZING! We had an appointment with a family in the ward named the Goettman's (Get-men). They are a cute little family with 2 kids, a 2 year old little girl and a 6 month old boy who remind me SO much of Hayley and Andy when they were little. Actually, the whole family reminds me of David and Suzanne, but Sister Goettmen is from Laos so...uh yeah. She made some pretty amazing egg rolls and rice. It was SO good and left us feeling grateful for being in a members' home again.

She did not enjoy the cold rain.

So this is kind of confusing, but BACK to the Zoramites. They don't listen, right, and Alma goes to the poor people who are thrown out of the churches and stuff. So get this, we got to this neighborhood and some how manage to get in to this locked apartment building that is kind of run down, but we wanted to go visit this less active named Faith. When we knocked on the door, this short little African woman answers the door. She stares at our name tags as we ask for Faith. She tells us Faith isn't home but continues to stare at our name tags. We thank her and say we will try back later. As we turn to go she stops us and says "Please come back so we can talk of Christ." So I "happen" to have a Book of Mormon with me to give to her and we promise to come back and visit with her. Agnes is her name and she is a new investigator. We can't wait to get back to teach her.

We had another long session of weekly planning. We did get to go get our new Corolla which we picked RED of course....The turn radius is SO much better and yet our car is a little stubborn...so what did we name him?? Gimili of course. haha! We are a little crazy but like to keep things interesting (neither of us cares too much about naming inanimate objects but they just fit so well!). So we drove home (hit up taco bell for lunch--I NEED REAL MEXICAN FOOD). That was our Friday.

Saturday was a lot less eventful. We visited with Andrea and Maria again. Andrea didn't seem too keen on us being there talking religion and all that jazz, but she is 15 so we will work with her some more. Sister M got super sick and passed out for 3 hours so what did I do? Read Jesus the Christ again. (I actually finished it yesterday ): ) Then she woke up feeling much better and the Diffendaffers (yes that is their name) took us to Applebees for dinner. Pretty sweet.

Sunday, I had to speak. -__-. It only got worse from there....We went tracting that afternoon and one of the last houses we were at we had this experience: A woman answered the door and the conversation went a little like this:

"HI! Can we share this card with--

"No, no I know your group! I'm an orthodox Christian and I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."

"Great! So do we--

"No. No you don't. I don't want to discuss it."

And she slammed the door in our face. I held on to my name tag as tightly as I could and we walked back to the car so we could make our dinner appointment. I laid my head against the car and said "I want to meet that woman again in the next life and ask her 'Did you finally accept Him?'" We got in the car and I blared 'Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer' by Vocal Point (the song from 17 Miracles). I closed my eyes and sobbed the entire way as I listened to the words of the song over and over again. 

That woman struck me to the very core. Her countenance and demeanor was so negative and hateful. 
No matter what she said though, I believe in Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer. He did die so I could live again. He knows my weaknesses so perfectly so He can help me when I can't make it on my own, which is often. I may not be perfect and I may have doubts sometimes but I KNOW MY SAVIOR LIVES AND LOVES ME!! She cannot tell me I don't. 

After that experience I was pretty shaken up for the dinner appointment, but the goofy Elders made up for it. They were a tender mercy even if they are ridiculous!! (: This work will go forth because it is true. Nothing can change that. Satan may be the worst brother ever, BUT CHRIST is the best. He is the only One we can have true hope through.

Sister Crockett

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