Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Lack of Food = Increase in Blessings (and Stomach Growls)

The blessings of fasting are REAL! Every time we fast with our
investigators, miracles happen. We had a total miracle of the century:
Sarah doesn't like to come to church if Ruth doesn't come, so since
Ruth was working we figured she wouldn't show...wrong! We called her
that morning to see if she was planning on coming, and she was like
"I'm getting ready now, I'm so excited!" She caught a ride with a
member and was there right on time. What?! It was fast and testimony
meeting, (for all my non-members, that's when members of the
congregation get up to bear their testimonies during service) and she
started crying! She said their stories really touched her and she felt
the spirit. #spiritualmanifestation Fast forward to the Sunday school
lesson on how we receive answers to our prayers, and Sarah was eating
up the student manual and intently listening the whole hour. She
walked out of it going, "I learned so much, I think I know why God
hasn't been giving me my answers straightforward now- I have to work
for it!" Then right before Relief Society, Sister Xiong had a strong
impression to take her to Young Women instead. I am so grateful she
followed her prompting, because the lesson was EXACTLY what she
needed! It was all about the priesthood, why it's important, and how
it blesses us. The teacher challenged every girl to get a priesthood
blessing, so we asked Sarah if she wanted one. She said she
desperately wanted one to help her pass finals, so we got some of the
Elders to do it, and it was the most beautiful blessing! Walking out
of church she couldn't stop beaming, she was so filled with light. She
said it was so worth it to fast, and when we called her to break her
fast with her before dinner, she kept going on about how great church
was (and how great food was haha!). It was one of the best Sundays
I've ever had on my mission- actually just one of the best Sundays in
general! Even though she missed her baptismal date because of her
parents, we're praying they will soften their hearts to let her do it

We went to visit a grandma at the nursing home, Tais Amy, and she is
so funny. Not because she tries to be, but because she's always out of
it and doesn't know what's going on. We came by to sing to her, and
the whole time she kept offering to pay us hard cash to help her
escape. We told her we couldn't do that, but we would take her for a
walk in her wheelchair. Other than the fact she tried to roll away
from us every 4 seconds and make her getaway, it was a pretty walk and
she enjoyed the sunshine. She really hates the nursing home and says
the food is terrible, so we're planning on going to the Hmong market
this week to get her food she'll actually eat instead of tossing it
out her window. Tais Ntxuj is an equally cute old lady, but a little
more lucid. She was showing us all these pictures of her from when she
was younger, and lamented about being old. So we did an impromptu
mini-photo shoot! We dolled her up and she picked out the outfits and
took the photos on my iPad (photos attached on the email!) We're
surprising her by printing them out today and taking them over to her.
Our service as the cultural center continues to be playing pool and
getting schooled at it by senior citizens, and singing karaoke. I
never know what I'm singing, but I'm just excited I can finally read
Hmong now #retrainingmybrain. And they get a kick out of it, so if
they're happy I'm happy!

So we tried out tracting at a new location, and this place is a black
hole for missionaries- there should be a giant "do not enter" sign at
the front of the community.  We knocked on a few doors and the people
were CRAZY. This one lady tried to spit her drink at us, another
screamed at us, and another one condemned us for playing with her kids
and trying to trick them into coming to church. Yes, how DARE we try
to bring your family to CHURCH! We're just despicable! I find it
ironic how people will say terrible things to us and claim they
already go to church, yet they're acting about as un-Christlike as
possible. After that we were a little discouraged, but as we were
biking away I saw a Mississippi license plate drive by! So I tell
Sister Xiong we're going after it and we follow the bike about half a
mile down until they pull into a liquor store...as they're getting out
of the car I try talking to them, but these two ladies are drunk as
skunks, so unfortunately I didn't get to bond over Jackson and grits
with them. But it was a little tender mercy to see someone from home,
even if they weren't sober :)

Speaking of not sober, we've been on a roll teaching high people on
the street! We figure they'll never remember our conversation, but we
happened to see one of the guys again by his house! He remembered our
names AND asked about The Book of Mormon we had talked about earlier.
It was a shocker! We gave him one and he said he would read it and
come to church Sunday. Will he actually? Probably not, but it's worth
praying for!

Quotes of the week:

Me: "Sister, I love you, but with your hair braided like that you look
like a Jehovah's Witness."
Sister Xiong: "No I don't!"
*woman steps on the elevator with us and looks straight at Sister
Xiong* "Are you girls Jehovah's Witnessess?"
(Holding in that laugh was the hardest thing I've done on my mission)

Sister Xiong: "I need to get better at my journaling. My last entry
was in April...'Yo journal, I really need to get better at keeping a
record.' See how well that worked out?"

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