Congrats to Erin for living the dream of hitch hiking across the country! (Or the city, whatever.) Hope you made some new best friends :) I guess you're all in France now? Hope you're having so much fun! I expect hundreds of pictures soon, between graduation and vacation.
Don't you love running into random members of the church that you have vague connections with? Every time I meet someone from the Owen Sound area or Texas, or who has any connection at all with either place, or with USU, I get way more excited than I should.
This was an INTERESTING week, haha. We taught alot of on the spot lessons, which was really cool, but we aren't teaching any of those people yet. One man we dropped by at 8:30 and accidentally woke up, so he said we had to help him wash dishes to make up for it (that was a first!). Afterwards we sat down and he asked what our message was to people like him who were already firm Christians, so we had an awesome discussion about the priesthood and how we need to be baptized with Christ's authority. Unfortunately, in the end he said he wasn't interested enough to make time to learn more right now, but he's so close to being prepared! Hopefully in the future missionaries will be able to teach him. Another woman, Lana, said she has some doctors appointments for tests this week so next week we can come over and teach her husband and her, so we're excited about that. She's started reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it. Her only concern is she's been baptized before and isn't sure if it would be right for her to be baptized again so she said she wanted to study what the bible says about it and pray about it. Sounds good to us!
I should actually tell you the full story with Lana- Sister Casner and I dropped by a less active member who wasn't home, so walking back to our car we saw one of her neighbors (Lana) and talked to her. Sister Casner asked if she was interested and she said no, so I got ready to give her a card to mormon.org and leave. Then Sister Casner asked if she wanted a Book of Mormon, and Lana said no. So Sister Casner asked if she was sure, and she said yes no thank you. THEN Sister Casner said "Well you could just take one and have it in case you ever want it." I wanted to die a little bit, I was about to grab her arm and drag her away so she'd stop harassing this poor woman, when finally Lana caved and took it. She immediately opened it, read a few verses, and said she liked it. So she flipped to another page and read some more and said she liked that too and it sounded like Psalms. So the Sister Casner and I started showing her some verses and chapters to read, and got her information to drop by and visit her sometime. We left and I asked Sister Casner why she kept offering it to her when she kept saying no, and Sister Casner looked surprised and said "Was she saying no? Oh, I guess technically she did....I really just kept hearing that she wanted one." I laughed, told her she was crazy, and figured maaayyyybe we'd drop by Lana once, but I knew she wasn't interested. But every day Sister Casner would asked when I wanted to visit Lana, so after like a week I told her I didn't want to but if she wanted to we could. So we tried a few times, and she was never home, though we finally were told when to come back and she'd be there. Then we dropped by the less active again that we were originally visiting when we met her, and Lana was outside. So she waved us over, said she had just been thinking how she wasn't going to be there tonight so she'd miss us and she wished she knew our number to let us know, and then we walked by. So we talked her about the restoration through Joseph Smith and we're going to see her again in 2 weeks.
So basically, this is the pattern with Sister Casner and I- if I feel good about someone and really want to see them, they're going to drop us. If she feels really good about someone, they're going to be interested. It's really rude. I told her one day "Your faith runs this companionship! I'm just grunt power, I decided if we're going to work, and you decide what's going to work." She said "I don't think that's true, I think that's God...BUT I am also here." It was so funny.
But despite our amazing lessons not leading to return appointments, our week was great! We are teaching 2 new people, a couple that was a member referral. Funny though, the member that referred them and brought us to meet and teach them is NOT their son, who is also a member of the ward. So that will be interesting. They said they "don't know if they'll do the whole baptism thing", but they invited us to come back and share more after we taught them the plan of salvation. They really liked what we taught about how there isn't just heaven and hell and you're stuck their for eternity. He especially liked that we teach that in the spirit world before we're resurrected people have the chance to progress from prison to paradise. It made me really grateful for the understanding I have of the Atonement, and how far reaching it really is.
Kathy was finally confirmed this week! We were really worried she wouldn't make it because of some family things, but she was and she was absolutely glowing when she was given the Holy Ghost. Kathleen and Josh are still working towards their baptismal dates, though Josh pushed his back because his uncle that is baptizing him will be out of town. But he's still doing great, and he's so fun to teach that the selfish part of me is glad we'll teach him for 2 weeks longer. (I may be a terrible person....)
I think my emails get longer every week here, whoops. But I will go now, love you all! Have a fantastic French vacation! Be safe, stay healthy, love you all!
Sister Casner's astute observations for the week:
"You know why you want to go to an art museum right now? Because we're supposed to be concentrating right now and we're laughing, and whenever you go to art museum you end up cracking up. There's always that one painting...." (When I told her during weekly planning I had a weird urge to be in the Houston Fine Arts Museum)
"You know why I laugh at everything you say? Because in our heart of hearts, I'm a little girl and you're a little boy." (When I told her I feel like 65% of things I say she laughs at when 90% of the population would tell me not to say that in public.)