Monday, November 11, 2013

always double-bag bunnies

Hi everyone!

Sister Etherington and I were so blessed to teach lots of lessons this week! It was exciting and stressful and tiring, in good ways :) Thank you SO much for sending me a memory card - I loved the pics you left on it ;) - and for the letters from Mom and Dad! I loved them so much. Thanks :)

The sunset in the Iowa country. It is twice as beautiful as in the pictures. I love Iowa!
On Saturday we went to a family's home down in Eagleville, MO to help them with some service. They are so funny. They are the first family we met in our area and they are crazy but so great. It's so funny because the first time we went to their house - which they built from the ground up, with hammer and nails - we were like, WHERE ARE WE?! This time we were super comfortable and just had a great time. They have something like 4 chickens and several cats (including an adorable new kitten), a pet duck, a miniature horse, a rooster, and a dog the size of the horse. They are both converts, and the husband's family was in the Italian mafia. Pretty sure he might have been too, he definitely filters his stories a bit for the missionaries. haha he's sooo funny. The wife told us stories about growing up on a farm in Michigan, and the important truth she learned to always double-bag her bunnies because when she carried her bunnies around in brown paper bags and didn't double-bag them, they'd fall right through and run around the house. Sis. E and I have to laugh because like I said, when we first got out, we thought everyone was so weird and crazy and we were out of our comfort zone for sure, but now we sit in church and are just like, "everyone is so funny, we love them!" It's a relief because I wasn't sure if I'd ever come to love these people sometimes, and they are definitely growing on me. I love them :) Oh but as for the service, we just helped them moved some piles of wood to stock up for the winter. The husband fed us the hugest plates of spaghetti for lunch in return.

Another funny day this week was super stressful, and of course it was the day when our toilet broke. Poor Sis. E is very good at drinking water and thus has to go...often. Haha and no one came to fix our toilet all day! FINALLY at 10:15 at night we had a knock on our door and there was the plumber (thankfully with his wife), and like 1 minute later our toilet was fixed. Only in Decatur County!

Our little investigator came to the combined Young Woman/Relief Society service activity on Wednesday! That was good. It sure is interesting teaching a 13-year-old haha...we were showing her around the church building, and one of the pictures we have on the walls is of the Willie and Martin handcart companies with the young boys carrying the pioneers across the river. We told her the story, then asked her what she thought about it. She paused for a moment, then said, "That painting looks really hard to paint, I mean look at that water - I know water's hard to paint!" We're like "NO WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE STORY?!" haha and she's just like, "oh yeah, I liked it." haha :)

We have a sweet new investigator! He is so so prepared. Also a little frustrating right now because he keeps changing his appointments haha. But the student we always teach with met him at a party, and he basically said he wants to be Mormon. He grew up in Idaho and his dad was Mormon but inactive and his mom wasn't religious at all. Before his grandpa passed away, he told him to look out for missionaries at college, and the guy was thinking, "I go to school in Lamoni, there aren't going to be any missionaries there." Then guess where we met him? In the Graceland library! He is so excited to learn. He said he used to be really rebellious but he stopped all that and wants something more, not only for him but also for his future family. It's so sweet. He asked us how he can get baptized and I was so shocked, I'm pretty sure I gave a really awful answer haha! But hey, I've never ever been asked that before. I only wish he hadn't stayed out sooo late Saturday night or else he would have gone to church...sometimes people use their agency in such frustrating ways! But anyways, there have been so many times here when I've realized just how much Heavenly Father really does have a plan for each of us, and His plan is so perfect! So many "coincidences" that aren't coincidences at all. It is amazing. I love His plan so much, and am so grateful for it!

Even though we invited lots of people to church and only one came (and only for 2 hours), church was really good. It was really uplifting and I just really felt edified by it. We were invited over to a family's home for dinner Sunday night (yay!), and it was the most amazing food I've eaten at least since I've been to Lamoni, if not longer. They are in their 80's and remind me so much of G&G Whipple! They have the cutest grandparent house, with tons of old pictures on the walls. She made the most amazing brisket and potatoes and carrots and cabbage, with apple pie at the end. Sis. E and I were so content haha. And, we got leftovers! Score! Which was good because we were running low on food haha. 

 yeah, we definitely put up newspapers on our window. And then every night I hang the blanket up over it. I also am getting a lot more OK with killing cockroaches. Livin' the dream
Like I said, we were blessed to teach lots of lessons. That was good to teach one of our girls because she honestly did not realize that going to church is so important - she was like "I always thought that it wasn't a big deal to go to church as long as you have God inside of you, but then you would always text me and invite me to church, so I started thinking maybe it's important!" haha yes! She is so sweet and humble. She would have come on Sunday but I think her ride fell through...rides around here are SO hard to find. Mom, after reading your letter, I kept thinking how nice it would be to have you here in town haha!

Sis. E and I had a lot of fun moments this week where we were laughing so hard that I was literally crying. There aren't many things I enjoy more than that :)

Thanks for all your love and support! I sure do love you all!

Sister Whipple

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