Monday, October 27, 2014

Code Red

Sister Barker and me :) after our hard meeting with the Drake people. We took a tini break to swing on the swings and decompress, because it was super stressful.

Hello!

The Des Moines Ward is Code Red, all the time haha! It is so crazy. I feel like we're always running around with our heads chopped off. It is good though - and people came to church again! Here's the final count for people at church this Sunday (again, I am not using names to respect privacy):
  • Lady #1: so much crazy stuff happened and she got there about 5 minutes before the end of Sacrament Meeting...but she stayed through until the end! We didn't see her and thought that she had gotten stressed and left, and then she walked into Relief Society just beaming - our sweet member Sister S had seen her and taken her to Sunday School with her! Thank you wonderful members.
  • A family of three: I so wish I could have snagged a picture with them - their African get-ups were so beautiful! I wish I could portray to you how crazy and funny the mom is...she pays her tithing, orders the other African kids to get to class (even though she doesn't even know them...but they're African so it's kosher), signs up to go on the Relief Society temple trip because she can't read but wants to be involved in everything, and tells us that we need to introduce her to everyone and tell her everything because she wants to know everything! And then she falls asleep in all her classes hahaha
  • A lady and her three kids, ages 11, 9, and 7.(9): I can't even tell you how much I love those kids! Especially the boys. They got lost on the way to the church so they were about 50 minutes late haha...but we had stepped out of Sacrament meeting because we saw that she had called, and when we walked out we saw them pull in. Which was perfect because there were seriously NO seats left so we had to frantically set up some more chairs AND open the back area to the overflow...so much stress haha! I wish I could have gotten a picture with them too (the mom got called into work and had to leave early) - they were all matching and wearing beautiful dresses and suits. Let me tell ya, Africans know how to wear their Sunday best!
  • A recently baptized couple: They haven't been coming to church because their mom has been working every Sunday. We stopped by their house on Saturday and caught the husband playing outside and got to talk to just him for a while, which was good. He's having a hard time letting people come and pick them up, but we talked to him about who he would feel comfortable getting him, and he finally came up with the sweet Burgess family (they have two boys in young men's), so we helped him send Sister Burgess a text asking for a ride. Of course, she is incredible and bent over backward to pick them up, and it warmed my heart so much to see all those kids interacting and having a good time. I am so grateful to them!
  • Lady #3 and her 7 year old son: She came! It's a miracle! Operation Cinnamon Roll once again haha. We were hoping her boys would come, but she said that they will next week for sure. I'm just super proud of her for coming at all honestly. And it was great to see the members know and reach out to her :)
  • Lady #4: Still the most incredible lady. She loved church and told us that she's reading the Book of Mormon we gave her and is in 2 Nephi already!
The only big disappointment was that two of the people I talked about in my letter last week didn't come this week, but we'll work with them and see what's going on. We have hope for them still :)

Other things from this week:
  • We got our flu shots at HyVee, and the doctor was the sweetest man. He is Jewish and was wearing the little cap that I can't remember the name of, and he was like, "are you the missionaries who pay your way to be out here?" When we answered in the affirmative, he said that we didn't need to pay anything (even though I would have had a co-pay) and he gave us our shots for free! It seriously warmed my heart so much. It was a little thing but just felt like Heavenly Father was watching out for us, and made me grateful for wonderful people in the world :)
  • Which was nice because right after that, we had a much more difficult interaction. Throughout a series of events, we were finally able to get in contact with Drake's Campus Fellowship group, hoping to help with some service projects, Bible studies, or whatever (kind of like what we'd do with Graceland in Lamoni). The guy in charge of that group asked if we could meet up and talk, so we met him and two students he brought at some coffee shop. We thought it would be a discussion of how we could help, but he ended up just drilling us with all kinds of questions about Church doctrine and such, and then telling us that he can't really have us help because we differ in key ways on key points of doctrine. It was just sad because we were just trying to help, and he kind of blind-sided us and it felt like a trick. I wasn't too phased by it though. We did our best to testify of the truths of the gospel and share what we know to be true, we felt the Spirit, and we hope that the guys who were there felt it too.
  • Sister Pymm made us curry rice again because she knows it's my favorite. So, I took a picture :) She's so great :)
curry rice, along with their cute daughter!
  • We had an exchange with the Winterset sisters (Howard & Stapley), in which they both came here and we "blitzed" Des Moines. Blitzes are always stressful to plan, but it worked out and between the two companionships, we got 10 lessons total taught that day! I went with Sister Stapley, and we had a good time teaching a lady, serving a sister who is a paraplegic by washing dishes and folding clothes, teaching our Karen/Thai family and reading from the Bible with them (and eating some Karen fishy noodles that were pretty yummy), having dinner with a sweet sister, and teaching a lady and her family about the importance of coming to church (which worked!).

Frog egg soup!
  • On Friday we went to a lady's house and her son fed us food too...almost positive it was some kind of frog-egg soup. It was...umm...pretty bad haha! Tender mercy that it was in a disposable bowl though because we ate as much as we could, and then just took the rest with us and threw it away (but not until after we showed the hermanas hahaha). Honestly I was pretty excited about finally having a crazy food story from my mission haha! Poor Sister Barker almost threw up though, it was so funny. But don't worry, we held it together ;)
frog-egg soup, along with some unknown wormy things in it. I wish I hadn't slurped up the super dark purple wormy thing that was in my bowl so I could have taken a picture of it too!

    A lady we teach likes to take pictures of us when we teach haha...here we are teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ using some fun pictures/story that the hermanas taught us.
  • A lady we have been working with moved her baptismal date up to November 15!! :)
  • I had the most delicious meal last night at the Simon's. She made butternut squash/sweet potato soup, with make-it-yourself fancy grilled cheese on fancy bread with grilled peppers and pesto and all sorts of good stuff. I love fall foods!
Wooh! This week will be crazy, I'm looking forward to it! We have Mission Leadership Conference, zone training meetings, "beggar's night" (aka we have to be in by 6, or with members), and Halloween all in one week. Should be fun!

I studied from My Purpose in Preach My Gospel this week. No matter how many times I read from that, I always learn something new! I am so grateful for this gospel - it really is the only way to be cleansed from our sins and to return back to our Heavenly Father to live with Him and our families for eternity. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this with others and work to bring them unto Christ!

I love you all:)

Sister Whipple







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