Monday, July 28, 2014

Fireflies...aka First Week in the Field...[July 28, 2014]

So after a couple long plane rides and calls home, I'm finally in Wichita and I'm here to stay. My ward we go to is actually in the same building as our mission office.

My companion is Sister Harston and the first thing you would describe her as is she has sweet spirit. She just turned 21 and is from Northern California. She also went to BYU and isn't sure what her major is yet. She was actually called to Brazil but is still waiting on her visa...11 months she has been waiting. She still studies Portuguese an hour each morning. We also have training we work on for me in the morning and we also do personal study for an hour and companion study for an a lot. We get out at 1, because we also eat lunch. Just in time for the heat of the day.

We switch every week a car with another companionship, so this last week we had the car and this week we will bike. We got lost SO MUCH last week that we used up all our miles halfway through, so that was hard, we ended up driving somewhere and walking to save miles, but it was 108 degrees outside along with the humidity…so if you've ever been in a sauna, you know exactly how it felt. I finally have let go of my dignity and given up on tights and it has made all the difference. When we bike my companion wears knee length spandex underneath. I really don't want to wear another layer so I think I'm going to buy clips to clip together the excess skirt so I don't die as it flaps around, but we'll see if that works.

If someone wants to invest in my desires to appear like the witch in Wizard of Oz and buy me a basket and stuffed Toto for my bike, I'd work that...just kidding there's no way I'd add more weight to what I already have to carry. I forgot my quad at a member’s home and my bag is literally half the weight with a waterbottle still in it.

The first week was pretty good, the only huge stress I had was finding our appointments on a tiny map as my companion drives around, we got lost so much, but we still managed to have found everything, if not then the next. The worst time we got lost was when we were looking for this house on this road that doesn't go through and we probably tore through 20 miles just looking for it and finally we found it the next day. The lady, who is someone we never met but is a referral, wasn't there--so we went tracting around it and while knocking on someone else’s door a black guy came up behind us and he said something. Then found out we were missionaries and was super excited because he just likes missionaries, but isn't a member. We talked with him a bit and tried saying like maybe there's a reason you keep running into missionaries. He got really serious and right on his lawn started praying out loud and it was actually a good prayer, but really all of the sudden. We gave him a pamphlet and directions to church, maybe we'll see him again.

I want to tell my story of the first time I saw a firefly. It was my second day in Wichita, but first night with my companion (our first day the newbies stayed together and right off the plane after we hadn't slept for 36 hrs they took us tracting in the hot sun, it was really good, but physically the worst). We were meeting with this girl who I've still not met, but her mom was home (not her), and her mom was so mad saying we can just show up unscheduled. We told her her daughter scheduled it with us, but her mom wasn't around to talk to her about it. We talked with her mom about her beliefs and she opened up a lot about her past religions and when her grandma died she felt abandoned by God and she was just crying and we tried helping her understand she can have a relationship with God again. During this whole serious conversation I noticed these points of light around the yard bleeping in and out and I just thought it was some type of security thing or something, and then one of these lights landed on me and I realized what it was and lost all the breath in my lungs for a second. I had to tell the mom it was my first time in Kansas and she was excited and said I can come back and her daughters will show me how to catch them. She softened her heart by the end, and hopefully we can come back and teach the whole family.

We have a lot more investigators then I was expecting and we had tons of appointments, like 3 a day last week and we tract between them until 9:00-9:30, if we are in an appointment. We had 3 young sisters come to church and a less active and his nonmember wife came and this really cool guy who has had a baptismal date for months on Aug 19th because it is the 231st day of the year and his wife is a member. They were the ones that fed us the burritos that I had a picture of. The ward we are in (college hill- in case you're wondering there are no colleges or hills in the boundaries of the ward) half the ward is less active so we (try to) spend half our time with less actives.

The first investigator that I talked with (and during our first lesson I also committed her to baptism) reminds me a lot of a mellow version of my cousin Shelby, so I'll call her that (obviously just her personality not her actions). She set her date for Sept. 20th because she is on house arrest until then. She seemed super excited with the gospel and really wants to change her life around. We taught her about Joseph Smith and she said she felt goose bumps. She's only 17, but her mom is totally chill with us coming over. She loves art and writing and stuff, so I was totally able to connect with her and we taught her on her bed as her brother sat on her floor scrolling through Facebook, hopefully we'll be able to eventually teach him too.

I've had a rough past couple of days just from feeling like I'm being treated like a little kid with all the rules and such. I know the rules are set for my benefit, because while in the MTC whenever we were on the line for them we understood why they were set, but having a companion that follows them on the dot is a struggle for me. Next week while on bikes the whole time in this weather is going to be super tough so I need all the prayers I can get!

Sister Seymour

Me and the host dog...guess which breed it is!

Sister Harston and our awesome burritos
a family fed us,
guess which restaurant they came from...

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