Monday, December 29, 2014

It's My Life, It's Now or Never...[Dec. 29, 2014]

Serving at Christmas time was fantastic! We wrote letters to members in our branch and less actives and everyone was happy as we delivered them and people just LOVE talking about Christ at Christmas time. I also got to skype my family. (We told Debbie we got to skype our family and she was like, "What the heck is that!?" It was hilarious! Sometimes I think she just came out of a time machine.) It was brilliant seeing everyone and I had the special treat that my bro (serving in Mexico) randomly started skyping when I was on, so we got to three way with him for a bit.
We went to Debbie's Christmas night and something really weird, but awesome that is hard to describe happened. She was sitting there and we were chatting and she was looked at me and said, "Have you decided?" I was like, "Uuhh about what?" She then thought about it and was like, "I'll do this right." She said she prayed for me the night before (she's been worried about me bc apparently I look like something is bothering me whenever she sees me) and she had a really weird/crazy dream that night (she has vivid dreams sometimes). She said that someone (she claimed was Christ) told her to sanitize her hands, then stand in front of me and put her hands on my shoulders and tell me this, "It is your decision to make. You have to make yourself happy. You can't worry about what anybody else wants or makes you do. It's your life."
Crazy, because first off, that's exactly what I needed to hear; and second, because remember like back in September, I talked about a lady and she was a druggie and hit rock bottom. We really randomly ran into her, so I was trying to get some sense into her. She reeked of alcohol, but I put both hands on her shoulders and told her she needed to make changes in her life and do things for herself. I realized that I was on the other end of it and I need to really stop worrying about what other people think. I need to make decisions to do things, not based upon what people will think of it, but because I need to do that for myself. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it finally clicked for me. I was taking away my own agency, by deciding to do things solely because others would judge me if I don't or whatever. But if I consciously decide not to worry about what others think about it, then I am making that decision for myself.
I've been working on it and I have been immensely happier, the stress is oozing off of me, because I'm not so worried about what people think anymore, I don't even care! It's my life, dang it!!
I keep thinking my memory is going to run out of song lyrics for blog titles, but they keep coming. Maybe in like another six months it will have to be Lower Light lyrics or something.
A sister in our district ended her mission a couple weeks early, to go home to a cruise, so we are currently in a trio covering two areas that are an hour drive apart and miles aren't reimbursed...yay...But it's been good. And cold. And our car looks like death...because whenever we think of cleaning it, it starts snowing again.
I'm also super stoked, because Debbie finally took out her dream catcher making supplies and she
is going to teach us how to make legit ones, pictures will follow when we are done.

[She sent two pics of her and her comp butchering a pig, but it is a scan and I cannot figure out how to get it to copy here.]

Debbie's Tumbletree

Monday, December 22, 2014

Debbie's Baptism...[Dec. 22, 2014]

Debbie got baptized on Saturday!! It was so great...words can't describe. Like, literally, the Spirit was so strong there, and it was just so peaceful and full of warmth. I wish I could relive that day over and over again. She shared her testimony on forgiveness before she got baptized, and it was very inspiring.
Of course there was still a bit of drama, because what is Goodland without drama? Well, we found out the night before that our ride for Debbie couldn't come. So essentially Debbie didn't have a ride to her own baptism. Well, we didn't have anyone else planning on coming to Burlington from Goodland (30 min drive) so we called around and finally this family said they it!
We had planned on setting off fireworks afterwards (we even got permission from the city to do it, just to be safe) but with the different ride situation, I didn't know if it would work. Well after the baptism one of the Elders was just standing there and was like, "Is this it?" I was like, " there supposed to be more? She just got baptized, here have a cookie"...then it clicked, "Oh you're waiting for the fireworks!" He nodded his head. Yeah...sometimes Elders are teenage boys. Well the ride was like, "Sure we got nothing else planned," and Debbie was super excited so we lit a couple off...I got some pictures.
Well, that night we just had the hardest time planning. I've had this happen before and you just don't feel good about anything you are writing down. But you gotta have something written down, and normally what happens is something comes up the day of, like a person calls you, or you think of a person you didn't think of when you were planning. So, I had a feeling we weren't going to do our plans, but I didn't know where our Heavenly Father would end up having us.
Well the next day, we found out the Elders were in the same situation. We also knew there was a devotional in Garden City with our Mission President. Well, we couldn't find any investigators or members that wanted to go, mainly because it is 2 1/2 hours away. So because of that, they told us we shouldn't go. Well, I realized maybe this is why planning was so hard the night before. So I tried convincing the Elders of this, and they were like no, we need to stay in our areas. It still didn't feel right to me, and of course 30 minutes later we get a text from our Zone Leaders that every missionary is invited regardless if you have someone going or not. "I told you so's" ensued.
Well, 15 mins before the devotional started, of course, Kevin drama happened again. We learned via Debbie from Limon that he left Rehab early, and in fact was drinking alcohol all through Rehab. He conned a man to give it to him. He convinced him he was just in rehab for a one time DUI, and he owned a semitruck fleet. Going to Rehab would look good on his record. So as a business man, it would make sense to spend the money and get it off his record. Well, he apparently got a ride to Burlington and was there at noon that day...creepy....and Debbie wanted us to warn sister Debbie that he might show up, not so easy to do when you are in Garden City, but we were able to get a member to go over for us (she has no phone).
Fun fact for humor relief, the STL's exchanged with us this week and they were like..."Yeah
we have Texoma, Texas, and Oklahoma" They asked what our in between city was? We were like, "Uh, we don't have one named like that." They were like, "What's the city on the border?" I was like, "Well Kanorado....oh....."

Me, Debbie, Sister Fosselman

Sister Fosselman, Me, Debbie, Elder Thompson

Elder Pettit handling a firework...
Does someone have a white handbook
 we can borrow?
He didn't light it, but it's still
some good blackmail.

Debbie and Elder Pettit

Looking for that parachute guy that flew up.

 Debbie running like a wild women
 from the lighted firework...we definitely
were buds in the Pre-mortal Existence.

We always park our car at district meeting
 so we don't have to back up
(missionaries need backers,
it's a fantastically freezing rule).
Guess which car is our District Leader's?
We went to the zoo in Garden City
while there for p-day after the devotional.
All the sisters that went.
This perfectly describes
Elder Osario (Elder Pettit
 and Osario are the
Burlington elders) 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Back When Hector Was a Pup...[Dec. 15, 2014]

Last week was full of tender mercies. One lesson, which we thought would just be a cold short doorstep visit, because our investigator just broke up with his girlfriend so we can't go in his place unless a member is with us,...well, his ex-girlfriend was randomly packing up things at his place so we could go in. Then they were like, "Do you  want to hold some week old puppies?"...uh yeah! So there was 3 of the cutest little puppies. Then they were like, "Do you want cake?"....uh yeah! It was awesome, cake and puppies, you can't go wrong.
It also rained yesterday, which was delightful, plus it was a potluck Sunday! So lots of people came and we held a gospel principles class, which this branch has never seen and it went great. I literally planned for five minutes for that class, which was all it needed, because the investigators were talking and teaching each other the whole time.
Debbie did a garage sale yesterday and she needed a lot of stuff moved including a car, so miraculously the Elders were able to come help.  Normally it's just too far for them, but they were leaving at just the right time anyways to go to Garden City.  Then they were also on exchanges with our district leader who realized Debbie wasn't wearing a watch, and asked why? She said she gave it to a girl who didn't have one and then he took the watch off his wrist and gave it to her.  She was so touched that she started crying. She is going to ask him to baptize her, which is a good thing, because there was literally no one else that could. (She didn't trust our Elders, poor kids. I guess if you're a stick before your mission, it might be good to go to the gym to prepare to baptize on your mission!)
Debbie is getting baptized on Saturday, which is going to be one of the greatest miracles on my mission! She has changed so much, and after 48 years of smoking she quit within a matter of weeks. We have been making daily contact with her and the fact that she doesn't have a phone means we have stopped by every day. I had a district leader tell us that no matter whether or not we make daily contact with our investigators, Satan is. That is so true. She has been tempted every day to smoke or drink coffee or even Pepsi, (which we've told her a million times it's okay, but she still can't get over the fact that coffee isn't, but Pepsi is, so she's quitting it as well.) She did smoke 2 puffs today, from a cigarette she found, so we are going to have to get special permission for her to get baptized from our Mission President, but I don't think it will be a problem.

Sister Fosselman (my comp) and I

Garden City and Liberal Zones
at our ugly sweater Christmas party
in Garden City.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Looking through a window made of time, would you have the courage not to lie; burn it down...[Dec. 8, 2014]

So Kevin is in rehab in Norton, KS. Debbie (not his sister) took him there, and somehow he was able to get the money. We don't know how long he will be there.
We continue teaching his sister Debbie, she is so awesome. She loves reading and learning more. She is in love with True to the Faith and she always has questions for us. Her baptism date is Dec. 24th, but we are thinking of moving it up because she is ready and we feel like we are holding her back.
One day this week our district leader called us up and said that he was on exchanges with the Burlington elders, and they don't have a USB thing for their car (for music) so he was wondering if we had any CD's he could borrow, so they could listen to some music the way up there. Well, naturally, we said he could. Then I went down and grabbed my Lower Lights Christmas album cover (acquired b/c someone left it behind in one of my areas) and switched the CD with a super corny pink sister missionary CD that had about a dozen cheesy sister missionaries on the front, my comp had. Well, they pulled up to our apt and I gave it to him and he's like NO WAY the Lower Lights have a Christmas album. He just had pure joy on his face, and I was cracking up so bad...he was so confused why I was laughing. Then a few minutes after they left, we texted them how they are liking the Lower Lights and he texted back, you sisters are bums.
Friday, we had to wake up at 4am to go to Zone Training (remember the time zone change). Love it. Well, after I was driving on the highway for 20 minutes I realized the speed limit was 75, not 65. We were a bit late, but that's okay. It didn't help that there was literally no one else on the highway at the time to pass us.
Sister Fosselman woke up with the stomach flu on Saturday, so our best proselyting day was a waste. I read and memorized all day, so my brain was aching by the end.

My half chihuaha and half poodle boyfriend.
Hubert (huey) Lawrence Matthews. Debbie's dog.
He waits in the window for us all day
and bites at our ankles when we try to leave.
Debbie informed us she wants to set off
fireworks after her baptism.
 She has quite a stash
and we decided to try one right then.
Putting her lighters to better use then
before we went outside and she lit one.
I then learned that lighting a firework
 next to your house on a windy day
in Kansas is not a good idea.
It flew to her roof, but thankfully
 it was a short one and was out by then. 

Debbie scared her house is about
to light on fire. 

Sister Fosselman and I
Elders stacking up on each other for
an object lesson.
No one was hurt, miraculously,
the making of this picture.

As a zone, we memorized this thing
from Preach My Gospel and the zone leaders
volunteered themselves to have
freezing water thrown on them.
My district leader is in the brown in the back.

Wet zone leaders.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hornswoggl​ed by a Skinflint...[Dec. 1, 2014]

They should have told me in my call packet that I was called to the Kansas Wichita Mission backcountry hick English speaking, since it definitely is a different language then I grew up speaking. Anyways, this a few minutes to think of happy and good things in this world...and then, you can start reading what happened. I swear the beginning of this week feels like a month ago for me, it wasn't super terrible, it just was a lot to take in.

At one point this week, our recent convert as of last Saturday (Kevin) was on the lamb with 10k and a stolen car....Let us start from the beginning.
Tuesday morning: Sister Williams (a member who is married to Don who owns the manure spreading business Kevin worked for--she introduced us to Kevin) called and said, we don't know where Kevin is, but he has a check and we think the customer (they don't know who the customer was) put it on accident in Kevin's name. The last time we saw Kevin was in Sacrament Meeting when he got confirmed. He was crying and left and then came back. The talk was on the history of Thanksgiving and I was confused why he was so emotional over Native Americans and Pilgrams, when he whispered that his grandpa had just died and he was in Nebraska. So, he left in the middle of Sacrament Meeting to go to Nebraska....Well, that's where we thought he was this whole time....We texted him once, but he didn't reply, we just thought he was busy with family.

Well, Tuesday we also got a call from the Branch President's wife, who said a lady in Limon got our number and is wondering if Kevin had a stroke. We figured it was Debbie (his girlfriend) and we went to go see Debbie (his sister and our investigator he introduced us to) to see what was up. She said he was in Colby getting his foot fixed, because it was broken. We were like wait, didn't your grandpa die and she's like, no, he is in St.Francis (that's in Kansas in our area) and he just had a couple strokes, but he's fine and not even in the hospital.
So we called the branch president's wife and told her Kevin was fine. She must have given our number to Debbie (Kevin's gf) because she called us in the afternoon. She said she was in Denver trying to find the hospital Kevin was at, because he said he had a stroke and was there. I was like, well other Debbie said he is in Colby getting his foot fixed.

I decided to ask her a little more. I knew she was a member and she explained that she got baptized in 2003 and she was endowed. She said she met Kevin at a gas station in Colorado. (We later found out he drove the Williams truck with his sister there to get some pot) They met a month ago, which truthfully coincidentally is around the same time he met us. She said they talked a lot on the phone and when she came down for the weekend that was her first time spending time with him.
She just went on how they were supposed to ride horses together and she's like, "Yeah, I never even did see his house." I was like, "What house? He lives in the William's camper in Rexford, KS." She's like, "He lives there!? He said his hired man lives there." I was like, "He IS the hired man." She lost her breath. She said she also saw him put chew in his mouth. Delightful.
Debbie (the sister) said Kevin told her he was going to Larnard Mental Hospital. The Williams told us he deposited the check for $10,000 and said he had their truck.
Wednesday: We visited Debbie (the sister) with a member in an effort to get her to know the members in the ward. You bet your bottom dollar we were on her like Donkey Kong. I was like, "When did you last smoke? Do you have any coffee in the house? Alcohol?" (She threw away her alcohol, she has family coming in and out and a niece that lives with her so she claims it came from them) I flat out asked her if she had marijuana and she's like, "No, I don't have that anymore I gave it away." I was scared who she gave it to, so I asked her, "...Kevin...DEBBIE!!" Of course, the member is just wide eyed this whole time, because we were so blunt with her. Thankfully she was a convert herself. Debbie (the sister) also told us she saw Kevin drink vodka right before his baptism in the church parking lot and she was just what the! and he offered her some and was like it's cool! She said she was so mad at him she didn't want to go in, but obviously she did.
I just told her, you can lie through all of this and seriously it's no skin off my back if you are doing any of it, but it's between you and Heavenly Father, so it makes no sense why you would bother lying to us! She completely agreed, so hopefully we can keep that open communication with her. I know she know's it's true and she honestly wants to quit.
We found out that night from her calling Larnard Mental Hospital that he wasn't there.
Thanksgiving Thursday: the WORST proselyting day ever! We knocked on this one house and this old lady answered and talked with a Russian accent and with her hands and said I'm IN the MIDDLE of COOKING! and slammed the door. We obviously weren't able to make any appointments that day so it was a shot in the foot. We had dinner at a member's house and that was good. Later that night, we were going to start a fast with both Debbies and we got a couple interesting texts from Debbie (the sister): Are you coming over here to fast? Us: Yeah, will you be home at 8 tonight? Debbie: Yeah both my couches fold out. We were like wait does she think we are sleeping over? and then she sent another text Debbie: Or is fasting no sleeping also? We were cracking up so bad. Apparently, we didn't explain fasting very we called her and set her straight. She told us Marshalls came to her house that morning to look for Kevin.
Friday: That morning we got a call from Debbie (the gf) She said that she had been sending texts to Kevin this whole time and last night at 8:30 is when he started sending the texts back! She was able to convince him to come clean and go to the Williams. Sister Williams called and said Kevin was on his way and will be there in an hour. We sent the senior couple over there, and they convinced him to go to a hospital to start detoxing. Apparently, he drinks vodka 24/7. So they drove him to Wray, CO. They took him for 72 hours and will kick him out after that. Meaning he will be out sometime today. It would be prime if he could go to a place to detox all the way, but he has no insurance and no one wants to pay for that, because he would just go back to it afterwards anyways. He'll probably just end up going to Debbie (his sister)
So that's Kevin for yeah. We also found out yesterday that he never was a marine. Sister Wiliams is convinced that he did it all to get with Debbie (his gf), but I don't know. I think he honestly wanted to change and he liked the support he was getting at church, but he just didn't have the mentality to know how to get there.
Our Branch President was less than helpful yesterday as he blamed us for allowing someone to "mock a sacred ordinance". Thankfully, our stake president must have heard about that from someone, because he came up to us (he's in our branch) and said he was going to talk with him about it, and to not blame ourselves. My companion had an emotional breakdown yesterday in the car, so that was also fun to deal with. We both just are emotionally and physically exhausted from the week. I can't imagine what would have happened if one of us did get transferred on Tuesday in the middle of all of this. Our branch president also was like, now it's all my problem to deal with, we were just like seriously?! Who has been in communication with the Debbies?...who convinced him to come clean?...who fasted for him?...who drove him to Wray?...who arranged for him to get a blessing in Wray?.... He didn't even know where Kevin was at the time. It was just a little bit frustrating, but I'm really not blaming anyone for anything. It just is a situation that we were all put in, and it is not meant to put us down, but to learn from. 

This sounds like it was my entire week, but it was all intermixed with everything else and we ended with 12 lessons with less actives and 17 other lessons. We tracted into 2 different part member families who's records aren't in the branch, but they live next to each other randomly in a trailer park we never go to. They were super nice and had families. Whoop!... there it is.
OH ALSO, I got to slaughter a pig on Saturday! We got a call Thursday from a member who was killing a pig Saturday and needed help cutting it up. I wanted to get a picture, but by the time I thought of it my hands were literally covered in pigs blood. #sorrynotsorry My hands stank so bad afterwards, kind of like wet dog. Yeah, wet dog literally smells like dead pig.

The elders in our area last transfer...
let's just say they aren't going
to be professional football players
and so we waited for transfers.
Then they send us another stick.
So Saturday, we decided to move
our insanely heavy and bulky hide-a-bed couch
ourselves it involved a lot of scooting and sliding. 

There is this shrine thing
this house puts up for the holidays,
a different one was there
for Halloween,
so naturally I took a picture with it.