Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Look down, look down, don't look him in the eye; look down, look down, you're here until you die...[Sept. 21, 2015]

This week was so long! It didn't feel like it as we were going through it, but last night Sister Chappell mentioned it was just Thursday when we sat down with Elder Jones....what! That felt like a week ago! And a week ago was when we got our hair cut....no way!
We reached our climax with Joneskilletbiscuit. Wednesday, we had our second combined lesson with Gloriah. They requested the elders come as well and we think it's because Jack (her husband) really likes them. Well, it went well, we talked about the covenants of baptism and answered her questions about her baptism. Afterwards Elder Jones, to put it simply, was just acting irrationally about the whole thing. Thankfully our ride came and we left for dinner. Inside the car I was close to tears, but then I remembered when things get bad, turn outward. Which was easy to do, because it was with Sister Fields, this older single sister in our Ward. I love her so much! She is like one of those fairy-god mother like people I run into and she told us just how she was able to really understand about the atonement over the last year. I'll talk more about it later.
Later, I talked with the Bohmans and they told us to call the zone leaders, so we did. After I told them the whole story they were like, have you told Elder Jones how he's making you feel....yeah! Well...kinda...its kind of obvious how we feel, right? They then told us to have an inventory with him and they committed us to do it the next day.
We made a comprehensive list of everything we think he's doing well and then everything he does that makes us feel like the scum of the earth. We planned to meet them at a park next to our apartment and on the walk there I felt like a guillotine was at the end of it. I think he was dreading it as well, because they were like 30 minutes late. We just talked to a bearded homeless lady while we waited.
When we finally sat down, he just listened as we went through it all. We started with the good stuff....he does this lip-purse thing when he is holding back a smile...and so there was a lot of that, but then we got into the bad stuff and he looked like we gut-punched him.
In the end, he told us how he has had problems with sisters in the past. Nothing serious, but just with flirting. So to avoid that, he just isn't that nice. He learned to be better with it all when he was in Colby (he was my DL back in Goodland); but he explained after being an AP, he just went back to his old sister-hater ways. Yay....
But I think he's realized that's not gonna fly anymore. He has been better since. We've been having to be on our toes with anything that could possibly be interpreted as flirting. He said we have to figure out what to improve on on our own, because he gets obsessed with things we're doing wrong, which has also helped a lot. I feel like he trusts us more. It's been good, but it's only been like 4 days, so hopefully it stays okay. :) Communication....it's good stuff.
We have this one investigator who lives a little bit away, so we can't just stop by, and she started not replying to our texts. We were worried she was upset about something, but she came on Sunday and said her daughter was playing with it in the shower. So yay for broken phones! Haha!!
We also are teaching this single mom and her kids and her 11 year old daughter mentioned how they pray every night together now. So cute!
Now for Sister Fields. She was explaining how this last year has been her year of true conversion. She had been through the temple and watched her kids go through and everything long ago, but she still was able to just have an eye-opening year. I thought that was so cool and I mentioned to her how I sometimes worry that after my mission. How much it has changed me into a better person and was such a refiners fire, that I will be stuck and not able to progress as much spiritually. She took me under her wing after that and gave me a letter yesterday that had a scripture in it. 3 Nephi 31:18-20. She also told me to read When Thou Art Converted.

On the same topic, I was reading just this morning a talk by Elder Maxwell called Endure it Well. He mentions "enforced change usually does not last, while productive enduring can ingrain permanent change." As well as "Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised."
I have a feeling the refiners fire won't end for me when my mission ends.

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