September 8, 2014

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We have had a kind of funny week. All the missionaries are getting sick, I’ve been a lot better but Sister G has been really sick, so we’ve been as productive as we could and tried not to be too bored when we had to stay at the apartment. One day we had a couple pretty important appointments set for late afternoon. I was reading on my bed and Sister G was asleep on hers so I took a nap. I kept waking up and reading for a bit but she was still sleeping and I wasn’t gonna wake her up because she had been really sick, so I would fall back asleep. After like 3 hours of this I was getting soooo bored so I went into the living room and Sister G had been in there the whole time, not sleeping, and had been checking up on me periodically but it happened to have been every time I was asleep so she thought I was sick and didn’t want to wake me up for our appointments hahaha so basically we wasted 3 hours and were super bored for no reason.

At prayer circle my good friend Cormac gave me a periodical on biblical archaelogy/other stuff…still looking to see if there are any subtle Mormon jabs in it haha…wouldn’t be suprised. Prayer circle is seriously cool though. We talk for at least half an hour and then pray together, whoever wants to can take a turn. We noticed this week that’s it’s only when we pray that there isn’t any "yes Lord yes"s or "Amen"s or spiritual moaning. We don’t know if we should be offended or relieved hahaha. There is a lady Patty there who just loves us and I learn a lot from the faith of everyone there.

At a lesson this week, a man we were teaching was going on about his singing talents and how he’s opened for all these bands, and then he asked us to sing a hymn, so we did. He asked if he could harmonize with us and it was HORRIBLE hahaha, and we definitely busted up laughing. Luckily the cat had come into the room and made a weird meowing noise so we blamed our laughing on the cat. He then sang by himself and actually didn’t sound too bad but MAN that was rough.

On Saturday we were driving on a narrow winding road (gotta love that Tennessee carsick) and a car came real fast from around the corner, so rather than hit the car we swerved and just NAILED a mailbox. We pulled over to tell the owner what we did, and a 24-year-old dude answered the door (he was definitely high) and we talked to him for a bit. We asked if we could set up a time to come teach him and he said "Yeah, or we could just like be friends" haha so apparently we’ve found another Dallas. He did say he wanted to go to church though, and I gave him a Book of Mormon. As we pulled away he was standing on his porch reading it.

We went over to Judge Charles Herman’s house to visit him and his wife again, and his daughter and son-in-law were there too. She’s the one who is dying of cancer and we know him from the food pantry we work at together. They always invite us back and their kids like us. We have been praying to know when/how to introduce the gospel to them. For now they are friendigators and just love us. They are so great.

Sister Godlewski is just STRUGGLING with using slang this week, haha. She told our branch mission leader Bro. Muggridge that one of our investigators "thinks he’s the shiz" and then tried to explain it by saying "he thinks he’s bomb" and continued to get a blank look from Bro. Muggridge til we stepped in and helped her. hahaha. #mishprobs

I wish I had my camera with me last night, we were driving back from the Holler (where the Branch Pres’s family lives, Trey and Sandy Smith) and the clouds were pouring over the mountains (hills?) from the other side.

So a little thing that brings me joy. First I need to tell you about Brother Williams. Sister Williams takes us out to do missionary work all the time and we eat at their house sometimes (they are like 55/60 maybe?). Last time Bro. Williams was telling us mission stories and reading to us out of his mission journal and I was surprised to learn from the missionaries that Brother Williams doesn’t actually have a testimony of the church. He goes with his wife half the time and thinks it’s a good way of life so of course it’ll make you happy, he just doesn’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet or that the Book of Mormon is true, and apparently gets really worked up if you try to talk to him about it so everyone tries to avoid the topic. So obviously he’s the exact kind of person I want to be friends with and have good gospel conversations with. This week we had a special mission fast for finding people who are prepared to accept the gospel. We were also encouraged to bear our testimonies in our wards and branches. I felt like I should talk a tiny bit about my faith crisis but I wished Brother Williams was there. I bore my testimony on doubts and how any time you have a doubt or lack of knowledge, you have an opportunity to get an answer from God, and from that grow closer to God. I talked about the doubts I’ve had and how grateful I am for the things I’ve learned, and that for every argument there will be a good counterargument, and for every counterargument another good counterargument, and ultimately the place we need to look for answers is God. I have good reason to believe that Christ lives, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is true, and if it is true, then this is the place to be, this is the place to work out your problems, to lift yourself and help lift others. After Sacrament Meeting I saw that Brother Williams WAS there and he thanked me for my testimony!! I hope we can be friends and learn from each other.

Last story. We have a recent convert who gets drunk every couple weeks so we come over to help him out. He gets so sappy. He cries and apologizes and says I love you to everyone and then gets mad at his alcoholism and asks everyone to help him and then we say stuff about the gospel/the Atonement that he’ll never remember haha and then he gets mad at God and starts crying and saying I love you again. He tried to kiss my ear when we were saying bye. Haha gross. Anyway this story is to lead up to the story that HE ATE A CIGARETTE without flinching because he was so drunk!!! We tried to get him to stop but he just went at it haha. We were over there for a long time trying to help and encourage him and the family because he gets so down on himself and it’s kinda scary.

Okay gotta go. I love you!! 🙂 Momma send me Nina Austin’s email address! She was supposed to email me a story!! 🙂

– Sister Victoria Hale

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