To any of you who are like I was and thought that bedbugs were just a made up creature that your parents used to scare you at night... THEY ARE NOT. They are real and they totally bite you. Like a lot. Like... all over.
Luckily, I am not speaking from experience. Here is the story.
The elders in our district (our District Leader and his companion) got bedbugs somehow. Somewhere. We found out last Tuesday that they had gotten them when we got a call from the mission home. Mine and Sister Tolman's reactions were so different, it was hilarious. I had tears in my eyes. I legit was crying for them. The mission has turned me into such a baby. Sister Tolman on the other hand was flipping a lid. "IF THOSE ELDERS GAVE US BEDBUGS I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO THEM AGAIN." Yelling and getting mad. It was so funny.
so anyway, most of the daywas spent cleaning and doing laundry and taking mandatory precautionary measures to make sure that we didn't end up with bed bugs, or that if we did have them, that we killed them before they got to us. Poor Elder George (the DL) had 81 bites as of yesterday night. So they're not something that you want to mess with. I was praying so hard all week that we wouldn't get them. We didn't get a lot done as far as missionary work was concerned, so that was frustrating. But hey, our clothes and apartment are all really clean, so that's nice. :)
It was a horrible scare, though. The elders are not allowed to go into members or investigators houses for the next several weeks and are only allowed to come to sacrament meeting on Sundays as they receive treatments from the exterminator in their home to get rid of the bedbugs, because they don't want to risk spreading it. I feel so bad for them! They're such good missionaries and their work is kind of forcefully being slowed because of the stupid bugs! Poor things.
So the bedbugs took up a lot of our time, and . But we were able to get some work done!
We found one incredible young woman named V. She actually stopped us on the street one day as we were walking to the home of a less active. She said she used to be a member but she left the church to be Catholic. We asked her if we could come by and talk with her. When we followed up with the appointment, we found out that she is bisexual and doesn't know if she wants to come back to church cause she is afraid that she'll be really judged. We told her how cool the ward is and how we know her Heavenly Father loves her so much and we encouraged her to look at mormonsandgays.org. It was a really good conversation. She's awesome. We're going to see her again this week .
We also have two new investigators this week - T. and A. We found them OYMing and they invited us back. They're really awesome. T. has this friend that just got out of jail that always seems to show up right as we're trying to have lessons with her... fishy? I think so. But A. seems sincerely interested. She has three little boys. She's such a super hero.
We also met two families who are ready to take the lessons, we have appointments set with them this week and we're so excited! S. and W. have 6 little boys collectively (from different marriages). We OYM'd them one night and apparently after we left they talked to each other and they had both secretly been wanting to go back to church and work on their relationship with God, but hadn't known how to tell the other. How cool is that?
Then we received J. and M. as a referral from a referral. They have two daughters and they "are looking for a church." M. is finishing up clinicals to be... an LPN? I think? I could be wrong. Where's Savannah Widm.. ah, DAWSON when you need her? ;) But they're really nice.
We're finding a lot of people who are interested. We have an investigator who just moved into our area from the elders' area. His name is C. How classy is that? We went to see himand while we were there A TREE IN HIS FRONT YARD GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING!!
WHAT THE WHAT?
It had this wicked scar like all the way down the trunk. It was so dang flippin legit. Like something off of the Hunger Games. Survival of the fittest. And we survived.
What I don't know if I will survive is Sister Tolman's driving. Haha. Let me just tell you some fine stories about this woman with whom I am serving.
The other day we are just cruising down Cumberland on our way to an appointment, posting up in the right hand lane (there are a lot of one way streets in Lebanon. Cumberland happens to be one of them). I hear her turn the signal on and slow down. Remember, we're in the right hand lane so I look to the right expecting her to turn that way. BUT NO haha she just whips out a left hand turn from the right hand lane like a madwoman. She totally didn't even realize it, either. So she's just driving along and I'm all... (quietly from the passenger seat): "Um, Sister? That totally wasn't legal." So she gets so scared and slams on the breaks in the middle of the street and she's like "What wasn't legal?" Panicking. Hahahaha It was so funny.
Thenwe were driving with a member to an appointment and she is driving in the turning lane but she needed to go straight so she just swerves in front of this hardened thug that was just getting ready to pass us. The light turned red though so we had to stop.
Oh my gosh I thought we were going to die. He pulls up to the side of us, rolls down his window, starts screaming all kinds of profanity at us. We were looking straight ahead, I am like trying not to laugh at the situation so I have this dumb smile on my face... the hardened thug starts to reach for his door handle to come out and MURDER US I am sure... but just then the light turns green, the member and I shout "GO GO GO GO" and we speed off.
Luckily, next transfer she said that I can drive! So hopefully we won't have anymore crazy stories. Hahahaha. We always have a good time though.
In other news, we got dumped this week by one of our investigators - L. (I swear though, there are only 3 names in Lebanon for guys. Luis, Hector, and Jose. There's nothing else.) He just sat us down at the table and was like, "Yeah, I don't think you guys should come over anymore."
Haha so funny. Cause right after he dumped us his sister said she wants to take the discussion. TAKE THAT L. We'll still be over everynight!
Wahahaha. We're like the crazy ex girlfriends that never leave. It's awesome!
In other news, we had two of our less active members get up in Sacrament meeting yesterday and bear their testimonies. It was incredible. I cried like a little manchild.
So since it was Fastyesterday I will end this email with my testimony that this gospel and our Heavenly Father are perfect! I love that we never have to go through trials and tribulations alone because of our Savior Jesus Christ and His suffering in the Garden. I know that He loves us. I know it. I can feel His love for the people that we are teaching. It washes over every inch of me. It's an incredible blessing to me to feel of that love not only for myself, but for others. What an incredible gift His gospel is to every person who will accept it.
I have a testimony of this work and the importance of members participating! We love our members here in Lebanon. They're the best! Please help your missionaries further the work!
I have a testimony of family history work and it's importance. That's missionary work, too! Work that everyone can have a part in. If you can't go to the temple, make it a goal! Find names of your ancestors in your free time and offer them the incredible gift that they didn't know about when they lived! How cool is the plan of salvation, eh?
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and it's truthfulness, and consequently I have a testimony of Joseph Smith, and of our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. They are great men. But they do not direct this church.
I know that the reason that our church is a living church and that we can receive revelation because Jesus Christ is at the head. He directs the affairs of His church. We will never be led astray.
I delight in the scriptures. I love my Savior. I know that His words bring peace that will last us not only until the end of this life, but throughout the eternities.
I know these things.
I know that if you do not know these things, that you can. I emphatically encourage everyone to do so! :) It is the most wonderful knowledge and gift a person can have in this life - to know that they are loved by their creator and that He has a plan specifically for them! To have the drive and desire to help others and to do the will of the Father because of that love! It's awesome!
The church is true!
I bear you my witness! In Jesus' name, Amen.
Love, Hermana Bills