Well what a week this has been! There's been a lot of ups and a lot of downs but at the end of it all I love everyday.
Monday- Can you guess what Monday was? P-DAY! We did all of the needful things. We washed our clothes, bought groceries and emailed. What a good day! At the end of the night we had dinner with the Lemons! What a stellar day.
Tuesday- On Tuesday we had a pretty good day We didn't have the car which is always an adventure so we found ways to be productive anyway. We called people, set up appointments did companionship study! All the time we were doing this my leg was itching right behind my knee, super weird. All of a sudden as I'm itching I feel a bump. What on earth could that be? I look to see what it is and it's a freaking SEED TICK. Fun fact, I've never had a tick before. So I start panicking and my dear companion was kind enough to pull it out of my leg. But, of course, the head didn't come out so she had to take tweezers and dig it out of my leg. All the while I'm crying and she's assuring me I'm going to be fine. I have a very kind companion. By the time this ordeal was over it was time for dinner. Our members are so kind to come pick us up for dinner when we don't have a car. The members we had dinner with are a gluten free family and they are really good at cooking gluten free things so I always am excited to eat there. When we got to their house there was a big bag of gluten free baking flour on the table and Sister Byrd (the member who was feeding us) said "We have this bag of flour for you so that you can make cookies or pancakes or muffins or whatever you want." I just about died I was so happy. I thanked them profusely. After dinner we went and tried to visit some people but no one is home when the missionaries come to visit.
Wednesday- On Wednesday we had District Meeting, which meant we got our car back! Oh happy day! After District meeting we headed down to Neosho because Sister Snyder has been having some back problems and so we went to the chiropractor. I just read my Jesus the Christ and we had a great old time. After that we headed home and went to the Lemons for dinner. After the chiropractor Sister Snyder was hurting pretty bad so the Lemons helped her by having her use an ice pack. The Lemons are basically our Granby parents and so they take good care of us. It was a really good day.
Thursday- On Thursday we had to drive to Joplin to get our Tiwi installed in our car. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to find out what a Tiwi is, let me tell you about it. Tiwi is a little box that is stuck to our front windshield of our car and it monitors or driving. It tells us to "check your speed" when we go to fast or when we are hitting bumps to quickly or our RPM's get too high it informs us we are using "aggressive driving." I have never had a problem with Tiwi (however, I do get a few more "check your speed"s than I probably should) it's just something to help me drive well but a lot of missionaries HATE Tiwi. The guy who installed our Tiwi was really nice and we gave him a pass along card before we left. Hopefully he will watch the video and decide to meet with missionaries! While in Joplin on our way to get our Tiwi installed we did get to drive on Historic Route 66 so that was really fun! :) After Tiwi we headed back to Granby and to dinner at a members house. We got to dinner and we find out there are two non members there! Score! So we ate dinner (salmon, crab legs and shrimp with fresh fruit and corn, so yummy!) and it was great. After that we went to go visit this old man who is a member of our ward and he was sleeping so we left him a note and then we went home to do our weekly planning. While we were planning we texted our investigator to ask when we could come see her and she told us she was having a really hard time and had lost her job so we hopped in the car to go see her and try to uplift and encourage. We had a really good talk with her and we got to meet her daughter who is so sweet. We ended up inviting her daughter to meet with us as well and she said yes! So we got a new investigator! :)
Friday- On Friday we did service at the Newtonia Library and that was good as always. After that we headed to see the old man we tried the day before and we got to see him. We sat down to talk with him and his caretaker was there. We had scheduled to do service the week before but no one could take us and it was too far to bike so we had to cancel and his caretaker just went ham on us. She told us that when we "decided not to show up" that he did it himself and wore himself out and it could have been really bad for him. We tried to explain we gave him few days notice and she wouldn't have it. So we let it go and kept trying to talk to him. We started talking about the spirit world and his caretaker pipes up again and just starts trying to Bible bash us, and asks us where we found this in the Bible and when we tried to show her she wouldn't let us talk. We tried to wrap up the visit because it was a bad, contentious situation and we were both angry when she starts in about how the members of our ward are not fulfilling their duty because they are not coming and taking care of this man's lawn. She basically tore us apart. So we sat quietly and took it and then when she was done assured her we would tell our ward of her concerns and that it was time for us to leave. We were so mad. One of the hardest things about being a missionary for me is that when stuff like that happens I am still a representative of Jesus Christ so while I normally would have put on my boxing gloves and gone a couple rounds with her, I can't. I am learning how to turn the other cheek and forgive and love my enemies. It's not an easy lesson for me to learn. After that we went and had a lesson with our investigator, Sean. It was a really good lesson and we ended up setting a baptismal date for the 22 of September! We are really excited about that! :)
Saturday- On Saturday we had a good day! We started the day by having breakfast at the Lemons, they are so kind to feed us so often. As we were leaving I was trying to start driving on wet grass and we were in a little bit of a rut so I had to give it some gas to get us out of the rut and freaking Tiwi decided I was angry and gave me an "aggressive driving" *eye roll* The car wasn't even going about 5 mph, so annoying. Then we went and did service picking up some dead baby turkeys and then we headed home and got ready for the rest of our day. In the afternoon we went to a carnival called "howdy neighbor days" and we set up a table with some elders and tried to talk to people! It was really cool because we were back a ways and not a lot of people were coming and talking to us but this one guy came strolling back and was just looking at our picture of Jesus we had on our sign and he starts talking to us about how he's looking for a Christian church and how he wants a reverent place to worship. I told him "you should really give our church a try and he said he would! I didn't have the address for the building in Monette so I got his number instead. It's always cool when prepared people find the missionaries as they are led by the spirit. That night we had a lesson with our investigators Jess and Steve and it was one of the best lessons I've had on my mission. They asked us if instead of teaching them or reading with them if we could tell them why we choose to believe what we believe and basically why we are doing what we are doing. As we talked and shared with them they shared really personal things with us. I can't share a lot of details but I can say that I am so grateful for strong people who have a desire to come closer to God. It seriously makes all the difference.
Sunday- On Sunday we woke up and went to ward council which was good as always and then church started! I love church. I love being able to sit and feel the spirit and learn from other people's testimony and experiences. We have been trying to figure out how to work with the ward during the times we don't have a car and so we tried sending around a different kind of calendar when people could pick when they give us rides to the things we need to get to instead of us just sending texts and asking and I think this is going to work better which is a huge blessing. After church we met with our ward mission leader and we were able to talk about the work and how we can get the ward more involved. I'm super grateful for a ward mission leader who is so willing to help. After church we had lunch with some members and it was good! After that we went home and studied because we didn't have time to before church and studies are important. After that we went to dinner with the Lemons (different Lemons from the same family, the son of the other Lemons). Earlier this week Brother Lemon, Darrell, and I were talking and he said something that has been on my mind this week. He said "If you want to quit and go home when the days are good then that's fine, quit and go home. But don't quit when the days are bad." That really struck a chord with me. There are always going to be hard days, on a mission, as a parent, just in life. There are always going to be bad days. But you can't quit when the days are bad. If you're going to quit something quit when the days are good. If you're having a good day and what your doing still doesn't bring you joy then okay, find something else to do. God intended for his children to feel joy, not muddle through. But when the days are through quitting can't be an option. Opposition comes in all good things, but the good outweighs the bad. I thought that was a really cool thought and have decided that this is my new life mantra (i learned that word on my mission, I think I just used it correctly but I'm not positive).
Well, I hope that y'all know how much I love you and I hope that y'all will push through the bad days so that you can enjoy the good. Don't give up because the days are hard. If you're going to quit quit when the days are good and life is going well. Jesus Christ didn't have an easy time, so we shouldn't expect to. I love y'all and I hope that the days are good. Have a great week! :)
2 Timothy 2:3"Thou therefore endure hardness; as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
Keep on enduring my fellow soldiers, God loves you and I do too.
~Sister Madisen Lloyd