I feel like I start every email talking about what an awesome week it's been but every week so far as been awesome so I can't help it! This week was super cool though. ;) So last Sunday we had a guy named Alec just show up at church, no one knew who he was or where he came from. Sister Sanders and I went up and talked to him and it turns out that he had a Mormon friend and they had talked about religion and he grew up in a church but he noticed some flaws. He told us that he had started researching churches just for the sake of learning but that he was super interested in ours and so he figured out what church he would go to and decided to come! We said that was awesome and asked him if he would be interested in meeting with us to learn more and he said yes! We met with him yesterday and told him our end goal was for him to know the church is true and to decide to be baptized and then we asked him what his purpose was in meeting with us and he said "I know that eventually I want to be baptized, so yeah." We were a little shocked and said "that's awesome! We can make that happen!" and moved on with the lesson. It was great!
Tuesday was a long day! We had zone conference and then a meeting with the bishops in our stake so it was a long day of sitting at the stake center. When Sister Sanders and I got home we were having a good talk and then all of a sudden the biggest, nastiest bug I've seen (okay actually it was small it was just freaky looking and I don't love bugs) Comes flying at our fan and attacking our light bulbs. Obviously we had to kill it! Sister Sanders jumped into action and grabbed her hairspray and the fly swatter. The bug had landed on the ceiling outside of our kitchen and we pulled our chairs over and planned our attack. I would spray him with the hairspray so he couldn't escape and she would smack him with the swatter. Ready, go! Until the hairspray was empty. The pressurized air came out but no hairspray! The air made him angry and he started moving and buzzing so we had to get something! I grabbed the closest sprayable liquid... Febreeze. I just started spraying him as fast as I could but the nozzle was on mist so I had to spray it like 30 times to even have it bother him. He dropped and Sister Sanders jumped down and swatted him! We managed to kill the bug but our apartment WREAKED of Febreeze so bad for over an hour. Oh well!
On Thursdays we go on campus to the main building and we have a table that we set up and we stand there for like four hours and try to talk to people... to be honest it's not my favorite activity. People try so hard to avoid us but overall it's okay. Anyway, we were there handing out pass along cards and I had two left and three guys were walking towards us so I asked Sister Sanders for one of hers and then I started trying to talk to them. I said hi and asked how they were doing the one responded and said hi and that they were good. My next sentence was "Can I give y'all one of these ca....." and he cut me off and says "NOPE!" and kept walking. I was honestly shocked. Usually people are much more kind. I think my jaw almost hit the floor! Anyway, the one who was rude and the one right next to him started laughing and kept walking. The third one stopped and looked at them like they were the worst people on the planet and came over to me and says "I'm so sorry about him, he's an *******. I'm so sorry. Can I please have one of your cards?" Sister Sanders and I busted up and I gave him a card. I honestly wasn't even mad his friend was rude because that made up for it! It was the best.
Well we have a non member who comes to our ward, James, and he has had a lot of problems with missionaries in the past (he also as Asperger Syndrome) and I don't know specifics but I know it was bad enough he decided to stop taking lessons. He still comes to church and all of the activities but he isn't a member and doesn't meet with missionaries. Last week Sister Sanders noticed that he is a lot friendlier with us than usual and it turns out, for some reason, he has taken a liking to me. I didn't know there were any problems there but I just was nice to him and made an effort to say hi and get to know him. Well his good friend in the ward told us last week that he thought James might be willing to take lessons from him but probably not from missionaries and we said that was great and gave him pamphlets and moved on with life. Well his friend texted us late last week and told us James gave him permission to give us his number to try to talk him into lessons. I was beyond excited! I talked to James at church yesterday about it and he said he would think about it. I texted him today and he said he would meet with us! I'm so excited that I could help the Lord make him feel more comfortable with missionaries. It's a humbling experience to be able to teach him.
Friday and Saturday we had exchanges, my first exchange. I went to Nixa and was companions with Sister Robison for a day and a half! She was so cool! I loved her! I missed Sister Sanders but I loved her! We got to teach people and do a lot of tracting, which I am not great at, but I got to practice! We also talked a lot about anxiety. We talked about how much a mission can cause that and how it's hard to overcome but she taught me some really awesome things. She reminded me that this is THE ONLY TIME in my whole life that I will get to walk around, talking to everybody I see, looking a little silly and ridiculous and crazy to other people, knocking on strangers doors and asking them if they have a relationship with Christ and she told me that the best thing I can do for my anxiety about what other people think, is just accept that right now I'm a wackadoodle. I know that I'm normal and the people who get to know me will know I'm normal and so it doesn't matter what others think. Christ loves me and this is what he wants me to do! What a privilege it is to be able to talk to so many people and have them know that I'm doing what I'm doing because I love Christ. I don't need to fear others more than God and how silly it is for me to worry about what they think. I need to focus on what God thinks and as long as I am doing my absolute best to talk to the people he wants me to talk to and to talk about the things he wants me to, I'm golden! That is how I decided to accept that right now I'm a crazy girl who only wears skirts and talks about Jesus a lot! What a good life I live! 'm so grateful to be here and I'm so grateful to be a representative of Christ. So many blessings come with that title and, honestly, it's not easy. It's a trial somedays. But a bad day on my mission has still been better than an average day at home. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
~Sister Madisen Lloyd