Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Changes

     Oh man. This week has been full of changes and adjustments. Serving in a YSA ward is different. And this is a pretty slow area right now. There are currently zero investigators in our teaching pool. It's hard to find people right now since the north side of Spokane isn't really a college town, and everyone is heading back to other places for school these next few weeks. The area book and white board with all of the information were a mess when I got here. Both of my companions are quiet and shy. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with 1 shower and 4 plates/bowls and we currently have 6 sisters living here. But you know what? I am LOVING it here. I prayed and prayed all last transfer for Heavenly Father to really push me. And He has answered my prayers! I spent every spare moment this last week cleaning up the area book and putting my OCD organizational skills to work. It was exhausting, but we are so much more effective in our planning now! I'm learning how to be comfortable with awkward silence- because I could obviously talk for an entire lesson or street contact, but then my companions wouldn't grow. So I'm learning how to hold back, and then be bold when I do speak and not just ramble on. It's cool working with only people my age because I feel like I can really be myself more when I teach, and I have no problem being blunt with them either. We also have a set of elders serving in this ward as well (which doesn't help with the whole aspect of not having many people to teach) But we divided it up so that the elders teach all of the men and we teach all of the women. It's definitely been a week of adjusting, but I've just been so happy through it all. Heavenly Father is blessing me, and I'm able to see the growth I'm making.
     There is a lot more diversity that I get to see now that I'm covering 2 stakes instead of one ward. Not just races, but religions. This week we met a Wiccan...she wasn't interested, but she was interesting :) We also met a Muslim man from Iraq. Oh gosh, let me tell you about Hasam. So I mentioned that my companions are shy, so I am kind of the driving force in us actually heading towards people to talk to them. They kinda keep walking towards the house we're going to or the car and pretend they don't see a person 20 yards away. So I head us on over to Hasam and Henry (who is from Libya). So we start talking to them both and Henry was super open and friendly. Well while he's talking, Hasam starts talking too... which is awkward- I mean, who do you listen to? SO my 2 companions listen to Henry and I listen to Hasam... well while Henry is talking to them about his religious background, Hasam is telling me all about his tribe in Iraq and how they've been massacred (I mean, he's giving me detail on this), about how he was beaten last year here in Spokane, about how he thinks I should marry an Iraqi (whom he is going to find for me), I mean this guy was just going on and on and reciting to me his Muslim prayers. All while my companions are having a lesson with this other guy and teaching him the restoration. I'd try to get back into their lesson but Hasam wasn't having any of it! It was so draining. I had a headache by the end. Partly because of the horrific things he's had to go through and partly because the whole time I was trying to figure out how to get a word in and it just didn't happen. Long story short, Henry is a new investigator that we passed off to a family ward- Hasam is not :)

      So because the area we cover is so big and we don't have a ton of miles, we often have lessons at our church building and meet people there to teach them. While we were waiting for one to show up, the elders had a less active who was waiting for them to come for a lesson. This guy is in the Army and very interesting. But after 2 minutes of talking to him he turns to me and says "So you must be the ringleader!" Huh? We looked confused so he says again "You (me) are the ringleader because you take the lead in talking. You (Sister Knowlton) are the analyst just trying to figure out what to say next. And you (Sister McDonald) are the observer." We laughed... but he was pretty spot on in just a 2 minute conversation! haha.

     Saturday was our media blitz where we had members shadow us and take pictures of what we do. If you search the hashtag #mnmspokane on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you'll find pictures from that day of what all of us missionaries were doing :) It was pretty fun. Just a normal day, but it was really busy. In one of our lessons with Lau Seelua (a recent convert) we were talking to him and I asked him "What are some things that you do during the week that give you that same good feeling as going to church?" His response.."Weed" haha. Oh man! We had quite a conversation with him about that. It's been a problem for him, and since it's legal here he doesn't see why he can't smoke or sell it. Which is so weird because he is the most kindhearted and spiritual person I've met in this ward. You'd never suspect he does that. Anyway. We're working with  him. He's someone who when we asked him what he knew about the temple he said "It's like the church but with no basketball court, right?" haha! He's a fun one :)

     Okay, so want to hear a miracle? A few days ago I was going through and cleaning out the phone. We had a bunch of missionaries numbers but didn't know what wards they served in so I sent out a mass text to 10 numbers that said something like "This is the Shawnee YSA ward in North Spokane. What ward do you serve in?" Well this random number from Idaho texts back and says "The only ward I know is the one my parents keep threatening to send me to if I don't stop shaving the cat". I never sent a text to that phone number before that. I checked and checked in our phone and honestly have no idea how the text got sent to that number!! Weird! So I go ahead and reply "Sorry! I guess that's what happens when you clean out your phone. We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We call our congregations "wards". Have you ever talked with Mormon missionaries before?" (okay- side note, I'm running out of time, so I'm going to paraphrase) But we keep texting this person, whose name is Blaze, and he asks us if he can get into heaven because he's bisexual. I testify to him that God loves all of His children and there is a place in heaven for everyone. I later invited him to be baptized and he said yes. I asked if he wanted to meet with missionaries to learn how he can better follow Jesus Christ in his life and he said yes! So I gave him the number for some missionaries in Moscow and called them and told them the situation. I'm super excited to hear how this goes! I know that God knew he needed to talk with us that night so he sent a wayward text his way. So cool! I love being a missionary!

     Well I'm out of time! I love you all!

My new address is: 1807 W. Northridge Court #7
Spokane, Washington 99218

-Sister Metcalf
Sister McDonald, Sister Knowlton, and me out working
My first district meeting and Sister Knowlton's last so we staged a "Last Supper" with her being "poisoned by degrees"
We found a castle in Greenbluff!
Wheat fields!
Sisters Knowlton and McDonald
 Doesn't it look cooler when I'm kneeling in it?? :)
With the sisters in the zone at Frank's Diner
Temple day!
Walking in the wind and rain storm!
My new apartment is up on the hill on the right by the street lamp

Lemonade stand!
Nightly planning with our newly organized white board!

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