This week was just so darn funny! The spirit is always SO strong and I know that we are making a difference in people's lives. Missions seriously are a blast and so hilarious and SO uplifting!
Last week we went to a woman's house who had wanted us to help her clean out her basement and somehow ended up walking out of there obtaining half of everything we cleaned out! We were wondering what to do with all these random books, games, and misfit toys when it entered into our minds the people who had not had gifts for their children on Christmas. So what do missionaries do on New Years eve when everyone else in the world is either sleeping or out partying?? We play secret Santa but say Happy New Year and drop boxes of fun on their porches :) There is nothing better than knowing the excitement they must feel for the anticipation of what is inside the box. We had to be tactful in our delivery though because the family that we came to had their car running (as if they were going to leave) and their front door wide open! We waited a bit to see if they would actually leave - they didn't, so Sister Larsen dropped us off at the corner and Sister Lyons and I ran to the door with everything in hand. Sister Larsen begins to drive up, we drop the boxes, fly by the door, and jump into the moving vehicle! We were so sly! And the family never suspected it to be the missionaries :)
It's about time to tell a story of a dog. This particular dog is a pug and found lurking around the trailer park. So there we were, trying to visit an old blind woman named Geri and who comes out of the trees walking up the street?? This little pug. Cute right? Wrong. This dog begins to run toward us, half blind, limping, growling, and rabies infested! (See photo for evidence) We naturally start running to Geri's in fear of getting bitten and are up on her porch knocking in hopes she'll let us in. Her granddaughter answers as the pug arrives at the bottom of the steps only to discover it can't get it's pugish body up them, he paces back and forth at the bottom. The granddaughter didn't let us in because Geri was not there but she sat and talked to us on the porch for a bit (clearly not noticing the dog still pacing at the bottom). I couldn't help but be distracted by it's raspy harsh breathing. After the granddaughter says goodbye, all 3 of us turn around and consider our next step. As if we were in an old western film stepping out into the dirt road to have a duel but instead of us grabbing our weapons we chose to just RUN. We jump off the other side of the porch hear it start running and frantically get into our car as it chases us down the road and then fades off into the distance.
Oh my goodness! I have a gross animal story for this week. More fascinating than the dog I'm sure and advice I hope I never have to give my kids. It is about the Wilcox family. Sister Wilcox was telling us about how her son was given a tarantella by her son's friend and she wasn't too fond of it, but the boys liked it and so the story goes... Child #1 comes up to Sister Wilcox, "WATCH THIS!" Child #2 opens his mouth and out walks the tarantella!!! He was holding it in his mouth! Sister Wilcox "Sweetheart, we probably shouldn't put tarantellas in our mouths." I thought I was going to vomit. I hope I never have to tell my child to get a tarantella out of his/her mouth!! Gross. Solution: never letting my kids have a tarantella.
We went to the Visitor's Center with a family this week. Their family is so unique. There is a mom, Teri, and 2 daughters, Valerie and Emily. Teri is a kick in the pants. She is so darn inquisitive about everything that you could possibly imagine. And it's not like she cares about the answers even in the slightest, she just enjoys asking. She is like a little 4 year old who asks about everything in sight, keep in mind that this woman is 50+ years old. During lessons it is quite common for her to start venting to us about her 14 year old (who is sitting right with us) and stating, "I really just don't know what to do about her. Do all teenagers go through phases like this? Will you tell her to stop yelling at me! Will you make her come to church, tell her, tell her now or else she won't listen later!" This is the same family that we gave a snow globe-I think I told that story! It is just beyond me why she is asking 3 twenty year old girls to parent her children, but it is quite funny and hard not to laugh. We met with them a second time this week and finally are breaking through to Miss Valerie! HALLELUJAH. She is so confused and does not know where to find answers. She is feeling so frustrated and lost, it is a major step that we even know any of this, she is the most shelled person I have ever met! She builds herself up and tries to protect her vulnerability by talking about how confident she is, it is so heartbreaking to see someone so lost! She is trying to decide if she wants to stay a member of the church, or just move on. During this lesson, Valerie made the comment, "Well, it's not even like you guys would be that different if you weren't Mormon," in defense of her own decisions. This comment struck me more deeply than ever before. I pondered what would be different about me if I was not a member of the church. In those few moments, while pondering that comment in the lesson, in an overwhelming way I realized that I would not be OK. I would not be OK at all! I began to cry while sitting there in the their humble, messy, apartment and realized that even if no one loves, cares or knows about me at all, even if I don't mean a thing to anyone in the world, I know that I do to God. That is what I would be missing if I was not a Mormon. That's how I would be different. I would not be confident in who I am, because I would not know who I am. How can we be confident in something we do not know? I know Valerie felt something during that lesson and realized that she is missing something. I hope with all my heart she will act on it!
I feel such a deep connection with all of the people I am serving here on my mission. I love them all so very much and will never truly be able to describe the way that I feel about these people. I will never be able to express the joy that I feel with these people that I now cherish and hold so dear. It is so hard for me to understand that no one will ever understand how I feel about my mission and this area and these people, except my companions who are here experiencing it with me! My mission has been full of so much joy that I have come to know that this has to be God's work. I know He really does know me and all of us, and that He has magnificent things in store for us! Ask Him what those things are, I promise He will help you to accomplish them.
I love you so very much!
xoxox, Sister Kerr