Well, I didn't realize how much I loved missionary work, until this week. I mean, I thought I loved it, but when Tennessee has an ice storm, and all is shut down, closed and dangerous, and your apartment walls are all that you see for days, you come to find out, how much you LOVE missionary work!
Oh my, so Sunday night, the temperature dropped, and the roads were covered with 2 inches of solid ice. No...not just snow, like I thought. Snow is fluffy and soft. This was like walking on an ice skating rink, only it was real life. So, we were told we couldn't drive, but that was okay because our car was frozen under a thick layer of ice. (WE HAD TO CHISEL OUR CAR OUT). And then we couldn't walk on main roads....too bad we don't live in our actual proselyting area, and have to cross two major highways to get there....so we got stuck inside.Golly, I can't even explain, it was the most mentally trying thing. Thinking of more and more things to do. Trying to stay sane and not get annoyed with your companion. Not because she is annoying, but just because you have been trapped in the same apartment for days on end. And I became so sleepy, all the time, and I wasn't even doing anything. And so hungry, all the time, and I wasn't even burning any energy. It was like walking into the Twilight Zone of mission life. My comp and I compared it to, getting stuck in Spirit Prison, where we know the gospel is true, but we don't have bodies, and can't be baptized for ourselves. We ARE JUST STUCK!!
On the third day, we bundled up and went in 0 degree windchill weather, balancing on icy roads, down to Dollar General and Goodwill to do some store contacting. Although, it wasn't as fruitful as I would have hoped, I learned that outside air is necessary for happiness. It was like my brain started functionally normally when I got outside. Ah, the blessing of that cold cold adventure.
On the fourth day, the roads were decent for members to drive, and so we had them drop off us off in Downtown Franklin and we walked around trying to see some people. It was a whole different icy world. No one was outside, and though we were hoping for pity and people to let us in, everyone looked at us like crazies..."You girls need to get home, it is too cold for anyone to be outside right now!!" But it was an adventure. I learned that I love rocking the crazy Mormon style. We walked along a major road, up a hill, and it was like we were in a museum glass case, and everyone was looking at us, like the newest craziest piece of art. At the beginning of my mission, I wanted to die at these moments. Hide. Duck. Jump under a bush. But now, I relish in them. Hey, we are representing Jesus Christ, and just trying to help people, and if that is weird, than hey, I want to be weird. It was hilarious!!
Finally, on the fifth day, we got to DRIVE and cooked dinner for our cute little single ladies group full of less-actives and recent converts. It was TOTALLY AWESOME!! It is so fun to hear friends laughing, and fellow-shipping and such. I never knew how much fun cooking could be too, and serving others. It made the whole week to get to do something like this. I am so truly grateful for those who love the gospel and love other people. And just getting to be out with REAL PEOPLE!!!
Sunday came and church was cancelled because there were still some bad roads out there, and oh my, I wanted to cry. Before my mission I would have thought, woohooo--DAY OFF!! But when we got the call, it was like my whole heart broke! I thought, how am I going to get the sacrament? How am I going to be renewed? I was so grumpy this week, and now I can't wash that away!! Darn it! But we were able to drive and we got to see lots of awesome folks. In fact, the Senior Sisters even made me Korean Bulgogi without beef, and it was sooo good. With some Chop Chey! I love Korean food.
My spiritual experience of the week was being able to take an hour to pray. I have never prayed for a straight hour, at least on purpose. I have never tried. I was a little nervous, but I thought, I can talk to other people for days, but somehow when I talk to God, my conversations can be rushed or short. Why is that? So, I went in the study room and just prayed out loud to my Heavenly Father. It was such a neat experience. I felt like God was my best friend, and I was just telling Him all I was thinking about, and all I was grateful for, and what I felt like my mission has been to me. It was so freeing, and natural, and the hour flew by. I was shocked. I am so grateful for that experience, and I hope that I can take more time to just talk to my Heavenly dad.
So, I learned extremely important lessons....
1. I love missionary work and I never want to go back to real life. ha ha
2. Sometimes, the Lord throws unexpected stumbling blocks at ya, and you have to deal with them and find happiness in them . . . I kinda failed at that, but learned it at the end of the week.
3. Outside air is the most important thing to have a healthy mind.
4. Ice is my worst enemy.
5. It is nice to have time to pray.
Well, folks, I sure hope I will get to work this week. I don't know if I can do that again, but if it be the Lord's will, hey I will sure try to be less grumpy this time!!
The Tennessee shut down of 2015 . . . its a real thing!!