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Monday, January 19, 2015

Our Mom's Have Known Each Other For Years ...
and We Just Met Each Other For The First Time in North Carolina !!!

Hey you guys!  How are you?  I miss you tons and tons!
To my sisters - Start practicing journal writing now!!!  It will really help! Anyway... Here it is!

We woke up, studied, went to email, then we got Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Then we had to get our grocery shopping done, so we drove across the street to Wal-Mart.  But how could we ever do grocery shopping in a boring manner?!  We decided to do English accents the entire time we were shopping.  (And even though I'm out of practice, with my vast knowledge on English literature, it wasn't that far off!)  Plus, the looks we got from EVERYONE in the store were priceless!!!!  The only time we switched from English to American, is when we had to ask where something was and when we ran into a less-active... Haha.  After Wal-Mart, we went over to K-Mart to see what NC merchandise they had there.  They were kind of low on stock, so I think we are going to come back today to see.  Then I bought something I needed to make mom's birthday present.  My goal was to send it off this week, but unfortunately, I won't be able to send it till next week.  Sorry... I still love you.  Haha. Then we went to dinner at the C's house,  we had a downscale version of Navajo Tacos that were super good.  They doubled as dessert when you put honey and powered sugar on them.  Then we went to try to see our investigator, but he wasn't home.  So we went to a sister and talked to her.  She doesn't want to come to church.  Her reasoning is that she wants to bring her kids to our church because she knows it's true, but her kids attend another church and she would rather go to church with them.  :(  Then our time had run out for the night.  So we headed home, planned, and went to bed.

We woke up and basically had to head straight for King's Mountain after getting ready for the morning because we had to catch our ride into Gastonia for Zone Meeting.  It was rather amusing because the elders were teaching their recent convert a lesson on the way there because he was the one that was bringing us.  The amusing part was that when we got in the truck, Elder P put a pillow (that was randomly found in the truck) in between us and said, "Pillow Barricade.  Pass and be vanquished!"  Haha  Our elders are interesting sometimes, but we love them.  Then we got to sit back and relax and listen to them teach a lesson on the resurrection.  That was sure interesting, because the new member asked TONS of questions.  We then got to Zone Meeting.  It was great because I got to see Sister M.  She's the greatest.  I can't even describe it!  Zone Meeting was based around sacrifice and teaching people, not lessons.  I was trying to get the picture with Elder S on our first break, but we didn't have time.  So we sat back down for accountability, and then had a second break.  I went up to him and said, "Hi Elder S.  It's nice to meet you."  I said this because I wasn't sure that he remembered me.  We shook hands and he said, "It's so good to see you here Sister Irwin.  WAIT!!"  He looked at me super confused for a second, then I said, "Did your mom mention... Me?"  He still looked confused then said, "OH MY GOSH!  You're Dr. Keith's Granddaughter!  He is the best!  What are the odds?  I can't believe this!  So where are you from?  How are you doing?  How is your family?"  He got really excited, really, really fast!  I kind of giggled and told him that everyone was good and that I am living in Spanish Fork!  He was shocked that we had lived so close for all these years and we had not been friends.  He made me promise that we are going to hang out when we get home and with that, we had to sit back down.  It was super funny!  After Zone Meeting, we went to a place called Tequila's Mexican Restaurant.  I love that place!  It is the closest thing to real Mexican out here.  Then we came back and exchanged with the Sister Training Leaders.  I went to Alexandriana with Sister L.  It was really fun.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to teach many lessons because it was cold and no one was home when we were knocking... But I learned a lot.  We did however get to teach a man.  That was interesting.  They aren't going to teach him anymore because he is so closed off to all of our teachings, but the things he did were so funny.  She asked him to start with a prayer, so he went to grab his prayer beads.  She started freaking out and didn't know what to do.  He also told us halfway through the lesson that there is no way that Christ is the son of God because that would mean he is half mortal, and mortals are made of mud!  Anyways... After we went to teach him, we went finding a little more and found a man out walking his dog.  He listened to our quickened version of the restoration and said we could come back the next day.  Then we went home, planned, and went to bed.

We woke up, studied, made lunch, then we went to R's to talk about the restoration.  He was really receptive to the message and wanted them to come back on Friday.  But I won't be there, so you know...
Then we tried to do some more finding.  But again, there was no one home and it was really cold.  So we decided to go back to Gastonia and do our evaluation, then switch back with the other sisters.  We headed back toward Shelby.  We had to go back to have lunch, so after that, we tried to go to contact a referral for the second time and then we went to go see some less-actives.  But again, NO ONE WAS HOME!  Haha  So we decided to head for King's Mountain to go teach a lesson to our investigators.  We brought the Elder's new convert with us to friendship them.  We talked about the restoration again because they hadn't heard that discussion yet.  Overall, it went well and they were really receptive.  Then our night got all flipped around.  Sister B had planned without me because of exchanges the night before.  So we switched some plans around and decided to go see a couple of people they had met the night before and some less-actives that live around them.  But guess what??  No one was home... Again!!  So what we did was, we called the Ward Mission Leader and asked if we could go send an email using the wifi from their family's lake house because we were super close.  He found no problem with it, so we headed that direction.  Well, Brother P had forgotten to disable his family's alarm system before we got there.  Great... Right?  We unlocked the door and tripped the alarm!  And you know those baby alarm systems that are just there to scare people off?  It wasn't that.  There were at least three different alarm sounds and it was loud enough to hear on the whole block!  Yay!  So we did what any normal human being would do... Oh wait!  We aren't normal.  Sister B sat down and started freaking out because "She was a missionary.  Missionaries can't go to jail!"  I told her to calm down because we had permission to be there.  Meanwhile, I stood there trying to devise the most clever thing to say to the police when they got there, because I figured they were on the way.  This was all after we called him to tell him what happened.  He laughed and took the blame.  Then we had to go into spy mode because he told us that we had to get into the house without tripping any more alarms, get upstairs, disable the system, and act like nothing ever happened.  Easy enough right?  Haha  We finally got the system disabled, he got a call from the chief of police about it, had to call off the cops, send our email, and be on our way!  ALL THAT FOR ONE LOUSY EMAIL!  Lol  Then we decided that we had better go to Bible Study because we had an investigator going.  Turns out that the Elders were there that night.  This was a tender mercy from the lord because Sister B needed a blessing, and the elders NEVER come to Bible Study.  So everything aligned perfectly.  Just as the Lord wanted it.  After the blessing, we chatted for a minute, then we home to have dinner because by this time, it was around 8:30.  Then we planned and went to bed.

We woke up, studied, then we had 3 hours of weekly planning.  This was nice because my ankle was really hurting and it was freezing outside!  After that, we planned to eat lunch, go see some former investigators, who weren't home, and go marinating (knocking) in the area.  But no one was home and that is when we got lost and ended up at the giant salt pile!  After a while of being lost, we had to head home at 3:30 to go to dinner with the S's.  Who eats dinner that early?!  Anyway, they picked us up and we went to their house for roast, potatoes, slaw, carrots, and beans.  It was super good.  Brother S is a very spiritual man that apparently gives amazing blessings.  He kept asking me questions over dinner about my mission.  He asked me what I hoped to get out of my mission and I responded, "I hope to gain the knowledge and experience necessary for me to raise my children and my family in the way that God would have me and the way that I want to."  He said that was the best answer he had ever heard from a sister missionary.  That made me feel all nice and fuzzy inside.  He then asked how long I had been out, and I said a little under four months.  He was shocked by that and said he would've guessed nine or ten because of my knowledge and testimony of the gospel.  :)  After dinner, we went to T's house to teach him a lesson.  He was really close to baptism like I mentioned last week, but he is having a hard time giving up tea and coffee.  We are going to teach one more hardcore commitment lesson and then we are going to see where it goes, so I'll let you know.  After the S's dropped us off, we were supposed to go teach a few more lessons, but we ended up teaching a drop lesson to a bible referral, then we went home to work on our finding map, planned, and went to bed.

We woke up, studied, then we went to go finding for a few hours and we went to update Facebook and our areabooks.  After this, we decided to go to IHOP for lunch.  This was so far past amazing!  We had all you can eat pancakes with bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns.  So so so good!  Then we spent (no joke) like 3-4 hours contacting less actives, referrals, etc.  but no one was home and no one would answer the door.  Then we went to a new member's house for dinner.  She made us chicken, noodles, and gravy.  Yum! And I had an allergic reaction to the salad dressing because it had bell peppers in it.  Yay!  Haha  Then we tried to go see a contact that Sister B had found on exchange.  They were home, but they didn't come to the door.  Unfortunate.  So after we tried to contact a few people, we decided to go to a less actives house.  His name is J and he is fantastic.  The only thing is, he is really old and can't get to church for health reasons. 

We woke up, studied, then we were supposed to go see our investigator named S, but she cancelled on us, so we went to do service for some members at their store.  We were able to really help them before they had to leave for the day, so that makes me feel good.  Then we sat in our car and ate our packed lunches for an hour, and headed to go contact a Bible referral who asked us right off the bat how she could come to church and receive a blessing.  So we are thinking that she is going to be a solid contact.  Then we went to go see some less actives and one said that she was the member that fed the elders oppossum a few years back.  Then... She offered to feed us sometime…  Anyway, then we went to dinner at Pizza Inn with the P's.  Then we headed home to go to a lesson with J and L with the J's.  Well that lesson on the plan of salvation went really well, we just ended up spending 2 hours there instead of a half an hour because Sister J really likes to talk about gospel topics.  So since our night was pretty much blown after that, they decided to take us out for Japanese food. 

We woke up, got ready, and went to church.  We were really excited because we had our investigators J and L show up and they told the Bishop's wife that they were thinking of coming all the time!  Hooray!  After the block, we went home, had lunch, recorded the songs for you, and went to try to contact some less actives for a few hours.  We contacted three of them, but they were all so busy that they had asked us to come back sometime this week or next week.  Then we headed to our dinner appointment to help with whatever we could.  Dinner was the best!  We went to M’s and had the best food!  K and W (other members of the ward) came to dinner, which made it even better.  K served her mission in Charlotte and never left.  She met her husband at institute in Charlotte, and they got married a few months later.  Her husband is basically a real life Sheldon Cooper.  IT IS FANTASTICALLY MARVELOUS!  You know how much I love the “Big Bang Theory” We laughed a good bit, sent an email to the zone leaders, and went home to plan and go to bed.

So that was my week.  Overall, the work is going really well.  The three weeks I have been here, we have surpassed our goals for total lessons each week.  Much improvement over meeting our goals in  Pilot Mountain!!!  I am doing a lot better!  Things are getting more familiar and I am feeling better as well! Oh!  Speaking of which, I went to see the doctor about my ankle this week and he said that what happened was that there could have been a hairline fracture at the very beginning, but there is no way to know for sure.  The theory about a high ankle sprain isn't that far off either.  But according to the x-rays he took, (By the way, that is the third time taking them!  I am going to get freaking cancer in my leg or something!), he found that ligaments are torn in my ankle.  And every time I step wrong on it or bend it the wrong way, it gets stretched out even farther.  He said the best thing to do for it is just wear the brace like I have been, doing the exercises that you sent me because I can't go to physical therapy, and it should heal by itself in another 3-6 months.  He said if it isn't completely healed by then, it may require surgery.  I asked him if that could wait until I got home from my mission and he said yes.  He said, "If you wait, it shouldn't get worse by any means."   I AM SO HAPPY!
I'm glad you had so much fun while Grandma and Grandpa were there.  Oh, and Sister B and I have decided that we are attending church with Aunt Debbie when we get home if the general authorities sometimes attend.  Haha  JK... No but really.  ;)

Answers to questions:
1. My companion is amazing.  She is so amazingly weird (like me), that we have made it a thing.  Like I said earlier, we walked around Walmart doing English accents, we talk about BYU Provo stereotypes, etc. we get along splendidly.
2. Above
3. The food is much better.  Lots of roast and barbecue.  No complaints from this happy missionary.  
4. The baptism may or may not happen.  He literally just texted us telling us that the pressure from everyone to get baptized is getting to be too much and is driving him away from the church,  so we'll see.  I'll keep you updated.
5. Most of the new friends on Facebook are members, only one or two of our investigators actually have Facebook.  Which makes posting and Facebook lessons harder, but oh well.
6. The Weather has been really nice the last few days.  It's around 40-60 degrees typically and sunny.  really really nice!  :)
7. His name is Allen B. Alexander and his wife's name is Denise.  Basically all we know about him at this point is what is on  Go look him up.  He is the only one under that name.  :)
8. The missionaries in my district and zone are really great!  We have a good mix of missionaries and we all get along really well.  As Elder S said at Zine Meeting, "Y.O.S.O.  You only serve once, so make the best of it!"
9. Thank you so much you guys!  You are amazing and I love and pray for you so much every single day
Like I said, I love you soooooo much.  I will be looking forward to those letters if you ever get them sent off.  ;)  Just let me know about the weekly recap and ideas for teaching with family history.  If you have time today, I'd love to get those ideas.  If not, then send them next week.  Thank my two sisters for writing me and tell Emily that I hope to hear from her soon.  Love you to infinity and beyond!


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