I think that if our goal was to baptize animals instead of people, I would be a lot more successful as a missionary. Maybe it’s the farmland positioning, but I interact with all creatures of our God and king. My personal space is disrespected by cats and dogs on a daily basis (this week, a dog jumped on my face, but I miraculously sustained no injury) and this week held many other zoological adventures, such as:
– I found the tiniest salamander in the world, no longer than my thumbnail and the color of a starry night sky, under a rock in someone’s garden where I was weeding. That thing could really slither.
– We had dinner with our Relief Society president and her family, who keep chickens. She has some baby chickens, one of which went to the bathroom on my shirt when I picked it up and I got to spend the rest of the evening with a mysterious stain on my shirt. Awkward. I also got to hold the largest chicken in the whole world, whose name is “Black Star”
– I RESCUED A BABY BUNNY. You heard my right. We were having dinner with a family in the ward and there was a fellow mowing their lawn who stopped his mower and said there were bunnies in the yard. One of them ran under the porch but the other one got stuck on its way under the porch. I got it free and carried it around until the lawn mowing was through, but it was so cute and tiny. Just a handful of bun.
In Doctrine and Covenants there is a promise oft-quoted to missionaries: “Open your mouth and it shall be filled.” This is true with words, such as when someone asks a question you’re not sure how to answer or when you try to street contact someone without deciding what you’re going to say ahead of time. I’ve discovered this week that this promise also applies to a practice missionaries call “double-dinnering.” This week at the bunny’s house we enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner and then afterward went out to eat with a different family at an exotic location by the name of “Ruby Tuesday,” where I have never eaten before. I had planned to get a nice salad and had picked mine out when I closed the menu and saw a very exciting-sounding hamburger on the back, all decked out with blue cheese and bacon. I was still all the way full from first dinner but I looked up at our server and heard myself order an enormous hamburger. You’re not a true servant of the Lord if you don’t clean your plate, so I ate the whole thing. On my way home I thought wistfully of the days when I used to be a vegetarian. In D&C, after the line “open your mouth and it shall be filled” there is also a promise that we will become “like Nephi of old.” I definitely felt, like unto Nephi, a little bit more “large in stature” as I returned from the evening.
Last week on Preparation Day I got this great wrap skirt at Goodwill, and the next day when Sister Pratt and I were running out the door after changing out of our gardening clothes (by the way, I also got some enormous floral culottes which might be even more perfect than my denim dress) and I threw on this skirt. Little did I know that the skirt insisted upon having a serious gap if I ever sat down (my KNEECAPS were showing. What kind of woman does this skirt think I am?) and we were on our way to have interviews with the mission president. I had no safety pin and no idea how to make my skirt modest (could I tell my mission president that I preferred to interview standing up?) so I took an extra name tag that was in our car and pinned my skirt together with it. I was walking around for the rest of the day with a name tag flapping around inside my skirt but it worked like a charm. Classic sister missionary #lifehack.
The work is just great. We taught 33 lessons last week! Life is great when there are a lot of lessons to teach. That is what we missionaries live for. We get to visit with the most strange and interesting people. This week, for example, we talked to a men’s rights activist who looked exactly like the older fellow from “Back to the Future” in his yard who said he was not interested in organized religion because he finds it too female-centered. I didn’t really know how to respond to his claim at all. The cool thing about having the mantle and being called of God and whatnot is that while I would otherwise have run far away, I felt a responsibility to love this person, so I did! An important tool that missionaries have is that we can feel the love God has for everyone around us, and that love becomes more powerful than all of our squeamishness about how different we are from other people. This is also a spiritual gift that I prayed to experience. Highly recommended!
My Book of Mormon adventures (by the way, my companion instructed me this week that it is disrespectful for me to call it “The Book of Mormie,” just in case y’all were wondering) have taken me to Alma 7. Read on with me! It’s so good! You’ll want to slap yourself in the face with the book (this is why we usually distribute paperback copies) every few sentences because you can’t believe it.
In conclusion, I hope something fluffy comes your way this week. Send me a letter if you would love to because there is nothing better than getting mail. I guarantee that you will get some mail back. My address is 14 Deerbrook Drive, Charles Town WV 25414. Send me all the hot gossip and your spiritually uplifting tales and anything in between.
Sister Applesoose (as my 8-year-old investigator spelled it)