People are REALLY into halloween here. It’s kind of scary. I’m actually super happy that it’s over because some of the yards were pretty intense and I don’t like seeing that when it gets dark at 6pm. I’m a true scaredy cat. I don’t like scary stuff haha so I’m glad it’s November now!
They have these really weird turtles here!
This week was amazing! We did a lot of work, and it is crazy to think that yet another week has passed in the field! WHAT?! I feel like I just left home two weeks ago!
First off, before I forget, next Monday is transfers, so my email will be sent on Tuesday. SO I haven’t died, I just might lose Sister Dixon (okay yeah so I might die…). Seriously she is the BEST trainer I could ask for. She is amazing!
Also, thank you to Anna for the notes on my mail! I LOVE it so much and always chuckle when I read them. I miss you. I miss everyone at work too. I miss the laughs and the occasional rant and the random sweet moments that made me feel like I was home. You are all my family, and I love you dearly.
Also, HUGE shout-out to Mom and Jen and Beth for the mail! I love it! I love reading through it and opening food and rejoicing in how much weight I am going to gain.
Speaking of which, a HUGE shoutout to Sister Grundvig, who sent Sister Dixon and I the best chocolate chip pumpkin cookies known to man. I’m not even going to say how many of them were devoured within the first hour of our opening the package. We love you. I love you.
A much appreciated care package from the Grundvig family kitchen. ( both addresses have been removed for privacy reasons, but the picture was too cute not to post on the blog!)
Chocolate chip pumpkin cookies from the Grundvig family
Also, EVERYONE who feeds us gives us dessert. And gives us some to take home. If I don’t come home 10 pounds heavier, I think I wouldn’t have the full Southern experience. It is delicious.
Okay! So this week was, like I said, amazing! It was definitely one for growth. Sister Dixon really made me step back and stop and think about myself for a second and really helped me through a good processing moment of stress and frustration. She truly knows what she is doing and knows hows to offer comfort and turn me to the Lord for comfort as well.
This week we went reverse Trick-or-Treating! We knocked on some Less-active members’ doors on Halloween and dropped off a bag of caramel corn. And it was amazing. You could tell some of them had been avoiding us as missionaries and some of their faces were priceless as they opened the door with a bowl full of candy and then as they tried to not be horrified as they beheld missionaries on their door-step. Seriously. Some of those faces were PRICELESS. I wish I could record a day in my life as a missionary because it is so funny. It was great! So we got to give them a treat and tell them we missed seeing them, and then go on our merry way. It was great.
We had some miracles this week! We met many wonderful people! Among these, we met an atheist woman, and agnostic man, and a woman who just let us into her house as soon as she opened the door. I’ll talk about her first.
I’m not going to lie, when she opened the door and immediately invited us in (the day after Halloween) I thought for sure we were going to be stabbed or something. Nope! She was super sweet and talked to us for probably 45 minutes in her home, and we taught almost all the Restoration and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. She seemed really interested about it, and said she would read it. The only problem is that she doesn’t want to meet with us until she has finished reading it, with her crazy schedule… In January… So haha we will see how that goes. She is just a sweet, cute little lady and I am excited to see how the Book of Mormon can help bring her even more joy!
We actually met a few people who were kind of agnostic or had beliefs in everything, so that was really interesting to have discussions.
One of my highlights was talking to a woman who did not believe that God could exist with all the evil that is in the world. It was such an amazing experience, to testify to this woman that God is real, that he knows all of us perfectly, and loves her perfectly as His daughter. Because of my experiences in the past with not always wanting to live, I was able to share my very personal experience and testify of His reality and of the power of His love and the peace that He offers us. The Spirit was so strong. I cried (what’s new?) and she also teared up a little. She let us say a prayer with her, and agreed to let us come back another time. I am really excited to see her life change as she prays to God and comes closer to Him. I know that He wants us to be happy, and that because He is our Father, and because He has hopes and dreams for us, and that because He knows LITERALLY EVERYTHING, that He understands the best way for us to be happy. I know that He has given us families, prophets, scriptures, and this world to learn and grow and ultimately be happy.
One of my favorite scriptures this week is 2 Nephi 2:25, which reads that “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” That’s right, God created us to have JOY. Not just complacency, not just moments that are less-sad, but JOY! And the best part is that He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to turn to Him, just like we turn to our parents, whenever anything happens! He wants us to tell Him how we are feeling! He listens! And the best part is, if you listen as well, He ANSWERS our prayers. Sometimes the answer is not what we expect, or in the timing we want, but He gives us what we NEED. Just like how when I was little, and my mom wouldn’t feed me Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for every meal every day, and how she made me eat lots of vegetables because she knew that vegetables would help me to be healthy and grow, Heavenly Father gives us spiritual vegetables, and gives us what we really need. Because He loves us.
I’m not going to lie. This is hard. This (and probably this past week) is the hardest week I can recall so far. Missionary work is hard. But so it was with the best man who ever walked the Earth. I am not the Savior, and I am nowhere near His level of goodness and perfection and kindness, but He has allowed me to be His representative for 18 precious months of my life. What a blessing! This is God’s work. It is a joyous work, because God wants us to have joy. We literally go out and lead people to Christ and God, and ultimately, to joy. How could I not be happy?
I love you all. I continue to pray for you, and hope that you are doing well. I know that God is mindful of you and loves you more than we, as humans, can even begin to comprehend. You are His precious child.
Sister Michelle Rose Tryon