Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Hey you guys
So what do you do on a pday when you have laundry to do, letters to write, scriptures to study, an apartment to clean, and a language to learn? You obviously sit in front of the mirror for an hour and straighten your goldilocks curls! hahah. But only if your companion insists (incessantly) (did i spell that right? I don't think so...)and she curls her unforgiveably straight hair so that you're not alone in your sudden change of appearance. That's right. It's straight today. And I feel weird. I'll let you know how it goes after a day out in the 67% humidity. Speaking of that - can you believe it? sixty seven percent! It feels soooooo good outside! And we're actually down in the eighties. I told Hermana Keele this morning that I was going to wear a sweater. But then I decided not to and I'm glad I didn't. Not THAT chilly yet.
Alright so last Tuesday we were knocking doors and having ZERO success. We were having the opposite of success actually. It was one of those days where you start to maybe almost doubt the first line of the young women's theme a little bit. (the "who loves us" part) Anyways the last straw for me was one of the last doors we knocked when a punk eighteen year old kid answered with his headphones on and took one look at us before saying "Christians? I'm not interested. I'm atheist." and attemped to shut the door in our faces. Luckily, Hermana Keele doesn't take that from ANYBODY. haha so she asked him what makes him atheist and he said a few things and then I started pouring my heart out testifying that there is a God and that he is our loving Father and he said "yeah yeah, that's nice." and shut the door. mid-Hermana Tingey-sentence. We both kinda threw our heads back, and said "Alright thanks so much, have a nice day" through the glass of the door, and walked off to get shut down by the next door. (a little more kindly at least...they just turned their music up louder and never answered haha) The next day, keele said "remember that punk atheist kid we met yesterday who totally ticked you off?" and I said "hermana. I'm trying NOT to remember him, thanks." haha Well somewhere in our exchange with the atheist, we must have slipped him a pass-along card because next thing we know, Wednesday night we're sitting in correlation and IN HE WALKS. what? yeah. headphones and all. but get this - he's wearing church clothes. Turns out he totally researched everything you can possibly read online about mormons and he came to ask us a few questions...which turned into him repeating over and over again that he was atheist and us just ignoring him and teaching him. Finally I said, "Fernando. It's not too often that an atheist walks into a church." He said "i know." But long story short, we now have "atheist fernando" under our "progressing investigators" list because he came to THREE of the five conference sessions AND he read 1 Nephi chapter one. He said it was "okay" and that he didn't really get it. But he keeps calling us. Definitely not atheist. Hermana Keele bet me fifty bucks that he gets baptized. I'm starting to think she's right. He keeps saying maybe he'll pray "a little later on" but he's not ready to yet. And yeah, we're pretty excited about him. Interesting fact: he said that what got him interested in us was how we maintained our composure on the doorstep when he was rude to us. pretty cool.
We met a quirky little couple this week named Benny and Bianca whom I couldn't even BEGIN to describe, but let's just suffice to say he's your typical strong silent hispanic guy with tatts all up and down his arm who draws beautiful pictures while he's "locked up" and she is a white redneck with an obnoxious laugh who desperately wants to be the mafia member's girlfriend. But she had faith like you wouldn't BELIEVE and when he was telling us he doesn't feel worthy of approaching God to ask him if the Book of Mormon is true she said, "Benny, you CAN ask God. Because I know he loves you. When I first met you after leaving my ex-husband, I prayed and I said, God if this is the man you want me to be with, let it be. And you BEED Benny. You beed." Yes folks. He beed. it was so funny, but it came at such a tender moment that I couldn't even laugh. She is amazing. Her ex husband came up behind her one day in his eighteen-wheeler while she was driving with her three girls and purposely rammed into the back of her, knocking his three children out of the car and paralyzing the left side of her body. Her faith is based mostly on the miraculous recovery she has had (really just her eye droops now) and the fact that her three daughters were unharmed. That is cloverleaf. But we love it.
Rafael is on for this Saturday. He's going under the water and coming back up a Mormon! We're so excited for him. He's so excited. It's all just good feelings all around. Gotta love the guy. He's incredible.
That's all folks. at least all for now. i'm kinda bored of typing. But I hope you hear from ya'll real soon. I love you and I miss you and I appreciate you all! Take care,
Posted by Rebecca Tingey at 11:57 AM
That is our theme-song for P-day. But sometimes we sing it to our investigator Belkis (sounds like BELL-keys, mom). and we put her name in there so it goes "Belkis, Belkis...so good to me!" haha and the best part is she is totally gangster and she doesn't even flinch. We come riding up on our bikes singing that out to her and she just goes,"hey." without even CRACKING a smile. doesn't even acknowledge that we're doing anything out of the norm! she's incredible! she's got a sense of humor like steel! haha but man has she had a hard go of it. She is twenty one and pregnant with her fourth child and her boyfriend is abusive in every way possible. It's scary. But I think she holds her own. Seriously. She has told us stories. If i were a man I would be terrified of her.
So last monday night. hahaha. three words: noche de HOGAR! family night. We asked our recent convert Esmeralda if we could do an FHE at her house with our investigator, Rafael. So around three that afternoon Esmeralda calls us and invites us to do it at our relief society president's house instead, because the elders were doing one with her and she invited esmeralda and it just turned into a string of one mexican inviting another and the end result was that we totally crashed the elders' FHE. haha but at about six forty five she called us and said that she was waiting outside our apartment to drive us to it and so we walk out and realize "wait a minute. that's not esmeralda's car. who is that man in that truck?" and it turns out that RAFAEL was driving us, and Esmeralda, and FOUR other women from the ward to the noche de hogar! of course the five women squished in the back seat of the truck so that Hermana Keele and I could sit up front, nice and cozy with our investigator, with his crucifix swinging wilding from the rearview mirror right in front of our noses, while he frustratedly tried to get directions from the five giggling women in the back who lovingly refer to him as "rafa." hahahahhaa I think next time they'll just stick us in the trunk! that's the way we do it here in cloverleaf. Needless to say, I think he's doing well in the "fellowshipping" department. And that was the best FHE i've ever been to. It's a party here in Houston 7.
So "Rafa" is doing great. He really is though. He's a little timid but he told us that he's getting more comfortable around us now and he certainly is telling us more during the lessons. And he prayed for us last time! so that is a good sign. We haven't been able to meet with him as much as we wanted to so we've moved his baptism back to the ninth. He's great. Loves the church. Just really worries that he won't be prepared enough to get baptized. I think he has very little confidence in his spirituality. but we've got lots of confidence in him! he understands everything we teach and expands on it!
It's a good thing we've got Rafael because just about everyone else that we know shut us down this week. Quite literally. and I wish I were kidding. Teresa let us down and didn't come to church even though she PROMISED us she would be coming. So we went to her trailer to chew her out and found her whole family plus every cousin twice removed she's ever had watching the soccer game. not to worry, they invited us in and pulled up some chairs for us in the corner - handed us spicy mango suckers, and went back to the game. So we talked right there in the corner with Teresa. I think she'll figure it out. She's just confused. But she definitely feels the spirit around us. Other than that, we've been doing a lot of finding and we met a woman named... Lily Luna. She is loony. I want to caller her Luna Lovegood! she lives in a bright pink house and she has all these plants and she had one foot painted blue toenails and the other foot green and she doesn't shave her armpits. Anyways she immediately fell in love with us. Didn't listen to a word we were saying. But it was a funny time. The best part of the story happened a few days later though when we were back on her street visiting one of her neighbors and I looked up and saw her...ON THE ROOF OF HER HOUSE! Of course. Of course. hahahhaa. that was a good laugh.
We also met a WHITE guy this week named Josh. He actually waved us down on the bikes - he was standing in front of a gas station, drinking. And he was quite drunk. But he told us all about the girls he met once who were missionaries and how dang fine they were. Then he asked if we were married and "what would happen if he showed up to our church in a tuxedo." hahaha! we just both started laughing and he started laughing and we were laughing at him but he didn't realize it so he just kept laughing and that made us laugh even harder. He said that he needed us and Hermana Keele said, "no Josh. you need Jesus." That is the conversation in a nutshell. Actually it lasted about ten minutes and he just TALKED AND TALKED but never said ANYTHING. For example he would say something like this, "yeah, I know who's ya'll are...me and my buddies, we talked and a fine girl like you, GIRL, you's so da*# SMART! ya'lls iz smart as he#! and one day we put on our finest up ther in pine trails and i be drinking and she had such fine blue eyes and i need ya'll. i need ya'll." and on and on and ON. Meanwhile, the homeless couple we contacted about a block back had made it up to the gas station and while the wife (who only had one breast, and definitely did not have even one bra cup) went inside to buy something, her husband listened in on our convo with Josh and then got right up in my face (he should probably get the skin cancer removed from his nose) and laughed and said "what's his problem!?" and I just kinda pulled my face back and said, "good question." and then he said "huh! he's bin drinkin." Well diagnosed. Which brings me to the other homeless man we met this week named Monty who carried a backpackers backpack and as soon as we gave him a pass along card crumpled it up and started picking at his teeth with it. Made for a difficult time not laughing when we had to refer to the number on it and he had to un crumple it and wipe off the plaque. yuck. Once he realized we were "Jesus people" he just threw his hands up in the air and walked off without saying anything, which I guess is one way to deal with us. Hermana Warner looked at me under her cute little green helmet and said, "I guess Monty's just not into that Jesus stuff." haha. We saw him at a bus stop the next day, yelling across the street at some kids. We sped by and called out "hey monty!" and he said "GIRL, you lookin' FINE today!" so if not a great contact, he's at least a good confidence booster.
But hey, we had a trunky moment watching the women's conference. The hermanas were all saying how they knew their moms were watching it right then and I remembered how my sweet mother always skips it to go to the football game. So I secretly sang the Ute's fight song in my leetle hart so that I would feel connected to my mom too. Kinda like when I come up and hug you from behind mom. But hey - I really do love you and you should read the Prophet's talk because it was a good one. Thank you so much for sending me those notes! i hope you read them first. It's cool to see those blessings coming true! others i'm still waiting for...haha but it helps me have more faith. Okay I love you all this is an incredibly long email for a fairly uneventful week. All in a day's work here in the clover leaf! Take care. "Do work son, and peace be the journey." (quoted from Hermana Keeler.)
Posted by Rebecca Tingey at 11:56 AM
Can you believe it is september twentieth already? what? That is so crazy. We are one month away from my one year mark (but who's counting, right?) haha. Okay Since nobody seems to be online to chat with me today maybe this e-mail will actually make some sense.
We had a crazy week. Partly because of an adventure we took one day, but mostly because we're missionaries in ghettho-houston texas, teaching mexicans about the gospel. So here's the adventure: Hermana Keele had a doctor's appointment in Beaumont for her allergies, which coincided perfectly with Elder Rindflesch's appointment with the same doctor and since that doctor lives an hour away, we decided to carpool. To make a long story short, what should have been a three hour jaunt to the allergy doctor turned into an all day boredom fest in a doctor's waiting room and an emergency check in to the nearest (baptist) hospital. Yeah. Elder R. had some test done on his heart that came back irregular so they checked him into the hospital and he ended up staying overnight. Not exactly the way you want to spend a day on the mission. Especially when there is some hick texan mormon in the waiting room with you who starts talking about the kid that he's not sure is his and the vaults where they hide all the secret mormon stuff in salt lake in from of a room full of patients. Greeeeaaaat. Now they really think we are normal! He was pretty weird. And I think the elders were about ready to punch him out. But Hermana Keele and I decided that while we were waiting, we might as well kill time at the nearby goodwill store, and we made a few quality purchases. (a spanish club tee-shirt. it doesn't get any better.) Anyways. That was a really far distance for us to drive. and we did nothing all day. I hate that. So we were glad to get home.
Not to be outdone, the next day held an even bigger adventure for us cloverleaf sisters. We met Greg. Greg is a Texan baptist who speaks english and wears a wifebeater and has Jesus in his heart and that's ALL you need. We tried to talk some sense into him but he just went off for about an hour, making no sense and confusing himself and us, and at the end of that hour, he asked if he could pray with us. So then he grabbed both of our hands and prayed to "Father Jesus Lord" that we would realize that there is no such thing as prophets and that if America were a body, "let Houston be the heart of that body, and let her vital signs be STRONG." hhahahaha! what does that even mean? at this point I was squeezing Hermana Keele's hand pretty hard and we were both doing our best not to burst out laughing. As we left, he asked if he could come to our church, because he believes we should all unite as Christians against the Israelis because, don't know if ya'll know this or not but them'siz havin' nine kids a-piece and they can come right in and infiltrate this country - be it legally or not- and vote for non-christian ideas. So somebody sound the alarm! And just like the jews that moses saved from the egyptians, we shouldn't stay in one place - we should continually be moving and CONQUER CONQUER CONQUER! (too bad i can't describe the hand signals that came into play at this point... he was really getting into it.) So the moral of the story is ... onward christian soldiers!... oh yeah. He also gave us a cd of his pastor preaching and his paster (who -zippy and unexpected twist - also turns out to be named greg) but pastor greg says you can go online and take a quiz about yourself to find out what your spiritual gifts are. They don't want anyone to be "hindered." so i think ya'll should take advantage of that steal-of-a-deal.
So now we come to Wednesday night correlation meeting where we walk in and our ward mission leader has something on each cheek and behind his ears, strapped on with medical tape. I whispered to Hermana Keele "What's wrong with Hermano Avalos?" and she just shook her head and then wrote on her planner "Mexicans think taping magnents to their face will cure them of whatever ails them." hahahahhahahaha and it's true! They really do have little "cures" that are so strange. The best part of the story is, the next night we were at hermana guerreros house and she heard Hermana Keele say that she has athsma and she is at this very moment making a mask for keele to wear that has MAGNENTS in it so that she will cure herself of her athsma. pretty sweet. i laughed pretty hard.
As for the spiritual side of missionary work, we have a man named Rafael with a baptismal date for October 2nd. He was invited to church by his friend, one of our recent converts. He loves it! We've only taught him once but we're seeing him again tonight so more on him later.
We also met a woman named Teresa who we're working with - she has always seen LDS commercials and wanted to call and ask for the Book of Mormon and she said "there' s just something about you guys." and also told us that she thinks you meet people for a reason and right after she met us she met some lutherans and did not feel at all the same with them. She said, "you guys are amazing." so that's a good start.
Pretty good week eh? Every day is an adventure out here in the clover leaf! Pray for us! and for Greg.
love you guys! hope all is well.
Posted by Rebecca Tingey at 11:54 AM