Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hey Yinz - July 28, 2014

Had another good week in PA :) I swear, life as a missionary...there is never a dull moment! :)
So...This last week on Tuesday we went and did service for this thing that is called Produce to the People.  And it's where they provide free food to people in the community...and they hold it at this community shed/barn thing, and people line up in a huge long line out front and wait for the doors to open.  And we go early to separate food into portions per like this week we bagged 7 onions to a bag, and like 10 apples to a bag...ect. and then when we're done with that they open the doors, and everyone that has a pink ticket gets to go through the line and get food. So we stand at the tables, and we pass out certain items as they pass....and they have what they call runners that have cart things to help the elderly and disabled...or really whoever....that would need help carrying all their food because it gets heavy really quick (this week they were giving out like 5-10 zucchinis per ticket...and they were HUGE! So you can imagine it gets heavy.  Well anyways...there was one runner in particular who kept coming by to talk to us every time he had a free moment, and he was asking us about the church, and what we believe. So we'd get in little snippets of information here and there before he'd have to go help someone else....well finally I just asked him if he'd be interested in us stopping by to teach him.  and he said yes! So this guys name is Thomas (I know...super easy to remember right? :)) Well I was STOKED! I was sooo excited! Here I am thinking that someone is really truly interested in learning!  So Sister Jones and I asked him if he was from around town, and he told us he was, so we asked whereabouts....and he said, "Right up the street" and flashed us his wrist...where there was a wristband that stated he was an inmate at the Butler County Prison.....
....oh....nice. Haha! Missionaries luck right? :) haha! He said he only has 40 days left and he's really looking to turn his life around and wants to learn more.  So we gave him a Book of Mormon with contact information in it and highlighted Alma 36 where Alma the younger is explaining his conversion story. :) So hopefully he starts reading it! :) Don't worry...we can't teach him while he's in prison so it's all good! :)
But on Wednesday we did some service for some members that were moving out of the ward, and Brother A is actually a convert, and he has a crazy awesome conversion story.  He had done some time in prison before he found the church, and so he asked if he could write his testimony at the front of a Book of Mormon so that we could give it to him...Hopefully that will be beneficial for Thomas to see that you really can turn your life around, and begin to live a life worth living. :)
We did some Blitz' this week in Cranberry and then in Beaver.  
So As a Sister Training Leader we go on exchanges with the Sisters in areas near ours, and a Blitz is where all four missionaries work in the same area, but we still switch companions.  So on Thursday morning to Friday morning I spent the day with Sister Hodson in Cranberry.  And it was fun! :) We had a lot of fun we randomly talked to some lady on the street that day..a.nd then later that night we happened to knock on her door...coincidence? I think not!! :) haha she wasn't interested, but I know that we were lead to her for a reason. And we got to go to a lesson that was on the further part of their area with a member....and the member has a SUUPER SWEET CAR!! :) It was a convertible! and on the way home we drove with the top down. :) Yeah buddy! That's the closest thing to a thrill that I get as a missionary! and I loved every second of it! :) haha! We had a blast on the exchange! 
And then the next day we Blitzed in Beaver. So Fridays are weekly planning days...and it's where you plan for like three hours for the people you'll teach in the upcoming weeks, and other things your going to be doing in the coming week. And it's quite a drive from Cranberry to our house...and it would eat up our miles (because we have an allotted amount of miles we can use each month) so we decided we'd go plan at a park instead. :) Turns out the park that the GPS took us to was a Softball field. :) Woot Woot! Made me really want to play some ball! But it was awesome because both Sister Jones and I play it was fun to plan there. :) 
Then we spent Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon in Beaver....and I just have to tell you about the coolest experience I had!!! We had a dinner appointment at a members house in Beaver, and Sister Wilde and I got to have the dinner appointment.  Well, they have a daughter that is deaf and blind, and we were all sitting there eating together, and you could see her mom talking to her through signing into her hand.  And I just thought it was the neatest thing.  and Dinner was great! But before we left I had asked her parents If I could say hello to their daughter and to tell her it was nice to meet her.  And they seemed so thrilled! So they pulled her away from the table and helped her get cleaned up, and I got to sign to her.  I knelt down on the floor by her wheel chair, and I got to have a full blown conversation with their daughter. I guess she has a degenerative disease that caused her to loose her sight and hearing as she was growing up as well as control of he limbs and she can't really sign back...but she can talk back from the knowledge that she had before she went deaf.  So I would sign into her hands, or her hands would follow me as I signed, and she would speak back to me in return.  Turns out she's been to Payson, they have some family that lives near there, and she's been to the Red Barn in Santaquin. :) and she was telling me about that.  And then she told me some jokes! She was so cute and sweet! :) Her favorite things to do are swimming, crochet, reading, and being on the computer.  She asked me what my favorite things to do were...and my signing is a little bit I told her I like to swim too, and that I like to read from the Book of Mormon.  And then she told me a full blown story about Sariah in the Book of Mormon, and an essay that she read on her.  It was amazing! This might not sound as cool to you as it was for me to actually experience it! But this was really one of the biggest highlights of my mission! To see her just light up...and talk...and talk...and to find connections.  It was amazing! I could just feel so strongly the love that Heavenly Father has for her.  And she just made my day! It was amazing! I am soo thankful that I got to use some of the things that I learned from Mrs. Campbells ASL classes in High School, and I'm so thankful that the spirit was able to bring certain signs to my remembrance so I could communicate with her.  :) 
I am just one extremely blessed Sister Missionary! :)
I have so many other stories I want to share with you but I'm out of time! I'll write them down for next week. :) I love all of you so much! You have no idea! :) 
Sister Thomas
p.s....I hope this makes sense and it's not super jumbled..haha! I have been all over the place in this email! haha! 
Also...the definition of YINZ in Pittsburgheese- You Guys, all of you, ect. :) haha! sooo many people say it out here!

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