Thursday, April 03, 2008

This couldn't be the last one?

Well, if you remember, we have this less active lady who we have been working with – Sister Pare (Pa-ray, on your knees). She’s only been a member for like, 5 or less years, and hasn’t been to church in over a year. She is just not sure – She knows it’s true but is fighting it so hard. But she promised me that she would go to church at least once before I went home. I was talking to her on Saturday night just to remind her to come. I asked her why she was fighting the spirit so much, and that i wants to see her progress. Sister Pare was sick of people saying that, and that she’s sure she will be fine, and where even does the Bible talk about the Book of Mormon, and what is the first church, and logically it’s either the Catholic Church or the Mormon church that has authority, and all this stuff. It was hard to teach her over the phone. You can’t read them and you don’t have your companion there to back you up, and just all this stuff – it’s not an ideal situation. I was trying to answer her questions as best as she could with out offending her. Then she said, “Come on Sister Barrand, you’re a missionary, you should know this.” I wasn’t sure how to take that, for she was not right I do not know everything but I said little prayer in my heart and the answer came to me for her to open her heart and pray for herself. So I told her that she will only know for herself from God, if she opens her heart and prays about the true church. We ended the conversation her feeling distraught, not knowing for herself. So, Sister Pare got to church a little late and sat next to us (we sit in the back row).

As Brother Bronson got up he was having a very emotional time. He talked about how he can not look at one person in the congregation who has not helped Him spiritually, Not ONE PERSON… He was up there for a good amount of time. we look over and Sister Pare is bawling – using up Kleenex like nothing, and she is saying, “I’ve got to get out of here, I can’t handle this, I have to get out.” So she stands up, and instead of turning left towards the door, she turns right and goes up to the pulpit!!!!!!!! She bore her testimony about how I had encouraged her to read her conversion story, her member missionary and our long talked on the phone asking her to pray to know if the Catholic Church is true. She just knew that this was the true church, and that she has been pushing those feelings ways!!! What an amazing testimony meeting – for everyone!! Everyone knows Sister Pare and her situation, and they love her unconditional. But it did take everyone for surprise when she got up there. It was incredible.

We met this man at the library last week – as Sister Hill was writing her email – I talked to for at least an hour. He said that He went to school to be a priest and worked now but doesn’t get to give very many sermons. He had a lot of questions about the church and I was ecstatic to share with him. I kept telling him all sort of way neat things about the church and General Conference. We made and appointment with him for Wednesday (today). He was really nice, and humble, and seemed like just a simple country guy, with only every other tooth. He seemed really interested – He even took notes as i was talking to Him. His name is Randy.

We saw Him that evening by coincidence – We had been at our apartment writing letters, and were on our way to our dinner appointment and saw him walking down the street by our apartment. We stopped and said Hello. We asked if he lived around here and he did, and we said we did too. SO the next morning as we were studying, Sister Hill looked out the window and saw popcorn popping on the apricot tree, no (April fools) into the parking lot and noticed this car pull up that she didn’t recognize a man who she didn’t recognize either get out of the car and started walking towards our car!! She was watching more intensely now, ready to open the door and yell at Him for doing whatever he was about to do. But He just put something under the windshield wiper and then got in His car and Drove away. She asked me if I would watch her get this paper under our windshield wipers – it was a note from Randy – addressed to Tiana (Hello my first name!!!), saying how pretty we were, and how lucky he was to have met us…because we are so pretty. Then gave a scripture about how it is grace alone that we are saved (Baptists are obsessed with Grace. I think they just like feeling like they can do whatever they want).

Anyway, it was super creepy and really weird and stalker-ish. Our appointment that we made was to meet at the library. We called Him twice to see if we could reschedule to a later time at the church (on Wednesday night when there would be a lot more people around), and he called back saying, “I don’t know why you want to reschedule, the time we have is fine,” etc. and was kind of rude about We explained about our p-day and how it is the only day we have to go shopping, do laundry, write letters, etc, and he basically said he didn’t care. Man, we’ll in a couple hours I guess, what his intentions are (if he really wants to know more or if he just wants to Bash…or get a date).

Sister Hill talked to Westly on Monday – finally. He’s been avoiding us – not answering our calls, and never calling us back. We called Him from Sister Pare’s phone, so He didn’t recognize the number and answered. He basically dropped us. He said that He is just dealing with a lot right now, and that They just found out His Mom has cancer, and that His brother is drinking a lot to cope with it, and he has been driving his brother around a lot, and he got injured last weekend – a lawnmower fell on Him – and He didn’t want to 1) make appointments He kept breaking, and 2) get involved with this church He was pretty sure was true and then not be able to commit to it and do what he wanted to with it.

He also said that, although he is a happily Married man, Sister Hill and I are two very pretty girls, and that He is still a man, and sometimes we might distract Him from the message we are teaching… LOL!!!! I’m sure it was an awkward conversation for Sister Hill. We told Him that we could contact Him in a few months when He might have more time, and that there might be some ugly Elders that could come and teach Him (esp. if they take all the sisters out!), and promised Him that if He took time – any amount – to read from the Book of Mormon, that He would have an easier time with all the things He was going through. People don’t understand. There is never going to be “a good time” that they can go to church. They are never going to “find time” to do the things they need to do, like read the scriptures. They need to MAKE TIME!!!!!!!!! People drive me crazy!
We had an appointment with Tommy at the church yesterday. No call, no show. We waited there forever!! What a bum.

We went to the Beasley’s last Monday for dinner. Brandon, a 3 year-old, was sitting next to me during dinner. He was unusually quiet for a minute or two, and then mumbled something and pointed to my shirt. I asked him what he had said and everybody got quiet and looked at him. “You have boobies,” he said, and then reached over and patted them… LOL!! The whole family started laughing, especially the parents. “Hmmm…” said the Dad, “I don’t quite know how to address this. It’s never come up before.” It was terribly awkward but really funny.

Had an emotional interview with President Cowley. He assured me that my plans are going to work out all I need to do is “keep my motor in the ocean” (pertaining to relationships) and “don’t have too many eggs in my basket” (pertaining to overloading myself). President is amazing. I’m truly going to miss his sense of humor, love and Charity that he brings.Well I just wanted you all to know how much I’ve love being a missionary. I’m not sure how I’m going to take it when I realize I’m not a full time missionary anymore. Throughout the good and the bad I still love it. I have learned so much I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is to follow the spirit. There is so much more to life when you know the gospel and that everyone should have it in their own lives. I know God lives. I know he is our Father in Heaven and we are His Children.

I love pondering on how much we are loved by him. We can communicate with Him through prayer. Prayer is so simple but so miraculous. I know we are answered .I know God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ, and accomplish everything for us to return back to our loving Heavenly Father. Only in and through Jesus Christ and His Atonement can eternity be even possible. I personally know the atonement was for me and all mankind. I have felt the heavy burden upon my back and in supplication they were lifted. I know the power of the Atonement is real. I know the Father and His Son appeared as two separate being to the boy Joseph Smith and Restored the fullness of the Gospel. Joseph Smith was called to be the first prophet of this dispensation and laid down his life for us.

Never denying of what he knows to be true. I know he was shown the plates and translated them by the power and gift of God. We are so privilege to have the fullness of the gospel in our homes. I know what the gospel has done for my family and I would love to see that in every family. The Book of Mormon is indeed a true book. I know when I study the scriptures I have the spirit more abundantly in my life. I’m ever grateful for the change that has occurred through out my life and the wonderful spirit of missionary work. I know we have a living prophet , that guides and leads us today. We are so blessed. I will continue on because I know what it can do to ones heart. This Gospel is true.
I love you all so much and CAN wait to see you for at least another week.

Sister Barrand
P.S. Thanks for all the wonderful letters and such, they have meant so much.I’m going to miss it here!