Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"The Rains Came Down, and the Floods Came Up" AKA - The Weather Sucks

One thing I have to say. Hurricane season in Mississippi? Don't do it. I highly advise against it. Especially when you're on bikes. In a skirt. While the streets are flooding. 

On Thursday, my lovely companion and I were visiting an older gentleman's home, Gary. We found him the other day while 'tracting' and were able to place a Book of Mormon - he was reluctant to take it at first, but after we bore testimony, he snatched it out of our hands. When we came to his front porch, Gary handed us back the Book of Mormon and said, "I'm sorry - it's just not for me."
Being the diligent missionaries we are, Sister Jones and I tried to figure out why he wasn't interested anymore. Right as he turned us away, a giant tropical storm hit. Trees started bending in half, the street instantly flooded, thunder shook the house, and lightening lit up the sky. Warnings started buzzing in over the television and phone lines - I could feel the blood drain out of my face as I thought about braving that weather to get home. Gary could sense our fear and knew that he shouldn't send us out into that wretched storm.
He opened up the door again and told us that we could wait out the storm in his home. We sat there for a good, long time - just talking. We talked about his family, his interests, his wants, and his loves. Finally, Sister Jones got a genius idea. Turning to Gary, she stated, "Sister Durrant and I are fairly new missionaries. It would help us out a ton if we could practice a lesson." Gary agreed and let us teach him the Restoration lesson. 
When it was my turn to testify of Joseph Smith, I'll never forget that moment nor the words I said. I'll always remember how the Holy Ghost worked through me in those few sentences. "Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know this with all I am. I've given up everything to be here today to bring this joy to the world. He saw Jesus Christ and the Eternal Father and through Joseph, the truth was restored. What a wonderful message that is - to have the real, pure church of Jesus Christ upon this Earth today. I know with all my heart that what I am teaching will change your life. It'll lift your burdens and make your life so much better."
Gary, a grown tough man, was shedding tears. I could see his shoulders shake. I don't know what he was carrying on his back, but I knew that he needed to hear. He once again grabbed the Book of Mormon from our hands and said, "Ok. I'll try it." 
Right then, the storm ceased. The streets began to drain and we were able to leave. I know that Heavenly Father sent that storm - just so that we could bring this message to Gary. He needed it and God knew that he needed that push. 

Later that day, we got to meet with Mimi - this sassy woman who loves music. Sister Jones and her previous companion had been working on her for almost a month but she still wasn't making any progress. At the door, Mimi asked a little about me. I told her how I was majoring in piano and her face just lit up. She finally let us into her home so that I could play some music for her. The whole time, she sat there, nodding her head and whispering under her breath, "Yes. Yes. Yes." After that, she was so willing to listen to our message and what we had to tell her. We're hoping we can eventually get her to come to church! Afterward, Sister Jones turned to me and said, "There's a reason you play piano."

The skies continued to storm all week. Our power was out half the time and it was near impossible to get anywhere. Rain soaked everything and I have just barely begun to dry out. Yet, our work continued on.

A few days later, Sister Jones and I were able to tract a little bit more. We ran into this insane man while knocking on doors. He went on and on about how the Mormons were evil people, Brigham Young was an evil dictator, and the pioneers massacred and murdered people. He just wouldn't stop speaking ill of the pioneers and my ancestors. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore - my tongue was bleeding from biting it. Sister Jones turned to him and said, "I know Brigham Young was a true prophet of God. I don't know where you are getting your information, but it isn't true. In fact, it is false. I urge you to read the Book of Mormon and find out for yourself these truths." We were finally able to leave but I was so rent up that I had a hard time concentrating for the rest of the day. 

For the record, my ancestors were pioneers. They gave up their life for this church. I am so blessed to have such a strong heritage and I honor and love it. I'll never forget them. I wish I could be as amazing as them.

I love you all. Do good and be good.

All my love,

Sister Sarah Michéle Durrant

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