Monday, October 28, 2013

Glenn Beck as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator!

Sometimes, you meet crazies here in the South. Actually, we meet crazies almost every day. There is never a dull moment in the Mississippi Jackson Mission. I cannot even begin to recount how many times I have hurt my sides from laughing way too hard. To illustrate, I'll tell you a tracting experience we had not too long ago:

*knock knock knock*
"Come in!" yells a voice from the other side of the door. Hesitantly, we pushed open the door and walk into the house. An old man raises his head from the couch that he's lying on and stares at us for a moment.
"Who are you," he asks.
"We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" 
Again, we tell him that we are missionaries. Three more times, he yells asking who we are. Finally, the message that we are missionaries finally sinks in. The man lays his head back down on the pillow, away from us and screams, "I'm asleep!"
Stubbornly, I shout back, "Are you sure you're asleep sir? You were just talking to us a moment ago!"
He mumbles into his pillow a muffled shout, "Yes! Sound asleep!"
Again, I ask, "Are you?"
All of a sudden, the man pretended to snore. As loud and as obnoxious as he could.
Completely convinced me he was asleep. *sarcasm* 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how my day goes. Almost every single day. The South, I'm telling ya. Miss-ippi to be exact. And I found out the other day that my area has one of the highest rates of illegal meth produced in it. Along with that, this was where Al Capone got all his bootlegged liquor and drugs from. And it's one of the headquarters of the KKK apparently. WELCOME TO HANCOCK COUNTY.

As for actual missionary work? 

We taught Domonic a few times this week, trying to prepare him for baptism. I don't think he'll be ready any time soon. Let's just say it took us an hour to explain how spirit prison is just basically another name for hell. An hour of explaining and re-explaining. Whenever we'd just try to move on (because it really isn't that important if he calls it hell or spirit prison), he'd bring it right back. Chewing on his shirt the whole time. It'll take a long time to get him baptized, but I'm confident that the Spirit will continue to work within him to tell him that this gospel is true. One of the most frustrating aspects of our lesson was when we were talking about the Book of Mormon. Domonic kept saying he still wasn't sure about the Book of Mormon and whenever he'd read it or think about it he'd get a "nabbing at [his] heart and some funny warm feeling". 
Of course, we told him that was the Spirit and showed him countless scriptures about it. He still maintained that it wasn't. And then he told us that he had a dream where "Sister Durrant was in a freezer and she was handing me fruit - it was really really delicious fruit. I don't know what that means! Do you?"
Before we could explain what we thought it meant, he moved on and wouldn't listen to us.
Let's reiterate. It'll be a long time before he's baptized.

On the bright side, we've set yet another baptism date! Actually, three to be exact. As I mentioned last week, we tracted into a sea-bee, Evan, and his adorable three children. We've begun to teach them almost on a regular daily basis. It's definitely different from teaching everyone else here though because he doesn't have a strong belief in Christ or even a solid Christian background. Each and every one of the lessons we've had, I've adored. The Spirit is always so strong and present. It's been a wonderful experience to see the light of Christ in this family and watch as their homes seems to feel brighter and happier each day we come. His oldest, Brianna, even gathers her younger brother and sister together every night to have a kneeling prayer together. I've never seen children so excited over the gospel and the blessings it promises. We've set them with the baptismal date of December 6th (couldn't do December 7th because that's Pearl Harbor Day) and I'm fervently praying that I won't be transferred before then. I've loved getting to know this family and watch them grow in the gospel. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true - I've seen how it can change the lives of three young children and a seemingly beaten down man. I've witnessed the light come into their home and watched how their smiles seem a little brighter every day. There's nothing quite like it. 

Along with my miraculous week, we met this amazing man while tracting (illegally). His name is Jay and he LOVES Glenn Beck and his program on the radio. It was a great point to gain common ground with him, but.... He's convinced Glenn Beck is the prophet. Absolutely, totally, and utterly convinced. We've actually set up a return appointment with him and I'm very excited to teach him. He's so giving and sweet towards his neighbors and he calls himself a "Jesus-freak". When we gave him a Book of Mormon, he remarked that he was going to add it to his daily Bible study (he already reads a proverb, a psalm, and two chapters in the New Testament every day). We just need to somehow teach him that it isn't Glenn Beck who's the prophet.... I can't wait!

Our last crazy experience this week was when we met a less-active lady who lives over in Pass Christian. When she let us in, she started screaming at us because the missionaries before us forgot to give her a call back months ago. Once we established it wasn't us who forgot to give her a call back, she turned very civil and started asking us about ourselves. She turned to me and asked, "How old are you? 16?"
Laughing, I told her that I was 19 and Sister Devenport remarked that she just barely turned 21 in September.
That let loose the cannon. The woman started to go on and on about how Sister Devenport was a "Virgo" just like her and how amazing she was because of the month she was born in. And all the traits the she was naming wasn't at all like Sister Devenport. Then she asked what month I was born in. I, of course, told her I was born March 19.
She looked at me and said, "Oh. A fish. You're very mean and jealous and weak-minded."
Yes. I'm horrible person because I was born in March. And then she turned back to Sister Devenport and continued to talk about how exalted the Virgos are. She wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the evening.

Regardless, we still had a fun time that night!

This church is true. I know it is. If it wasn't, I still wouldn't be out here. I wouldn't be working this hard. I'd have given up by now. This is the way to salvation. It isn't just a church - it's a way of life. It's a pattern of change. It's how we can all prepare for heaven and live once more with our Heavenly Father. If I can just bring one soul to the Lord, how great is my joy!

All my love,

Sister Sarah Michéle Durrant

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