March 17, 2014

That Never Happens

Dear Mom,

I actually did forget about St. Patrick's Day but I'm wearing a green scarf by coincidence. I tried to pinch Sister Lewis but she pointed out that the magnet on the back of our nametag is green.
We're not allowed to look at that Facebook page, but it's nice to see the picture.
This week has been crazy good! On Monday we somehow finished all of our errands by 1 pm, so we had 5 whole hours to do whatever we wanted, which NEVER happens. During P-day, we got a media referral, which is two weeks in a row, which NEVER happens. Then as we were preparing to go out, someone called us and asked if we could meet that night! (Also never happens). Obviously we said yes. So we called the referral, who lived really far away, and she just wanted a media bible, so we went to the post office and mailed it to her with some other literature, and talked to people on the way to and from on the bus. Then we tried to pass by some less-actives before our appointment with Imelda. Turns out she's super old, super Catholic, and was trying to rent her basement apartment to us since she knows we have good morals. Haha. We managed to pick her up as an investigator anyways though because it turned out that her grand-niece is a recent convert in Fredericton and Sister Lewis knows her, and she had some questions about the church from that. After that, we tried REALLY hard to get a less-active visit because it was one of our goals, so at the last moment, we got in to see Tammy, who Sister Lewis used to visit last year when she was here, but who I haven't met before. So we came home and we'd met ALL our daily goals! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!!!! Then the Elders called with another referral for us, which was just great.
The next day we had visits with Elder Widdup. I was really grateful for how we've been planning much more effectively, so that we know how each hour fits into our goals, otherwise it would have just felt super ineffective. We had a brief language study, then picked up a member to go to our lesson with Ashley. She was still pretty solid for baptism, although she moved it to the 17th since she prayed and felt better about that date, so we taught the Word of Wisdom. She'd already found out about it on her own and committed to live it, so that was pretty easy. (That never happens!) Then we went to A&Ws for lunch because I wanted to try their spicy blue cheese burger (awesome!) and had interviews there. Then we went street contacting/less-active hunting, finally getting to teach a sister on her porch while she waited for her ride to work. She committed to come to church (that never happens) and then we went to the church to check our kijiji ads and whatnot. After that, we went knocking, where we had a couple of funny experiences. I think the best is when it was the Elders' turn to do the door approach, and the lady comes to the door and says, "I'm busy right now, I'm breastfeeding." They just got super awkwarded out by it haha. Then Elder Widdup was all like, "You know what? Let's just not have dinner!", which felt like overkill, but nobody wants to be that missionary who's like, "Actually, I think we'll just not sacrifice today..." so we stopped by a few potentials and then did more knocking. We knocked "Alberta Ct" and everyone was really nice, so Elder Widdup and I kept making jokes about how great Alberta is. Finally, we ran out of plans (because we didn't make enough for
an extra hour) so we went to Dairy Queen and got blizzards before having a visit with a less-active couple in the ward. Following that, we went up to the church for coordination meeting with our WML, and that was Tuesday. We met or exceeded all of our goals for that day too, except finding a new investigator, so that was crazy. (Two days in a row? That never happens.)
Wednesday was going to be pretty normal with studies and such, but then some members called to give us directions to their house. Turns out we had a lunch appointment that I'd accidentally wrote down the next week, so that worked out well. They lived near us, so we just walked over. They'd made a full-on dinner with roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. It was awesome. They're classic Maritimers, in that they were a little eccentric in a harmless, amusing way. I have never heard so many on-the-spot puns in my life. Then we took the bus to Dieppe. We basically walked around and talked to people all afternoon, which was AWESOME. There's nowhere good to street contact in Dieppe, but the buses were really full that day and then Sister Lewis had the brilliant idea of street contacting near the schools around the time they let out, in order to talk to parents picking up their kids. Then we were going to go knocking, but due to some wrong turns we ended up just walking across Dieppe back to the mall in order to catch the bus home in time. We got home, I quickly threw some things in my carryon bag, and the Amherst sisters met at our apartment for exchanges. So Sister Lewis and Thompson went and had a DA with an investigators and then and taught Stephanie without me, and I went to Amherst and had a DA and went knocking. The first house we knocked into was
this crazy guy who wanted to Bible bash with us about Saturday Sabbaths, and I was just like, "The Book of Mormon is true, which means our church is led by a prophet who receives God's direction on issues like this." We didn't get anywhere with him, but I think it was helpful for Sister Tegge to see how to respond to objections.
The next day, which was my year mark, we had studies in the morning. Amherst got freezing rain/snow overnight, and the Elders came to borrow the car while we had 12 week and lunch, and we could hear them scraping the car off for like half an hour. It was pretty funny. After that, we drove to Sackville, and braved the snow to visit some potentials. We ended up getting TWO investigators, which NEVER HAPPENS IN AMHERST. The first one was totally prepared, and it was a pretty textbook lesson with an opening and closing prayer, How To Begin Teachings, Restoration, and a soft commitment to baptism. The next person was one of those people who thinks they aren't interested but "Is just in a funny mood to listen for some reason" (aka the SPIRIT) and it was more teaching to needs and not following a lesson plan. Which was pretty much perfect for training purposes since Sister Tegge got to see two totally different types of lessons. Then we went knocking and it was REALLY cold, so I had my fur-lined hood up and looked like an Eskimo. Then we exchanged back. I swear, the moment we crossed the area boundaries into Moncton the highways became nearly impassable and the snow got super thick. (That ALWAYS happens.) We had a late dinner, and then went to an appointment with a LA. She lives in a pretty rough situation and some pretty horrible things have happened. It was really sad. Then we went to an appointment with Sister Karen, another LA, who had called us during dinner and asked us to come over. After that, we had an appointment with a potential near our house, but she had a cold, so we rescheduled for Saturday. We went to the bus stop to talk to people, since we only had like 20 minutes left, and then we went in for the night.
On Friday we had weekly planning, and then we had district planning. It was kind of funny because Elder Widdup and I were having some disagreements a few weeks ago, and we're over it now, but everybody kept making jokes about it all meeting. After that, we did some technology-related proselyting, and then drove to Dieppe to go knocking. We were SOOOOOOO tired. I came to the conclusion that sometimes faith is being really excited to talk to everyone, and sometimes it's mentally committing to actually knock for the entire hour. At first it was pretty rough because I was way too tired to process French, so people would say stuff and I was pretty much just guessing (or relying on the Spirit) to respond because I wasn't sure what they were saying. But towards the end of the street we got more into it and had some good conversations. It was weird because I could tell my accent randomly got way better, and then we had a bunch of conversations about things I haven't really studied the vocabulary for, like geneology. After that, we went through the McDonalds' drive through because it was Pi day and we decided we needed to get SOME kind of pie for dinner, and then we went to Games Night. It was pretty poorly attended, and then we had to leave early to pick up Sister Poirier for Stephanie's lesson. It was good, but usually we teach Stephanie in English since she prefers it, but she and Sister Poirier were speaking the most RIDICULOUS chiak together and Sister Lewis and I were almost dying trying not to laugh at the beginning. It was a pretty cool lesson because Sister Lewis and I were just ridiculously in tune with each other and the Spirit, so that's always a great experience. I came home and found your card for my year mark, which definitely made my day. I laughed so hard picturing you and dad choosing the cheesiest "1 year old" birthday card you could find.
On Saturday we had a phone call with the Zone Leaders, and then we went to the church to check our kijiiji ads. After that, we swung by Pita Pitt for lunch and then had a lesson with Amanda, the potential who rescheduled, and picked her up as a new investigator, which was pretty great. It was kind of a weird lesson because she didn't have any chairs so we were just standing in her kitchen, but whatever. After that, we basically bussed over to Dieppe and went knocking. By about 3 or 4 pm on Saturday, we'd met ALL of our goals, including the rather audacious goal we'd set to talk to 50 people, and it was the weirdest feeling. We really didn't know what to do anymore. Especially because we were fasting to find families, and we were doing a lunch-to-lunch fast because of the Linger Longer on Sunday, which we'd forgotten about. So our Saturday evening plans were to have dinner, bus to Dieppe, visit a LA, and bus home, but the LA rescheduled and we were already in Dieppe, so there went 4 hours of plans! So we had no goals and no plans. I turned to Sister Lewis and said, "This is what not being a missionary is going to feel like." "Don't talk about that!" Haha. So we bussed home, got in the car, tried to stop by some people, and confirmed that everyone had rides to church, but it was weird.
On Sunday we had church, which was really good. Stephanie and Ashley both came, as well as some LA's, and the Leger family brought their non-member parents, which was awesome. After church we had a linger longer with food, but before that, we had a LA visit/visiting teaching assignment with Sister Pitre. (This sister only comes occasionally), and we were SOOOO hungry because we were fasting. And then Sister Lewis was like, "So you're both RMs. What did it feel like to take off your nametag?". Hahahaha. Gosh Sister Lewis. So we finally stopped talking about distressing things and had food. After the linger longer, we were so tired, and we'd already accomplished or exceeded all of our weekly goals for the week, except for one member present lesson that we couldn't get at that point. Motivation = 0. It was pretty lame. We had an appointment, but it fell through, and we were honestly so tired that we pulled over and had a nap in the car so that I could be awake enough to contact this one referral in French. Totally wimpy moment that we felt bad about later. Then we had dinner and went knocking, wherein we discovered that gay accents in French are WAY easier to understand. Then we came home and had a conference call with the ZLs. One set of sisters forgot to get their numbers to us until really late, and then accidentally told us their totals for the day and not the week, so we were pretty concerned for a while. (Only 4 KI's and 15 people talked to all week??? Haha.)
On one of our long walks home, Sister Lewis and I wrote "The District Leader Song," sung to the tune of "We Are Men" from Mulan:
Let's get down to business
To convert Dieppe.
Why have you not reviewed
The District Plan yet?
That's the saddest French I've ever heard
Don't say words in English too
Sisters I'll have call night with you.
We are French! We must be willing to take reproof.
We are French! We must be skillful and speak the truth.
We are French! We must knock 7 hours a week,
Inviting to be baptized right on the street!
Genuine and friendly
But on fire within.
Once you reach the members
You are sure to win.
Did you make your weekly goals yet?
I need to get them all from you.
Sisters I'll take dinner from you!
[key change]
The work is hastening onward!
There's no time to cry.
Heed my every order
And you might baptize!
Have you reached your weekly goals yet?
You go home in 6 months too.
Sisters I'm trying to help both of you.
(It's funny because they're all Elder Widdup-isms).
Sister Olson

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