Monday, September 26, 2011

Hello Everyone!!

This week has been... crazy. I don't even know where to begin. Well I suppose first off, I'm in Eldersburg MD. It's really really pretty out here. It's like pure forest with houses in between. It's hot and humid and I haven't seen an ounce of sun since the day I got here. It's usually pretty rainy and overcast. I'm getting eaten alive out here! No one cuts their grass here, so theres tons of mosquitos. And they don't just leave normal bites, I have giant bruised welts everywhere. We have to use deep woods off every time we step out of the apartment, and sometimes that doesn't even help.

Our apartment is in randallstown, which is the ghetto part of this area. I'm slightly afraid I'm going to get shot one of these day, but I try to keep that in the back of my mind. Haha. The weird thing is, everyone is black, but they're all from africa. They're all from nigeria or liberia or elsewhere. Really really nice people. Most of them will listen to us once, we set up another apointment, but we can't ever find them again. Another thing is that people don't answer their doors here. It's really weird. Sometimes they yell through the door and ask who it is, but thats more on the unusual side.

Well my first couple of days here were extremely busy. My first apointment was about 3 hours after transfers with a girl named ashley. She's about 23, lives with her fiance and 16 month old daughter. Her dad was a member and tried to get her to take the discussions for years, but she was never interested. Well her father passed away really unexpectedly about 2 weeks ago, she met the missionaries at his funeral, and asked her if she wanted to know more about her father's beliefs. She said yes, and my companion set up an apointment. Which by the way, my companions name is Jessica leiber. She's really great, been out about 6 months. Anyway. So we met with Ashley, the lesson went pretty well, and I committed her to baptism! Do I think she'll make it? probably not. I'm trying to have faith, but the only reason I think she's interested is because of her father's death. I think she's going to have a lot of issues with the commandements too. We'll see though.

I met about half a dozen ward members the first day I was here too. The ward is really great. Another side note about our apt with ashley, a member from the ward came with us to that lesson. Her name is Mataya Pitta, she's the wife of Dennis Pitta, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Apparently Ashley is a HUGE ravens fan and flipped when she found out she was sitting across from the wife of raven's team member. It was really funny for me because I don't care about football whatsoever, and I honestly hadn't even heard of the ravens before I moved out here. Mataya is probably one of the nicest people i've ever met though. She comes with us a lot to lessons because her husband is obviously gone all the time and she has nothing to do all day.

We're teaching a ton of people right now so I have no idea who to talk about. Joe and Tyese are probably my favorite investigators we have right now. Tyese actually recently got baptized, about a month ago. Sister Lieber and her former companion knocked on her door, she let them in, and I guess was really receptive. She just has a ton of faith. She doesn't really understand everything about the church, but she says she KNOWS the book of mormon is true ad thats all that matters. We're teaching her husband Joe now. At first I guess he didn't want anything to do with the missionaries, but after Tyese was baptized he decided to give it a chance. He's got a lot of doubts and questions right now, but he'll make it. It might take him a while, but once he know's the book of mormon is true, everything will follow. He's been coming to church every week for the past month and a half. Almost there, just not quite.

We also statred teaching this girl Leyla. She's 17 and from Russia. apparently she went to the Mormon Battalion visitors center a while back and requested that the missionaries visit her here. She's really sweet and a lot of fun to talk to. She just lives with her mom and older brother i think. She told us her dad moved out a couple years ago. I'm not sure how interested in the church she is, i think she just liked how nice the mormons were in San Diego. She's really willing to listen though. Her mom doesn't speak very good English so we bring a ward member who speaks Russian with us when we go. Her mom keeps offering us borsche (sp) too. haha. They're super nice. A funny story about them, when we pulled up to the house, I saw this like... run dows, decrepid house. It's leaning to one side, the yard was totally over grown and looked like it hadn't ever been mowed, and theres cars parked randomly everywhere in the yard. I thought for SURE we were about to walk into a really disgusting house. When they let us in though, I was in complete shock. The inside of their house is BEAUTIFUL. They have all this gorgeous russian furniture, harwood floors, everything was meticulously clean. I don't know if russians just don't care about their yards or what. It was crazy. I'm thinking they just want to make the outside of their house look dumpy so people don't break in and steal all their nice stuff. haha.

We taught a lady named April today, even though it's P-day. Pretty dedicated missionaries we are. She was a referral from a woman in our ward, sister rheese. I guess they met at the library, stated talking, and april mentioned she was looking for a church. Ssiter rheese invited her to ours. She's come twice so far, then agreed to meet with us yesterday. She's awesome. She's never been religious at any point in her life, but has always believed in God. She and her husband and three kids just moved here form new jersery five weeks ago and she decided right before they moved that she wanted to start attending church. And it just so happened that she met sister rheese at the library. It's funny how God times everything perfectly. So anyway, we taught April the restoration today. She wants to continue to read the book of mormon and pray. Next weekend shes going to go to another church. She's trying to explore a bunch of options before she commits to anything. She'll be baptized for sure though. She's got a ton of faith and she really just wants to follow the path the Lord wants her on.

We taught a couple of other lessons this week, but nothing extremely exciting. i haven't met all of our investigators yet, theers a few more who we have appointments with this week. We visited a lot of less actives, cleaned a few houses. Nothing too exciting.

Well I think that's about it. Hopefully next week I'll have more exciting stuff to talk about! I hope everyone is doing well!