Things are getting warm in Arkansas. Very warm. I feel a great deal of sympathy for our District Leaders who had the great misfortune to be on bike week, but that sympathy did not extend far enough so as to allow us to let them borrow our vehicle. The mosquitoes are also getting quite aggressive (did you know there are more than one type? The striped ones are the worst), but we have found that by adding liberal amounts of garlic to everything we eat and bathing ourself in bug spray we can fend off the worst of them. Perhaps I've asked this question before, but do you think it is a sin to kill something with a book of scripture? Because I've started thinking of a game we could play with the bugs: If you kill one that's on you it's worth 1 point, if you kill one out of the air it's 2 points, either by clapping your hands together or smacking it out of the air and then stepping on it, and if you kill one on the other person its death is counted for 3 points (plus there is the pleasure of hitting each other). If they are 'juicy' the points count for double. I haven't decided on a reward for the victor, so it's mostly just bragging rights for now. Any suggestions?
I don't remember if I have mentioned Stephanie (not her real name) before, so if I have then sorry for the repeated info, but if not then you're welcome. Stephanie is a young woman we ran into a while ago when she was working in her yard. She's somewhere in her 30's (maybe?) and has had a very difficult life. Very difficult. She has no real family to speak of and no real friends. She's staying with the mother of one of her ex-husbands and they take care of eachother. Stephanie hasn't gone to church in a very long time, not since her childhood and had really lost her connection with God, largely because of the great many could-have-been-better choices she made in her past. After we talked with her that first time both Elder Raiford and I got the strongest impression that, although she is very far from where our Father in Heaven would want her to be right now, she has massive potential to get there. We met with her several times and invited her to come to church, which she agreed. We went by her house last Sunday (eight days ago) with a member to pick her up for church and we found her outside working on a shed, clearly not remembering the commitment she had made a couple of days previous. She was quite embarrassed and promised to come the next week. Well, we stopped by several times this past week to visit with her and check up on her. Stephanie had sliced her hand up pretty bad by grabbing a submerged knife in the sink, but despite this she was dressed and ready to go when we knocked on her door yesterday morning.
The meeting was definitely one of the better ones, because a Return Missionary named Dallin Ginn was to speak for the first time in 2 years at his home congregation. The Spirit was super strong there, and as bonus speakers both Elder Raiford and I were able to talk. Personally I thought that the feeling in the room was best when the other two were speaking, but appparently I did Ok as well.Stephanie really enjoyed the mettings, although it was clear Satan did his best to make it so she didn't. She had gotten a massive migrane about half-way throgh the meeting and took a smallish nap on the couch instead of going to the Relief Society class. However, there was a really good pot-luck afterward where lots of people had brought food and it was a really good time fo stop and feel a spirit of unity over a large plate of food.
There was some more that happened that Sunday, but allas for me I have zero time left because I have an appointment with Brian (agian, not his real name) in about 8 minutes. Tell you about it next time and will have some pictures to show as well.
Elder Jayden Barker
Thought for the day: Church, Prayer, Reading = spiritual CPR. If you are feeling far away from the Lord, this is a good place to start.