- Saran wrap a mattress
- Live in a haunted apartment
- Listen to opera music on a regular basis
- Spend all day in the hot sun building cabinets
- Take naps on the floor in the church library
- Cook lunch in the church kitchen... on a regular basis
- Have a scripture-reference war with the elders
- Encourage people not to join secret societies. Which is really funny if you think about it.
- Spend hours doing paperwork
- Do housework in a skirt
Needless to say, I have actually done ALL of the above things. Missions never turn out the way you expect ha ha. Incidentally, saran wrapping a mattress is a wee bit difficult.
Seriously though. There are parts of mission life that I never expected. And they are weird when you think about them! For example: I show up in an area, and nobody knows me, but they are all SO happy to see me! And then they sign up to feed me dinner every night! That's weird. And companions are weird... You spend 24/7 with one person for a period of at least six weeks. And then you go to transfer meeting, and you leave that meeting with a whole new person that you must then spend another 6 weeks with. That's weird.
You know what else is weird? Feet are weird. All the weight of your body and whatever else you happen to be carrying rests on two little levers. AND YOU DON'T FALL OVER. Amazing.
(That was random, I know. But the speaker in sacrament meeting said that yesterday, so I had to share it with you all. :)
Anyway. But then there are parts of mission life that I did expect. To a certain extent.
For example, we met with Elysa again this week. I've prayed for her every day, that she will recognize that we are servants of the Lord and that what we are there to share will bless her and her family. Speaking of weird, it's a bit bizarre what missionaries do: We go and convince people to be baptized, which entails giving up a lot of lifestyle comforts and 10% of your income. Now I really cannot sell that to anyone, so that is why the Spirit is so important. Hence why I've been praying so much for Elysa.
She asks so many good questions, like "Why is baptism important?" and "What does the Book of Mormon talk about?" These are questions that every missionary wants to hear. I usually kind of stumble over my answers, not because I don't know the answer but because the answers are very important... and I get really nervous. But I'm very grateful for Sister Melling, who smoothed out my choppy answers and together we could paint a picture of the blessings the gospel can bring to her and her family. Once again, Elysa invited us back. She said she wants to develop a better relationship with God. That makes us happy. :)
Also, Kevin is getting baptized! I'm pretty sure I've told you guys that one before, but this time he really is. He's our 12-year-old investigator from China. He's getting baptized on. :) I admire that kid a lot. He's quiet and shy, but he knows what he believes and he stands up for it.
Also, I've been coming to know my Savior a lot more. It's funny, but when you spend a lot of time studying about someone it kind of feels like you're spending time with them. And do you know what happens when you spend a lot of time with someone? They start to rub off on you. :) So I'm hoping that some Christlike attributes are starting to rub off on me.
Actually, this week Sister Melling and I were asked a difficult question. They wanted to know whether a certain course of action was against church standards. Rather than give him the answer, we explained that God gives us agency, knowledge of good and evil to discern right and wrong, and commandments to protect us from anything that would compromise our agency. And then we told him to read Moroni 7:11-17 and Jacoband see how he feels after that. :)
It's hard to not just give someone the answer you know is the right one. But I feel like that was a step closer to how Christ would teach, anyway. :)
All in all, it's been a good week. Sister Melling and I have a lot of fun. We had a picnic on the floor in our apartment the other day. And last night we played battleship. You find random ways to entertain yourself on a mission. :)
Life is good and wonderful. I love you all. Thank you for your letters and prayers. I love them, and I mostly love you. :)
Sincerely, Sister Ball