How is everybody?! Yesterday the high was 101 degrees. Ok, really? It's time to chill out - lol :) But it is gradually getting better. I loved hearing that mom and dad got to go spend some time out at Garfield Bay, that's awesome! And Garrett, you sound like quite the football stud! Keep up the good work, that's awesome. To you and Erika, sorry I've faltered a bit in writing you every other week. I've had a hard time writing anyone lately. But I sure did love that care y'all sent me. That was awesome!
Transfer update: yup, it's transfers week! That's why I'm emailing today. Where the heck did the last 6 weeks go?!! Or the last 15 months for that matter?!?! I just have two transfers left. Yeah, when I did that math, it totally freaked me out. :( Sister Chausow is being transferred. I have absolutely no idea who I'm getting. I was hoping it'd be Sister Ward (we've always felt like we'd serve together again) but she's not getting transferred... so I have absolutely no idea. Although whoever it is probably won't speak Spanish, and.... who knows what'll happen! Our English ward is so big, and I've heard Sis Chausow talk about so many names, people that have either never let us in, or haven't come to church, or whatever. And so I haven't even met a lot of them. It'll get interesting :)
We had such a rough week with our family we're teaching, Marquetta and Robert (along with their children, and Marquetta's brother ,Tim). Marquetta was sick. When we'd go for our appointments during the day to read with her, she'd come to the door very disheveled and say she'd forgotten. She started bringing up random concerns that just didn't seem like her (especially racism stuff. sad.) They're also going through so much financial problems. We knew she had a cold, but it just seemed like something else. And Robert worked so much, we never saw him, so it was a little strange. However, Marquetta did receive a blessing from the elders, and that was a really good experience for her. We (while I was on exchanges with another sister) taught Tim separately at a members house during the week and it went amazing! We were teaching the plan of Salvation lesson, without the plan of trying again to commit him to baptism. Then about half way through the lesson I realized we had to do that. So we did, he brought up his doubts, we discussed them (couldn't have done it without the members there), and he solidly committed to baptism! It took awhile, but he did it! In that moment, when he said "yes" I swear I saw or felt something change in him. I really felt like we should commit him to the 19th of October, but at the last minute knew I shouldn't. We instead invited him to pray about his own date. He thought that was so cool, no one had ever asked him to do that before (he's been baptized a number of times). The Spirit was so strong! When we followed up with him on it Sunday, he said that he didn't like the idea of setting a date. We thought it was a commitment problem, but as we asked questions and listened, we learned that it's just a foreign thing, and he doesn't know how to get an answer specific like that. He says all other churches "just do it on Sunday, and then move on with services". Haha, so we brought up the 19th, and he said he'd pray specifically about that. Then, yesterday, he said that "he and God are now on the same page". He said he prayed and feels that he wants to be baptized the 26th instead. Wow! I told him that's your bday, Dad :) He is changing slowly, very slowly, but surely. He knows he has to quit smoking, but he has a positive attitude and I know he can do it!
They all showed up at church on Sunday, and Marquetta and Robert are doing so much better! The kids love church, and the two oldest girls are so excited to come to Achievement days tonight (we were actually asked to teach it too!). And I knew something was up! Marquetta is pregnant!! (not on purpose). We had the most amazing lessons with them on Sunday, as well as yesterday. Marquetta was able to get all her concerns out there. It's a lot of big stuff. They are financially suffering so much right now. To the point where she was really low on groceries this whole last week for her kids. She is a stubborn person, who does not take handouts, but they're kinda stuck. Previously a signature on divorce papers was keeping her divorce from going through, but now it's just the money to pay for the process. She almost started crying at saying how bad they feel for "having kids out of wedlock" and they want to get married right now but can't because they can't come up with the money for the fees. So sad! And she just feels judged, because she said people don’t know her story, all they see is her with 5 kids, one on the way, and she and Robert are not married. And then she starts saying, "Family is just so important to us! We know it shouldn't be like this. Isn't there more to it anyway? Shouldn't a marriage and our family last longer than just here?" Well, actually... yes! We were teaching the plan of salvation anyway, and when we told them each about the temple, the most special and happy spirit was in the room. It just makes sense to them I guess. That's never happened to me before. I hope it's not bad to say, but I am positive this is the reason the Lord has left me here in Baton Rouge, but had me do English work too. I need this family. But more, I really feel like they need me. Things that have happened, the way I teach and understand them, I really feel a purpose. They yesterday each said they want to be baptized. They are considering setting a date to show their determination and faith. Robert says Jan 1, after they move. Marquetta says she doesn't want to wait that long. It's hard to see over the obstacle of the divorce. But it's like the tumbleweed parable. I know it can seem big to us, but it's just a tumbleweed to God. I absolutely love this family!! That was a random jumble, but hopefully some of it made sense!
Alright, I really have to go. So much to do! Oh, one little item of business... I've been having problems with my camera so we tried to exchange it (thinking maybe they'd do it since it was an exchange) but they won't without the receipt. You wouldn't happen to have that would you? Hope so! Also, I'm going to try to send a package home (random stuff I don't need until will I get home - sweatshirt, letters, etc and it can just be put wherever).
I hope you each have a great week!!!!
Lots of Love,