So I have just one order of business before I go on and tell you about my week. There is a mission blog maintained by Sister Heap. You can probably find all of our arrival pics and stuff on there plus some other stuff. It is: davidandmaryheap.blogspot.com
So last Monday we started to see the fruits of our labors. We taught a family of children (no parents) that are all really interested. There is a 12 year old boy who has actually been to church like 4 times, a 14 year old girl, a 9 year old boy, and a two younger kids. They really love us coming over and teaching them and ask a lot of good questions. The only problem is, we won't baptize them until we have taught the parents everything as well. There are a set of parents, another adult female who is the mother of one of the younger kids, and a grandma living in the house. The other adult female actually seems pretty interested. We have been over to teach them three times this week, and the last time we went she was busy while we were over there, but she would walk by and stop and listen for a minute and even came in and bowed her head for the prayer. So we are hoping that we can start teaching her as well and so that she can be a support to the younger ones. We also visited with another lady who is just awesome on Monday. We weren't able to teach her because of some circumstances, but she has a good faith in Christ and is really interested in learning more. She said that she had actually met with missionaries before. She met with them like twice a week for a few weeks, but then both of them got transferred and she never heard from them again. So we are excited about her, but we haven't been able to make it back to teach her.
On Tuesday we had Zone Conference in San Angelo. They combine the San Angelo zone and Abilene zone and have one zone conference for the two zones. We heard from both of the assistants, and then Sister Heap and President Heap as well as our individual zone leaders. Everyone just killed it. It was awesome! President Heap talked about teaching, preaching, and healing. We as missionaries get really good at teaching and preaching, but we really need to learn how to heal people. He teaches from the scriptures just so stinkin' well, its crazy! I have never met someone that reads between the lines as well as he does! I am excited to learn more from him over the rest of my mission!
On Wednesday we walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. And to make it better, it was in the 20-35 degree temperature range. We stayed pretty warm because we bundled up like crazy, but there is no way to bundle up your face, so I thought I was going to lose all the skin off my face that night. But my face recovered nicely once we got inside! But even through the cold, Elder Stringham and I were able to keep a good sense of humor the whole time and laughed pretty much the whole day. There was literally nobody to talk to outside so it was kind of a long day, but we survived and we had a good time.
On Thursday we started our new push for service! We are now allowed to get 10 hours of service a week (it used to be only 3 hours) so we went and cleaned out a members van and other assorted chores for a couple hours. We are hoping all of our service will bring in some good referrals, so hopefully the people we do service for will start sending us some names of people to try! Oh yeah, it was like 30 degrees on this day as well. Great fun.
On Friday we went and visited the old black lady in the branch, Sister Green. I mentioned last week that we go read with her every Friday. But one thing that I took from our visit this week is that we can all make our prayers more sincere. Sister Green's prayers are absolutely unbelievable! She doesn't really use the proper prayer language that we all use, but she just had such a heartfelt conversation with God and it is such a beautiful thing! I realized that even though I pray sincerely, I sometimes lose a little sincerity because I try to make it proper. Sometimes we just need to lose ourselves and pour out our hearts and not worry about giving our prayer in the "proper" way.
On Saturday we helped with the stake youth service project. They transcribed the cemetery here in Sweetwater. They took over 2700 pictures that will be uploaded along with the peoples information to findagrave.com. Uncle Quin should be pretty pumped about this project! After the project we went out to work. We walked for 4 straight hours in the cold. We estimated that we walked around 10 miles or more. I slowly started to feel just a little sick throughout the walk but nothing serious. We had a late dinner appointment at 7pm, and as we were sitting at the table waiting for dinner, I started to not feel good at all, and by the time the prayer was over, I looked at the food and I knew that I just couldn't eat it. They told me that I looked really pale, so I went and laid down on the couch. We were at the Weldy's, who we visit a couple times a week, so we know them really well. They are such nice, funny, good people. But when we were about to leave, I stood up and got my bag and was standing by the door, and I felt a little funny around my stomach but I knew that I had always felt that and I would just cover my mouth for a second and it would just go away. But it didn't go away..... and it came pouring out if you know what I mean. Yes, I threw up for the first time in years and years and years! They have like 7 dogs that all run around inside, so they are used to cleaning up stuff like that, so I honestly couldn't have picked a better place to lose it at. They were so great! But after puking, I felt like much better!
On Sunday, they cut church to only two hours! It was sweet! people here can't drive in any sort of icy conditions and there was supposed to be some snow at noon, so they ended church at 11 so that everyone could get home! A member took us home, and not without even warning us pulled into the Whataburger drive-through for lunch. Hahaha when we got home Elder Stringham was so ticked at him for taking us through the drive through and making us break the sabbath. Direct quote from Stringham, "The commandments aren't a buffet line! You can't just pick and choose which ones you want to follow!" hahaha I spent the first 20 minutes after we got back just laughing at him freaking out. We then went out and started walking the streets in the 20 degree weather. Right as we got outside, the snow started falling and we ended up with a good thin layer covering the ground. The funny thing is, Texans just have no clue how to handle anything other than dry roads so they drive like 10 mph even with the tiniest bit of snow on the ground!
Anyway, that's all I have for this week. I love you all and I thank you for all your prayers and support! Also, how rad is it that Kevin will be here in Texas with me???!!!!! I was thinking about him all week and I was so pumped to hear he has been called to Houston!!!
LOL (lots of love),