Well. Its transfer week and I'M GOING TO GEORGIA FOR MY LAST TRANSFER!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That barely shows my excitement. I am not making it up into the heart of the Tifton zone, just on the outskirts (Thomasville).. but still I am leaving FL and heading into another southern state and I am really excited. I am going to be serving with Sister Thompson who is a stellar missionary and works really hard. If I cant be with sister Hirst again, She is the next best thing :) We have been on trade offs a couple times and get along great. She laughs alot and has great stories and she is going to be a fun companion. We are white washing the area and its going to be GREAT! The two elders that are there are two that I served in the MTC with and they are alot of fun. Its gonna be AWESOME!
This week has been great. I wish I could accurately explain the craziness of church yesterday... its going to be a long story, so it might be the only one I tell. We will see.
So yesterday started off a normal Sunday morning. We got up did our studies, went to campus and then to missionary coordination. We had a less active FINALLY come to church with us and one of our investigators came. This was her first Testimony meeting that she had been to, so we sat down and I began to explain how it all worked.
One of the sweetest ward members, Jayne, started it off with an awesome testimony about blessings and how obedience brings blessings into our lives. Then this 70 year old lady who walked in 1/2 way through sacrament (keep in mind we are in a singles ward) gets up and she looks like she is going to give a talk. She has her scriptures, binders, a notebook, a framed picture and the George Albert Smith manual. She started off her testimony like this: "una momentee. Noticed I added an E to momentee, thats my special touch. Well, today is my birthday and I knew I wanted to bear my testimony for my birthday..." she then started to talk all sorts of nonsense that had nothing to do with a testimony. She whipped out her scriptures and said she was going to read to us from Isaiah 63 "everyone told me that I was never going to understand him... So I am going to just start reading until the Lord tells me to stop reading" So she did, starting with the chapter heading really emphasizing a couple times that the second coming is going to be a day of VENGEANCE for the wicked... VENGEANCE, and stopped when it talked about the red garment to point out that she had worn red that day. She read pretty much the whole chapter stopping a couple times to look up at the celing and to tell God to tell her to stop reading when she needs to stop. In between all of this she had paused to tell us how much she loves josh groban and in case we didnt know, she spelled it for us yelling G-R-O-B-A-N. she went on a tangent about him for a while, saying that she wanted to play one of his songs for us if the bishop would allow it. She talked for a long time about how Josh Groban needs to be LDS because he is teaching us... he takes the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain and merge them together."I want you to hear a song of his, maybe I can sing it for you, no - you don't want me to sing it for you, well maybe yo do" she just decided to quote it for us. She finally stopped reading Isaiah when she pulled out a framed picture that she "got at big lots the other day for 6 dollars... it says Familys are forever. I just want to read to you what this says. Treat your family like friends, and friends like family.... FRIENDS LIKE FAMILY" then she turned around and gave bishop an ornament that she got at big lots to show him that he is her friend/family. Were like 20 minutes in at this point, but then she pulled out her family history chart and started to read us her grandparents names and where they lived etc. She told us her whole life story and how she got her degree at New mexico state university and she has 29 extra credits so shes 1/2 to a PHD. The rest of the craziness I will present in bullet points because this is already really long:
- she at one point pulled out a magnifying glass to see us.
-I don't know when she was talking about this but she said something to the effect that "People told me that it was impossible to fall asleep while walking but Ive dont it TWICE."
-She loves public radio international and we should all listen to it.
-she read some stuff from the George albert smith manual to us
-Something about the Russian leader and a student group is trying to kick the mormon missionaries out of the country. She yelled that one at us too.
- She is going to buy 7 Josh Groban T-shirts and wear one every day of the week because he is the best.
SO this took the entire time, about 30-40 minutes, and while this is all happening the bishopric is trying to handle the situation. 5 minutes in, they start talking about what to do, bro smith asks if bishop wants him to get up and say something, bishop said that he will try a note. So he spent 2 minutes trying to find a piece of paper and he writes a note and gives it to her and she looks at it and says "I know I know, I dont want to take a second of your time, I will be done in a minute" so a couple more minutes go by and this whole time members of the ward have been getting up and going onto the stand trying to show her that others want to talk. But she kept going, so Brother Smith just turned off the mic and she wasn't even phased - she said "What happened? this thing broke, what is going on, how do we fix it (she was swatting it around) someone fix this... oh well, I WILL JUST TALK REALLY LOUD" So half the ward is on the stand and Brother Johnsons wife gets up and tries to tell her its time to be finished and thats when she went crazy! 4 or 5 people are dragging her off the stand and she is yelling about how she is contacting the 1st presidency and that the relief society has already asked her to stop coming and how she is going to get a restraining order.
Despite all of this craziness it was cool to see the ward just jump in and take control and help with the situation. As soon as they started to escort her out, one of the kids jumped up and put the organ player back on and we sang because I have been give much and I am a child of god to drown out all the things she was yelling at us. Everyone that was on the stand helped and after it was all over the bishop decided to cancel sunday school and have a normal testimony meeting. If nothing else was learned from the whole experience, I think everyone at least learned a little about the spirit and the feelings that accompany truth and testimony. As soon as the situation was over and people started to testify again the spirit flooded the room. It was crazy. All the missionaries had to do damage control for the 8 non members that were there and tell them that testimony meetings are not usually that way.
Other than that, the other exciting news for this week is that Diane Dickey (one of the ladies that I taught in 1st ward with sister Hirst) got baptized so we got to go to that. It was incredible to see her faith and to see how much she has grown. She finally gave up smoking and she was so excited to join the church. Her testimony was awesome, she just said ":I have spent my whole life looking for the right church, and now I have found it" Which is incredible because the first lesson we had with her she told us that she had been studying with the Jehovahs witnesses for 40 years and how the only thing that kept her from joining was that she was never ever ever going to give up smoking, but she did it for us because she felt the spirit and gained her testimony of the book of mormon. I was so happy!
Well, I think this letter is long enough-
I love you all so much and hope you have a great week~
Dont send any more mail to my current address, send anything to the mission home!