Monday, August 29, 2016

Peanut Butter and Brass Knuckles

Hi Family and Friends!!

Hey guess what?!!

STAYING IN BYSA FOR ANOTHER TRANSFER WOOOOOO!!!!! I am so excited! My new companion will be Sister Botchway.

We've been working hard all week. Sister Tripple has that somewhat lengthy list of things to do before she goes home; we've been busy to say the least.

One of the things I like best about being busy is that it means that we get to ride public transportation a lot!! It probably sounds weird, but I love public transportation. There are so many wonderful people to talk to!

Last Wednesday, while we were on the bus, we met this awesome lady! Her name is Andrea. She's Catholic by background, and her husband just left her and her seven-year-old son. My heart was really sad to hear that story. We were talking and she expressed how helpless she's feeling. She said, "I've done everything right. I got a college degree, I got married, I stayed faithful and tried to make things work, but now he's left me and I can't find a job, I feel so helpless and frustrated. What did I do wrong?"

I was familiar with part of that feeling, the 'what did I do wrong' part. I struggle with thinking I have to be perfect and sometimes clinging to unrealistic expectations for myself. As I watched her earnest eyes start to tear up, my heart went out to her; I asked if I could share a scripture that helped me through some of my hardest times. She graciously agreed, so I flipped open my worn scriptures to this passage:

"And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:26-27, page 510 in The Book of Mormon)

I testified to her that this is true, and that God truly does support us in our weakness. Her countenance changed, the worry lines around her eyes and on her forehead softened. It warmed me so much to see that one of my favorite scriptures had boosted her above her desolation of despair. I can only imagine what she must be feeling with all that's going on in her life right now. 

We asked if she would come to church with us, she said yes if she could bring her son along. She almost laughed with relief when I explained that the family congregation that she would be attending is very friendly to children of all ages. My bus stop approached. I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and the phone number of the Sister Missionaries who work with the family congregation (I work with the young single adult congregation). 

I turned back after I got off the bus. My last sight of her was her holding the book with great respect and contemplation written on her face, seeming to be wondering if it was as precious as I had told her it was. I keep flashing back to that image over and over again in my mind. You have no idea yet, Andrea, but you'll know soon. The words in that book will make you rich in happiness and resplendent in an everlasting peace. Just keep reading.

Wanna hear about our adventure this week?!

Church has never been so interesting as it is every week in the Baltimore YSA ward.

As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, we didn't have any investigators planning to come to church. Just four hours later we found ourselves in a much different situation:

- A local gang member got in touch with the Elders and asked if they were the LDS missionaries. They said yes. He asked if so-and-so was a member of the congregation. They said yes, and asked why. The guy said - good, I have some unfinished business, and stated his intention to come to church. The missionaries asked the guy who he was. He identified himself as an old friend of so-and-so and a member of this local gang. And then he stopped replying to their texts.

- We heard from an investigator who we know carries a concealed weapon at all times. He had decided to come to church.

- Another investigator, who is a college athlete, let us know he would be coming with his NCAA-approved security.

- A "back to school" themed munch and mingle was scheduled for after church. We learned there would be a peanut butter and jelly cake.

- Then we realized - we weren't sure if any of our investigators had a peanut allergy.

Do you see the problem here?

Three people planning on coming to church. With guns. One of them possibly planning to kill a member of the congregation. All of them possibly with a peanut allergy.


I must say, I never have considered the possibility of having three armed investigators attend sacrament meeting until Saturday night. That would definitely be a first!

Sunday morning rolls around. We got to church, and Elder Peery was joking around and asked Sister Tripple if she might need some pink brass knuckles. She said she was okay and suggested that he give them to me instead! Elder Peery said, and I quote, "No, that would be like giving a bunny rabbit a hand grenade." That made me laugh. A lot. He didn't know that I heard XD

Sacrament meeting was uneventful; no one who said they were coming to church actually came! Disappointing, but also a relief. 

Near the end of second hour, we got a text from our college athlete buddy saying that he and his security were both here. We went and found them, welcoming them into their final class! I was super relieved; the athlete had been joking about NCAA approved security, he had just brought one of his friends with him. Phwew!

Now, I know that you're all wondering. Did the gangster come to church? And, perhaps more importantly, did he have a peanut allergy?

I am pleased to report that neither gangsters nor severe peanut allergies appeared at church! And the cake was delicious. :)

Prayers truly are answered!

I love you all dearly, and if any of you are wanting a copy of my favorite book, you can get a free copy here:

Have a lovely week, my people! Much love (:

-Your Sister, Naomi Rapier

Sister Tripple's last week

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