It's been a pretty good week over all. We still haven't really found anyone new to teach, but we've been visiting a lot of less actives and part member families.
The highlight of our week is going to visit with Miss P. A returning member who came to our church for the first time this last Sunday and sat with us. She's one of the most hilarious people I've ever met. She lives in a temporary home made in 1925 that has no air conditioning and just recently got running water. She's the most positive person I've ever met, yet she's had such a tough life! All of her family has died, and the biggest reason that she stopped going to Church was because the families looked so happy and she didn't have that. We've been focusing a lot on the Plan of Salvation with her a lot. The last time we were over we finally got to the end and then we wanted to talk a little on Temples. She was really hesitant, but once we asked why, we were able to clear up her concern that it's not just for families that are alive (which is what she thought) but that you can perform work for the dead. Once Sister Atkinson mentioned baptisms for the dead, Miss P broke down crying, saying that she wants that for her parents and her siblings who have all died. It was super spiritual! She's one of my favorite people ever. She's got a duck that thinks it's a cat, a horse that thinks it's a dog, and some really not very smart dogs that are so funny to watch. I really hope she continues to take the lessons and make a goal to get to the temple.
Friday we decided to go on a car fast. I don't know if it was the best decision. After Weekly Planning we walked to our dinner appointment. We didn't see anybody. No one is outside in 98 degree weather with 100 percent humidity apparently. You just have to love that Florida sun. Everything is so bright.
Saturday we had a Stake Activity Picnic thing that we got to go to. Maggie went and a person who is technically a gator went too. I love free food! We talked a lot, walked around in the mud a lot, and ate some good food. After the activity we went to Newberry. In Gainesville, they spray a lot for mosquitoes, but they don't do that in Newberry. We were outside the car for three minutes talking to this lady and had to run back to the car. In three minutes, my calves got 20-30 mosquito bites each. After we ran back to the car and sprayed, we didn't have a problem. I've woken up the last two nights scratching. I'm pretty good at resisting the urge during the daytime though. Saturday night, we dropped by a LA/PM home and they let us in right then even though they had family there from out of town! I got to talk to Munro Gaultney from Charlotte, NC who is a Baptist Minister. We talked a lot about Chiasmas in the Bible, and I showed him Alma 36 in the Book of Mormon. He wanted to read it so I gave him a copy! It was a really cool conversation. Every now and then I have the urge to change my major from Biology Education to Religion or something (I won't do that, but maybe I'll get another degree after I graduate or something). Somitic Complexities in the Bible are so fascinating, and finding them in the Book of Mormon is exciting! Sister Atkinson really hit it off with the LA lady. It turns out they are from the exact same place in Washington! Bellingham! It was a really great visit, and they gave us some really delicious cherries before we headed out.
Sunday was full of blessings! Before we headed off to Church, we had a feeling to call Miss P. We did. She was looking for our number on her phone as she was pulled over to the side of the road, because she was lost and couldn't find her way to the Church. Miracle! We got to Church and a High Councilman spoke on tithing and fasting. Both Pam and Maggie loved it. Miracle! That investigator who came to the activity the day before came to Church without us knowing it. Miracle! Relief Society started out really good, but degraded into a conversation about women in the military. A little off topic. Miss P noticed that too, but she still had a good time. Miracle! Miss P ran out of gas on the way home, but Bishop had a red can of it ready in a heartbeat. Miracle! We had the first lesson with Maggie's parents and they are officially Gators. Miracle! Maggie accepted to speak this next Sunday about Baptism in Sacrament meeting and she's already got an outline that's 10 minutes long. Miracle!
~Sister Jen from the Jacksonville, Florida Mission