I've been getting questions about the weather here so I'll start with that. nothing too bad. No tornadoes, some hail but no damage. Lightning storm last night which was spectacular. Weather is really unpredictable but something everyone loves to predict. Don't worry, when a tornado comes you will know:)
Okay! I have 4 stories I'll just share:) I'll try and keep it brief too!
Wednesday we had zone conference. We took about 20 minutes with our stake president for him to tell us his vision for his stake. All the missionaries in his stake were there. Well our stake president is in our ward. We had a lesson at the hour prior, we have taught him and his wife, had dinner with them. We got to know them pretty well. I don't remember all the context of what he said to our zone but he said "We have great sister missionaries, they are intense!".....and then he said "Sister Pollard is really intense, but I had this other missionary years ago that was even more intense than her....." it just made me laugh so hard. I never thought of myself as intense.
On Thursday our investigators wanted to feed us!! They were so sweet and we have only had 1 lesson with them before that. But it was great! We got to know them a little better. Crazy sad thing is that dinner was too long. Sister Berry and I were planning splits that night to teach more lessons. so I had to bail out early with a member to teach a lesson, and Sister Berry stayed with our investigators with a member to finish dinner and a lesson.
In the meantime, I left with this great member, Sister McIntosh! She is incredible! We went to the Addiction Recovery Program Group and met up with a less active we have been working with. I'll call her Sarah even though that is not her real name. This was Sarah's first time to ARP and wants to overcome smoking and get back into the church. It was just us three and the ARP facilitators there, but Sarah felt loved and welcome and is now making the necessary steps to recovery. ARP was really cool too!! I really enjoyed it:) we are going back Thursday with her. I'd like to point out that ARP is not just for Addictions. Someone once told me that it is not the "Addiction Recovery Class" but rather the "Atonement Discovery Class."
Now yesterday, the beautiful Sabbath day. We are teaching this part member family. The son is an active member, his mom is not. So we are focused on her. We invited her to church but she said that she works. She is a caretaker for 2 mentally disabled adults, but she said, if her patients are behaving, she will bring them to church. We told her it would be just fine. The 2 women she cares for are between the ages of 50-60 but has the mentally capacity of a 3-5 year olds. One is verbal and very chatty the other is nonverbal and can be violent. We didn't know this, But we were eager for all three to come. Sister Berry was speaking on Sunday so she sat at the front row and I sat in the back saving a seat for our investigator and her patients. During the sacrament they came in and I was sooooo happy! I sat next to the verbal woman. She was well behaved and only spoke up a couple of times. it was funny, when a speaker got up she said "Good morning everyone!" and then the woman next to me yelled "Good morning!" haha it made me chuckle. Well the nonverbal one and our investigator sat on some chairs in the back. every now and then she would make a loud disturbing noise, but our investigator would just calm her down.
This was new to the members. but because of the knowledge that we have-EVERYONE is a beloved son/daughter of God-no one was rude or asked them to leave but just smiled and let them enjoy their time:) they left during the closing song, since the mentally disabled women would not do well with crowds. We talked to our investigator later that night. Told her that they are always welcomed back and the bishop would like to know if there is anything they can do as a ward to make them feel comfortable. She told us some things that are easy to do:) we invited her back and she said yes. I'm glad she wasn't embarrassed. But she did tell us, when she takes them to the park or the mall or Mcdonald's, people do tell her that "They (referring to the mentally challenged) don't belong here." and other rude comments like that. I believe that since the members at church were so understanding, she felt like that was a safe environment to bring them back to:)
I could go on about what all happened related to this, but I'll just say EVERYONE is a child of God. and we are ALL equal in His eyes. Let us continue to love one another with charity and have respect for the caretakers of the world. their job is not an easy one.
I love this gospel. I love My Savior. I love feasting upon His words. They are all true.