Hey everybody, Happy belated 4th of July! Hope everyone's weekend went well. :) We had a good 4th. During the day, it was a bit of a downer because proselyting is really hard on a holiday when everyone wants to be left alone to their BBQing and family activities, and on top of that it was raining on and off...but the night was really great! We got together with other missionaries, friends, and a few YSA members, and hung out for a bit until the fireworks started. It was really awesome to celebrate Independence day in good ole Alabama. We also got transfer calls that night, and I found out that I'm leaving Tuscaloosa. This Wednesday we'll drive to Birmingham for Transfer Meeting, and I'll find out my new area and companion. It's so weird to think about being in a new area, but I'm ready.
We had a tender experience the other day. We were making the 45 minute (on foot) journey from a park back to our apartment, and on the way back we decided to stop at little family-owned "Bama" store, that sells UA stuff and other clothing/jewelry. We were just looking around, and Sister Hall decided to buy a watch. The lady at the counter saw that we were missionaries and she told Sister hall that her watch was free, and then told me that I could pick something out too. I picked out a cute bracelet with a cross. Then we asked them if they knew anyone that could use a prayer. One of the workers, who was an older lady, told us that she could use a prayer and to pray for her health and her son. So we prayed with her. After the prayer, the workers in the store seemed to get teary-eyed and told us to keep up the good work, and thanked us for what we are doing as missionaries. Even a customer who was shopping there thanked us. We left feeling blessed at such a sweet moment, being edified by each other, understanding that even though we were of different faiths that we're all on the same team.
A similar thing happened a few days earlier: while out tracting we met this awesome Catholic lady who was not interested in having us teach her, but gave us an abundance of fresh veggies hand-picked from her beautiful garden. Blessed!
I thought I'd mention a little bit about our experience with prayer, and how the Southerners do it. For us as missionaries, it's perfectly normal to meet someone on the side of the street, at the park, or in the frozen aisle in Walmart and say a prayer with them. It might be awkward, but you just have to push past those limits of what's socially acceptable. :) Usually it will come about by us asking someone if they know anyone that could use a prayer, or maybe if we're talking about something Gospel-related. It's really awesome to be able to come together with strangers and pray. I can't count how many 1-2 minute prayers I've had with complete strangers that I may or may not ever see again. Southerners have a very interesting way of praying (not that it's bad, it's just different from what I've known!) Some pray holding hands with each other in a circle. They are also very vocal during prayer. While one person is saying the prayer, others will quietly whisper, "Yes", "Thank you Jesus", etc. At first it was really distracting for me to say a prayer and have people do that, but I've gotten used to it. I like the fact that I know they're listening to what I'm saying, by their agreement of or comment on the content.
Well, next time I talk to y'all I'll be in a new city! Hope everyone's week goes well :)
Talk to you soon,
|The veggies that a nice lady gave us!|
|I calcluated the distance from here to home on my GPS!|