Monday, July 29, 2013

You Be Drugged Up, Missing or DEAD!!

Halla Familia,
So everything has been pretty good. I just read Cindy's email and it kinda reminds me of our situation! Our ward is pretty good but these past Sundays there has been probably 30-50 people coming. What we were told about our ward when we first got into the area was that there was around 100 people in our ward and the building was bursting at the seams. Wellllllll.... I guess you could say it is bursting at the seams of a very small shirt. The church is Tiny! The church was just built about 2 or 3 years ago because it finally went from a Branch to a Ward. yup... Tiny.
We had high expectations from the Elders about the area. Sis Richards and I were Doubled in and were told that the ward was excited to help us and to see us and where all fired up about the Broadcast a few weeks ago. Well... They were excited to have sisters in the area, but as for being the chosen people that were all fired up to help us is lacking a little. It's hard to determine now because they say that everyone is out on vacation and won't be back till school starts, but I don't know. It was also frustrating because of the organization. This is a new area for us that the Elders have been working in for a while, but the problem is they kept no paperwork. There was so much work going on that they slacked off on the paperwork. It is understandable, the work here is booming. We have had about 30 referrals to start off with and tons to do, but we have nothing on the previous investigators. How much they know, what the Elders have already taught and all that fun stuff. We also don't have any tracting records - which is kinda important cause your not supposed to tract the same place within 6 months of each other. So yeah. Lots of Work, No organization, It has been a stressful 2 weeks of trying to get things thrown together, we also had to divide our area from the Elders. They wanted to keep meeting with people here in Wheelersburg but they live in Portsmouth (pronounced Portsmith). Sis Richards was worried because she doesn't want us stepping on each others toes. So we sat down with the Elders - Elder Williams (who is the District Leader) and Elder Carter (he was my MTC District Leader, so I know him!). we got a map and divided the area and said that we would only go into the other persons area if it was needed and the investigator would not meet unless it was specifically the Sisters or Elders. Things have been pretty crazy.
Enough about all of that stress. It has been pretty good. Ohio is green but it is not as green as West Virginia. and as Sis Richards tells me West Virginia is not as green as Virginia where she was before this transfer. So I guess Ohio is the less green of all the areas, but compared to Utah it's still a tropical forest. The people here are nice, Southern Hospitality/ Appalachian Hospitality/ They are just nice. but they are not very sincere.
So you are probably wondering why I put You be Drugged up, Missing, or Dead!!! as the header to this Email, so here is the explanation. There is an apartment complex next to where we live called Dogwood Ridge Apt. and there are some pretty interesting people who live there. Most of our potential investigators live there. On the first day that we went over to meet and talk with the people we ran into Rhonda. Rhonda is an interesting lady. she has a daughter named Brionna, and a son Jake. She hates drugs and people who do drugs, but she smokes. and we were talking to her and just getting to know her and she told us "now you girls don't go to Portsmouth. It's a bad place. Lots of bad things happen to those bad people. There are drugs and evil people. You stay here this is a good place. cause if you go to Portsmouth you be Drugged up, Missing, or Dead! uh huh. definitely" in our minds we were like Rhonda is crazy, and she is a little bit. Everyone in Dogwood is Crazy a little bit. So after we talked with Rhonda we went and talked to her friend Summer, and do you know what? She said the same thing! so after a while of meeting people we got the same thing from everyone, and they still tell us to stay away from Portsmouth at least not to go preaching to the people here. Most of our investigators ask us what brought us to such a low place and to such a bad people and why would live here. and I can't help to think Why do you live here if it's such a terrible place? yeah people are interesting here.
Another funny thing that is similar to Cindy in Kansas are the people both in the church and out of it. They will peak through their windows, or you can hear their TV's or you can hear them talking. and they Won't open the door. But some people open the door and just say now is not a good time or I'm not feeling good come back later, or we are not interested in buying anything. It's pretty great. Oh and another thing that is similar everybody Smokes!! so if I permanently smell like smoke it's not my fault. I might die of second hand smoke or something but all is good all is good. Another thing, Everyone here believes in Jesus! which is great but super difficult at the same time. They all have their own churches that they go to and they are pretty firm on the religion that they have at the moment. My favorite is when we go tracting (smiley face): *Knock on door and they open it* "Hello! how are you! We are Sister missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are...(we say a few different things)... would you like to know more?" "I'm Baptist/Catholic/First Church/ Etc" "Oh that's great"... and my favorite reply "My Fathers a Preacher, we has his own channel on channel 2 and he has a congregation of two thousand souls, and I am not interested in what you have to say but you can tune into channel 2 and find out more about my church, Goodbye" *Door Closes, sighs, laughs, other expressions* We don't watch TV. Tracting is not our favorite to do but we had to do it a few times this past week because we had no appointments and still were waiting on paperwork from the Elders. Tracting is not very fruitful.
There are several amazing families here though that we have had the opportunity to teach and meet. For example the Bradley's - I'm not really sure whose last name it is because they aren't married but we just call them the Bradley's. It's Ronda (she was converted at 16 but then didn't ever go to church or anything, so she was baptized and forgotten), Shawn (the 'Dad'), and Caleb (the 'Son'). Shawn and Caleb are not baptized and are looking into the Church. Ronda and Shawn both smoke, but Shawn is trying to quit and he is trying to get over several other things as well Ronda said she would quit as soon as Shawn did, because they both get super cranky and mean when they try and quit. Sister Richards and I had the opportunity to go over with the Elders and watch them receive blessings. The Spirit was so strong that there were many strong words told to them. They are a great family that is trying very hard to stay together. They are hoping to get married in November and then get baptized after that. So they have a long time before anything happens with them, but they are trying hard.
I am trying to stay patient, diligent, and hard working. There is much to do, but it is all about finding the Elect people. We had the opportunity to talk to President Pitt and we told him that it was hard because our church is 30 minutes from where we live and a lot of people don't have cars and there aren't enough people here to give rides to those who wish to come, and Sister Pitt said, Jokingly, "The Elect People will have cars". so Everywhere we go, we say to each other "do they have a car? oh they do! maybe their Elect!" haha well I love you all and I pray for you. Be good, brush your teeth, eat healthy food, read your scriptures and pray. Oh and a challenge for you: Pray/ think of someone that you could teach the gospel to that doesn't have the gospel, or could be stronger and either teach them or refer them to the missionaries!
Love You All
Sister Karen Call

The Bugs here are HUGE!
  It was a sudden storm and Raining like crazy! We got Soaked running from the library to the Car which was like 50 feet
 Sister Richards and I at Wal-mart taking a picture for our Zone Leaders
 The Fog here is Crazy!! I'll have to take a picture in the morning! You can't see across the street!

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