Monday, March 2, 2015

Clouds, Rain, and Wind

Suuuuper cold weather here. Y'know, for Arizona. Lots of wind and rain and clouds. Wind feels real good with short hair. :3

 It was a bit of a rough week for us. No one answered their doors, the members who usually come out with us couldn't, most of the people we were teaching either dropped us or fell off the face of the planet, we didn't get a single headquarters referral this week (we usually get like 2 a day). The whole time I've been in this area, it's been overwhelmingly busy, and now we're really struggling to fill our time meaningfully. It's a little discouraging, you don't really feel like a missionary when you're not talking with people. You feel like you don't have a purpose. And it was so sudden, it was like the shock you get when you jump into cold water.

 It was cool, though, after a long Saturday, with only an hour or so left of the day, we said a very earnest, heartfelt prayer that we'd be led to someone who needed us that night. There are thousands of souls in our huge area, surely there could be at least one we could help. Not having much to work with, we decided to look at a list we have of people who haven't been to church in a while. A name really jumped out at us, so we went to see her. When we drove up, there was a man just about to leave. He saw who we were and lit up, he was so excited to meet with us. Apparently he was this sister's husband, but she had just moved out in a very messy divorce. He had many medical problems and all sorts of financial hardships, his kids were leaving him too, just everything had been going wrong in his life. In fact, just minutes before we pulled up, his power had gone out because he just couldn't afford it. We were able to offer him a listening ear and we shared a lot of hope and encouragement.

 "I haven't been in church in a long time," he said, "and I probably still won't for a while. I just need to deal with some things my way, first. But you guys were definitely an answer to a prayer. It's funny how God sends people right at the moment you need them."

 It never ceases to amaze me how God answers prayers. Both our prayers. HOw cool is that?

 Some good news, even though it's been a super slow teaching week, the service opportunities suddenly exploded. We tried to go see a recent convert who hadn't been to church in a while, and a neighbor told us he had fallen and hurt himself and was in a home. We couldn't get the address to visit him. :C But, here in Phoenix, if your lwan gets too overgrown you get fined, and he probably didn't need that in his life right now. And his lawn was BAD. So after a couple of hours wrestling with weeds the size of bushes, we were able to get his yards looking good. We also met a man who was basically rebuilding his house, he bought it for just a little too cheap, haha. We didn't get to help out this week, because of the rain, but he's looking forward to having help this next week. And suddenly, everyone is moving.

 So in a place where almost no one will let you help out, being able to actually do some physical service has been a huge miracle and a lot of fun. But I really miss teaching people. That's my favorite.

 In other news, we're starting all over with the online teaching and implementing technology in missionary work. They keep going back and forth, if we're actually going to be able to be on Facebook after the 4th or I dunno. We actually have no clue what's happening. But there's going to be a massive training happening this Wednesday, so we'll see what happens. :)

 Thanks for all your prayers and support!! As slow as it's been, I still love being here and I still love missionarying. It's the best!! God truly is a God of miracles, and He works in mysterious ways. :) I love you all!! God bless!

 -Sister Stratford

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