Okay, so this week was pretty good! We were able to do a lot of service Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!
We had a lot of fun, because a member called us and asked what we were doing Tuesday morning, and told us he would be buy to pick us up for a little while to help him. Well, "helping him" was his way of saying "Lowes is having a free lunch today, and I am talking y'all" it was awesome :) He knew pretty much all the people there, and introduced us to everyone that he could, plus we got as much free pulled pork bbq as we could eat! We enjoyed it a lot :) Afterwards, he took us home and we changed into service clothes and went with him to go do a remodeling job in the home of a non-member. We would spend the next 2 days tearing everything out of a kitchen and bathroom, taking a sledge hammer to the walls and tile, and hauling everything out to a dumpster. There were only a few minor upsets while working, like Brother R falling through the floor while trying to lift a piece of tile...he put a decent sized cut into his arm, but had no clue it was there until Elder Taylor pointed it out to him. He was only upset that he had to go get stitches because he hated not being able to work. He’s a tough man.
***WARNING! Gory photo!***
During a slower lull while working, we got to sit down with Miss Daily, who's house we were working on, and teach her a little bit about the gospel. That was very fun, but was a difficult lesson.. but we made it through, and with some good inspired questions. We helped her feel involved and it seemed like she understood what we had taught her. We were there the second day as well, but that was more of a floor laying day, so we just prepped everything for the press board that would be laid down. We still had a blast though, and I was actually a little sore the next day, which makes me happy :) I love being able to actually work with my hands and sweat for a little while. It is the satisfying feeling that comes from seeing your efforts bring a result immediately. We also got to do some service for a less active and the Elders serving in Elgin on Thursday. We took down some tree limbs that were hanging over their home and they were afraid that the next wind would bring them down. I had so much fun :) There was a small threat of rain in the weather that day, but it was hot and sunny when we started. Maybe an hour into the project, it started to thunder really loud and close, and lightning was everywhere! It struck a tree in front of the Lugoff Elder's home, about 1 mile from us, and it was loud! Within about 10 minutes it was pouring down rain, and all of us were soaked. Hah we all loved it, and we will be going back this next week to finish what we had started.
We had our ZTM on Friday, and we had interviews with President! He and I talked for a good bit about everything and anything that needed talked about. I came out feeling loved, and cared for. When I was through meeting with him, back to the meeting I went...haha Maybe it was just me, and how I don't do a very good job of holding still because you can't bounce and play while in a meeting...I wasn't made for meetings.
We had a great day Saturday too! Elder Taylor and I biked hard Saturday morning! We went down a couple miles away from Camden, and went to the farmers market that one of our members was working. We got some yummy peaches and cherry tomatoes (that didn't make it back to our bikes) and we biked up to go do our mormon.org time, and go visit some people. We had a few great lessons that day and got to work hard for a while :) It was just a good morning! Things slowed down a little bit after that, my ankle was hurting pretty bad and our scheduled appointment had canceled with us.
I have been trying to figure out what to do about my ankle, and going back and forth with our mission nurse about it....but hopefully everything will get sorted out this week. I should be able to get in and see a doctor at some point.
Sunday..highlight of my entire week :) As it should be. I have learned what it means to make the Sabbath a delight, and that is exactly the case yesterday. We switched times with the Elgin ward, who meets in our building at 9am, because they had their ward conference yesterday, and in the south you have a linger-longer pot-luck after a meeting like that. We had meetings before church, so we had to be up and ready by about 7 am so we could be there. It was also "seminary Sunday" which meant that since it was nearing the end of the school year, all the seminary students participated in some way in the program. Everything went so well :) Before their talks had even started, I was able to experience one of the most spiritual sacrament portions of any meeting ever on my mission...it may have had something to do with a 12 year old autistic boy who has become a good buddy of mine, who was serving the sacrament for the first time :) I don't know what else it was, but it put me, and a few other people, in tears when the spirit filled that room. It didn't leave either! One by one, the graduating/older group of youth got up and bore short testimonies about what they believed and what they loved, as well as how attending seminary helps them stand against the world, and start each and every day off right. :) After a few testimonies, one young woman who was graduating got up and gave an amazing talk about Seminary, and about how the Mormons at her school had their own table where they would all sit, and support one another, where other kids were maybe participating in things that weren't appropriate. She also talked about how standing up for what you believe is really a powerful tool against the adversary, and how hard he will try to keep you from doing just that. By the end, a lot of people had shed tears, including one of our investigators who had come to church. It just got better from that point on. :) As soon as church was over, we met with another investigator and taught the lesson on "Keeping the commandments" and committed him to a couple different things that will help him to continue progressing towards baptism. When we had finished there, we went over to our ward mission leader’s home for lunch and a lesson with another of our investigators who would be getting baptized on the 4th. I know I have mentioned it in my other emails, but we will be having at least 2 baptisms on the 4th, and if the Elders in the Lugoff area end up having theirs, we will have 4 that day! So awesome :) Should be a great day!
We finished our day with a fireside where the missionaries get to spend about 10 or so minutes on whatever they had prepared. The sisters focused on the importance of listening to and obeying a Prophet's counsel, and we taught about standing up for what you believe in. We read about Abinadi, and how he stood alone, but when he stood alone, the savior was with him. We showed the video "Dare to stand alone" by President Monson, and closed with Testimony. Such a great night :)
Okay, that pretty much sums up my week, I don't think I am forgetting anything, but if I am, I will do my very best to send it later.
We are in Columbia for our p-day so we can see a few places for Elder Taylor's Birthday which is tomorrow, and we will be getting to go have a birthday dinner at Bro R's tomorrow night :)
-Elder Joel "Sunshine" Barker!
My black eye I got while doing construction.