Lovely Ladies

Lovely Ladies

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Erin Letter 9.22.2013

It's been crazy. President Harding says once we give our all, we won't miss our family or want to go home....but I guess that doesn't work with me because I'm giving everything I have and I still am having a hard time. The days feel like months and it's super difficult. Dragging and dragging on. Sister Hixon's mom sent me a necklace from Africa in the mail and it's so cool! She owns her own business. I went to the hospital for my rash because I swell so bad it's hard to swallow and breathe sometimes. My face looks like a chubby cherry. The doctor has absolutely no clue what causing this so he put me on steroids and heavy duty allergy meds. If it's not healing by next week, I have to go get shots. I'm not running a fever, but my skin is hot, it's burning off my ear skin and my ears are hugely swollen and hot. A lady in our ward gave me her cute coral and grey scarf and she bought all us four sisters each a $42 lagoon blue scarf!! People here have money to burn!! The people's apartment right above mine had their sewage pipe burst so we came home to a poop filled kitchen. It oozed through our ceiling and pee water was like a waterfall from our cupboards. I now have no food because even if it's sealed, once you see a clump of poop on your jar of pickles, you don't really want to eat it anymore. I've been surviving off of Walmart's hot chicken sandwiches. I think my bad luck is gonna be like BYU-I all over again. We had a bunch of maintenance guys come fix it and I wish I took pictures. Next time I will. Sister Hixon turned 21 so sisters Eley, Aldous, and I woke up at 5:50 and made her favorite breakfast burrito with candles and balloons. It wasn't fancy, but we did good. Some poor kids left their happy meals on a cart outside of Walmart and they were there still even after 30 mins. It was Perfect: 2 hot happy meals for free for 2 starving missionaries! I soooo would have taken them but I didn't want to give a bad name for the church because I literally have Christ's name pinned to my chest. Jeez, I don't know if I became a slightly better person or if I'm losing my personal character. I left them there! :-( We were talking to a family about our Thanksgiving family traditions and they found out that I make the yams every year and the mom was like: 'Gir, ima getyu su gredients an 'yu gun make suma yi yams on wedzday! 'aight?' (translation: 'Girl, I'm going to get you some ingredients and you're gonna make some of your yams on Wednesday. All right?") I don't even know how I got into this situation but, I'll do my best! I don't have a recipe or anything so whish me luck. We had 2 investigators come to church for our stake conference and they both loved it. I can see them getting baptized. James: old, and Brandon 19. After church James hugged us which was awkward because we're not suppose to hug. But then the Bishop saw us and he came to greet us naturally with a hug. Mid-air, with arms wide open, he caught himself and got embarrassed. I thought it was funny. Nahum, the 4 year old was playing outside when we were tracting his street and he came along with us to every house and was a little missionary. I stepped on a grub this big (puffed cheeto size)then it looked like this (her drawn picture is gross!) It felt like stripping on a small water balloon full of fruit chunky Jello. Nice image huh? My name is quickly spreading around the ward. I have a line of people waiting to talk to me every week at church. I'm telling you...I'm famous. I feel bad though because everybody knows SISTER ECHOLS but I hardly know anyone else's names. But I still put on a friendly face for them. I got a priesthood blessing from Elders Hansen and Laws(our district leaders)and my appendix wounds do not hurt any more and my rash is starting to go away! The priesthood really works!! Our district here in the Peach Tree City are CRUSHING records. 9 baptisms on Saturday and all 9 are black. We had 11 investigators come to stake conference. Wow!! At Zone Conf. everyone was telling their districts to be like us. I had a dream one night that I was swallowing poison so my eyes started bleeding. I woke up startled and my face was soaked. I had in my hands an orange with a huge bite mark in it. I had taken a ginormous bite through the peel of the orange and it was so bad (you know the flavor of the peel...?) that my eyes would not stop crying. I don't know how I got the orange in the first place. Either I fell asleep with it or I got up and got it some time in the night. :-) It's a good thing I'm not allergic to dogs anymore because I have not met a single person who doesn't have at least one dog. They all have about 2-7 dogs is the average. Even the old people have dogs. Bro. Leavitt, who is our ward mission leader has a dog like in the 'Sandlot', and he has to be at least 300 pounds. He's so big, even I could ride him. I'll get a photo. I'm always covered in hair and my legs are always scratched up from peoples' dogs jumping all over you. Some dogs are extremely vicious and will full-on attack you if you get too close or if you look at them too long. I've had a couple instances where I punch or kick the dog in front of it's neighbor and that makes the person furious. But I'd rather have all my flesh still attached to my bones, so I defend myself. I heard about DC. 12 people? wow. It's certainly the last days. I wondered why all the flags were at half-mast and when we were tracting, there was a man who welcomed our prayer and had us pray for DC. We didn't know why so we asked him what happened. He was totally shocked and asked us if we lived under a rock....basically. We're so isolated it's crazy. I have absolutely no clue what's happening outside of PTC (Peach Tree City). 2nd Letter.... My testimony is really strong. As people lecture me and try to shove false doctrine (mostly about the trinity) down my throat, my faith in this gospel stands strong. I have no doubt about this church. Every belief and every principle/subject is truly the gospel of God. This Saturday we are having 9 baptisms and 6 of those are my investigators. We have 2 more next week and 3 more so far next month )and that's just the people I've taught: imagine all the other 250 Atlanta missionaries). Annie and her kids have asked President Harding to baptize them. How exciting!! They wanted me to do it but then we explained the priesthood to them, so they picked President H. "If there's no wind...row". "Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to ride the wave". We got lost in Atlanta for about 5 hours when we went to the temple on Thursday. We drove around and around trying to get out but we got caught in some major rush-hour traffic. We were at a stand still so I taught pedestrians the gospel. I was literally hanging out the window giving people pass along cards. I taught some very spiritual lessons and the 3 other sisters were amazed at how bold I was. There I was, teaching an old cooky man about Jesus Christ an I was showing him a picture when this big black woman came into my business and started lecturing me on the picture. 'That's not Jesus!! Nobody knows what Jesus look like!! Nobody aint ever seen him!!" I asked her if he did what the Bible said he did. And ...she believed that he did perform miracles. I informed her that by performing miracles and by doing the things he did, he had thousands and thousands of witnesses who SAW him. She was kind of shocked at my comeback. She then asked, "Who's your Preacher?" --My reply was, "God. I came straight from the source Himself".--she literally stumbled backward...I don't think she expected that kind of answer. :-)

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