So we had some unsuccessful evenings, some days where it was hard to focus (Christmas), and then a tornado. It was funny because Friday and Saturday were really warm. We didn't need tights or jackets or anything. As we were biking around on Saturday, it was super windy and humid. We talked about how it looked like a storm, but probably nothing would happen. We even talked about how there was a cold front coming in, "and doesn't a cold front hitting a hot front cause a tornado?" "Yeah, but it probably won't happen."
We happened to be at home when everything happened. The member who was making us dinner that night was busy, so we just stopped by and took it home. Between eating dinner and waiting for a ride to our appointment, the storm started and the tornado sirens went off. We stood out on the porch and watched all the rain and lightning. We even saw green lightning! It was so intense. None of the damage is in our area, so unfortunately we probably won't be assigned to help clean up.
So, a story about actual missionary work. Last week I wrote about our friend Suzi, who helped us gain some respect from hooligans when we were in McDonald's. Last Sunday, she came up to us in church and said "Hey, ima have a Family Home Evening tomorrow. Wanna come?" And we were like sure "Sure! Are you teaching the lesson?" And she said yes. So we went to her house Monday evening. We were expecting Suzi, her mom, and her little brother to be there, and maybe even their older brother. You know, a family thing. Instead, it was Suzi, her brother's girlfriend, and a friend from school. Suzi shared a lesson about the importance of faith and family. It was hard because you could tell that all of them struggled with the idea of familial support. They don't even know what it looks like. Suzi said "Family is important because those are the people that are always there for you...even when sometimes you don't want some of them to be. And they don't let you down. I mean, they usually don't....Well,...they try not to....Mostly."
It was strange being there with them. We had some funny moments, but deep down it was sad. It was like being with a group of refugees. All you want to do is take them under your wing and protect them from the horrors of their everyday life. Their past is ugly and their present and future are uncertain. Generally speaking, any adults that they should be able to go to for help are in so deep in their own problems that they have stopped caring altogether. Hopefully they have a place to sleep tonight. Hopefully things get better in a few years. But when you are under 15 years old, on probation, have never met your biological father, take your pain out on your own body, and spend all your time looking for your next boyfriend in hopes of finding some affection, "better" is a relative term. I mean, at least you are getting over your heroine addiction, right? Sometimes, I just cry.
Often, the only solution we can offer is to pray and have faith. It would be a pretty pathetic answer if it didn't really work. I know that when we understand our true identity, purpose, and destiny, we can do miracles with our lives. God can do miracles with our lives. I know it doesn't look like much to a lot of people, but I know that our message changes lives. Take it or leave it, we are just here to share.
Have a good week!