Howdy Ya'll! How yous doin?!!
Ha I swear there are just some people out there that make ya laugh.
We've met a few (and I'm sure it's worse in other areas) who add an
"s" onto just about every other word. I was bummed when I got to AC
and south jersey to find that no one there really had that very
distinct "joisey" accent. I'm pretty sure that's the north end of the
state. But the further south you get into Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, (which in case you didn't know..makes up the "Delmarva"
penninsula...shout out to good ol' Mr. Kelly Hoover for an outstanding
geography class where i learned more about Britney Spears and
houseboats than where Africa is in a map). Anyways, I think I'm
technically below the Mason Dixie line which marks the "South" but who
We had many miracles and some funny stories and just a whole bunch a
hooplah. And when the going gets tough or a much anticipated appt
falls through, I just tell Elder Tryon to "Just keep tryin'!" "Hardee
har har, never heard that one before," he'll respond. We have one of
the nicest apartments in the mission right now and boy is it nice to
be back in a unit with central air! No one out here has central air
except for some apartments! And a car. I felt even more this week that
I am needed here in Salisbury. Even when we knock on the door of a
neighbor of one of our potentials. This middle aged lady with long
hair and glasses comes to the glass door right after we heard one of
the 4 or 5 kids screaming inside, sees us, and rolls her eyes as she
opens the door with a kid in hand. As soon as she opened the door she
started teaching or testifying or declaring, whatever you want to call
it, "Jesus is the Son of God, He died on the cross for my sins. I know
I can be cleansed through His blood if I believe in Him and repent. I
have faith in God, thank you have a good day." Literally all in one
"Exactly! That's what we believe!"
"Okay...that's great have a nice day." She impatiently responded.
Right as she was closing the door I kind stuck my foot in the door and
asked, "Do you know who we are?"
"Jimmer Fredette is my cousin, yes you're Latter-day Saints." Then the
Elder Tryon and I looked at each other and began laughing
hysterically, not really knowing what had just happened. Ha it was so
funny she was just so rude about it all which made it a laughing
matter. We did absolutely nothing to make her mad, but hey. Hope she
finds the gospel some day! I'm tempted to put her in the area book
just as "Jimmer Fredette's cousin."
Nutty or not?... Diatra is her name. She lives on a ranch with several
horses and 40 acres of land (ain't gonna find that in AC!) She's got a
sweet pure grin, missing a few teeth. White hair like Einstien's
sister, and glasses. But I swear his woman has a heart of pure gold.
You can just see her spirit, radiating with the love and knowledge of
God. Such a sweet spirit. She had a stroke a while back so her speech
is impaired and lots of her words are slurred so she can be hard to
understand. But in our lesson sitting on her outdoor furniture looking
at the horses and what not, she would ask a question and he follow up
after the answer with "Ok good! I didn't want y'all to think i was a
dummie or somein'!" Diatra showed up to church yesterday with her
friend named Pat. They were just beaming, so happy to be there and
Diatra is already doing member missionary work. Both were wonderfully
welcomed and fellowshipped by members...yes we have more than 5 active
members here...ha too soon.
I went on exchanges with zone leader Elder Hansen and we taught our
Haitian investigator Mary Cadet. Get this, she speaks Haitian Creole,
reads French, understands some Spanish, and can sort of set appts in
English....Seriously don't even know what language of Book of Mormon
to give her. No, she reads Creole too, but we have only one Creole
speaking family in the ward...who just happens to be busy with their
lives and triplets. So we take Spanish speakers and somehow manage to
manage. Thank heavens for my AC experience, I learned a lot more
Spanish there, by no means am I fluent but I am able to be guided by
the Spirit and contribute to the lesson with the member. I love
languages!! I love Mary too. She was given a Book of Mormon by Elder
Tryon's last companion, Elder Barker in another area in DE. Then Elder
Barker a year or so later finished his mission down here in Salisbury
and heard a lady yelling out of a window at them. A few minutes later
she showed him the very same Book of Mormon. God moves in mysterious
but miraculous ways.
She was asked in Spanish if the she believes the Book of Mormon, the
member translating back said, "She doesn't believe the Book of Mormon
is true. She knows it's true." On a scale of 1 to prepared, she is up
there. She has such a sincere desire to get baptized and to continue
in the faith. She is living with her boyfriend and almost breaks down
in tears every time we bring up baptism because she knows they need to
get married before she or he can get baptized. But we promised her
that if she continued in faith, we would find out a way to get them
married, whether it be the Bishop or what not. Her boyfriend Sylvio is
this huge Haitian guy, like 6' 6" or something, he's a big daddy. But
the two of them came to church yesterday and the week before with her
3 grandkids who are young, but better behaved than half the Mormon
rascals runnin' around like chickens with their heads cut off. I hope
to see their baptisms, such wonderful people..kinda living in the
hood, but we can work with that. Nothing new at this point haha.
Safety for The Soul
I was thinking the other day, if Mormon or Moroni were to compile or
abridge my weekly emails by the end of my mission, the end result
would probably give the BOM a run for it's money in length. Lo Siento!
But I don't know if I've mentioned Barry and Frances yet. The
Whealton's. Part of the reason, I feel, I'm here in Salisbury. Never
before have I had investigators who have scrutinized, questioned, at
times doubted, as much as they have. I got into the area and they had
already been taught everything, been meeting with missionaries for
about 4 months.
For example, on Thursday we taught them, had in mind to talk about the
Book of Mormon and how it works with the Bible to teach us of Jesus
Christ and how to come unto Him. Barry was disputing the whole time
saying that there is no tangible evidence that there were horses or
chickens here in the Americas or that any of the Book of Mormon
happened. He thinks Joseph Smith made it up. He's listened to the
whole thing on cd about 3 times, so I asked simply, "How do you feel
about the Book of Mormon, Barry?"
"I don't believe it. I know that sounds harsh to you, but I really
just couldn't believe that a book like that is the word of God." I
respected his opinion, but felt like I had been stabbed in the heart.
Frances is a sweet lady and will often roll her eyes when he says
stuff like that. It makes us crack up and kind of breaks the ice. She
has some interesting and rather deep questions too, but the four of us
made a pact that we would not tell each other that the other's faith
is wrong. So they may doubt or disbelieve, but they respect our
beliefs as we do theirs. The lesson got a little heated, Barry just
kept going and I felt the Spirit leaving. When the Spirit leaves, I
get nervous cause I know we're on our own. Elder Tryon was about to
reach across the table and put Barry in a full nelson he was so fed up
with him. But throughout this heated discussion, I kept feeling to
"Show the video" we had planned to show. The mormon message from Elder
Holland in his bomb testimony of the Book of Mormon. Finally, I just
cut in and said "Alrighty, we're going to end with the testimony of an
apostle. Pay attention to how you feel."
I think it'd be safe to say we were all touched by the Spirit. Barry
was speechless, Frances was in tears and I simply testified that if
they read and PRAYED about the Book of Mormon, they too could know and
have that unshakable witness of its truthfulness. Never Before have I
been so stretched and questioned spiritually, but it felt rewarding
and edifying to testify of God's love for them. I don't know if they
will join, hope they will, but they don't want us to stop coming over.
When Frances texts us or prays during lessons she'll call us Kyle and
Jake. It sounds weird to hear it, but I like it. ha it's almost like I
forgot my name!
In a recent Facebook post, I alluded to the fact that so many people
in the world today are going too far, searching too long, and
scrutinizing too much for truths that are right in front of them. Let
us be sure that we are not "looking beyond the mark" for truths that
God has already revealed to us. (Jacob 4:14) Let us be open to the
whispering and feelings of the Holy Ghost so that we can know for
ourselves whether the source of truth we encounter is divine. And just
as my dad poignantly commented "Too often we want things to be too
complicated when really Heavenly Father's plan is beautiful in its
simplicity." How true that is.
I am doing well, sorry to those of you who I didnt email this week!
Felicitaciones to Terry and Jenny! So happy for you and it made me
happy to see the pictures. Gotta love the Hagen and Robins Clans!
Love you all and thanks for your testimonies and convictions of the
truth we have.
Elder Jacob Robins