Missions are hard

We really enjoyed visiting with Jeremiah over Skype on Mother’s Day.  He looked great and despite having had a tough week seemed to be in good spirits.  We caught a glimpse of his companion who said a brief hello before going to call his family.  The time flew by and we didn’t remember to ask half the questions we wanted to.  Here’s a picture Jeremiah took of himself just after the call:

 

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And now for the email from this week:

05/02/16

Monday

Today we didn’t really do much. Elder W. was getting ready to go
to his next area so he just packed all day and we went shopping. We
went to lunch at Zaxby’s later in the day because the Columbia Elder’s
were with us and they were leaving as well. So we had a goodbye lunch
I guess. After that Elder H. and I hung around our apartment not
doing much, and then we ended up having to stay in the rest of the
night because we were on bikes and there were some really dangerous
thunderstorms coming through the area. Thunderstorms here are freaking
crazy. I have never seen so much water come out of the sky at once.
Biking through walls of water on a road with no bike lanes is not
safe, let alone with South Carolina drivers who can’t see through the
rain.

Our mission President has an awesome quote about South Carolinian
drivers. He was talking about how everywhere you go, people always
claim that other states have the craziest and worst drivers, however,
when people say South Carolina has the worst drivers, they are
actually 100% correct.

“I have been around a lot of places, and I have never seen drivers as
bad and crazy as they are here in South Carolina.” -Butchered quote by
President T.

Tuesday

Today not a lot of work got done. Elder W. and his companion have
been using the car non-stop to say goodbyes and to wrap things up
before he leaves, and that leaves us marooned on bikes. The weather
has been really bad lately and so biking sometimes can’t happen. Such
was the case for a good portion of today. We did get to go see a
potential investigator and we set up an appointment for this upcoming
Friday, so hopefully we will have a good lesson then. Other than that
we spent a lot of time in the evening with the Sandhills Elders
helping Elder W. to pack his stuff. Tomorrow is transfers and we
will get to find out who goes where.

Wednesday

Today was transfers and we spent most of the day biking around our
area, looking for people to talk to. We weren’t super successful but
we did get to talk to a few people. The new missionary here is Elder
N. He is from Utah (shocker) and he is cool. Not much else
happened today.

Thursday

Today I honestly can’t remember everything that happened. We spent a
lot of today driving around looking for a new bike for Elder Hope and
we think we finally found one. The rest of the day was spent trying to
contact less active members, which we actually had some success with.
We met a guy named W. who’s non member wife has stage 4 cancer.
He is a really good guy and really wants to be at church every week
but has to take care of his wife. We are hoping that we can
potentially convert her before she leaves this world, so keep L. in
your prayers. That was pretty much all of our day.

Friday

Today we had a morning appt with that one old investigator we ran into
a few weeks ago. She didn’t show for the appointment though, so that
was a bummer, but really not a shocker because no-shows are as common
as trees here. There are a lot of trees here. Afterward we spent our
afternoon doing weekly planning.

Here in Blythewood there is a giant underground gas pipeline that runs
right through the center of the city. They are required by law to keep
it undeveloped and large enough to drive a car through it, so
sometimes we use it as an alternative to biking the suicidal roads
here, however, sometimes the grass is really tall and we avoid that
because there are some nasty things that can live there (try gators,
snakes, broken glass, ticks, etc.). Anyway I decided that we should
take the off-road route today and that led to an interesting
situation. We got shouted at by this random lady about how we aren’t
allowed to be here and how there is no soliciting in this area and
yada yada yada… What made me laugh is that we were just biking
through the neighborhood and she has the nerve to assume we were
soliciting just because we are in shirts and ties. Plus people don’t
even know what soliciting actually is.  Pretty much that was our day. It was kinda discouraging.

Saturday

Today we got to serve at the Special Olympics in Blythewood and it was
a lot of fun! We didn’t get to do much but the Sandhills elders who
came with us got a new investigator so there was some good that came
out of it. Afterward we went around and visited investigators, mostly
unsuccessfully. That was our night.

You know, it was interesting, we really tried hard this week to be
successful and we failed miserably at having any tangible success. I
think the Lord has made this time in our missions a time of testing
because we are having a really tough time. All we see is success
everywhere else in our Zone with missionaries who aren’t working too
hard or aren’t very obedient. It’s kinda frustrating. Tonight Elder
H. and I were really discouraged so we said a prayer, asking for a
missionary miracle. Not 1 second later we got a text message from the
Zone Leaders. And another, and another. When missionaries put someone
on date for baptism, the ZL’s text it out to the whole zone, and that
is what we got. By the end of the day, our zone had probably put over
12 people on date for baptism, which is way more than I have ever seen
at once in a long time. I was hoping for it to be some magical
referral or something along those lines, but it wasn’t. We continued
to have little success tonight and I realized that this was an answer
to our prayer. It showed me that the Lord is testing us right now, and
that the miracles we are looking for are not meant for us right now.
So we did get a miracle. Kind of.

Sunday

Today we had a really good sacrament meeting and afterward we got to
call home! That was a lot of fun and time flew by really quickly.
After that we started the 10 mile walk home because we didn’t have the
car, but luckily Sandhills came to pick us up halfway through the
walk. After that we had some dinner and then made calls for the
upcoming week. We didn’t have a lot of success with calls though
because it was Mother’s Day and nobody wanted to talk. That was our
night.

This week was really hard. Quite possibly the hardest week of my
mission. It’s all good though, I am staying positive.

I think that is it, though. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

HAGS

Elder Jeremiah Brown

On the walk home from Mother’s Day calls.

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And another…

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This 90 year old guy in Ridgeway has hundreds of milk jugs full of water all over his yard.  We think it is part of one of his conspiracies.

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