*We saw some homeless people holding a sign on the side of the road so we decided to pull over and talk to them. Never in my life have I ever approached homeless people with the intent of learning about who they are or where they came from, so this was fun! These crazy kids were from Washington state and had a whole lot of bad luck (and I am sure, bad decision making skills). They were very optimistic about their lives, which was interesting. As we were standing there chatting with them, people drove by and made rude comments to them, but they just smiled and waved. It reminded me of my life....although sometimes I don't smile or wave! haha.
*We love serving on base. I cannot tell you the hours of conversations we have had with Marines about their MOS's, ranks, Muhs, deployments, politics, families--the whole nine yards. It is so interesting! I don't have any family members serving in the military currently, so I am kind of out of touch with how it all works. It's fascinating and eye opening. I have most definitely gained a greater appreciation for what the military does for us and what they have to go through....I'll have to share some of the stories I have heard when I get home!
*We had an insane street contact this week. We approached this guy on the street named Doug. As soon as we said "hello" his eyes lit up because, surprise surprise, he used to be a member of the Church but was now free!! He served a mission, was married in the temple, attended BYU - basically the ideal Mormon life, but somewhere along the way he got mixed up with anti-Mormon lit. and left the Church. He was so thrilled to tell us how wrong we are and all the knowledge he has learned. Sometimes I am cool with it and just smile and nod, but this day I was fired up. I did not just lay down and take it. In fact, it was probably the most fun, fulfilling, testimony building "argument" I have had my whole mission. Let me explain:
He was going on and on and on about temple ceremonies and Joseph Smith and false teachings blah blah blah, but what I retorted was that my faith and testimony lie with my Savior Jesus Christ. This guy had completely overlooked that simple fact. I have a relationship with God and Jesus Christ and because of that relationship I know I am on the right path. I may have gotten a little too into it when I started sarcastically and theatrically telling him that he was right, therefore, "I was greedy and needed to get my 10 percent back, and that the time I spent at the temple would be better spent watching MTV and playing on Facebook, and oh, all that food I have made for others in need, I shouldn't do that because heaven forbid I serve and love others. Nope, I shouldn't do any of that because Joseph Smith had an extra wife." Oh man. It was good stuff. Maybe not as Christ-like as it could have been, but whatever. My parting words to him were "Thank you, you have now only increased my testimony and faith in the gospel!" Good riddance. haha.
*We had a dinner party and movie night which were both fun. Also we found some really nice boxes on the side of the road...I know that sounds stupid, but it's the small things that make days fun haha. We had a sweet zone meeting on Thursday and Church was superb on Sunday--both spiritually uplifting experiences. We enjoyed lunch with the Del Francia's and their son, and their son's boyfriend, and yesterday we walked two huge German shepherds. We looked totally BA with those dogs.
Also, wanted to make mention of today being September 11th. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in 6th grade and all these crazy rumors were going around the school about what was happening. I didn't grasp the enormity of the situation until later years, but I still remember tons of American flags going up all over town and the feeling of somber unity. I love America a lot a lot and the older I get, the more patriotic I feel!
The Church is true. Keep it real.
Love, Sista Chris