We spent all week it seems in Recent Converts/Less-Actives' homes, teaching, gardening, wallpapering. I will be a pro when I get back home. RCLA work is hard though; you invite them to come back to church, and they always are ready with some excuse--"I'm too busy, I'm out of town, I have to work, my back hurt, I have to go into hospital, my son hates primary, I have to stay with my boyfriend"...after a week of hearing that, you just want to dust off your heels and go high-streeting all day. Depressing for sure. I will never go less-active. I don't ever want to break Heavenly Father's heart like that, nor do I ever want to face those pioneers who gave up everything so that I could attend on a regular basis. No excuse could measure up to that kind of sacrifice or devotion. Sister Housley, from working with RCLAs and stuff, has really kicked against the excuse-mentality and is very straightforward whenever she speaks to people. "There's no excuse. Whatever."
This week was one of FIRSTS for us. I got to mow a less-active's lawn with an electric lawnmower. It was like a giant vacuum for the yard, and I spent the afternoon contemplating electrocution. We keep getting approached by raging alcoholics who only want 20p (you'll be happy to know that your tithing money is NOT going to fund another booze fix) and blame God for their problems. That is a tough life to lead. We've got this place here called the Park District--because the prisons and asylums keep losing funding and get shut down, they're all flocking to Park's government housing. Just last week, there was a stabbing and someone threw acid in someone's face. No guns means that people get creative, I guess. Sister Housley determined that Wey-town is more sketch than Exeter, and we don't go into the Park District after 4pm. Shame--there could be a lot of potential down there, but two sister missionaries already attract the weirdos like flies. (They all hit on Sister Housley as well...don't come here and bleach you're teeth, you stick out too much).
It was also our first mission prep class, taught by reactivated Bro. Rowbotham (served in Marseilles), the first time eternal investigator Kevin showed any interest in learning from us (also the first time he hit on Sister Housley), the first time Mike prayed, our first time going running in the morning, our first mission fireside (we showed the Joseph Smith movie and shared testimonies and everyone invited someone to come, which was amazing), the first time Olha came to church in a dress...good times. Tyler sent the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, and Sister Housley announced (while doing situps to "Deliver Us") "This must be what being in love feels like!" Any music anyone wants to send us, we will listen to it until the CD breaks. No joke.
Next week will be even better. No more trying to teach RCLAs on the beach while cross-dressing bands are playing and topless chicks from Spain are tanning nearby. (I wish seagulls would attack the latter.) Huzzah! The sanity of the high street, now that we've got Restoration and PofS pamphlets, we're not completely resourceless.
My two favorite miracles this week:
1. Got a referral from the office regarding the Whyte couple. They live about an hour's bus ride away, and they called asking for a Book of Mormon. We met with them and learned that they'd been taught in Norwich right up to the point of baptism before the Navy moved them. We showed the Restoration, and they were like, "Yeah! Those other churches are crazy and we're right and he totally was the prophet and the Book of Mormon is WAY better than the Bible!" (we'll have to work on that). But we left feeling really enthused about their determination to progress. Might have trouble with smoking, but we'll do our best.
2. Knocking on Portland, a younger lady answered the door. I said, "Hello, we're missionaries from a local church." She said, "What church?" and as soon as she saw that we were NOT Jehovah's Witnesses, she said, "Oh, do you have any leaflets?" and stuck out her hand. She had a little son and said that she'd been looking for a church for ages, doing research and such, and she wanted us to come back and teach her. Man, how crazy was that? People really are searching. We're praying that we totally don't screw up this miracle :) When in doubt, don't do something stupid.
Anyways, that's about all I can say for now! Hope your Independence Day is grand, and all the English are a bunch of poor sports, except the members, who can see that the Church could only have been established in America :)