Monday, November 18, 2013

Of Fights and Flats (Week 15)

I never thought I'd say this, but this week has been surprisingly normal. Well, not entirely, but for the most part there were no super unusual events that occurred. Just another week with my crazy companion, Elder Van Wagenen, who has gotten into the habit of asking me at least 2 billion times a day why I think he's so amazing. Yup, he words it just like that. Cheeky little monkey. Haha, but we love him, even when he goes crazy and pounces on top of the dresser, singing Christmas songs...

The only story outside of investigators this week happened on Friday. I went on another exchange (of course) and I was in an English area again. So, back to the ghetto-est of ghettos for Elder Skidmore. I actually really like the ghettos now, though. It's so funny riding your bike past gangs of black guys that are doing things they definitely shouldn't, because as soon as they see that you're "church people", they look so guilty and awkwardly wave. It's definitely not what I would have expected from them, since I've seen lots of fights go down. Oh well. Also, I haven't gone a day here without seeing the cops arresting somebody on the side of the street. Good times, really. 

Anywho, so I was on the exchange, and we were just riding our bikes down ghetto-town when suddenly we heard this loud popping noise. Yep, Elder Taylor got a flat tire. A bad one. So there we were, two white guys in church clothes sitting on the side of the road for two hours, trying our best to fix the tire, shirtless black guys drinking and doing all manner of illegal things just walking around us. Not to mention the good ol' rap music in the background, swearing up a storm. Must have been a super funny sight for everyone who drove by.

This week we've been working a lot with Marie Andre, who was totally set for baptism yesterday. She's so cool! But Sunday morning, we found out that her husband was against her being baptized, which is a problem because we need to have his permission in order for her to be baptized. Some Haitian husbands. So we're going to have to somehow figure out how to get him on board, which will be hard because he works everyday! I've never even seen him before. Marie Andre is so cool though. Some of the Haitian members got in a fight during Sunday School yesterday about baptisms for the dead, and we were worried that she'd be kind of weirded out, but she was just taking notes on the front row and writing down all the scripture references that were thrown out. Too funny!! There are some crazy Haitian members though!

Speaking of which, that reminds me. We have one member named Stacey. I believe she's 15 or 16, and she wasn't supposed to be baptized because the mission president had "red-flagged" her, but one of the new missionaries in the area a few months ago didn't know that, and so he and his companion baptized her. Anyway, on fast Sunday, she walked up to the pulpit and started yelling at the bishop...There were some words that I'm surprised she knew in English that were said too. Oh man, what crazy times. It was super unexpected, and nobody really knew what to do, so it just kept going for five minutes...I'm telling you, Haitian people are truly crazy, but I love them so much. Stacey is just a little...well, we love her too:)

We've got so many people who are so prepared for baptism and could be baptized any day now, but that need permission from parents or spouses. Some rules! And then we've got Louis Laguerre, Wiltess Estimable, Saintana Andre, and Jean-Claude Thevenin who are all just waiting for a stronger testimony. Haitians!!! But we could have 12 baptisms any day this week, though it'll require a lot of work and faith.

That's another thing that I've learned this week: nothing happens without faith. The Lord can bless you with investigators of all kinds, but without the faith that they are going to progress and be baptized, it's not going to happen. Also, I've learned a lot about repentance this week. I never really considered it as much as I should have before my mission, but now I'm coming to realize just how incredibly important it is! Alma 5:27-28. Oh man!

I just love the scriptures so much!! An hour every morning isn't enough now, which is super surprising because I used to be falling asleep after 10 minutes at home. There's just so many things in the Book of Mormon that help you with EVERYTHING! True story, tell your friends. Personal study is one of my favorite parts of the day now. The scriptures are so true, it's insane! There's no way that they can't be. If only everybody knew that, they'd all be so much happier!! 

This week I've also realized that I need to work on Christ-like attributes. Not only developing them all, but constantly improving every day. I've mainly been working on Charity this week. The pure love of Christ can be hard to have at times, especially when people slam the door in your face or tell you to (insert many explicit words here). But honestly, if you see everyone as the Lord sees them, you feel so much love towards everybody. I've been getting better and loving the people that I just walk up to on the street or knock on their doors. It's so cool when you first meet someone and already have such a strong desire to help them in any way that you can.

Well, you're all amazing and I love you to death! Glad to hear that there are still dance parties going on at home. Also, happy birthday Emily!!!! Hope you got my card, you crazy hooligan!! All of you stay strong and keep being amazing. I'm praying for you all everyday:) Be safe!

Lots of love,
Elder Skidmore

P.S. one of my roommates, Elder Bailey, bought a huge British flag for me...sort of random, but I like it:) I hung it up in our room next to the Haitian flag.