Dear Friends and Family,
Me and my companion, Sister Despain, are starting to get to know Hannibal a little bit better now. The members are very few, but they are very nice and generous people. We get fed by some of the same members every week since there aren't enough members. So my companion's name is Kelsey, so we are Kelsey and Chelsie. So funny! We get along really well, work hard and we are having fun too.
There was a famous street market/folk festival on Saturday where we looked around and met people. It is down by the River (Mississippi River). THere are so many mormon-haters hre and within 1 mile there are at least 6-10 Catholic, Christian, or Baptist churches. They are verywhere and they do not like us. Lots of doors shut on us and people will ignore us and walk away once we tell them who we are. Seems impossible to get past the judgemental, stubborness, and stereotyping of mormons here. I found an applicable scripture this week:
"And thus, even as I have said,
if ye are faithful ye shall
assemble yourselves together to
rejoice upon the land of Missouri,
which is the Land of your inheritance,
which is now the Land of your enemies."
Ha Ha. Kind of a funny scripture, but it's not far from the truth at all. Pretty sad. We do have a progressing investigator and she picked a baptism date in December. Her name is Katia. She is 18 and she is from Moscow, Russia. She is such a sweetheart and we love her. She was sort of adopted by a wonderful family of eleven kids in our ward, called the Voelkals.
Other than Katia, we are searching for new potentials and meeting less active members. Most of the ward isn't active, so it's a small, poorly attended Branch. There is a lot of work that needs to be done here to re-activate and build the Branch back up. We spend all week trying to find and teach all the less actives and it's not been easy, but many of them are still wonderful people, just busy or have health problems or in part-member families. It's been fun getting to know everyone and I know God will help us to help them. We are going to help a less active member quit smoking this week. We're excited for her 'cause she wants to change so she's not embarrassed to go to church anymore. We will do what we can to help her and serve others this week.
Favorite Scripture this week is D&C 103:27-28. It's so good! Look it up and read it for yourself. THe scriptures are real and true and you need to find out for yourselves if you don't know already. If changes your life 'cause you will know what life is all about and give you hope. I promise. If you don't know yet, have Faith and keep trying till you know. With God, Faith, & Works anything is possible.
I love you and miss you all!
P.S. Awkward mission moment: Got asked for my name and number by a creeper dude last week and had to hide by my companion for a while. Creepy! Being a girl missionary is so hard! And scary sometimes!