Sydnee completed her first full week with her new companion, Sister Balls from South Jordan Utah. In her emails today, she seems to be absolutely enjoying her time with her new companion and any anxiety of having to get used to a new person has worn off. She said they had a great week, finding new people to meet with and having people committed again to be baptized. Below are excerpts from her emails as well as one long email describing a weird experience she had with a persons they met this last week.
“Things are going well. Sister Balls is so much fun! She did a semester at BYU and she is super chill. She too hates provo so we get along well. Juliet and Ifaenyi are getting ready to be baptized…again. we have also met some new investigators and we are working with some old ones. I am going to be doing a weekly email…maybe. We did service with this crazy danish lady named lila. she loves americans and is a very deeply religious woman who is a fan of Bishop Wagner the televangilist in ohio? Im not sure but she was speaking in tongues when we werent doing what she wanted I have no idea she has some issues but I am scarred. I will type up the story and send it but lol.”
I am always very sorry that I don’t send more group emails but p-dayare busy! This week I’ve been trying adjust to taking over an area and get Sister Balls and I around Bamberg. Ok, I have gone back and forth if I should write this email but it is too golden of a missionary experience to keep to myself. Before I begin this tale of woe, it is important for this story to remind my audience that missionary work is plain weird sometimes. We have a weird job and we are so excited to help people that we get put in very uncomfortable and strange experiences that turn into great stories.
Here is one from my week. It all started last Thursday when the Elders in our area asked if we would participate in some service for an elderly lady. Our response was typical of missionaries, “Oh, of course.” The enthusiasm we expressed sealed our fate, doomed (or blessed depends on what day it is) to meet the one and only Lila. The only information we had was that she was an older woman who spoke English and claimed to be a member of the church. Apparently, she had talked with the prior set of Elders a few months ago and arranged for the Elders to help in March. Well, it was time to pay the piper. Every text she sent the Elders included a phrase such as, “Praise Jesus” or “Hallelujah”. Needless to say we weren’t entirely sure what we had agreed to. Especially when the Elders did not know what she looked like or where she was from or what the whole story was or how she found the church. Turns out she moved from Denmark to Germany about 30 years ago and is. very religious. She has been to the states but only went to Ohio to. see her televangelist pastor there. Also she speaks English with a very thick southern accent(american southern accent). All of it was. really weird and we still have no idea how she found the church or how she found the Elder’s phone number.
We met Lila and she took us to a storage unit that she needed us to. reorganize and find some things in it. Easy enough. We follow her to a very sketchy part of Bamberg and she shows us her storage unit. I don’t know if you are familiar with the T.V. show “Hoarders: Buried Alive” but that is what this was. She began to tell us to move boxes out and start looking for something. Everything was covered in a. thick layer of dust, spiders, and mouse poop. We moved a ton of boxes out of the unit when she yelled for us to stop and to think about what we are doing. Well to be honest, she didn’t really give us a lot of instruction so we stopped and waited for more instruction. She proceeds to tell us that we need to look in all the boxes for a circular, glass dish that is used in a microwave because she wants to go home and make pizza after this adventure is over. Ok, I respect that but lady this is pretty close to a needle and a haystack that we could get to. There were over 200 boxes of just stuff from the last 30 years that we needed to go through. I know there was 200 because she literally counted… Anyway, we continue for about 3 minutes when. she once again yelled for us to stop. She pushed me aside to get to this box that I was working on. Inside was a wooden box that was covered in pictures of some cat. Once she realized whatever that box was there her demeanor totally changed and she got really quiet and told me to set it off to the side so she could decide what to do with it later. Look, I’m not going to assume what was in that box but, I would not be at all surprised if her dead cat was in there. We kept going through boxes. In one box in particular was a stuffed animal cat thing. Lila immediately picked it up and brushed off the mice poop and dust and kissed it. Sister Balls and I looked at one another horrified. She then reached back in the box and pulled out a stuffed cat. Like a real dead cat. She also planted a smooch on that one and said, “Felisha, I have missed you! You are coming home with me!” Needless to say I had seen one too many dead cats that day and I was about ready to pass out. We finally get done that day and we move everything back. We apparently wasted her time and we were going to need to go back the next day to put together this entertainment center thing so she could take pictures to sell it. We got done and went home and tried to process what we had just been through.
The next day we went back begrudgingly and hoped for the best. We show up and start moving stuff again. She keeps yelling at us for not working fast enough and simultaneously yelling that we are doing the work wrong. I am still confused what she wanted from us. Anyway she got so upset with us that she stopped us and she began to pray. Alright, I’m a fan but then she started speaking in tongues. (Ok it was just a little memorized latin but still) Um, yeah. I was a little worried. But we survived. We get done after a 2nd stress inducing day and a gross storage unit later we started walking back. On the way to the train station, Lila noticed that Elder Clemente was missing a button on his coat. “Oh child!! You need a wife! If I was 30 years younger then maybe we could talk! I will pray that you get a wife!!” It was awkward. We finally get to the train station and we are a little anxious to get her on the train. She once again wanted to stop and pray before she left. Fine by us. She made us all hold hands and stand on the platform next to her train and she began to pray. I peeked my eyes halfway through the prayer to see an 11 year old boy staring at us. He was really freaked out and so was I. At the end of the day serving this lady was a lot of fun. It was really scary the whole time but I feel like I learned from the experience. She was a cool lady. A little weird but oh well. That was how my week pretty much went from there on out. I loved this week. It was kind of weird and hard but it was super great. Sister Balls and I were able to meet some new investigators. Bamberg is such a great city and the people are prepared!! Well next time I have such a weird experience I won’t hesitate to send another group email. Have a great week and the church is true!!!
The pictures are of the district, the Veste in Coburg