First off, a great activity with the members this past week. Sand Soccer!
We ran into a man from Kentucky named Kevin who was angry that, "McDonald's only sold nuggets in 9's and not 10's so he only had 18 nuggets and not 20 and he was going to be 2 nuggets short here soon and was not happy about it." That made our 4th of July memorable enough to hear that in a Southern accent haha.
We make a huge batch of food every Monday and eat that throughout the week when we are home because we have no time at all to make meals and get in all of our studies, meetings and/or lessons. So we have been mixing it up a bit but this last month or so we have a made a buckwheat mix (with potatoes, carrots, salami, onions, garlic, peppers and then we cook eggs fresh and throw that in daily). We took it off the burner and threw all of the additions in and it was too hot to put into the fridge so we left it out to sit on the balcony and forgot about it until we got home that night and then threw it into the fridge.
The next day, we ate it and it seemed a bit slimy. So, as two 20 year old experienced missionaries would do, we had the idea to stir it up a bit and let it dry out a bit during the day because of how hot it was. The slime ruined the texture and made you not want to eat it so we thought that we could get rid of the slime by taking the lid off and letting it air out. We came back that night and it smelled really bad so we put the lid back on and put it back into the fridge. This was our food source for the next week so we were determined to make it work. To get rid of the slimy texture and smell we thought that we could spread it out on a cooking pan and put it into the oven to bake. A buckwheat casserole! Nothing better. We stuck it in on a high temperature and after an hour it was still wet so we mixed it up and threw some cheese on top and let it cook more. When lunch time came, we put salsa, eggs, sour cream, but we could not get over the smell and taste. We thought that we could somehow magically fix it and we convinced ourselves until now, after we had eaten over 3/4 of the casserole and then felt horrible. At this point it was undeniable that our huge pot of buckwheat had gone bad.. there was no hiding it.. especially the smell.
This was the time when we experienced what the scriptures describe as "Godly Sorrow" and we had to just admit we had to get rid of it and threw it down the garbage shoot from 5 stories high, the only bright point. We fought the fact that it had gone bad and payed the price in the end. It simply had to be disposed of or Elder Tolman and I would be lying in a hospital at the moment on our death beds.
Lesson learned: Maybe this can be related to an ongoing lie that we are desperately trying to continue to not get caught, maybe we are too embarrassed to admit that we made a tiny mistake in "being honest in our dealings with our fellow man", maybe we are delaying the day of our repentance and think that we can do it ourselves and not through the order that the Lord has given us, or maybe you are just too cheap to throw away a pot of food and it pained you to the very core to think of throwing it away. Whatever it may be, just get rid of it! Throwing it down the garbage shoot and never looking back was the best decision that we ever made. It took us a few tries to admit it, but the relief was both physical and spiritual as they say.
Last week I talked about how we found a new family through a re-activated man doing his home teaching. We have also been spending time with one of the Sister's investigators that is about our age who is awesome and getting up early to run over to the church and play Frisbee or ping pong with him before he heads off to work. Last Monday night was stacked with two lessons involving the both of them. Our first lesson was planned for 5:30 and got cancelled while we were emailing because he had to stay at work a bit later and we were busy later that night so it just didn't work out. We had to look up the address of the second lesson on the computer and found a spot where we could hop on a bus to this smaller village. We got off at a metro stop and walked to the bus stop. Turned out, there wasn't a bus stop and we were just on the side of a major highway with cars going about 60 mph and we had to try and flag down a bus. After most of them just waved us off and kept going, one hit the brakes and it took about 50 meters for it to even come to a screeching halt. The driver was mad at us and the people inside were obviously not happy about the sudden stop either. We barely were able to push onto the platform for the door into the crowded bus. We handed up the money for the ride and our phone rang... it was our 7:00 lesson cancelling. You have got to be kidding me. We were embarrassed to tell the driver to stop so we just decided to get off at the next stop about 5 minutes later. We took the attitude of "God wanted us right here and led us here and cancelled our lessons" and contacted the first couple of people we saw at the bus stop about the Book of Mormon. They declined so we kept walking and then we saw a dirt path going off into the woods. We both saw the path and looked at each other and said, "Why not?" and headed into the forest.
After a few rejections, we ran into an older couple. The wife was totally wasted and was leaning on the husband not to fall over. The husband was just sober enough to talk to us and get across the point that they are members by explaining to us what the Book of Mormon is but they just don't really live by the commandments anymore. We got their information and found out that the children go to church but they just got tired of it. To have had all of the contributing factors and miraculously meet these people we were pretty content with life. We were also hungry and we had planed on eating at the lessons.
We finally made it out of the forest after 30 or so minutes and when we popped out we saw a food stand. So we stopped to get шаурма's and took a seat on a nearby concrete block. As we were eating, we saw someone's feet in front of us all of a sudden and heard, "What's up guys!" We looked up at it was the person that we wanted to meet with at 5:30 and he had just barely gotten off of work and was walking home. At this point we were mind blown at how God had put all of this in our path and we somehow wound up right on his pathway home 30 minutes away from his house in a random spot eating шаурма's near the forest where he randomly worked. Long story short, we went back home with him and his mom made amazing apricot filled Вареники (dough dumplings) and we played billiards for the first time in two years with him and had a great night.
We had a plan, but God had something better in store for us. We weren't the ones who changed our plans according to the Spirit and cancelled all of our lesson to go to a random spot in the forest to meet this family or eventually with our friend. We just did our part and the Lord used what he had and made something better. He waits for us to use our free agency and then if we are worthy and humble enough to let Him, He will make it something better and show us what He has in store for us. Trusting in God isn't expecting an answer immediately to every prayer, it is trusting that He will be beside you and help you along the way.
Hope you all have a great week!
Love Elder Devashrayee