Sister Bartsch and Sister Kelly
We started the week off with an exchange. I was in Hattiesburg with one of the sisters and we got to do service! They have a lady in their ward that lives in a really gross house. She had been put in the hospital because she fell and broke her arm and then it got infected. It has been a long process so the sisters and relief society president have been going in and cleaning while she is out of the house. I had the opportunity (if that is what you want to call it..) to help out. Sister Abril and I cleaned out the pantry... Before even entering the house we put on gloves and Walmart bags over our shoes. She has rats and so there are little droppings on everything. The pantry was right next to the door so we got a large city garbage can and used it to hold the door. Then we would just grab and throw. Everything had to be thrown away. Well, because it had all sat there so long things were different colors, mayo looked like mustard, cans were rusting. A few weeks ago they had emptied all the food out of the actual kitchen. Well that upset the rats and so they had found their way to the pantry. They had chewed through the cans, the cans drain, and then they eat whatever comes out. So you can just imagine how nasty this place was. We would pick up cans that had never been opened but were empty.. There were plastic bottles of salad dressing. The bottle would have a large hole in it and would be licked completely clean. You would have thought someone had washed it out with water! At one point sister Abril had picked up a bottle that didn't look like it had any holes and it did so the nasty salad dressing went all over the floor... IT WAS SO GROSS. At one point I was grabbing some cans and HEARD something moving. Then i SAW something moving. To realize there was a rat in there the entire time! We ran outside and the brave relief society president started spraying it with wasp spray haha it ran away and we didn't see it again. Thank goodness. After cleaning we went back home to shower and wash all our service clothes. It was a very interesting experience. We might be going back this week to help them with the final touches. I will take pictures if we do!
Saturday was filled with two different baptisms! That was a great day! The family that we had the opportunity to buy Christmas for got baptized. The mom was already a member, and their 5 kids were all baptized. It was so great to see how happy they were. (The elders and kids) They have another daughter who is 7 and will be baptized in a few months. The boyfriend is now taking the lessons and has opened up a lot since the elders started coming. They are hoping he will be ready for baptism when the youngest turns 8.
After we were able to attend a baptism for the Petal sister's investigator. When we got there some of the past missionaries who had taught her got to come, as well as their companions. So I got to see sister Elliot. I was her STL when I was serving in Richland. Treyden served in her home ward. She is so fun and it was a great surprise to see her! The spirit was so strong through both baptisms and I am grateful for my mission that allows me to participate in this great work so heavily!
I cleaned out my STL binder
Sunday evening was a great way to end the week. We have been wanting to reach out to the youth and work with them more. Especially the priest and laurels that could be preparing for missions. So Brother Tolbert organized an activity for just them. Last night we all came together at the Tolbert's home and talked about missionary work. We invited the zone leaders so we had elders and sisters. The youth got to ask us different questions about missions. It went really well! It was fun, spiritual, and we were able to strengthen relationships. I hope some of the youth who were debating about missions were touched by the spirit. And I also hope they will be more willing to invite their friends to hear the gospel.
This has been a really great week. I have had many spiritual promptings and impressions that have helped me grow so much. I am loving my mission and working hard. I love watching the gospel bless other's lives! We have received 14 referrals so pray we can contact them all this week :)