The muggy hot humid weather has begun. It's part of the Memphis charm..this really is like its own country. The culture and attitudes are unlike any other place. A lot of the people here really are very good though. We met this great lady named Lillie. I can't really describe her except by saying she is a really cool spunky black baptist lady. We were immediately friends. We had a great lesson with her last week about how the restoration is like putting all the puzzle pieces together. She really wanted to come check out our church. She said, "So do you have a band?" and I thought..no but maybe we really should look into that. We really need more passion in this church- like a gospel choir. And what's wrong with a few praise the Lords or hallelujahs? Mr. Mendenhall always talked about that-we needed more excitement in church. (He served his mission in the south). I think he's right. Well maybe I've been thinking about it because this past Wednesday was the Gladys Knight devotional. It was wonderful. She is an astounding person. She truly has a light, and she shared it so beautifully. She bore her testimony through song and words in a bold but humble way. I wish you could have been there...her husband also bore his testimony. They both talked about how it was hard to join because of the image that the church had (in regards to the African American community), but that they realized that it was about the truth. That we are all brothers and sisters and that God needs people in His army. Her husband said, "The process is easy. You have to read the book, pray and ask if it's true. Once you get your answer, then it gets hard. This church puts you to work! That's why we got caller ID so when the bishop calls..." :) He was really funny. Probably the funniest thing he said was when he was talking about after he got his answer that the Book of Mormon is true. He said, "My question after that was, God, if this gospel is really true, why did you have to give it to a little white boy?" hahahaha. He said his answer was that He didn't give it to a little white boy, he gave it to his brother. They were entertaining and full of the spirit. Did I tell you that Gladys Knight's grandson is in my mission? He's a great kid. She called him up during the devotional when she was talking about her grandkids serving missions. He came up and it was just really sweet. He bore his testimony. You could tell she was so proud of him. She was so kind about the missionaries. She straight up told the audience to let us in when they saw us. She had us all stand up and they applauded us for the service we do. I feel like I really don't do that much, but at the same time, we really do give up our lives for kind of a while to do this. It was a great experience.
I know I talk about this a lot, but I have been thinking again this week about how meaningful small acts of service are. There is a lady in this ward who has been an angel to us. She doesn't even know how much it means to me. She calls us at least twice a week asking us if we need a ride or a meal or anything at all. It has made all the difference for me.
Great news! My whistling skills have drastically improved! You don't know how awesome this is. I've been working on it every day as we walk around. I started with hymns and primary songs and then graduated to whistling beethoven, mozart and debussy.
Okay, so do you remember when I told you that I had accomplished two things on my mission: I got over the fear of inviting people to be baptized and throwing up. Well last Tuesday was quite the day. So I started getting a migraine and I knew how it would end. It was only a matter of time. A lady from the ward came to pick us up for dinner. I thought I was gonna lose it in the car...and then I had to eat dinner! It was bad...right after dinner I excused myself and threw up in their bathroom. First time at a member's house. I actually made it through the rest of our appointments that night. Probably it was a miracle.
I love you all. Have a good week.
love sister wilde