Email September 9, 2013

Hello my favorites!

Well I know it has only been a few days but I am actually going to tell a few stories today! Thursday evening was kinda scary...We went to follow up with a potential investigator named Sharron that the Elder's had referred to us. She let us into her home and the moment we walked in, we could just feel that it was going to be a weird experience. She told us all about her life and how her husband of 24 years had abused her and she left him 4 years ago when he hit her son (who was 12 at the time). They are now legally separated but not divorced because her husband won't sign the divorce papers and she is with another man and she kept telling us that she knows that she is sinning but she feels stuck. It was confusing but anyway...her husband tries to break into her home and he broke the front door and she is terrified of him all the time because at one point he had a knife to her throat. On top of all that, she has her 16 year old son's girlfriend living with them because she was abused in her home. The two kids don't attend school and they all drink and smoke all the time and it is just a sad and miserable environment where they all live in fear. We talked about how we can help her and tried to introduce the gospel but she kept going off on weird, drunken rants and confusing us. She insulted my poor companion a dozen times and I felt so bad. She loved me and kept hugging me. Then her son's girlfriend came home and we found out that she had been raped twice and had tried to kill herself many times and she showed us the scars on her arm where she cut herself countless times. My stomach was turning and I burst into tears. I told her that I was going to help her create a better life for herself and that there was hope and I was a mess and she was a mess and my companion was confused. It was just a really crazy experience. I cried all the way home and we set an appointment to see her tomorrow. I want to help her so badly! I don't really know where I was going with this story but I just wanted to tell it...

Anyway, on Fridays we visit a recent convert named Lori. She is hilarious. Her house smells so bad! It is the strongest urine smell you could possibly imagine...and because of that, I am convinced that pee smells worse than poop. Haha anyway,she tells us the weirdest stories about how little kids in the store look at her and say that she has wings and that people that have died speak through her. Crazy stuff. To top it all off, she was baptized in the wrong name so when her birth certificate comes in, she has to be re-baptized...hahaha. Oh! And she got married over Skype. She is just so peculiar but she is a great missionary so we still meet with her because she gives us tons of support and great referrals. We love the weird ones too :) Later that evening, we had an appointment fall through and as we were driving to go see our back-up we found this boy that we had been praying to find for over three weeks since we met him! It was a miracle! He had gotten in trouble so he had to sit outside! Haha we freaked out when we found him and we are going to visit him and his family this week! :) A couple hours after that, we went to see these three Persian women that we are teaching who speak no English AT ALL. We gave them a Persian Book of Mormon 6 days earlier and they had already read more than half of it and they LOVED it! So we were super stoked about that! Since we can't really teach them, we decided to sing to them (of course). We sang four hymns and they were all in tears! It was such a spiritual experience! I wish I could describe how I felt afterward! I was so happy!

Well those are pretty much the only stories worth telling! We had 8 investigators at church on Sunday which was a MIRACLE and they all loved it! We have a baptism this Saturday for Brother Noesbar who is an 82 year old man who has literally been an investigator for over 40 years so we are really excited that he is finally being baptized! He's such a stubborn old man but the Lord is sure mindful of His children! It's incredible! Haha so family, will you please send me copies of all 3 of my talks please??? That would be awesome to have on hand! Oh and everyone should read Enos 1:27 because it has given me a lot of comfort today! Oh and also, women here nurse their babies without covering themselves...in lessons, on airplanes, sitting on a bench, etc. We had one lady nurse while we were teaching her last night. It's a whole different world here. Also, I am super tired of the food here. There is nothing appetizing about it....so today I have planned to buy about 8 boxes of chicken strips. I am really excited!!

Enough about that nonsense! I love you all so much and am so grateful for the mail that I have received! It makes life wonderful! Life is hard but the little good things are exponentially better! Everyone stay safe and thank you for your prayers! I am praying for you always!

Sister Shailyn Shwinn Lyn Shailynny-poo Hamel :)

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