Book of Mormon Class. Sister Anderson and I were in stitches the rest of the night. I have never had a Book of Mormon class like that. NIV Bible readings. False doctrine from non-members about the godhead, stories about rats and hospital visits. After many attempts by the instructor and his wife to get things back on course I interrupted everyone and told them that we were reading one of my favorite stories and asked if we could finish. It worked for awhile. But more stories came up. Brother Gunter made sure to end with his testimony of the Savior and it got much better. I did learn from that experience, believe it or not. If you have the Spirit there you can always clear things up and get out alright at the other end. It's when you don't have the Spirit that disagreements and differences cause havoc. I love the Spirit. Thank Heaven for for the Spirit. Literally.
Highlights from dinner at the Bishop's: Played telephone to demonstrate how the Bible has been changed over the years. The kids did their good-bye run all the way down the street as we drove away, telling me they were going to miss me. I told Isabel she has to write me or I won't come back to visit....actually, I don't think I could come back without seeing them. I love their family waaay too much, especially Steelman. Steelman would not talk directly to the sisters since I got here, he would always have Bishop relay messages to us from across the table. Last night, though, he was the biggest little chatterbox I ever did hear! The only time he stopped yammering was when he snuck under and out from the table. Of course it was quite the task to get back out the door after we introduced the telephone game, then they just wanted to play that and other games with us all night....One day. Not now :(
Kathy, the sister who was baptized right after I got to Easley, had a death in the family. An 11 year-old boy. Kathy is still new to the Plan of Salvation as we know it and how significant it is. We tried to share with her a little about it to comfort her but it was like filling a cup with a hole in the bottom. It just wasn't going to fill it. She needed something else. Since I've come to Easley I've worn the purple bracelet I received from Reesa's funeral last year. I have prayed for an opportunity to share her story with someone. I pulled off the bracelet and handed it to Kathy. Words came to me that were not my own. I told her about Reesa's happy personality and desire to make everyone else happy. How we don't forget these people, but we remember them. We allow their influence to bring about good in ourselves. Reesa and this little boy want their friends and family to be happy. It's okay to be sad, but remember they're happy and want us to be happy.
Those weren't the words exactly. I don't remember a lot of what I said. I simply remember I knew it was right. It felt right and was the only thing that would begin to fill that glass that would not be filled. Kathy's countenance changed as I shared Reesa's experience. She slipped on the bracelet and just kept staring at it. Then she smiled. Said thank you. We prayed and went on our way. Who would have thought that a missionary in South Carolina from Utah would have a cousing with a dad whose bracelet and story would be the answer to a sister's prayer thousands of miles away, late on a Wednesday night. How can anyone doubt there is a God?