Friday, March 22, 2013
Christine's First Email : Collierville Tennessee
March 18 1013
I'm in Collierville Tennessee right outside of Memphis Tennessee. The area also includes a bit of Mississippi as well.
I've been running on adrenaline all week. Today we have mostly cleaned since the apartment hadn't really been that well taken care of and then I crashed and took a nap, which was my first nap since being out on the mission. I've been having a hard time falling asleep this week, so it was well needed. My companion is Sister Smith, age 24 and Sister T age 27.
We've mostly been teaching black people so far. I realized the other day when talking to this black lady that I don't speak black. Like, they're super dramatic when they talk and repeat themselves saying, "Praise the Lord! If yall talking about the Lord than I've got time to talk about the Lord!" It's like a record player on repeat and we finally got her to say one serious thing when she asked pertaining to Joseph Smith figuring out churches and said "Well which church did he join?!"
It definitely is segregated out here there's black neighborhoods and then the white neighborhoods. Collierville is actually fairly wealthy, unless you go into the black neighborhood. A lady from church yesterday told me that when she first moved here they told her which neighborhoods she should avoid and when she asked why they told her, "that's where the blacks live". I've come to the conclusion that blacks here are the way Utah people view Latinos. But most of the racism comes from the blacks so I hear, because this is where Martin Luther King died in the 1960's.
We've been teaching this guy named Rodney this week he's black and has long dreadlocks. He doesn't get why we've asked him to be baptized again through the proper authority and why he doesn't already hold the priesthood. Rodney at least isn't dramatic when he talks and isn't a broken record. Rodney came to church with us yesterday and to dinner at a members house afterwards. I hope it's having an impact on him, we try to teach with the spirit and explain things. I know when we picked him up for dinner just a couple of hours after church he had been drinking in between church and when we picked him up. We haven't gone over the Word of Wisdom yet with him, but I was a little disappointed.
A lot of the people here are already into the Bible and super active in their current churches and already think they're on the way to Heaven and have already been saved. So it's really about why being baptized with the proper authority here matters, receiving the Holy Ghost, and receiving the priesthood keys as to differeniate why they need to go this route. Rodney asked some really hard questions and was like "Why do I need to do what God wants?" and "I'm already content, why am I going to be sad without the Holy Ghost?" and a bunch of others that made it sound like he was living day by day and just didn't really care about what happens after we die and such. Obviously there's some reason he keeps inviting us back and going to church.
Sister T is Samoan and has the personality of a rebellious past and Sister Smith is very conservative in her ways, but very nice. I still haven't heard from a couple people that received letters on Monday the 11th. Is it normal not to have heard back from someone for that long?
The field is better than the MTC. I didn't want to say it at first because I thought I might be a bad person for saying so, but the MTC felt like a jail cell locked in with immature 18 and 19 year old boys for 16 hours a day. Seriously. Okay maybe just one or two. The spirit was strong at some points, but it's nice to have my mind back. I feel like I get more room here from my companions out here since we're in an apartment. At the MTC the companion came with you to the bathroom. I felt like she was even getting inside my head, the last bit of privacy I had! It's been a bit of a lot of mixed emotions here. One day or one moment I think of all the good I can do and then the next I get homesick and think that it's a year and a half.
I havent' received the addresses for Michelle or Andelyn. I did get the email for the family. I can also email friends as well I have learned since being out in the field. So if you would like to give me email addresses that would be great.