Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1-21-08 - Book # 21

SO! Today was crazy! I hung out with Danielle all day and it was one of the best days I've had in a long time. Not only for Book of Mormon purposes, but just the whole day in general was great. But listen to this book of mormon story. So Danielle dropped me off to pick up my grandmas car because my truck is broken still. So on my way back to her house, I stopped by the shopping center by her house to see if I could find the person to get the book of mormon. I was cruising through the pretty empty parking lot and saw a few people so I decided to put the car in park and start walking around. Well right as I get out of the car, I see a lady walk out of the nearby store. I started walking toward her, and she walked between some cars, I thought she was going to get in the cars, but she didn't. All of the sudden she was right by me. So I asked her how she was doing. She said fine and kept walking. I told her that I wanted to give her something real quick. She turned around and said "what do you got?" She was kind of snippy, and didn't look very happy. I showed her it was the book of mormon and she frieked out. "You've got to be kidding me! I can't believe this is happening! I walk out of that store, where they just made me so frusterated praying to God for help and look who shows up! I can't believe this…" So obviously I was a bit surprised… and I told her that I was sent to her right then. The story in a nutshell was that her dad and brother were LDS and they had both passed away now. But that she went to church when she was a little girl. She told me about how about 6 months ago she was diagnosed with cancer and that she can't work anymore and has gotten behind on the rent. She said that she called the bishop of her area and he told her he could not help her with the rent. She was very mad at him and the church because she thought they would always be there for her, but now that she needed them, they weren't. She said her 20 year old daughter a couple weeks ago lost her baby at 15 weeks, so they had been struggling with that. And she eventually started to get very emotional. By the way, I liked this lady from the first second she started talking. We became instant friends. There wasn't a thing I could have said to offend her. Anytime she complained about the church, I came right back at her with a reason why she shouldn't say those things, or why heavenly father still loved her even though the church couldn't help her at that time. She also said that she had given up on this faith a long time ago, but that she was so happy that I had given her a book because someone stole hers a little while back. She was really starting to get emotional and we had talked standing there in the parking lot for about 10 minutes now. So I asked her where she was headed. She told me she was going to go get the bus and head home. So I offered her a ride, she was a bit hesitant at first… understandably so… but she eventually said okay. So on the drive over, I asked her what her name was, it is Barbara Devlin. She ended up telling me that she was divorced about 20 years ago. And we both talked about how horrible of a time that was. I told her about my divorce, and we really connected talking about that. She has 3 kids total, her two older sons are both married with families. She told me that she stopped going to church when she married her husband, a total of over 30 years ago. She said she'd never go back after her latest experience with them. I kept telling her that it wasn't fair to judge the whole church on that one experience. I also told her the God wants to see that she's willing to do what he asks, not only when she needs him, but all the time. She talked about how she thinks she hasn't felt like she's forgiven herself ever since the divorce. She doesn't know why her husband left her, just one day he said he was done, and left. So sad. We talked for the rest of the drive to her apartment, and as we pulled up to her place, she was wiping her tears and thanked me again for the ride. I had to drop her off at the gate because she didn't have her opener, but as she was getting ready to get out of the car, she said to me, "Well I live in building 6, apartment 63, in case you ever want to stop by." I definitely know that if I had to pick the one person up to this point that will benefit the most from the book of mormon, I would definitely say its Barbara. She is my new best friend.

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