Janet's note: feel free to send Hannah little notes with anecdotes about your missions or favourite scriptures, etc.
Lacey's note: I'm so sorry for posting Hannah's blog late this week, everyone! It's been busy. Have it now for your reading pleasure.
When I was a small child, struggling to put myself through 1st grade whilst in the throes of some pretty severe ADHD, the children I shared a classroom with called me "crazy." When I decided to hike up a mountain (read; a rather large hill) while pulling a handcart, dressed in pioneer garb, my friends called me "crazy." When I told my mother I had decided to do 5 shows and take 16 credits at the same time in one semester, she called me "crazy." Now, I may have been able to grow a lid and a filter to keep my spastic ADHD tendencies under control. I may recognize the need to slow down in my educational rampage. But strangely enough, as a missionary called of God with powers and authorities to rival that of kings (spiritually speaking), I am still labeled as "crazy." It's probably because I tract in 106 degree weather, and that's NOT the heat index.
But it may also be the sister trio I'm in. We attempt to stuff 3 sisters that all need to eat, sleep and study in a tiny, one bedroom apartment. We have barely enough room to have two desks. I don't know how we put 3 twins in there, but we have. Our kitchen resembles those that Fisher Price makes for 2 year old, eager home-makers. That's a little crazy.
It may be all the crafts we do as a companionship to wind down on stressful days. I've made a rainstick, a pinata, a dream catcher and I just wrapped up a carton of confetti eggs. Don't worry-- it's all after planning and before bedtime. But the amount of confetti in my hair is a little crazy.
I think every missionary needs a bingo of things they see while tracting. Because I think I would have hit the Bingo jackpot with knocking on a door and having some late-20's male answer in nothing but a dish towel. That was more uncomfortable than crazy though.
Crazy is knocking on a door, not suspecting to witness a miracle. Pamela, my favorite progressing investigator, is a living witness that God hears and answers our prayers. We went over to teach her Lesson 1 and then again to teach Lesson 2. We ask her every time "Pamela, do you believe what we're teaching is true? Do you believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God?" We've been meeting with her for just barely two weeks. And without taking a moment to think, she always-- and I mean ALWAYS-- says "Of course it's true; I know it's God's word!" We invited her to be baptized-- she said the best answer to that invitation I can possibly conceive of: "I need that." She came to church with us and loved the service. We stop by every now and again to see how she's doing or when we're having a rough day and need the spirit. She may not be a member, but her soul has already converted.
Crazy is witnessing a miracle... but watching the other person not realize what's going on. We've been working with a headache--excuse me, investigator--named Alvin since I got here. We have exhorted him to our wit's end, we have given him everything he could possibly need. He even knows the Book of Mormon is true and he studies it regularly! He takes notes and highlights that book of scripture the way I do! And that's saying something, I'm a huge literature note-taker if you didn't know. And yet... for all the spirit he's felt from us bearing witness, to studying the scriptures to receiving an incredibly powerful priesthood blessing that strengthened my faith in the priesthood... he still won't come to church. I think that's crazy. If you know it's true, you've seen it happen, then why can't you make 3 hours out of your Sunday to worship the God that has given you such things?
If my brothers complain about church while I'm in the room, they're getting smacked with a copy of True to the Faith.
I think that, on some level, you have to be crazy to be a Mormon. Because no average 19 year old would want to give up 18-24 months of their life to tract and tirelessly proselyte, working such a thankless task. But then, you have to examine the kind of history we possess. No normal person would agree to selling their house, farm, belongings and cross an entire country to a desert. No normal person would suffer the endless persecutions of mobs and the pervasive, ignorant jeers of those who simply don't understand. As a rather rude lady called me crazy and slammed the door on my face, I stood there and busted up. I mean, I was doubled over on her front step just... in tears of mirth. Because you cannot insult a crazy person. You cannot hurt someone who's mind is on a separate plane, who's knowledge and understanding extends far beyond anything this world teaches. I have no degree, I have no worldly merit that says I have any authority to know. And yet I do. I have since I was 8 years old, I think. And that's... that's a little crazy. But why should that ever be a bad thing?