It began with the hairs on the back of her neck rising, followed by the distinct feeling that she was being watched. Next, out of the corner of her eye, she sees movement. A suspicion that she is being followed enters her mind. She speeds up. To her horror, they speed up. What would YOU do? Start running? Turn around and confront them? (Me: Pretend to take a cell phone call.) What would YOU do if someone chased after your car, waving their arms, urging you to stop? (Floor it) What if they were waiting outside your apartment when you came home at night? What if they knocked at your door? (Keep the lights off and hope they go away). What if the stalker (or were there two?) shows up at your place of employment? (Call the cops.)
In her recent letter, Hannah expressed the realization that being a missionary is a lot like being a stalker - you try to get strangers to divulge personal information, such as their phone number. When they don’t return your calls, you drop in on them at unexpected times or wait for them at places they visit. You ask their neighbors about them. And, if a potential investigator that you’ve been trying to contact happens to drive by (of course you have memorized the make, model, and color of their vehicle), you run after them and try to flag them down. Although the police haven’t been called YET, people have responded to Hannah and her companion in the other ways listed above. On the bright side, after this stalker training, when Hannah gets home she can get a job at one of those mall kiosks that sell phone contracts or mineral cosmetics. (I’m serious. Read the first few lines of this post again – they describe my shopping experiences exactly.)
Hannah has already grown to love her companion, Sister Harrison. Isn’t it wonderful how two strangers can successfully work together so quickly when united in a righteous purpose! I’m sure this is due, in large part, to the fact that Hannah and Sister Harrison recognized early on that, despite many differences, they had something in common upon which they could build: They both shared a knowledge of, and a love for – Star Trek! (Okay, also the Gospel, the Savior, the people of Texas, etc. etc.). But if you’ve ever seen the episode "Darmok," you know what I mean about Star Trek.
Hannah says that she has been richly blessed these past weeks. She and Sister Harrison have two new investigators, they have a full schedule of service and teaching every day, and her health has been excellent. She is especially grateful for receiving direct and obvious answers to her prayers, and for a greater sense of peace and calm. Hannah was particularly touched by a prayer offered on their behalf by an investigator they have been visiting regularly. The investigator prayed almost exclusively for the sisters’ well-being, and added, “Thank you for letting me know how much you, God, love me by sending me these sisters.” Hannah wrote, “It’s so easy to forget, but God doesn’t just share His Gospel through us, He also shares His love.” Thanks for the insight, Hannah. I’m determined to do more to help others feel God’s love for them through my actions. (Anyone have a suggestion as how to tell someone to clean up their mess (again) in a way that communicates both the urgency of the request and also God’s love for them?)
Lastly, Hannah had another La Cucaracha encounter – in her apartment. A cockroach came from UNDER HER BED. She used the closest thing at hand, a Yoga/Relaxation CD case, to dispatch it. “Now take a deep breath; hold it. Let it out slowly. Allow all the stress and tension to drain out of your body – and into the CD case. Now, slowly raise the case. Allow all of that tension and stress to crush the roach. Again. One more time. Now take a deep breath; hold it. Let it out slowly. Now, you’re ready for the day.”