Thursday, January 31, 2013

End of January

So I'm now 5 weeks past a hip replacement.  Got home tonight from my 8th therapy, which I love, and am walking without my canes.  Yipee!   I've been soooo blessed.

We get more and more beggars every day!  We're finding out there are a lot of professional 'pan-handlers' out there - and a lot of them who follow the LDS church from city to city supporting themselves entirely by their stories.   We had a guy come in about 1 1/2 months ago.  This guy is about 45 or so I'd guess.  A professional at crying.  He cries from before he comes in the mission office until when he goes out.  The first time I believed him.  He sounded and acted so sincere.
'He and his wife had just come by Amtrack from Hurricane Sandy in Long Island where they lost their house.  The had been given some money by the recovery act to come to Reno to begin work at one of the casinos.   He didn't have enough money to pay for a motel and just needed money for one night.  I am a Mormon.'

By now we had an established a rule in the mission which is that we give no money of our own to anyone.  Period.  Fortunately Elder Lynn wasn't there.  ;D    Unfortunately no men were.  We just couldn't get him to leave so I called a local Bishop and asked him to come and talk to him.  He couldn't but arranged to meet him downtown at 5:00.  Finally the guy left. 

He came back a week ago and fortunately Elder Blankenship (who has been a Bishop) was there.  After I told him we had no money, no food, no housing, no anything he asked to speak to 'the brother'. Elder Blankenship came out, listened to him for a couple of minutes, borrowed the guy's cell phone and went in the back room to look up the names of a couple of LDS people the guy mentioned.  Elder Blankenship got an earful.  He came back out and repeated what he'd been told.  'After checking - the guy is not Mormon, his story is a lie, he's told everyone he's talked to different details,'  etc.  Everytime Elder Blankenship would mention a fact, the tears would turn on more and the guy would loudly cry the people were lying about him.  Elder Blankenship, who has been a high school teacher, would immediately hold up his hand and move his straightened fingers together, indicating 'close your mouth.'  At the same time he would go 'shshshshshsh'  so loud you couldn't hear the guy.  It was priceless.  When the guy would be quiet Elder Blankenship would continue on with his recitation of facts.  Then the whole thing would repeat itself.  Finally Elder Blankenship escorted him out the door by taking his arm.

Then Sat.  Elder Lynn and I were at the office on Sat. about 4:00 waiting for someone.  Here comes this guy again.  This time he is telling me his truck is broken down and he is selling the parts and the place will 'send him the money.'  He shows me his 'receipt'.   I asked him where he got the truck.  He 'drove it here from Hurricane Sandy',  Etc.   I repeatedly told him 'no' and he got in to 'is this how you Mormon's treat other Mormons here in the west?'

This week we had 2 people come in on Monday.  Two phone calls asking for help the next 2 days. We found out that 'Savers' is sending them to us.  That isn't the only way they get to our 'Mission'.  The word gets around on the street.  Our office is quite out of the one just 'happens' by us.

We run into pan-handlers outside of stores, on street corners.  They are everywhere.  Finally I called the City of Sparks to ask their policy.  They don't have an ordinance here and they don't have enough police.  So if someone calls and they have an officer available, they will come and ask them to 'move on.'   

Then the man from the City of Sparks told me never to give money to someone in a parking lot.  The night before Elder Lynn and I had gone to Staples for supplies and ordered a stamp.  A young guy - teen or early 20's with a small red plastic gas can had approached us asking for money.   Dee gave him some.  We left, did other errands and went back an hour later to pick up the stamp.  Same guy - walking the parking lot.  This is in a strip mall so a lot of small stores open at that time of night.

Tonight we were at Burger King and a woman walks up to me in the store,  "Sister, I am so hungry and have no money and we can only share 1 hamburger.  Can you spare $2.00?"

Change of subject:
On Feb. 12 we have 19 missionaries coming to us.  18 Elders and one sister.  This Sister is special and Elder Lynn and I are praying for her.  She is a really sharp and attractive young woman.  However she has had health problems for a number of years.  Now she is doing better and really wants to go on a mission.  She is coming to our mission, with Salt Lake's instruction, without a call to try out a mission for 12 weeks, to see if she physically can do this.  If  it is determined she can, then she will get her call and go to the MTC and go into the field for the remaining 15 months.  Please include her in your prayers.  How I admire her!

We also have a great young man who is now starting a 'mission' with us.  I believe he is autistic, or something similar.   He comes 1 day a week, works with other missionaries.  The day I gave him his name tags you should have seen his face.  I just love him.  Isn't it wonderful that he wants to do this?
He also works one day a week for the church at the Food Distribution place.  I am SOOO glad the leaders work to allow these young people a chance to do what they want so much to do.

The last note is that so far (now almost Feb. 1) we have 31 missionaries arriving in March:  15 Sisters and 16 Elders.   The great influx has begun.  I can't wait to see what happens!

Love to you all.  Serving a mission is just so great!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sister Lynn,

    I love your blog. Thank you for all you do for the Missionaries and the Lord.


    Liz Osborn