Normal….what’s Normal?

February 9, 2015

Hello dear ones! Mom, remember how last week you said that you were excited to hear that I was done being in the hospital? And Dad was excited to hear that my missionary life has gone back to normal? Well, once again, my life has taken an…interesting turn. Always full of surprises. I’m starting to get a reputation in Jersey for having a crazy mission.

Dad, remember how you sent me that pepper spray last week? Turns out, that was a pretty inspired gift. It came in handy last night, and it is now my constant companion! Last night, Sister Folmer and I were doing our nightly planning, when we heard someone start scratching on our front door. Our front door is NEVER used and you have to have a key to get to it. A man had somehow gotten inside and was scratching on the door (think horror movie) and calling through it to see if anyone was home. It was terrifying. Sister Folmer and I froze, unsure what to do. We got super quiet and didn’t say anything to each other, but we kept looking at the door, because it sounded like the man was going to try to come in. Well, our front door and back door have double locks, with a chain, so it’s pretty impossible to get in. Our sliding door, however, was unlocked (we didn’t know), and the blinds were broken so someone could see in. I was going to go look through the peep hole to see who it was, but Sister Folmer dragged me into the bedroom to hide. When we were in the bedroom and she’d locked the door, we heard someone IN OUR LIVING ROOM slamming drawers. It was so scary! THERE WAS SOMEONE IN OUR APARTMENT! I was going to go out and see what was going on (and try to talk to him – he for sure needed the gospel), but Sister Folmer wouldn’t let me (probably a good thing). We barricaded ourselves in the closet and called the Spanish sisters and the police (in that order – not necessarily the most well thought out thing I have ever done). While we were hiding in the closet, I was trying to imagine what we would do if the man found us in the closet. Pray? Run? Attack? Then I remembered the pepper spray that Dad sent me last week, but I’d left it in the living room! I decided that the best thing to do would be to pray, and so I prayed. And prayed and prayed and prayed. And a sense of peace and reassurance filled my heart. I knew we were going to be okay, but I wasn’t sure how. The Ocean police arrived a minute and a half later (they are really good), but the man had already left. No damage had been done (nothing had been stolen – I wish he’d at least taken a Book of Mormon – and he didn’t come after us in the closet) and he had disappeared. It was the weirdest thing. Definitely not the scariest thing that has happened to me on my mission, but still pretty terrifying. After the police left, we packed up a suitcase and bailed with the Eatontown Spanish sisters to Red Bank (my last area – also the closest sister’s area) to spend the night. IMG_0641Ha, we called our zone leaders to ask permission to leave our area, and I couldn’t stop laughing, because they always get emergency calls from me: “Hey elders, my companion almost died. We’re at the hospital.” “Hey elders, Sister Caetano looks like she just died. We can’t carry her to the car, and we need a ride to the hospital.” (I didn’t tell you about that story – it was horrible) “Hey elders, someone just broke into our apartment. We need to leave now.” I’m surprised they haven’t blocked our phone by now. They almost drove to our area to be our bodyguards while we left our apartment (the Spanish sisters were being watched by a hooded man while they ran to save us in our apartment, and we saw him later trying to get into other locked buildings in the complex), but I assured them we didn’t need extra protection: My dad sent me pepper spray! Also, Hermana Philbrick is pretty feisty and was prepared to use her keys as a weapon. So we bolted to our car, drove past the scary man trying to get into locked buildings, and drove like mad to Red Bank.
And that is the latest adventure of Sister Cobb. Also, I had to take another sister to the hospital this week. Hermana Ivie (one of my favorite people EVER) had a couple of viruses and had to be hospitalized… “Hey elders, Hermana Ivie needs to go to the hospital and she is too weak to get off of the floor. We need you to come give her a blessing.”  It’s weird, I’m growing strangely comfortable in crisis situations. IMG_0631I’m actually more used to dealing with crisis. I kind of enjoy them. Heavenly Father has taught me how to stay calm, positive, rational (minus the part where I wanted to go and talk to the man breaking into our apartment), and to rely on the Savior’s Atonement. My companion is dying? It’s okay, the Savior and His angels are with us. That sister may have just died? We’ll be fine – the Lord is in control. The Lord will sustain and strengthen us. A man is breaking into our apartment? We’ll be fine, we have angels protecting us. I have a testimony of the Savior and His angels. I know He lives, and I know He saves.
We’ve got big plans for this week – we are going to work hard (and try not to get robbed or hospitalized). I’ll let you know what miracles we see this week!
I LOVE being a missionary, and I LOVE all of you!
Sister Cobb

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