Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hey you good-looking people!

Well, I guess this is my last email from the mission...When did that happen?! I swear I was just in the MTC. But then as I reflect over the last few months, it makes me realize that I have been gone for a wee bit of time! Wow! What a wonderful time it has been! West Virginia is truly Wild and Wonderful! :) I can't wait to tell you all the stories, testimonies, and experiences that have shaped my life. I'm so grateful for each trial, challenge, and growing experience. I know this gospel is true more now than ever! And I plan to continue to strengthen that testimony each day! I love this gospel. I love this work. I love the people in this mission and many in Arizona! :) That is the only thing making this transition easier, because I get to see each of you!!! I wish I could bring each of you back with me and just continue working, but I know that is not realistic, so I'm going to bring the missionary work with me! It is going to be wonderful!

I know I'll be seeing you in like 2 days, but I still am going to give a re-cap of this last week and a half. :) 

Monday after emailing we went and had a Turkey Bowl with the zone and I even scored a touchdown! Woohoo! My companion though took a bad fall when her knee moved the wrong direction. We were thinking it was her ACL so we went to the hospital and they diagnosed it as a knee sprain. She is a trooper! 

On Tuesday I went to my last MLC and it was wonderful! The assistants had me play the piano for old times sake. :) haha They called it the Sister Herring show because I also had to bare my testimony last. It was so strange to be the one giving the departing testimony. I actually did okay controlling my emotions too! Heavenly Father has helped with that. I don't know if you've heard about "He is the Gift" but if you haven't you need to watch the video and share it! It softens hearts and brings the spirit to each person! 

Wednesday we drove to Lynchburg for a zone meeting there. We were able to teach a few portions and it turned out great! Oh P.S. It was a blizzard on the way there. We walked out of our apartment and were so confused to see huge flakes of snow. Luckily I've become an excellent driver while serving in this mission and it was fine! haha We then drove back and went to work! 

Thursday was Thanksgiving. We woke up and went to help at a Turkey Trot, passing out hot chocolate and pass-along cards. :) It was cold but fun! We then went to breakfast at Sister Christy's house. Next we went and had snacks at the Hughes home and that was a blast! They are my family away from my family. I love them! We then drove with Sister Pam Parks to the Pearts mansion for Thanksgiving dinner. Their home is 4 stories and gorgeous! Brother Peart says that "X-box built it." haha He was the head engineer for X-Box I. Whatever that is haha I guess it came out while I was on the mission. It was neat though because with all the food we showed the "He is the Gift" video to each family and each time the spirit entered the room and there was peace! Tons of children and peace! It was amazing! :) I love the video and hope each of you love it as much as I do! Wow! 

Friday we had another zone meeting with the Buena Vista zone and once again we taught a small portion and it was fun to learn the information again! I love being able to serve missionaries and investigators. After the meeting we went to work!

Saturday we went and did some service at Ladles and Linens. It is a cute Christmas store and we were to wrap presents for charity, but then nobody showed up, so we ended up just having a good conversation with the people who worked there. We then met the Rockbridge sisters at Kenney's and did a mini-exchange. I went to work with Sister Nielsen (who is coming home with me). Both of our companions are injured so we let them rest and we went to work. We went and decorated a Christmas tree for one woman and then went and visited people throughout the day! It was a blast! 

Sunday, Bishop cried over the pulpit about me was a bit embarrassing. But I will miss this ward! They are wonderful! Oh and a poor baby threw up all over the place during the combined meeting which was hilarious! But so sad! :) The Reynolds fed us lunch and it was so nice of them! We then went and worked a bit.

Monday: We had a final district meeting then went to lunch with the elders at this Mexican restaurant. The rest of the day was saying goodbyes and teaching lessons.

Tuesday: We were able to see the Campbells, and Randy gave us our Christmas presents. He is such a funny man! Oh and I told him I would call him when I made it safely. He is worried. haha He and Brother Bria both cried when talking about leaving. They are so cute! I again love this area and will miss it!

Sorry this is kind of brief, my companion is needing the computer and I figure, I'll be seeing you soon!

Remember that I love you so much! I have a firm testimony that this gospel is true. I love it! And I can't wait to continue sharing it throughout my life! 

See you Friday!

Sister Herring

Mexican food!
Willie and Karen Campbell!!!

Randy gave us presents! 

I'll save the rest of the pictures for Friday! :)

I decorated this woman's tree. Here is the proof! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Birthday cake!

Walking down Possum Hollow (pronounced Holler)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hello you beautiful family!

Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do! This week has been exciting! I'm starting to take more pictures to make sure I don't miss a moment! 

Monday after writing we went and got to take pictures in the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. That was exciting. It was freezing! We then ended the day by going to visit a lady named, Tina Beam. She is a bit crazy, but is searching for truth. She knows a lot about the church, but it wasn't to become ordained a Baptist Preacher. We got to know her and she had some great questions. The good thing I've learned is that when people have questions (that they are trying to bash with,) you simply need to know and testify of the restoration of the gospel. Do you know the Book of Mormon is true? Then this is Christ's church! It is very simple! The Book of Mormon is truly the keystone of our religion. I know without a doubt that it is! I know that Joseph Smith translated it by the Power of God! I know that the gospel has been restored in its fullness! Yay! I love the gospel! :)

Tuesday: We had a great district meeting where we learned about recognizing the spirit then we went on an exchange with Sister Packard and Lopp. Sister Packard came to Lexington with me. :) We got to work visiting people and she is a very bold missionary! We were able to visit a less-active family but then we went to teach Linda and Sister Packard committed her to give up coffee. Holy cow it was an intense but amazing lesson! I loved every minute! We were able to meet a nice man named Michael who was standing outside (rare with how cold it is). He told us to come back! We then had a quick dinner before the call-in conference with President Salisbury. It was a good thing for Sister Packard to be a part of. You always learn so much!

Wednesday: We drove to Lynchburg to exchange back and went to lunch at Chick-Fil-A with all the sisters. It was wonderful! It was also Sister Tobler's 20th birthday! Woohoo! We got the man that worked there to give her flowers! Just by telling him it was her birthday! So nice! I love Chick-Fil-A! We then did a mini-exchange with Sisters Sullivan and Freeland. They have had some interesting things happen so we needed to figure out how to help. Sister Freeland is such a sweetheart! I was glad to go and work with her for a bit. We then drove home and were able to have dinner with the Clubbs. They made Sister Tobler a scavenger hunt for her birthday using scriptures which finally led her to her birthday cake! It was the cutest idea ever! I'm totally doing it for missionary birthdays in the future! We then drove to the church and had a quick lesson with Mary before the church tour. Nobody came sadly, so Brother Hughes did my final interview. He posts it a private Facebook group for me to see when I get home. He is awesome! 

Thursday: We did weekly planning which was epic...We had a great discussion and I had a mini- realization that my mission is ending soon and it was awful! I'm excited to see my family,but I'm really not ready to end my mission. Yikes! I've never felt so many emotions in my life! We then had a cleaning inspection with the senior couple in the area and we passed! haha We weren't worried. :) After the cleaning check we went to contact a referral and we met a nice man named Patrick who told us to come teach him and we are going to begin teaching a family with 4 daughters! So fun! We are excited! We then met with Pattie before heading to dinner. We then had to end the night working on some things for the sisters.

Friday: time! One of my favorite things! If you haven't seen the video of the "Glorious" song on do it! It is amazing! I watched it 4 times! :) We then had a quick lunch before heading over to check on Randy. He'd been sick all week! We then decided that we didn't need to be in Glasgow so we went walking near Lexington and stopped at a Part-Member family's home and they welcomed us in! So exciting! We then went to correlation and had pancakes before heading to help clean up an Orchestra concert at the church where we met a lady named Lisa Clark, who might have us over for Thanksgiving! She loves Mormons and someday will be one! :) We then ended the night at Mae's house and had a great conversation with her! It was a great day!

Saturday: We went to the food pantry for service, but then they realized that was my last time, so Bob, Ellie, and Bob's wife took us out to a fancy restaurant called, "The Livery" for lunch. I got an all vegetable sandwich! Can you believe it mom?! I about died, but it was wonderful! So good! We then went and visited a few people before eating dinner at the Hingsons. They are an extremely wealthy family in the ward whose daughter went to BYU at 14. So cool! The mom is deaf, but that doesn't stop her from anything! They are truly amazing! We then were driving back from Glasgow when I ran over a possum!!! I went my entire mission without running anything over and my last bit I ran over a possum! Yuck! I screamed the whole time (just like that one time, Mom) and then we laughed hysterically. Fun times!

Sunday: Randy, although sick, came and was confirmed! What was neat was Elizabeth came too! She had just gotten off work and was not feeling well, but she came! I love her! She is so awesome! It was Ward conference so it was an especially neat Sunday and the spirit was so strong! After church they had a linger longer which was fun and then we went and visited a few people. We were able to see Pattie and bring Elizabeth some funeral potatoes (her new favorite food). For dinner we ate at Sister Arogyasami's and then ended the day with a nice walk in the rain. It was such a great week! 

Today we will be having a Turkey Bowl with the zone and on Thanksgiving we will be having 3 meals. Yikes! One of the meals, though will be at the head engineer's for X-Box home! We are so excited! This ward is so diverse. We have people who can't read all the way to people who are the New York Times best-sellers! I love it! So many different lives all touched and governed by the same gospel of Jesus Christ! There truly is a place for everyone in this church! 

Tomorrow I get to drive to Charleston for my last MLC (mission leader council) and then Wednesday and Friday are zone meetings. Fun times! This week is packed, but I look forward to every minute of it!

Well, I'd better get going, but remember next week is transfers (I wonder where I'll be going! :)), so I won't be emailing until Wednesday. Jared! Happy Birthday! Thanks for being one of the best brothers-in-law in the world! Rindy and Lane! Happy Anniversary!!! Hope it is wonderful! Keep on being amazing and know that I love each of you! The gospel is true! Share is with everyone! Thank you for all your love and support daily! I truly feel the strength that comes from each prayer! 

I love you!

Sister Herring

Amazing picture haha

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brother Hughes did the baptism!
Elizabeth wanted a picture! :) 

Hello my wonderful family!

What a great day to be a missionary! The clouds have arrived, the air is cool, and boots have become my favorite thing to wear! :) It has definitely begun to feel like winter, but I'm loving every minute of it! Because with the cold comes the holidays! People are so much nicer and open to learning during the holidays! :) It is the best time to be a missionary! :) We already get to talk about the gospel all day, but then those that were closed off before become more open when they realize we celebrate this time of year too! No more confusing us for Jehovah Witnesses! :) 

It is beginning to hit me how little time I have left, but don't worry that isn't affecting me work ethic. This area is amazing and so many miracles are happening daily! Just barely as I was beginning the letter home, the lady next to me told me I sounded like I was writing a masterpiece and I told her it was a letter home. That then opened up the door to who I am and my purpose. I was able to invite her to the family history center and who knows what will come from that! Miracles are everywhere! :) 

This week has flown by and it concluded with a beautiful baptismal service for Randy Floyde Hannah Sr. :) It was amazing! But maybe I should start with Monday, right? ;)

Monday night we were able to go to the Hall's for dinner (Brother Hughes has gotten us a meal appointment every day!). While we were there we were able to teach Meme and Bella about Patriarchal Blessings! It was wonderful! I love the Halls and Meme and Bella! They are the first people I met here and some of my favorites!

On Tuesday we were able to see Pattie for a bit then we went and taught Randy with Brother Anderson and Randy was a changed man. His countenance has truly changed over the course of the time we've been meeting. He has a glow now! We then drove the Bria's for dinner and had a great time with them before heading over to the Cowboy church for Bible Study. Imagine this...7 people watching a "Duck Dynasty" version of a Bible Study. Apparently one of their congregation members owns 5 episodes of a Bible Study. We walked in and immediately realized this was their version of a Bible Study and luckily were able to have a great discussion after awkwardly trying to avoid the show about Prayer. The preacher loves us! haha They invited us back for next week and next week we will be inviting them to our church tour. They have become friends and if you are wondering what my mission is like, you can watch Duck Dynasty. That TV show is the West Virginia Charleston Mission, from the clips I heard. haha Such a funny situation! We then drove home and had a conference call with the leadership of the mission which President Salisbury is trying to make a weekly thing.

Wednesday: We did some time before heading to Brother Peter's for lunch. He is the cutest little African American man with great style! Holy cow that man can dress! He is always in 3-piece suits and has the best ties (which he gives to missionaries) Next time we go, I'm getting a picture with him! We then went and met with James. He is awesome! Definitely searching for truth and needs it desperately! When he gets out of jail, he will know where to look! WE then saw Mindy for a brief second who is just a friend for now, but then we went to the Campbells for dinner (biscuits and beef). We did some service for them and Willie told me that I had a special place in his heart. :) He is one of my favorite Virginians. I just wish he would come to church! We then met with Mary for a brief minute before the church tour. Gloria even came! She loved it! Hopefully this inspire a desire within her to continue acting and come to church! 

Thursday: We did some weekly planning, had lunch with the Hughes, and then saw Randy again! He was still doing amazing! He told me he's going to buy me an army jacket to remember him for Christmas. haha (Because he was in the army.) haha Funny man! We then tried to see a few people before heading over to see a less-active and while we were there, we ran into Brother Bria and woman named Tina! She invited us to come teach her and we then knew why all the previous appointments had fallen through. :) We then drove to Buena Vista for interviews and Stake Correlation. Both were wonderful! Sister Salisbury won't be at transfers because her daughter is getting married so we took farewell pictures. It was so sad! But thank goodness President will be there! We then drove to dinner with Amber Clark and Gabby. :) We ended the night practicing a song for Randy's baptism at Bishop's house before talking to Randy about his baptism. He had a few concerns which we were able to resolve. 

Friday: Exchanges! We went to a great district meeting about recognizing the spirit, then we drove to Buena Vista for an exchange. Every time I go there I think of Candace Patterson going to SVU and it makes me so happy! I know Kadee Avila is going there and I hoped to see her, but it didn't happen. :) Small world! I stayed in Buena Vista with Sister Williams and it was wonderful! We were able to see a lady named Susan and have a great discussion with her. It helped me realize how much I love the Book of Mormon! We then tried to see a few people before heading to dinner with Sister Hans. We ended the night playing basketball with some members which of course, I was terrible at, but I tried! There's a reason I was a cheerleader. :)

Saturday: We saw a lady named Bernice who has family who are Herring's and then exchanged back. Oddly enough when we exchanged back, the other sisters weren't there, but one of our investigators was at the church. So we gave her a church tour, then taught her the plan of salvation, and invited her to baptized on December 21st, which she was so excited for! She is awesome! She says she feels she belongs in this church. She does!!! We then had a quick lunch before heading to Randy's to invite him to the Elder's baptism on Saturday night. He agreed to come and then we hurried to dinner at the Kohls. They had a great roast beef dinner (I've had that 4 times this week :) not complaining, just laughing) and it was all delicious! We then hurried to the baptism in Buena Vista and Randy loved it! It calmed his nerves. He then passed his interview which took a load of stress off our backs and we headed home!

Sunday: Church was wonderful! Elizabeth came and the lesson in Sunday School was on baptism! How appropriate! :) We then prepared for Randy's big event after church and Elizabeth kept on talking about her baptism and how excited she was! Yay! It is going to happen! Randy's baptism worked out great! The pianist fell through, so I played, but other than that, it went off perfect! Even our duet turned out! The spirit was felt by each person there and I'm so grateful to have been a part of it! After the baptism we were able to go to dinner with Sister Kraut and Sister Parks. They are both converts and amazing! We then called and welcomed a new sister coming to the mission, a Sister Sorensen, and then headed to the Faulkner's and ended the night at Linda's. It ended up a being a fantastic week! I love being a missionary!

As you can see the work is truly being hastened! Great things are happening and each of us, full-time missionary or not, gets to be a part of it! Each of has an important part in the work of salvation! Whatever you can do right now, whether it be family history, inviting friends to activities, or feeding the missionaries, do it! You will see miracles! I promise you! Read the Book of Mormon! It is truly the book that will bring us closest to our Heavenly Father and our Savior! I love it!

I hope each of you have the best week ever! Remember someone in Virginia loves you! :)

Sister Herring

President and Sister Salisbury (It was cold!)
Randy's Baptism!