Monday, July 29, 2013

Anna Herring
10:40 AM (4 hours ago)
to me
Picture 1 - Sister Morgan and I on exchanges (sorry for how gross I look. This was after tracting all morning)
Picture 2 - Sister Tuckett and I while writing letters home (I realized I haven't really sent any pictures of me or my comp.
Picture 3 - This is me in our house. I love our house!
Picture 4 - We drove through Dublin on our exchange. I think they named it after Dublin, Ireland. :)


Anna Herring
10:36 AM (4 hours ago)
to me
Hello Mi Familia!
You probably all just thought I had been transferred to a Spanish speaking mission! Nope! Just 
practicing :). This week has been wonderful! I'm going to break it down by day as I look through my 
journal. It is hard to remember everything, the days seem to blur together.
Tuesday - 23rd
Sister Tucket and I got to go to the RAM House which stands for Roanoke Area Ministries. It is Day 
Shelter and we were in charge of checking people in and getting them soap/toothpaste/deodorant when
 needed. It was neat to work with other religions to help the people in this area. Roanoke doesn't have
 any laws against loitering so people come from far and wide to be in the Homeless Shelters in the town. 
There are several. We then went and taught a less active man and ended up getting permission to teach
 his granddaughter! It was a great day! 1 New investigator! We then ended the night by having dinner at
 Rancho Viejo with some members. It felt so good to have chips and salsa! I didn't realize how much 
I would miss Mexican food! Mom, remember how I'd beg for roast beef and mashed potatoes every 
Sunday? I don't think I'll be wanting that for a while when I get home. :) Of course we did a few other 
lessons throughout the day, but these were definitely the highlights.
Wednesday - 24th
Today we went to our district meeting and had interviews with the Mission President. I love President 
Pitt and I'm trying to be the best missionary I can be so that he doesn't have to worry about me. We 
then went out to lunch with the district at Cheddars where Sister Tucket and I split a Chicken Pot Pie. 
During our district meeting, we got to practice role plays by doing Know/Feel/Do's. It is where we think 
of one of our investigators then make goals for what we want them to know, feel and do. We then act 
out a lesson and try to accomplish these goals. It was so helpful and the spirit was able to bless us with 
ideas for an actual situation. After lunch we went and visited this adorable couple in their cottage on the 
mountain. Picture the cutest cottage you can think of, and you just described this home. The couple 
was adorable and fed us a little bowl of ice cream. We shared a lesson with them and they talked about 
how they were making progress with the BOM. My companion said this was a miracle. They even came 
to church on Sunday! We then ended the night with a lesson at our investigator who is planning on being
 baptized on August 17th. They fed us (beef and potatoes) and then we gave a lesson on tithing. They 
both committed to pay tithing once the wife is baptized (the husband was a less active).
Thursday - 25th
We got to help out with the blood drive in the morning and made a few contacts/referrals. It was a great 
success and it was nice to bring non-members into the church building so they could feel the spirit there.
 Later we went and taugth a lesson to this spicy old woman in the area. She is awesome! She is coming
 to dinner with us tonight and loves us! We laughed so hard when she told us that the other night she 
chased a bear off while holding her phone ready to dial *911. haha She is 70 or 80 and so funny! We
 then went to dinner with a lady in our ward and her mentally handicapped son. He is about 50 and was 
just naming 80s bands until his mom said, "I like to make spaghetti". He turned to her and said, "I don't 
like psaghetti." We giggled when she very sarcastically said back, "psaghetti?" hahaha The women 
here certainly speak their minds!
Friday - 26th
Today we got to go tracting in the morning which made me feel like a real missionary. We then stopped
 by this less active man's house where he began to compare science fiction with scripture. (some people
 are a little crazy) For example he said, "How could Noah fit two of each kind of animal on the ark, I'm
 thinking DNA!" hahaha What do you say? I guess he tries to prove everything in the scriptures with
 science and doesn't practice a little faith. We'll work on that. We then went to another woman's house
 and she had been having a rough week, but she seemed really interested in our message on prayer and 
family. I have a really good feeling about her! I then got to go on an exchange to Bluefield which is a 
little sketchy area, but I was Sister Morgan. She is a great missionary! We went out visiting former
 investigators before coming home for the night.
Saturday - 27th
Today Sister Morgan and I got to visit a less active family and they are really interested in getting 
reactivated. We then went an taught the Restoration to this man in a very scary part of town. We had 
the Senior Couple with us just to be safe and during the lesson he mentioned he had felony. His process 
of conversion might take a little more time, but I know that he felt something and I even had enough 
courage to invite him to be baptized! He said he would if he could get everything worked out and in order.
 His friend from Brooklyn, New York then came in and talked for a second and asked for a Book of 
Mormon! Yay! It was awesome! We then exchanged back and Sister Tuckett and I went to a dinner and 
retirement party for a lady in the ward. Many members of her family are less active or non-members so 
it was a great chance to do a little missionary work while eating. We then ended the night be meeting the
 elders at Sonic. I guess they go every night on their way home. Strange...But we happened to feel the 
need to stop tonight. Best part happened as I was backing Sister Tuckett out of the parking spot. This 
man had been staring at us we backed out so I waved and said "Hi." He then proceeds to walk toward 
me saying "It's so good to see you!" (I have no idea who this man is p.s.) He then gives me a side hug 
before seeing my nametag and realizing that I probably wasn't who he was expecting. hahaha He said, 
"You all have a great night!" It was so awkward considering it's been a long time since a guy has hugged
 me and especially unexpectedly! We laughed the whole way home!
Sunday - 28th
Today after church (which was wonderful) we got to go to a member home for dinner. The dad shared 
mission stories with us which was fun and we got to eat deer burgers! The mom said I would have to 
tweet this home, so I'll email it instead. :) We then headed to a baptism. It was a wonderful Sunday and 
I wish I could include each and every lesson we teach, but I figure everyone has lives and they don't 
need to hear about each thing that happens :).
This morning we helped a lady move and she seemed very interested in the church. We are going back 
tomorrow to finish up the move and hopefully we can begin teaching her or send her as a referral to her 
next area. I love this mission life so much! I learn and experience so much and I know the things I'm 
learning at this time will affect my entire life. I hope you all know that I have a testimony of this great
 gospel. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that he loves each of us enough 
that He sent His son to Earth to provide a way for us to live with Him again. I know the atonement is 
available for all people and that as we have faith in Jesus Christ, Repent, Are baptized, and endure to
 the end we can live with Him again and with our families. I know that there is a living prophet on the 
Earth today and that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. I know that each of us can 
gain our own testimonies by practicing faith, praying, and studying the Word of God. I love this work 
and I love you all!
Have the most wonderful day/week ever! Keep up the good work at home and remember how much I 
admire each of you for all you do and for all you have done for me.
The church is true!
Sister Herring
Picture 1 - Our home
Picture 2 - Our normal drive through town
Picture 3 - Sign on one of my favorite less active member's home.
I'll send more pics with the next email.

More magic

Anna Herring
Jul 22 (7 days ago)
to me
Here is a picture from the plan as we were landing and a little more from the area. 
There are deer and bears everywhere! (No worries, they are tiny deer and the 
bears pretty much stay away. :) So fun!

Stacey Tuckett <>
11:16 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
Sister Herring said to tell you she got the GPS system and loves the soap and the shirt!

She logged out and couldn't get back in.

She's fabulous by the way.  A great missionary, thanks for letting her come!

Sister Tuckett

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anna Herring
10:06 AM (3 hours ago)
to me
Sorry this email is being lame, but here is a picture of the view from our windwo, another one from the plane as we flew into West Virginia, and another one from our investigator's yard. Can you spot the deer? :) Love you!

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Anna Herring
10:04 AM (3 hours ago)
to me
I don't know if these sent last time.
The first pic is of the sisters in my district one last time. Me, Sister Francis, Sister Pearson, and Sister Wahlin.
The 2nd pic is of my district with our teacher Brother Sebesta. He's in the middle.
the 3rd is of my drive into Back Creek

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Anna Herring
9:44 AM (2 hours ago)
to me
Hello my dear family!
I can't believe it has been nearly two weeks since I last wrote. I am now in my mission and out of the MTC. Yikes! I'm so excited though. I have my journal on hand so hopefully I don't miss any of the major details of these past couple weeks.
First of all, thank you for the pictures, videos, letters, and packages. You know who you are! :) I loved the mini-m&m's, licorice, funny pics, lip gloss, punching bag, and crown. heehee My companions think I'm a little crazy, but that's okay haha.
Okay! Here goes! The MTC was truly one of the best experiences of my entire life. The lessons and opportunities I had there will stick with me throughout my life. I gained such a testimony of the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost, prayer, faith, and so many other basic gospel principles. It is because of these simple things that the great work of the church can move forward. I am merely an instrument. Just know that I am a huge fan of the MTC. I wish each member could have the opportunity to go for a couple weeks. The spirit was in each classroom and even in the lunchroom there was something different than the rest of the world. What a great place! I even got to see Steve and Sharon Crosby my last full day there. Yay! I almost cried with excitement! :) Well, Tuesday morning we woke up bright and early and after getting everyone checked out and the room ready for the next group, we headed for the buses. I sat next to 3 people from Arizona. Crazy! One of them was even a cousin to one of my students at Benjamin Franklin. I don't think that was by chance. We were all very sleepy, but couldn't sleep because of the task that lay before us. We got on the plane and I sat next to this huge African American man and another sister missionary. We were beginning to pry and to find out more about him when he said that he was already LDS. Aw man! 4 hours on a flight with 2 members sitting next to me! :) When we got to detroit I sat next to another missionary on the plane. Out of 50 seats, there were 31 missionaries so there was a good chance that you would be sitting by one. It was a small plane and that was a good thing because as we flew into West Virginia we all began to wonder where we would be able to land. There were only trees more trees and hills. It was so green! Well, apparently they had blown off the top of one of these hills and put the airport there. Only certain-sized planes can land and if a larger plane tries to land, it falls off the edge of the hill. Crazy! Our mission president met us there with the APs and Zone Leaders from this area. They are awesome young men! So helpful! We then loaded our luggage into a trailer (which only opened once on the drive) and headed to the mission home. When we got there we had dinner waiting and it was divine! Holy Moly! Beef Stroganoff and green beans and other yummy treats. We then had our testimony meeting where each of us began to doze off, but I did my best and stayed awake. With 31 missionaries, we had to sleep in the hotel in town and it turned out to be quite nice! We even had a continental breakfast! The lady that was cleaning up tables came over and talked to us and we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon! Success! :)
The next day we went to training and interviews all day and that night we went to Chick Fil A to check out our debit cards. I gave a pass-along card to a man and his two sons. I'm trying to take advantage of every opportunity. The sister training leaders then took me and a couple of other sisters out to teach some lessons and I got to go to this man's house. We weren't able to go in because he was the only one home, but he talked the whole time! We shared a scripture and prayer and that was it! :)
The next day we got placed with our companions and in our areas. My companion is Sister Tuckett from Payson, Utah. She only has 4 months left and is amazing! Everyone I talked to said she is the best missionary ever! She is the Sister Training Leader of our area. We are in the Back Creek area. It is just south of Roanoke, VA. Its name fits it perfectly. We live in a house up in the mountains. :) It is a beautiful home and upstairs is an LDS family. They are in the process of moving, but it is a family home, so we are alone right now. I think we should be fine for awhile. I am in love with this area. After driving for 4 hours from Charleston, we got here and I immediately went to the dinner appointment at the Fergusons. I should specify though. This area is full of families that have been here for generations. Their great-great-grandparents were the ones that founded the church in the area and so they were all baptized in their youth but many are not currently active. We have many opportunities to teach less-active members or the families that have not heard of the church. The family that we went to is one of the active members of the Ferguson clan :) It was another amazing meal! Something I've come to realize in the few days I've been here is the fact that every meal consists of a type of meat (usually homegrown beef), potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, and biscuits, and cobbler for dessert. Every meal! It is heaven and torture all at the same time. Oh and a common phrase is to say, "If you leave hungry, it's your own fault". haha They start offering you more food before your plate is empty. I'm a fast learner though, and what you do is put a lot of food on your plate to begin with, then eat really slow. Once they are done you can be finished. haha I've gained a little weight, but having a companion that is going home so soon is extremely helpful because she is determined to lose the weight she's gained. They say this a 20 lb. mission. I'm hoping to stick to five. haha
The people here are so genuine and kind. We've only had one rude man and it was almost comical. It is a small area, but there is a lot of work to do. We got to go to this restaurant named "The Home Place". It is an old plantation home and again included all you can eat beef, potatoes, fried chicken, ham, mac&cheese, green beans, coleslaw, biscuits, and cobbler. We went with an investigator who is going to be baptized in August so it was worth it. :) The past couple of days has been spent meeting all the investigators, less-actives, members, and getting to know the area. We study each morning then go and teach lessons the rest of the day. I love it! I love this work!
On Saturday morning we went to this less-active man in our ward. I want you to picture the grandfather from Heidi and you'd have him. He is so kind and is bald with a beard. I absolutely love him! We did two hours of service in his yard pulling out the roots from these bushes that have been on the land forever. He had his huge tractor pulling them out, but with the amount of rain they've been receiving I began pulling them out by hand. He was so impressed! haha He even let me drive his tractor after we were finished. His wife has dimensia and his 2 grandkids come and stay with him a lot, and he showed up Sunday with his granddaughter. She is 9 and we are going to try to start teaching her.
We also went to visit some less actives higher up the mountain and as we drove up to their house, the man (sitting on his porch in his overalls and that was all) waved to us. His wife came out and we sat and talked for a little bit and shared a message with them. They are super cute but are as backwoods as they come. Some things to know about this area is that everyone is related somehow, everyone has a gun near the door, everyone has had a heartattack or some heart problem, everyone and their dog has a dog, cat, and other sort of animal, and they would give you the shirt off their back. I do have more teeth than most, there are those rare few that are the kids that came back after seeing the world, but those that stayed are very set in their ways. Oh and our ward is older. Not many of them are younger than 60. I love it though! Teaching people that have lived here their entire lives and getting to know their heritage. It is awesome! I'm in the right area! Oh and Dad, there is such a thing as rain! Who knew?! :) It is extremely humid here, but I love it. It makes my hair nice and curly and my skin super soft. I use 1/4 of the lotion I used to. You definitely don't need to worry about my being safe, or sick. I am in a beautiful and safe location. If I was a Jehovah Witness I'd be scared, but the church has such a good reputation here that even if someone is not interested, they are super nice. Just this morning I taught the Restoration to this lady who is Catholic. She simply wants to learn more about our church, but has asked us to come back. Oh and this other lady said she likes the sister missionaries because she wants to learn more but without the pressure of the elders. We are excited for the many lessons we are getting to teach and for the receptiveness of the message.
I love my mission president and his cute wife. I love my companion, and I love the people. My companion is a genius and is teaching me all she knows. Oh and there are fireflies like crazy here! I can't believe this is where I get to begin my adventure. I'm looking forward to all the experiences I'm having and going to continue having. During studies I learn so much and I've started the BOM again and each time I read it I feel the spirit so strong and gain a stronger testimony of its truthfulness. Just this morning I was reading the vision of the tree of life and it hit me that the Tree of Life is the Love of God and the Iron rod is the word of God/Scriptures. That means the way to get to the Love of God is by reading and cleaving to the Scriptures. Wow! How powerful is that?! Preach My Gospel says that the Book of Mormon and the spirit are the most powerful tools of conversion. If only the whole world knew this message. I'm sorry this is so long, a lot has happened and I could go on for hours, but these are the main points. I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this gospel. It is true and all points back to our loving Heavenly Father. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End are the steps to have an eternal family. What a great gift that our family all has this knowledge. This life is not the end and the Book of Mormon is the rod to get us there. Read it! Love it! Live it! I love you all so much and am grateful daily for your examples to me. Keep up the good work at home and know that all is well out here in Roanoke, Virginia. :)
The first pic is of the sisters in my district one last time. Me, Sister Francis, Sister Pearson, and Sister Wahlin.
The 2nd pic is of my district with our teacher Brother Sebesta. He's in the middle.
the 3rd is of my drive into Back Creek
the 4th is the view from our window where we study.
I will get more pics with next week's letter and try to send some hard copies home. Sorry I don't have any with my companion yet, just know she is awesome. :) Oh and my address  here is:
6744 Christopher Drive
Roanoke, VA 24018
Have the best day ever!
Sister Herring