Monday, August 19, 2013

Anna Herring
9:27 AM (2 hours ago)
to me
Mi Familia!
Hola! Or should I say, Hello y'all! :) This week has yet again been a fantastic week! I can't get enough of this missionary work or this mission. Thank you for the letters and the updates! I love hearing about anything and everything! I'm glad to know that everyone is healthy and starting school...I mean getting to learn more! heehee
This week we had my first baptism! It was amazing! The spirit was so strong! I got to play the piano and say the opening prayer which was quite the experience. During the opening song which was "The Spirit of God", I know there were angels singing with us. I could barely hear myself on the piano and I kept on getting goosebumps with the spirit in the room. I know we are getting support on the other side to do this missionary work. When they said that the work was being hastened, they meant on both sides of the veil. It is amazing to see the changes that occur in peoples faces and lives as we share this happy message. The gospel has been restored!
Monday we had one of the best P-Days ever! We got to go bowling with the zone where my second game I bowled a 114! Terrible, but better for me than my first game of 70 hahaha. Sister Tuckett and I with 2 other sisters went rollerskating at the nearby rink after this. We then came home and got ready to go to Empty Nesters. Let me tell you! This should be a nationwide thing! Empty Nesters is a once-a-month get-together for all the empty nesters in the area. There is a potluck, spiritual thought, song, and chance to mingle. They then end the night with a group playing some bluegrass music and everyone singing along. I loved it! There was even a little dancing! So cute! Even when it started raining, this didn't dampen our spirits. ;) We had a chance to talk to many non-members and investigators and it was a great fellowshipping activity. I'm so grateful I had the chance to attend. I'm going to send some pics from the event. Oh and Sister Tuckett's boyfriend's family sent me this leather case for my Preach My Gospel. I feel so fancy now!
On Tuesday we got to go volunteer at the RAM House helping check people in and we had a great discussion with this man about religion. I'm hoping when we go back tomorrow to give him a Book of Mormon and get him some missionaries to teach him. These people are so humble and are excited to learn about the restored gospel. The rest of the day was spent teaching lessons and we were able to get a lot accomplished! The last stop of the day was to this less active woman in our wad. We weren't expecting to get into the door but her dog ran out and so she invited us in as she put the dog up. It ended up that we visited with her for a while! She gave us a tour of her house and tried to explain why she didn't let anyone in. She is a bit of a hoarder...but not the gross disgusting kind...the kind that hoards amazing stuff! Holy cow! Clothes! Purses! Quilts! Dolls! Ceramics! Golf clubs! You name it she had it! Good brands too! I was amazed at how much stuff she had, but none of it was! She ended up giving Sister Tuckett and I 3 purses each and some hand sanitizer bottles and an umbrella. She said that by giving us these things, she would feel better about not being able to feed the missionaries. She can't feed them because her dining room was too full. Wow! It was an adventure. The best part was, as she was talking to us, she would almost fall over because she is "very sickly" but then she would leave her cane behind and climb over mounds of clothes and purses to show us the next room...It was hilarious and awesome! She reminded me of the sick lady on Polyanna!
Wednesday was zone conference and we got to hear from from President and Sister Pitt and the Assistants about the new referral system. We are doing "Who Do You Know" instead of "Do You know anyone?" I love it! I'm already seeing so much more success. Usually when missionaries ask for referrals we automatically think of those that are ready to be baptized right now! But the truth is, any referral helps. They told us that by simple tracting, our odds of baptizing someone is 1/1000. If we have a referral and don't even say the name of the person who referred them it goes up to 68/1000. If we can use the name it becomes 78/1000. If the member invites that person over to dinner with the missionaries it jumps to 680/1000. Crazy! We need member missionaries! Tracting is a thing of the past. We ended the night getting to pick blackberries for a member who is our greatest member missionary. They have a weekly FHE and always have the missionaries and non-members/less-actives over. It is so helpful!
Thursday was our last lesson with Benita before she was to be baptized and then she had her baptismal interview. I am so grateful I got to be a part of her experience. She is one amazing woman and a great example to me. She will do many wonderful things and I can't wait to see all the lives she affects because of her example and spirit!
Friday was exchange day. I got to exchange with Sister Crossley from Lynchburg. She is one of the missionaries who called me before I went on my mission to welcome me! It was cool to get to serve with her even for one day. We got to teach a few lessons and the neatest part was when we knocked on one of our investigator's doors and her boyfriend's two sons came out and seemed really interested in learning more. We left them with a Book of Mormon. The thing was, they were visiting from Lynchburg! Sister Crossley will get to teach them! It was amazing to be on exchanges the exact day we met someone from her area! So cool! We then had dinner with a less-active couple at an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet! We then went to our service project 30 minutes later and he had prepared a dinner for us! 2 dinners in 30 minutes! Yikes! But the Lord helps us and we were able to not die. We helped him dig up some potatoes from his garden and he even shared a bag with us. Fresh potatoes! Awesome!
Saturday we taught one of our investigators who has read the entire Book of Mormon, she prays, she comes to church each week, she is just not ready to be baptized. We are trying to figure out what is holding her back. She knows it is true, but is not willing to commit. We hope to help her figure out what is missing soon. She is such an awesome lady! We then came to the library to do some training and met this man who was a palm reader! Crazy! He said I had a temper....woops maybe he wasn't in tune haha It was an interesting experience and he said that he wanted to find out more about our church. We left him with a pass-along card and he said that we would find him at the library. We will see what happens there. Oh he also did say I was sensitive, sweet, and never made the same mistake twice. Hmm...maybe he's on to something :).
Sunday! Baptism day! Again everything was amazing, the spirit was so strong, and I definitely felt Heavenly Father's help in playing the piano. He is truly aware of each of His children and will help us if we simply ask. I've also learned that we must listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost to know what to ask for. He wants to bless us, but we must do our part. We must live worthy of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work.
Next week is transfers so I won't be writing until next Wednesday, and I will be able to tell you where I'll be and what I'll be doing! Exciting! I can't believe it is almost the end of my first transfer! Whoa! I have learned so much and I get to experience so much each day. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we can come closer to our Heavenly Father by feasting upon the words. I have found so many answers to questions during my studies and I know that if we listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can teach by the spirit and also live according to what our Heavenly Father has in store for us. I know that this is the true church on Earth!
We are so blessed! Have a fantastic week!
Sister Herring
Picture 1 - Helping Sister Stone to not fall while we rollerskated.
Picture 2 - The band playing some bluegrass music at Empty Nesters
Picture 3 - The raspberry bush!
Picture 4 - Sister Tuckett and I picking raspberries (the member gave me her husband's shirt to wear over my white shirt)
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