Hello my wonderful, beautiful, and can I say super-fantastic family!
This week was a little slower, but still a great learning experience. We had some huge steps with Bobbie and met some great people. Kortlynn, I am praying for you this week! You will find those elect! Pray for us too :).
On Monday I got my flu shot...ya fun day! haha Oh and we had 2 dinners...I don't know how this happens. People love to feed us! I love food, but I must say, it was a blessing I wasn't eating sugar this week. On that note, I made it! I made it 2 weeks with no sugar! I had a splurge today, but now I know that it is all about proportions. With everything we eat, I need to do smaller portions and I'll be fine. ;)
Tuesday, we went to the RAM house for possibly our last time. I'm really happy about this. It is so far away and takes a lot of our miles each week. We are only given 1200 miles per month and this month we almost ran out. It stinks to be low on miles so I'll be happy to not have this over my head anymore. I love the RAM house and the people we meet there, but it will be nice to do other service during that time. We then had a lesson on the Roles of Women in the church with Bobbie because that was one of her concerns. She has felt that women hold a lower spot in the church and are not respected and it was because she never saw women do anything. We were speaking in church this Sunday and when we told her that, she lost that concern. She is so close to baptism! We told her to invite her daughter (who has been against the church) to hear us speak and she did! (I'll leave you hanging until my paragraph about Sunday haha) We then ate dinner at Pam Bernardo's house. She is the Relief Society president in our ward and Mom, I swear she could be your twin. :) She had a little miracle in her life. Last Sunday we had found her iPad in the RS room so we gave it to the bishop. The bishop then called her to come pick it up. (she is divorced and her family has left the church) Well, she told her 2 kids who happened to be home that she needed to go pick up her iPad at the church and they gladly went with her! They then even went inside to meet the bishop. This was huge! They are slowly warming back up to the church! Woohoo! She is an amazing woman.
On Wednesday, we met with this lady that we had tracted into last week while contacting a referral. She had told us to come back, and when we came back she welcomed us in and told us that she was looking for a church. Her sister-in-law is LDS and she has known some amazing LDS families. She said she believes there could be a prophet today! We taught her the restoration and she said she'd like to learn more. She is so elect! Her name is Donna Tucker and she used to be Southern Baptist...crazy! It was definitely a tender mercy and a miracle that we were led to her. She already seems Mormon. :) I can't wait to meet with her again.
Thursday I hope grandma had a Happy Birthday! :) I thought of you as I ate my squirrel. :) We started off the day late because Sister Nisse was sick. This was a huge blessing because the mission has been having a goal of finishing the Book of Mormon by the end of September. I didn't think I would make it because I had only started a little over 2 months ago. With her sickness I was able to sit down and finish all the way to Mormon! This morning I finished it! This is definitely the fastest I've ever finished the Book of Mormon and with that the most I've ever gotten out of it! It was amazing to dedicate time to it and to prayerfully study it each day. The Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. It testifies of Jesus Christ and is another way we can receive personal revelation from God. I love it and I know it is true. I know Joseph Smith translated it by the Power of God and that by reading, studying, and praying about it, we can come to know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ and that our loving Heavenly Father has restored the gospel to the Earth today. We also come to know that He has a divine plan for each of us. I love this gospel and this work! Sister Nisse began feeling better after a blessing from the Zone Leaders and so we went out and began teaching. We ended the night at Jimmy and Rose's house with squirrel. I am attaching some pictures of the experience. I didn't take pictures there, but I took pictures of the leftovers haha It was actually delicious! A little sweeter than chicken. Not much meat! I luckily got to eat the legs but Sister Nisse went for the back. Yuck! haha We also had squirrel gravy over the potatoes. Yum! I liked the squirrel itself better than the gravy. After dinner we got to see Benita and she is getting involved with family history. The coolest thing happened though is as she got on familyhistory.org, she found that all the work had been done for her mom's side of the family! Her grandfather had been baptized a week before her in the temple! So cool! She was so excited!
Friday we had our Family Home Evening with Bobbie and her granddaughters. We taught them a lesson on prayer (and of course I included a manner's lesson) :) We then played some games and Bobbie made us a dinner. The best/funniest/happiest part of the night for me was when Bobbie pulled out dessert. She knows I wasn't eating sugar, so she had made a chocolate silk pie using no sugar...she had been frantic all day looking for sugar substitutes. haha It looked delicious and everyone was so excited to eat it until that first bite...It was not sweet at all and a little salty. I didn't mind it because I hadn't had anything sweet for so long, so I ate my piece happily, but everyone else was trying to choke it down. It was hilarious! I felt so bad, but I wish I could have videotaped the experience. Picture Little Rascals when Darla begins eating the sandwich with kitty litter in it. So funny! :)
Saturday we got to do a lot of service. We started off at the Back Creek Elementary School Pavilion where our ward was bleaching and cleaning the ceiling and pillars. It was amazing to see the difference a little bleach and soap made. The walls went from looking like unpainted/dirty wood to freshly painted wood! It looks brand new! We didn't even have to paint at all! We then went over to the animal shelter. Instead of the RAM house, we are going to begin serving at the animal sheler. It is so cool! They have cats, birds, rabbits, pythons, ferrets, chinchillas, ducks, and other animals that need to be taken care of and so we are going to do some weekly service there and hopefully teach the lady and volunteers that work. I'm pumped! We then got to help Brother Avery clean his trailer for a little before heading to the Relief Society Broadcast. Could that broadcast have been more amazing?! I felt like it was directly given for Bobbie! (Who came!) The Sister Missionaries made me excited once again to be part of this great cause and I learned some great ideas for the future. I love conference!
Sunday we talked in church and are you ready for it? Are you sitting down? haha Bobbie's daughter came!!! She brought her 2 daughters as well! It was a miracle! Heavenly Father is truly hastening His work! We then got to go to a baptism later that night and had a movie night for the missionaries in this zone after the baptism in preparation for conference. I love Sundays!
Today we cleaned our house and we have some exciting plans for October. I feel like we are on the verge of great things and miracles are happening each day. One of the elders just walked into the computer lab waving his arms in the air because one of their investigators called about making an appointment. Apparently this was huge for them! haha I love the elders in this zone and mission. They are dedicated and obedient.
Well, I hope you all have the best week ever! I hope all is well wherever you may be. :) I love to hear about anything that is happening in your lives! Love you all tons! Keep up the good work! Give those names of people you know to the missionaries. They need all the help you can give them! Invite the people you know to meet the missionaries or to activities. Member work is essential for this gospel to spread to all the world. Remember the gospel is true! Love you!
Another week has come and gone and I'm still loving being a missionary! In fact, it gets better!
Last week we got to go to Empty Nesters on Monday and we met this man who looked 60 but was in fact 84! He immediately loved us as the Sister Missionaries and decided to take us to the Science Museum today. He and his wife who is 65 both took us into Roanoke to the science museum, out to lunch, then to the Roanoke Star. They paid for everything and were super nice! The cool thing is, they are both Methodist. We are hoping that soon the elders will be able to teach them and help them learn more about church. We were grateful for their kindness and generosity to us. It's been a great day so far!
On Tuesday we got to go to the RAM house and do service and also had a great lesson with Bobbie. She is such a wonderful woman and is trying her hardest to come to know the truth. She is at church each Sunday, has read the entire Book of Mormon, and prays diligently. I know the Lord will bless her because of her diligence. She is not ready to baptized yet because she has some concerns with the Word of Wisdom and her family is not fully supportive. We taught her Sunday though about the Word of Wisdom and committed her to live it and she said she would! She said it would be hard to give up coffee and so I told her I would do it with her and give up sugar.....what?! That was definitely not me saying it. I've been praying for help to have the will power to eat healthier and to take better care of myself and this was Heavenly Father answering that prayer. I promise if it was me I would have said chocolate or bread, but sugar?! I have to keep it though and I told her we would do it together. It really is a blessing and I'm excited to do it. I feel healthier already! Bobbie is a strong woman and will not have a problem, but she told me she was competitive and so I knew this was a way to help urge her on even more...I just didn't think it was going to be sugar.:)
On Wednesday we began our zone fast in preparation for our specialized training. We were fasting to find the elect and to help with the mission goal of 50 baptisms and we were able to find 3 new investigators! That is a miracle! Sister Tuckett told me this has never happened to her. We first of all contacted a former investigator and he said that he'd been missing reading the Book of Momon and meeting with the missionaries. He said he wanted to meet with us again! We then went and contacted a referral and she welcomed us in and said that she was so glad we had come by because she had learned a little about the church in Mexico years earlier and was interested in learning more. We then contacted one other former investigator and he said that his daughter was sick and he was looking for a church. He said that he would like to begin meeting with the missionaries again and would come to church on Sunday. 3 new investigators! Miracles! It was amazing.
Thursday was our specialized training and we learned about all the tools missionaries have to hasten the work and we also got our white rings. I think the mission president is going to email you about our White Christmas. We wear these white rings and give one to a person we baptize and also to our bishop and ward mission leader. We then make sure that each companionship has a baptism before Christmas. Pretty exciting! That night we ate a member's home and she gave us each our favorite candy. Everyone in the ward knows I like Butterscotch lifesavers when Sister Nisse announced it in Relief Society and so she found me some Butterscotch candy. :) I will just have to wait a little to eat it. :) She also gave me a bag of Bliss Chocolate....so yummy! It hit me though, that I don't have one favorite candy...they are all delicious! Maybe I'm talking more about food because of the fact that there is no sugar in my system haha good times!
Friday was a rather slow day, but still good! We contacted some referrals and did our lovely weekly planning. We also got to visit Brother Avery and his famiy. You notice I'm starting to use names. I think it will mean more in these letters if you know the names of the people. Instead of "that family" haha Brother Avery and his cute grandkids are so nice! We get to go some service tomorrow morning for them and I'm excited to get muddy and dig out a ditch for the over flow of water from the spring. :) Ya, there are a lot of creeks and springs here.
Saturday we had a small but amazing miracle. We went to go contact a referral and on our way, a lady was in the road picking up trash from her trash can that had been attacked by bears. She was rather stressed so we got out and began helping her pick up the pieces. She started talking to us about what brought us to Back Creek and why were helping and we started talking about what we do and our church. She seemed very interested and said that she would like to come. She is a nurse so we wasn't able to attend this week, but she said she'd like to learn more! Woohoo! What a blessing! We happened to be in the right place at the right time. Thank goodness for the bears!
Sunday we got to also teach Josie. She is 17 and is amazing! She is ready to be baptized, but can't at this time because of the lack of support from her family. She has such a strong testimony and I know it is only a matter of time. We are praying for her family to accept her beliefs and her desire to follow Jesus Christ. It will happen because miracles are happening!
That has been our week....quite amazing! The Lord is truly hastening his work! I love being a part of it! We all can! Invite the missionaries over to your house for dinner! Give them the name of someone you know (they don't have to be ready for baptism). Give them a little treat and send them on their way! haha They can then knock on that door and tell them that their friends sent them and they would love to share a message. You can do missionary work! Even better, invite a non-member friend over for dinner and have the missionaries come! Non-threatening and very open environment (of course let them know beforehand). I wish I knew about these things before my mission. I know it is hard and sometimes awkward to share this message, but when you realize its importance, and when they see how much you care, they won't take it the wrong way. Pray for guidance! The Lord will help prepare them and you.
I love you all so much! Thank you for your examples to me. Thank you for the letters and the support. Remember the church is true! Remember that our family is forever! This is the Lord's restored church on the Earth today. We have a living prophet and we have scriptures and prayer to help us know what we should do. I love it!
Have the best week ever!
Picture 1 - The view of my little neighborhood while on my morning run
Picture 2 - The butterfly garden in the museum!
Picture 3 - One of the butterflies
Picture 4 - The Roanoke Star!
The next pictures I send are from Sister Nisse's camera. :)
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