Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Anna Herring
11:25 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
Picture 1 - Our district at Arbys

Picture 2 - My new scarf!
Picture 3 - Walking in the parade ;)

Sheralyn Shumway <sheralyn.shumway@myldsmail.net>
11:51 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
I love serving with your amazing daughter!!
Sister Shumway :)

Anna Herring
11:22 AM (1 hour ago)
to me

December 31, 2013
Dear family!
Sorry today is going to be a super short letter. We are at a different library and we only have 30 minutes. We have had a crazy week!

First of all, it was so amazing to get to see every single family member!!! What a huge blessing! I couldn't believe how lucky I was! Best family reunion ever! ;) I love technology :). Also, sorry about the pictures on the Word Document. Our new library is very old in the way of technology and so we are barely able to upload the word document. Hopefully I'll be able to send a few more pictures this week.
And! Happy Birthday Matthew!!! I actually get to write on your birthday. So cool!
Okay, now on to the juicy stuff. Christmas Eve was amazing. We got to have a district meeting in the morning, first dinner with the Payne family (they fed us Mexican food and had a White Elephant Gift Exchange) then our second dinner was with the Young Family. We then ended the night by caroling with the APs and the Zone Leaders to various investigators and members. I loved it! It was a fantastic day!
Christmas was a fantastic experience. We started off the day at the Rhodes' home and they fed us breakfast, gave us the cutest gifts including journals, notepads, picture frames, and more! Such a great family! We then went home for lunch and then headed over to the Cotrells to Skype and eat dinner! Again, I couldn't believe I got to see all 6 siblings and their families! Kortlynn and Rex you were there in spirit! :) I cried a bit saying goodbye, but then had a returned energy to get to work and I am so excited to start the year off right! It was the boost I needed! :)
Thursday and Friday we got to work and Friday we went on an exchange with the Parkersburg sisters. While I was there, we found out that Sister Kitto and I were getting a new companion for the next week. Sister Shumway from Oregon! Sadly her companion went home and even though that was the hardest thing to see, she is such a blessing! Sister Shumway is the hardest working missionary and is on fire!

On Saturday we got to go to lunch with the mission president and his wife to pick her up which was a blast and then we went to work! We had a miracle night and found an elect family that had been praying for the missionaries! So cool! There are people everywhere being prepared for this message and having Sister Shumway here for the week has brought even more miracles! We normally can't go into houses when there is only a guy, but with 3 sisters we are allowed and we are now teaching another man named Bryan who lives alone! Huge miracle!
Sunday we had 3 investigators come to church and that was amazing! We then had a great lesson with one of our neighbors who has recently become more interested in the gospel.
Yesterday we went to visit a less-active lady who Sister Kitto had visited while I was in Parkersburg and the last time Sister Kitto was there, she had a stroke! During the lesson! Crazy! Sister Kitto and Sister Whitaker drove her to the hospital and so we went to check on her last night and she is doing much better. They were definitely there for a reason. Goodness! It has been an exciting week, and I think I covered the major events, but just know that things are wonderful! I'm staying in Charleston for another transfer! Sister Kitto and I get to be companions for the next 6 weeks. I'm pumped! Great things are happening.
Fun stories that I'm going to mention so that I'll remember to write them next week include me walking into wet cement on the way to a lesson, today is Sister Shumway's 20th birthday so her uncle came and surprised her (totally not allowed), Elder Williams had to get his lip stitched up by President Pitt during our lunch because the elders had been playing basketball and he'd taken an elbow to the face haha. Such a fun and exciting week! Truly! I love being a missionary, and I'll talk to you next year! ;) The church is true! Don't forget it! Thank you for all the emails and letters! Sorry I'm not going to be able to respond personally this week. Rindy, Mom, Dad, Aunt Diane, and everyone else! I love you! Thank you for the letters and support! I couldn't do this without your prayers and love.

Sister Herring
Picture 1 - Sister Kitto and Shumway with our mess from decorating our new planners!
Picture 2 - The three amigos!

Picture 3 - I'm in love with my new PJs!
Picture 4 - The APs (Elder Hansen and Hess) contemplating drinking the drink at the Christmas eve party haha

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!
2 messages

Anna Herring <anna.herring@myldsmail.net>Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM
To: Carol Herring <ocherring70@gmail.com>, Erin Gale <erin.gale@myldsmail.net>
Merry Christmas Family and Friends! (To the phrase of Merry Christmas Bedford Falls!) ;)

This has been one exciting and great week! I don't know if I've said this before but, I love being a missionary! haha I can't wait to talk to each of you on Christmas! It will be the best gift I could get!

Monday night we went to eat dinner with the sweet Cotrell family. They are amazing examples of member missionaries and I'm sure grateful for all they do. They are one of the families who will be feeding us on Christmas (we have 3 appointments!). Funny story about that dinner appointment was when the youngest Cotrell, Kaylee, said, "Every night, well almost every night, I put chapstick on and kiss my picture of Niall (from One Direction)." hahaha We all burst out laughing and she just smiled and was so proud of that statement. They truly make me feel like I'm home. It is so perfect that I will get to see my family while I'm in a home that feel likes home.

Tuesday, I drove to Teays Valley to do an exchange with those sisters. They have had a few struggles finding people to teach and with the work. Sister Kitto took one of the sisters back to South Hills and we got to work! They had planned a full day of visiting less-actives which is a good thing to do, but there are much better ways to use your time in West Virginia. The sister I was with hates tracting or even talking to people she is unfamiliar with and I think this is why she plans safe things to do. It can be a little frightening contacting people who might not be very receptive, but just like life, sometimes the biggest risks yield the biggest rewards! You just have to forth with faith and Heavenly Father will support you! We were on a street contacting a less-active when we saw this guy smoking on his porch. I leaned over and said, "Let's go!" We got out of the car and asked the guy if he knew where this less-active lived. (We totally knew, but it was a good conversation starter.) We then got to talking about who we were and why we were here. He hadn't heard much about the church, but I have found a secret tool to missionary work. Are you ready for this? Okay, one of the secrets to missionary work is to start testifying as soon as possible! I started sharing about how we have a prophet upon the Earth today and we have evidence of this in the Book of Mormon and that I personally knew that this was all true and how it has changed my life and he reached out and asked for a copy! He said he was going to read it and they are going to come back and ask him what he thought and hopefully teach him! We told him that he needed to pray about what he read and that God would answer him. I love testifying of truth because that is when the spirit goes to work and does the actual teaching. The first time I did it, I was a bit awkward, but welcome to being a missionary. Missionary is code for awkward! You just have to embrace it! It was an amazing experience though and he ended up being a great learning opportunity for both of us. We also got to stop by an Amish store during dinner and talked to the lady behind the counter who ended up being interested in learning more as well! Fun day!

Wednesday I came back to my area and Sister Kitto had great things to report! They had had a fantastic day full of teaching, and working hard! I love coming back to news like that! We then went to work and ended up having a rather slow day. We got our car super clean during lunch (we had to have our car inspected at Specialized training the next day). We also got to eat dinner with the Thorpe family. Again, slower day, but still great!

Thursday we drove to our church building in Sissonville and got ready for specialized training! It was amazing! We were able to learn more about covenants and keeping all of our lessons centered on Christ. We then had a musical section where Sister Kitto, Elder Williams, Elder Criddle, and I sang "Away in a Manger' it turned out great considering we had 5 minutes to practice. We also added a verse at the end that said, "Bless all they dear servants to go forth and share." It was a great opportunity. I then got to play the piano for the whole zone to sing "Angels We Have Heard on High". I'm so grateful for you mom. Thank you for making sure I learned how to play the piano. That is one of the biggest blessings! I've used it so much on the mission and throughout my life so far! The meeting was amazing and definitely put us in the Christmas spirit.

Friday we had a great day! Fantastic Friday! We got to do our weekly planning for a bit, then we went to lunch with Nancy Fox. She is one of favorite women in Charleston. We taught her the restoration as a practice lesson, but the spirit was so strong and she said she is so excited to read the Book of Mormon. She told us that we were going to help her get through the holidays since her husband passed away. She is just an amazing woman. We then went and did some service again at the house we did last week. This time we did the kitchen though and as we were cleaning the cat stuff, dust, and other gross things off the counters and floor it hit us that we'd eaten 2 dinners that had been made in this kitchen...disgusting! Good news! We are still alive! the neatest part though, was as we were cleaning. The woman told us that she had given up coffee since we last talked to her. We hadn't even told her she needed to. The last time we were there we had simply talked about the Word of Wisdom and she had done this all on her own!!! I love it! We then went to go see a lady in the Assisted Living center that we were possibly going to teach and she ended up giving us these amazing puzzles that were of "Gone with the Wind"! So cool! She invited us back to see her today, so we are going to go see her at 6. She then told us to go see this couple that she thought was Mormon. It turns out they were Jehovah Witnesses so we are going to have to go clear up her misconception. ;) Best part! Sister Kitto offered to sing a Christmas carol to the Jehovah Witnesses...I tried to stop her but as you know, they don't celebrate any holidays and so it turned out to be a super funny experience. We then went to go and do some tracting for 30 minutes before dinner and we ended up meeting 2 people who were interested in learning more about the gospel! We are going to go back and teach them this week. It was an amazing 30 minutes. (Again, testify from the start!) After dinner, we went to see Lisa and she gave us both these beautiful bracelets and she gave Sister Kitto a turquoise necklace and me some adorable floral rain boots! Holy cow! I'm so excited to wear those! She is a sweetheart!

Saturday morning Lisa came with us to the parade. Santa flew in and it was an awesome experience! Kind of a lame parade, but it was fun to pass out pass-along cards and to sing Christmas carols. Sister Kitto rode in the float with Lisa and I walked with the other 5 elders passing out cards. It was a blast! We then went and tracted for a bit and talked to some really nice people before heading to see some less-actives and then we ended up talking to a lady in the house near our apartment building and she accepted a Book of Mormon and said that she would like to learn more! She is a cute little mother and hasn't been to any church for a long time because she hasn't had great experiences in the past. It was another great day!

Sunday we got a terrible phone call from Lisa saying that she wasn't ready to go to church yet. We talked to her for a bit about her concerns and were able to work them out. We ended up having her drive us to the church! It was a miracle! We gave her a church tour and everyone was so welcoming! The spirit was so strong and it ended up perfect! We only had sacrament because the stake had planned a devotional at 3. All the missionaries in the stake got to sing during the devotional and there ended up being about 40! It was a great experience to be a part of. The stake then put together gifts for each of the missionaries. We got some cute scarves, gloves, trail mix, bracelets, and other goodies. It was so sweet of them! We then went to the Dorseys and ended up Angela. She has met with the missionaries for 15 years and the mission president told us that the missionaries have been using her as a crutch for too long. It is now her time to show forth her faith and to do something with all the knowledge she has. Her husband is a member and they come to church every Sunday, but they aren't progressing beyond that. We had an amazing lesson where the spirit was felt by each person and then we told them that when she is ready to progress, to give us a call, but at this time we didn't feel like we could help her until she had the desire. It was an amazing experience, but sometimes the miracle comes after you drop someone. We will see what happens!

That was our week! Some super amazing moments! Miracles each day! I love being a missionary especially during the holidays! :) I finished the Book of Mormon again this week and once again I was reaffirmed that it is truly the Word of God and testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the scriptures and for the opportunity that I have to share my testimony with each person I meet. I love the people and even though there are rough days, it is something that is worth every minute! I love this gospel!

Oh! Fun news! Elder S. Gifford Nielsen (The exclamation point guy from conference) is coming to our mission in January! Isn't that exciting?! It is a huge surprise and I'm so excited to have him come! He is a favorite among the missionaries and we are looking forward to all we will learn from him!

I hope you all have the most wonderful day! The Whitest and Merriest Christmas! and the Most fantastic New year! :) The gospel is true! Reach out to at least one person and testify of what you know! Heavenly Father will help you!

I love you all!

Sister Herring

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anna Herring
1:28 PM (3 hours ago)

December 16, 2013
Dear beautiful and amazing family and friends,

First of all, Happy Birthday my beautiful and fantastic mother! I love you!

Next, thank you for all the packages and letters! It is one of my favorite activities on the mission to come home after a long day of work and to see the box sitting outside our door. Ooh! It is like Christmas just seeing the box! :)

Before I begin the week, I have to tell you the best thing! So, while I was in Back Creek, there was one holler (a really small back road) that I really wanted to go down from the first time we drove by. I put it off and put it off because it was never scheduled until I went on an exchange during one of the last weeks I was there. On this road, there was about 3 houses and the first house we stopped at, I gave a girl that had gauged ears a Book of Mormon. I knew she wanted to learn more, but her mom said, "no". I told Sister Nisse that she needed to go back in a couple weeks to follow up and see if she was interested in learning more. Well, a few weeks ago, she went back! The girl's name is Holly and they taught her the Restoration and then the YSA elders began teaching her. She is going to be baptized on January 4th! Can you believe it?! I started crying when I found out. Sometimes we never know what is going to happen because of a simple testimony, example, or moment. I'm so excited for her and what the future holds for her! Share the gospel! It truly changes lives.

:) Monday night we were in our apartment when we heard a knock on the door. Our neighbor from upstairs, Jolene, had come to introduce herself and to thank us for the cookies. We then got to talking to her and she asked us about the Word of Wisdom, well, long story short, we ended up going up to her apartment and taught her the restoration along with the Word of Wisdom. She goes to a non-denominational church, has many good questions, and we are excited to teach her more. She has lived above the missionaries for about 5 years and has never been taught! We invited her to church on Sunday and she said she would go in 2 weeks because she was going to be out of town. She said she would love to come! She is a sweetheart and the next day we came home with 2 brand new scarves tied to our door! She bought us Christmas presents! So nice! We are excited to see what will happen.

Tuesday was a slower day, but we were able to visit a nice older lady named Nancy Fox. She is hilarious and we are going to start teaching her "practice lessons" and help her learn more along the way. Her husband had been meeting with the missionaries and she loves them, but is not really looking for truth. We hope that as we teach her, something will be said that the spirit can testify to her is truth and she will know that all she has learned is true. She is such a sweet lady. We then ended the night at the R.S. activity where we had an ornament exchange. It was awesome! We had made sister missionaries ornaments for the exchange which were a huge hit! Sister Kitto ended up with a pink sparkly deer mount, and another ornament of a gun that had the saying, "Born to Hunt" on it. So funny! I got a chicken holding onto a wreath. We both had to have those ones so that we could remember West Virginia. It truly is a world of its own. :) I love it though!

Wednesday we went to teach a less-active family and also had a great lesson with a family in the ward. We ended up singing them a song that Sister Kitto's sister made up on her mission. It is to the tune of "Part of Your World" from Little Mermaid, but is "Missionary World" instead. It is hilarious!

Thursday.....wonderful Thursday....one of our investigators needed help cleaning her house. Let me describe the situation for you. She is a bit of a hoarder, has 4 cats, and hasn't really been able to clean her house because she was in a car accident. When we got there she said, "Okay, one of you can vacuum and the other gets to clean the bathroom!" I know that Sister Kitto is very sensitive to smells, so I volunteered to do the bathroom...I must really love her! haha I walked in and this bathroom happened to also be the cats' bathroom. There were 4 boxes of used kitty litter, no ventilation, and I don't think it had been cleaned in over 2 years. The sink had white streaks in the brown layers which helped me know it was originally white and that is as far as I will go with the detail. After 2 hours, I had done the sink, toilet, shelf, and floor. I hadn't gotten to the bathtub, but she said it wasn't needed because that is where their storage was. They used the other bathroom for the shower. Phew! We had to leave for another appointment, but as we were leaving, Sister Kitto said, "You've earned your exaltation." haha Thank you mom for helping me learn how to clean the bathroom really well! :) You probably didn't realize you were preparing me for a mission! The house we went to next had 15 cats, but you wouldn't know it! It was a trailer in another holler, but it was spotless! I walked in and saw 4 cats and thought, wow, pretty clean for 4 cats, but then he told us they actually had 15! Huge surprise! I think I'm done with cats for a while :). Mike, I will never have another Josie again! hahaha

Friday, we had a district meeting where we discussed the needs of our investigators and got ideas of how to help each of them. We then went to DQ for lunch and I got to talk to 2 really nice guys. I gave them a pass-along card and hope they will call the elders! Again, you never know what will help someone come to have the desire to learn more about the gospel. Every good interaction and experience with the church is one step closer for that person to come to a knowledge of the truth. We then went to see Lisa and she told us, "I am giving up smoking, cold turkey." We had watched the Restoration DVD and she said that she now saw the big picture. I thought back to when I was at Bridget's house watching the Restoration DVD with Sydney and those missionaries. I was now the missionary! It was such a neat moment and the spirit was so strong. Lisa is truly being taught by the spirit. Every time we teach something, she does more than we ask. She wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday because of a few anxieties, but she has promised to come this next Sunday and we know she will. Once she says she will do something, she does it. She hasn't smoked in 3 days! We are so proud of her! We then had dinner at the lady's house that we had cleaned and she gave me an incense burner and a whole bunch of incense....hmm...very thoughtful!

Saturday we went to correlation and the zone leaders told us that some of the sisters in one area were struggling...what do we do?! We blitz the area! Sister Kitto and I drove there for about 3 hours that day and went to work! We gave out 1 Book of Mormon and found them 2 potential investigators! It wasn't very much time, but we hope it was enough to get them excited and faith-filled! :) We then hurried back to a lesson at the house with the 15 cats and we taught the restoration. This house has a man who is a "member", but his wife is not. He hasn't been in the church for a long time, so has a few skewed views...but his wife is very interested in learning more. We hope she doesn't judge the church from what her husband has taught her. We hope to get them both to come back to church and to truly understand the doctrine and gospel of Jesus Christ. We then had a lesson fall through with Lisa and so we did some training to end the night. We were a bit worried about Lisa, but we always remember that our investigators have their agency. We can only pray for them and teach them as best we can. They have to do their part as well.

Sunday we got a call that Lisa wasn't going to make it. She had let her fears keep her from coming and even after talking to her and comforting her, she didn't have gas in her car and had a number of excuses. We cleared each one up, but it all boiled down to her desire and commitment. She committed to coming to church next week and we again know she will. We are going to do all we can to get her there, but we know church is where she wants to be. I have full faith that she will be baptized in the next month. She's already given up smoking...church is a cinch after that! :)

Church was wonderful! We got to help with the YW lesson, we watched Joy to the World in Gospel Principles and had 3 deaf people who were not members come to the class. It was amazing to feel the spirit as we read the subtitles and saw their excitement as they clapped their hands. We have so much to be grateful for this holiday season! I was able to sit there and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a warm peaceful church building. I could watch the video and feel the spirit even more in my life. We are so blessed to have the gift of the Holy Ghost given to us after baptism to be our constant companion. While I saw them clapping, I thought of the scriptures in Mosiah 18 when the people have the desire to be baptized and they feel such joy that they clap their hands! If people understood how peaceful and happy the gospel message is, they would all be clapping their hands and desiring to be baptized! It is up to us to help them see that there is more to this life and that a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ is what they have been searching for! We ended the night at Sister Johnson's house (the Relief Society president) and had pizza and pasta. It was delicious!

Well, that was this week! Wonderful, exciting, challenging, and fantastic! I love being a missionary and I love this gospel! I love seeing the light come into peoples' eyes when they begin to understand how this will bless their lives and all that our Savior Jesus Christ did for us. It is also wonderful to see those who have lost that light begin to see it return. No one is ever too far gone to not be able to return to the gospel. Repentance is real, the atonement is available for each and every person. The best gift of Christmas is what our Heavenly Father gave to us when he sent His son to this Earth. We will each have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father as eternal families! Conversion is not a one time event! Continue studying, continue praying, continue enduring to the end! The gospel is true! Exclamation point! ;) I love you all! Have the most wonderful week!

Sister Herring

P.S. Sorry no pictures this week, I forgot the camera adapter. Also, we get to skype home for Christmas! It would be awesome if someone tech-savvy in our family could set it up to where I could see the family! ;) *cough *cough Matt hahaha I will hopefully have more information for you next week, but if any of you have information let me know! Maybe similar to what Kortlynn did when she opened her mission call. Can't wait! I love you awesome people! Oh and funny story, during training one night, we decided to do the reading part as different apostles and prophets. It was a blast trying to emulate President Monson's voice. :) I have a great companion!

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013


What a fantastic week as always! I love missionary work and I love the people of West Virginia! (Most of the time haha)

This week has been busy with meetings, teaching, finding, and more meetings, but I'm learning so much each time and I love it!

On Monday after I wrote, we got to go bowling with the zone and although I didn't do so well, it was a blast! We then went to Taco Bell after and then ran like crazy to get everything else we needed to finished. I didn't get to write any handwritten letters, but they are coming! That night we went over to teach Lisa about the Plan of Salvation, but oddly enough our conversation turned to the Word of Wisdom when she said, "I hate coffee and tea." What?! For those of you who don't know, coffee and tea are a southern/eastern thing. Everyone we teach has to overcome their addiction to these things! So when she told us this news, we were elated!!! In fact, she only struggles with smoking and so as we began teaching her about the Word of Wisdom, she said to us, "I'm going to give up smoking huh?" We didn't even have to ask! On our way out we took her cigarettes so she could start fresh. We were so excited!

Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to MLC the Mission Leader Council and it was amazing! There are now 10 Sister Training Leaders across the mission and it was nice to get to talk with each of them and discuss concerns and solutions for the sisters. President Pitt taught us about Being "Born Again" and how that means our hearts are changed. It is not simply a baptism, but a lifetime commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I invite each of you to watch David A. Bednar's talk on the Parable of the Pickle. It was amazing! I learn so much from each meeting and I also got to teach a little of what I learned at the zone conferences on Thursday and Friday. Not only did I hear it, but I had to repeat it, so I got to really study out and learn the things that were taught by President Pitt.

Wednesday was a bit slower, but we got to teach a man named Philip Clark who is interested in finding the truth. I love when people are searching. They are so willing to act upon what they receive and are childlike. They are searching similar to Joseph Smith and we know that Joseph Smith received an answer which means each of us can too! Heavenly Father knows our concerns and questions, we simply need to ask Him! Pray, read the scriptures, and keep the commandments and you will know the truth! This church is true! President Pitt said, "If we could get people to live the gospel of Jesus Christ or live as a member of the church for 1 month, we wouldn't need missionaries." The gospel is true! As people live what is taught, they know it for themselves and want to share it!

Thursday was the beginning of Zone Conferences. The north and south were split so that there would be smaller groups and I got to teach about what the West Virginia Charleston Mission is and what does it mean to be a part of this mission. If there is anything holding us back from being instruments in the Lord's hands, we need to tweak those and those boil down to things found in Chapter 6 of PMG. We need to continue to develop Christlike attributes and those will solve many of the concerns each of has as missionaries. I learned so much from teaching. We also had another Thanksgiving with Mandy. She and her fiancĂ©, Brad, fed us and were so nice to go all out again! I love having 3 Thanksgivings! :)

Friday we drove to Beckley for the South part of the zone's zone conference and then we did an exchange with the Beckley sisters. Sister Scarff (from Alberta Canada) came with me back to South Hills and on the way back it was raining so hard we almost died! haha jk, we were fine, but it pretty much rained all day. I kept wishing there was a way to send it to Arizona. Friday night we got to wish Sister Pitt a happy birthday, then we drove to Angela Dorsey's house (She's been investigating the church for 15 years!) and we put her on date for baptism on January 5th! Yay!

Saturday we exchanged back, then went to visit a less-active lady who introduced us to her friend Karen. We are going to start teaching her. We also went to contact all of our referrals and found another investigator! Her name is Pam! It was a great day! We ended the night at the Ward Christmas Party which had great food, but was hilarious! The music program was a bit long and at one point Sister Kitto looked at Brother Cotrell and they both started laughing! What a fun night!

Sunday was a crazy day! We woke up and found out that church had been cancelled because of the snow and ice. There was about an inch of ice beneath about 3 inches of snow. We were confined to the apartment and so we couldn't go out until about 1. We went to see Lisa and taught her more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and keeping commitments. We have to move her date to be baptized back to December 29th. We are hoping she will completely quit smoking. We then had an amazing experience when we got to have a small Sacrament meeting in the mission president's office with 4 other sets of elders and the office staff. President Pitt began a discussion about the atonement and the life of Christ. It was amazing and the spirit was so strong! We then had the APs follow us to give Lisa a blessing. The spirit was once again so strong. I'm grateful for the priesthood upon the Earth. We ended the day doing some tracting for the last hour. After many closed doors, we decided to say a prayer to find someone prepared to hear our message and at 8:50, we knocked on a lady's door and she said that she had met with the missionaries about 5 years before and her son had died 3 years before and she was just starting to become religious again. She was looking for a church and wanted to meet with us for answers and peace. Oh my goodness I get goosebumps even writing about it! I hope you all know that this is the Lord's church upon the Earth today! Prayers are answered and Heavenly Father is aware of each of His children. We were on a spiritual high as we walked home (we were still unable to drive due to the ice) It turned out to be a fantastic day!

I want you all to know I have a testimony of this great work! I have a testimony of this gospel! I know prayers are answered and that our family will be together forever! I know that the scriptures are for our day and I'm grateful to read them daily. I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Herring

Our computers don't attach pictures very well, so I'm attaching a document with some pictures in it. I love you! Oh and Sister Kitto and I made up a referrals song to the tune of "How Do You Know" from Enchanted. Instead it goes, "Who do you know, who needs this. Who do you know next door?" hahaha fun times being a missionary! I love it!
December 2, 2013

Dear family,

What a beautiful week! Miracles are everywhere! Prayers are answered! This gospel is true!!!

Let me tell you a little why I know all the above our true...

First of all, when we got here (Sister Kitto and I), we spent hours and hours learning the area and figuring out just what had been happening before we got here. What we knew was that we had 5 investigators, a bunch of former investigators, a few potential investigators, and less-active members, and of course the members (who we didn't know). It was a little stressful figuring out where our area was, who we could talk to, and what needed to be done, but where there is a will, there is a way!

On Tuesday, we went to contact some former investigators and we met this sweet lady named, Nancy Fox. Her husband died about 5 years ago and had been meeting with the missionaries before his death. She welcomed us in and kept on saying that she knew God had a plan for her. We told her that we know He does and were excited to share it with her. She said that we were welcome back anytime and that she would love to learn more. Yay! We then went to meet with a less-active lady in the ward...who was a bit crazy! We were in her dark apartment and feeling a little scared because of what she was telling us about her neighbors, but it was amazing as we begin to share a message from the scriptures how her apartment changed and the spirit grew. She turned on a light, pulled out her Book of Mormon, and her heart began to soften. It is amazing how powerful the Book of Mormon is. It is amazing how strong prayer can change our lives. We left feeling that we had lifted her spirits and helped bring light into her life. I know we alone couldn't have done that.

Wednesday, we went to give a practice lesson to a family in the ward and they gave us 7 referrals! That is unheard of! (Hint: if you want the missionaries to love you, tell them the names of your neighbors and tell them they can stop by) :) If they are good missionaries, they will contact them quickly and report back to you of how many are being baptized because of what you did! Easy right? Look at all you can do just by being an example and saying a name! Pray for your neighbors, get to know them, bring them cookies, invite them to dinner! It's a snap! haha Also, we got to do a lot of tracting in the snow! It was absolutely gorgeous!!! We live and work in a fantastic area. There are poorer areas, but overall gorgeous! The snow was just perfect!

Thursday we had a lovely Thanksgiving. We didn't do any tracting because people wouldn't want us to knock on Thanksgiving, but we started off with dinner at the Payne's house where we had ribs, turkey, and everything else Thanksgiving should have. :) The Payne's had a tradition where they would eat their favorite foods on Thanksgiving instead of the traditional and it was delicious! We then hurried over to the Cotrell family's dinner. They are my favorite family in the mission so far. They've already signed up to have us come over on Christmas and to Skype with you! You will get to meet them! They have 5 kids and are rockstars! I absolutely have bonded with them and feel like they are family. They fed us another traditional dinner on Thanksgiving and had invited a younger couple to dinner. The Cotrell family is from Georgia and I'm so grateful they are here. Their oldest daughter is a Senior and is absolutely gorgeous. They then have another beautiful daughter who is 16, a 14 year old son, 12 year old son, and 10 year old daughter. The sons remind me of a younger version of Mason and Brigham...so naturally awesome. :) We then decided to write thank you notes for our mission president and bishop. The mission president is in our area and we didn't think he'd be home, but we knocked for fun on the door and he answered!!! He welcomed us in and told us we were inspired to come because he wanted our advice on a certain situation. We got to talk to him for a bit and then we shared a message with him and he gave us 2 names to contact! A referral from the mission president! Awesome! We had a closing prayer and were on our way home...This will be remembered as one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Thanksgiving with the mission president...the only thing that would have made that better would have been to have my family there! :)

Friday was the beginning of our miracle weekend. We went and contacted some less-active people in the area, and then at about 7 we were on our way to contact another less-active when we got there and knew that there was something else that needed to be done. We said a prayer to find an elect person in that area and then got out of the car to start knocking doors. Sister Kitto pointed at a random door and said, "That one, let's start there." We hesitantly went up and knocked because it had no porch light on, but we could see someone was home. We then heard a quiet, "Come in." come from inside and as I tried to open the locked door we both giggled to ourselves how awkward we were. We then saw the door swing open and a woman in about her 40s was standing there. She said she was on the way to the hospital when Sister Kitto then said, "Can we say a prayer with you?" She welcomed us in and we sat down to talk and introduce ourselves. She told us how she'd been trying to get her life in order and had been looking for a church. We told her a little about the Book of Mormon and read a bit from it and she grabbed her heart and said that it felt like healing! She felt warm and at peace! Her friend then came to take her to the library, we said a quick prayer, were invited back, and left a Book of Mormon on her table.

Saturday night we came back and she said that she doesn't usually open the door, but felt the need. She knew that she needed to listen to what we had to say and was wanting it and ready for it. Everything we'd say, she would say she believed and felt to be true...She had even begun reading the Book of Mormon without being asked and said that it helped calm her down. She's got a few emotional issues that we don't understand completely, but she was yearning for me. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She wants it and is so elect!

We then came back Sunday night and met her son who goes to Marshall University and he said he would support her with whatever she wants. We set her on date to be baptized on the 22nd of December and she said that she knows she wants this and is ready for this now. We taught her about the Restoration and a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and tomorrow we are going to give her a tour of the church building so that she feels comfortable coming this next week, that is the only reason she didn't come on Sunday. She got too nervous. She is so elect though and a sweetheart! Sister Kitto and I both know that we were here for her. She is exactly what we were praying for and an answer to our prayer. Every time we meet with her, we feel like it isn't real and begin looking for a camera haha She soaks everything in and is begging for more! She already believes everything we teach but didn't know there was a church that had all she believed. We are so grateful to have found her at this time and how much our Heavenly Father has prepared her. Her name is Lisa and I know that she is our Christmas miracle. Wow! I get chills just thinking about it!

We also had an experience meeting with this less-active lady this week as we were walking out of her apartment, we met 2 other people who told us to come back and teach them. People are everywhere! We just had to get out of our comfort zone and talk! Heavenly Father definitely guided our conversations and helped the spirit teach each person. The spirit was tangible in Lisa's lessons and she even stood up one time and said, "It is so warm in this room, I feel so good!" She said that every time we come, she feels such peace and wants that with her always. We promised her that she would when she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and continued to live worthy of it! Wow...I could talk forever! But sadly I have to go. I'm so grateful that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. This gospel changes lives and answers every question! The church is true! I get to be a missionary everyday! Although there are funny moments and awkward moments as a missionary, there are so many good ones that make it worth it! Miracles are everywhere! Pray for them and look for them! I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Herring

P.S. Thank you for the packages, letters, and love! I love you all so much! Time to go bowling with the zone! Wish me luck! :)

Sister Kitto and I about to tract in the snow

The snow

Tracting in the rain! (It came before the snow)