Monday, January 27, 2014

Anna Herring
10:55 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
Picture 1 - The funny elders with the awkward statue. From Left to Right Elder Simmons, Ramirez, Wright, Spencer, and Anderson

Picture 2 - The blizzard!

Picture 3 - Beautiful glass at the Tamarack!

Picture 1 - Sister Davis and I in the Tamarack
Picture 2 - The glass blower
Picture 3 - The Tamarack!

January 27, 2014

Anna Herring
10:49 AM (38 minutes ago)
to meErin
Hello Hello!!!

It's a beautiful life! Since I last wrote great things have been happening! Here we go!

Tuesday, after I wrote you, we had to do area reports FOREVER which was a bummer, but we ended the night at the 
Cotrells which was a fun part to our day.

Wednesday came with some freshly fallen snow. We went and taught the Plan of Salvation to Nancy Fox who crazily 
enough had lost her husband 4 years prior. She was struggling a bit with it being the anniversary of his death, but how
appropriate that we had planned this lesson that answered her questions and brought peace for her concerns. Heavenly
Father was truly aware of her needs and helped us throughout the lesson. We then went and dropped Mandy and Brad.
They aren't quite ready to get married which means they won't be able to get baptized. It was heartbreaking to see that
they weren't willing to make this step in order to come closer to our Heavenly Father, but we will send missionaries 
back in the future and see if they are ready. If only people would see the importance of eternal families! We are so 
blessed to have the restored gospel upon the earth and to have a knowledge that if we make and keep our covenants 
with our Heavenly Father, we will be together forever! 

Thursday, we made cake during lunch and brought it over to a less-active lady's house for her birthday. We got to sing
to her and wore cute birthday hats which we took pictures of, no worries! We also got to eat dinner at the Thorpes' 
house, got free hot chocolate from the local gas station (the nice young man behind the counter bought it for us!), and 
ended the night with a meeting with President Pitt, the zone leaders, and the assistants. This meeting was a mini 
mission leader council and was so helpful! It got Sister Kitto and I excited to further help the sisters and the work in 
this mission! I love my mission president. He is one of the most amazing and inspired men! Wow! I am so blessed to 
get to serve around him and his sweet wife. Love them!

Friday, we drove to Beckley for interviews and on the way had ourselves a little adventure! The snow and ice were 
pretty thick on the road and the GPS took us on this back back road. We were in a 15 passenger van with 2 other sets 
of elders, (the driver being from Las Vegas and had never driven in snow before) driving on a one way road in ice and
snow. One of the sides was a rock wall, an the other was a drop-off into the river. Let's just say, many prayers were 
said, many angels assisted, and we made it safely. I will also include some pictures from that experience. I wish I 
could attach videos! Fun times! No worries, we will never do that again. We made it to Beckley and began our district
meeting and during the meeting had interviews. During my interview President Pitt asked what I thought the number 
one concern of the sisters was at this time. I talked about how some sisters are rationalizing not doing their best. For 
example. "It's too cold, we don't have to go out," or, "We need to become more united in order to work, let's go get a 
frosty." What we need them to do is get excited and "bond" over doing missionary work! Go tracting! That is always 
a bonding experience! Do some service! Forget yourself! All of these things help with missionary work along with 
helping us become strengthened. We are hoping to restore the excitement to the work! President Pitt ended the 
interview by saying, "The Lord is making you into something, specialer." haha He then realized that that probably 
wasn't a word, but I said, "It is now!" haha I love it! We then got special permission to go to the Tamarack (a West 
Virginian cultural experience) and while we were there I bought some coal that had been shaped into a lighthouse. I 
guess it is something President Pitt said we all needed to experience. The Tamarack is a huge store that is filled with 
everything made in West Virginia, about West Virginia, and by West Virginians. It was pretty pricey, but fun! They 
had a glass-blower there who was fun to watch and other fun things. Again, I would have bought way more if I was 
not on a budget. They had gorgeous quilts for thousands of dollars. Fun times! We then went on an exchange with 
Beckley sisters. Sister Davis came with me back to Charleston. We then got to work. We went tracting and a nice lady
(who was not interested) gave us hot chocolate. She doesn't know that she is going to be getting baptized yet. ;) We 
then taught a few other people and had a great exchange!

Saturday, we drove back to Beckley to exchange back and Sister Kitto and Scarff both had a wonderful experience as 
well! Exchanges help us know how to best help the sisters move forward and become better missionaries. We always 
learn so much! Saturday night, we were driving to contact a former investigator and when we drove up, they clearly 
weren't home. Right then...a blizzard hit!!!! Within 2 minutes the roads were covered and we began inching our way 
home. It was crazy! I've never seen anything like it! We were then stuck inside for the remainder of the night, so we 
did some training and dinner. They wouldn't even let the snow plows on the road or ambulances. 

One thing I've failed to mention is that every day this week it has snowed! Also every day this week we've seen Lisa! 
She is progressing so well and is completely ready for baptism! We are so excited for her! She will be our newest 
member on Sunday, the 2nd of February (which I've also been told is Super Bowl Sunday) haha 

Sunday was our miracle day for the week. We woke up and were so worried church would be cancelled. Sunday was 
going to be Lisa's baptismal interview and we were really wanting to get this done. Amazingly enough, our ward was 
the only one not cancelled in the entire stake! Lisa drove us to church and passed her interview with flying colors! 
She is one elect lady! This is not all...I don't remember if you remember, but a couple weeks back, 4 to be exact, we 
dropped a lady named Angela Dorsey because she wasn't wanting to give up coffee. She was the one that had been 
meeting with the missionaries for 18 years and had never truly been dropped. The mission president was so proud of 
us for dropping her. He said that there are miracles with drops. Well, we saw one today! As we were waiting for 
church to start, Angela walked in and said that she hadn't drunk coffee in 1 month and that she was going to talk to 
the bishop about getting baptized! I just about passed out! Holy moly! Miracles truly do happen! She is going to be 
baptized on February 9th! We were in shock and were so extremely happy!!! Life is amazing! We then ended the 
night by finding a guy named Shane who is very interested in learning more and he is going to have his whole family 
in on the lesson when we meet on Wednesday. What an amazing week!

I love being a missionary and I love this gospel! I'm so grateful to get to serve right now and I know that miracles 
truly are still happening today! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is another witness of our Savior 
Jesus Christ. If you have any struggles, questions, fears, worries, or concerns. Read the Book of Mormon along with 
prayer and you will receive your answer! Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children and wants to communicate 
with us! Prayers truly are answered!

I love you all so much and just know I pray for each family member by name! Dad, Mom, Grandma, Mike, Kim, 
Kortlynn, Chandon, Madisen, Alexa, Trace, Cody, Rhett, Alysia, Rex, Hannah, Seth, Jack, Sam, Grace, Jared, 
Bridget, Mason, Brigham, Steven, Kortney, Dallin, Adam, Stephanie, Adysen, Hollen, Lane, Orinda, Matt, Tammy, 
Gideon, Oliver, and little baby girl (Margaret possibly?). :) I'm so stinking proud of each of you! I know that we will 
be an eternal family! I pray that each of you stays strong in your testimonies of this gospel, safe, and healthy! I hope 
you have the best day ever! Keep up the good work!

Sister Herring

Picture 1 - Me and Mandy
Picture 2 - Here are our cute birthday hats!
Picture 3 - The ride to Beckley..we didn't die!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014

Hello my lovely family!

Again, this week might be a bit of a shorter letter. Yesterday, as you know was Martin Luther King day and so the library was closed, so we get to write today! Before I forget, thank you for all the pics and emails this week! I loved hearing about the baptism, family life, and all the exciting things that are happening in Arizona and Nevada. :) Oh and Russia! haha It is all so exciting!

This week has been another miraculous week! People seem to be coming out of places we didn't know existed! I love it!

Monday, Sister Kitto and I felt like we should go to a place in our area that we rarely get to visit called Alum Creek. There is a Part-Member family that lives there and we've never been able to contact them. So today was the day! We drove down and as soon as we got there, the lights were all off and we felt like we weren't in the right place. We decided to pray to know where we should be and began driving. We decided to go visit a less-active lady down the road and on the way we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. The lady at the cash register had a fantastic name! Anna! :) We talked to her about who we are and who we represent as missionaries and she said that she currently doesn't go to a church. She also knew exactly where our ward member lived! We gave her a pass-along card and plan to go back and see if we can teach her. We then found the woman's home and plan to go back tomorrow! So neat! Prayers are answered in ways we can't even imagine!

Tuesday, we had a district meeting, I got to teach a little bit about teaching simply. (They said because I'd taught 4th grade, I must know how) What the?! Teaching 4th grade is much different than teaching the gospel, but I did my best. We then got to go to dinner with our wonderful Baptist friends. David and Barbara Bryant are amazing! They are in their 70s and are very interested in the gospel! They took us to dinner at a place called Fat Patty's. Doesn't that sound delightful? I got a pretzel burger. It was amazing! We then returned to their home and taught them the restoration lesson. The wife is very interested in learning more and we will be most likely going out to dinner again with them this week. They love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and what our church stands for (even though the husband always teases that he wants a couple sister wives, we keep reminding him that this is not the church for him then) haha.

Wednesday, we did an exchange with the sisters in Ripley and a few miracles happened! One of our investigators during the lesson, said, "I know this is true! I'm ready to be baptized!" It was so random but awesome! When we asked her how she knew, she said she felt like Joseph Smith and that this is what God wants her to do. Now all we have to do is get her married to her fiancé or have him move out! Fun times! We ended the night at Lisa's helping her with her dishes (she's been very sick) as she watched a conference talk by President Uchtdorf, the one about the Forget-Me-Not flowers. I love that one!

Thursday, we did some weekly planning, helped a ward member move, got to eat dinner at the Cotrell's home, and made a few other visits.

Friday, we had our apartment inspected by the mission office, we passed! haha Not that I was worried, then we did another exchange with the Teay's Valley sisters. I got to go to Teay's Valley with Sister Kimber and she and I got to work! We found a new investigator, got to teach a few other people, and ended the night with pizza at a member's home. It was a blast! I love the miracles that happen on exchanges. We always learn so much and I'm grateful I get to serve with these sisters.

Saturday, we got to teach a lesson to a lady named Janetta. Her daughter had joined the church while living in Ohio and she became interested in what her daughter believed. Her daughter drove down to sit in on the lesson and to help her mom feel comfortable. We answered the mother's questions and taught her the restoration and at the end she said, "Out of all the churches my daughter's attended and all the studying I've done, this feels right!" She then came to churchon Sunday and said that she plans on coming back in 2 weeks! We are praying for her to continue to act on the promptings she's received and that all went well. It feels like it did, but I will keep you updated!

Sunday, Lisa and Janetta came to church, and Lisa is so ready for baptism. She hasn't smoked all week and doesn't seem to ever want to again! She has a light in her eyes and has such a desire to do whatever God asks of her. She is such a great example to me! Even when her family teases her about her beliefs, or gives her a hard time, she simply says, "I'm getting baptized on February 2nd, I'd love to see you there, and if you have any questions, please ask my sisters!" I can't believe I got to be a part of her conversion process. She is going to do so many great things! Wow! I'm so grateful I've had this opportunity to teach her, she is such a blessing!

We also had another miracle happen Sunday night. There is a 16 year old girl that joined the church against her family's wishes. Her mom gave her permission, but her father told us that we were devils. Well, Sunday night we got a text from the mom saying that her husband wanted to learn about God and wanted a Book of Mormon and a Bible! We went and brought those and now the whole family is wanting to come to church! Hearts are truly being softened and last night we got to talk to the dad to hear it from him and he said, "Yes, I need to learn more." Wow! He also really wants to quit smoking and the whole family is amazed! This is such a drastic change! I'm so excited to see what will happen! We are going to teach them on Wednesday night! The examples we set are not only seen by others, but by our families! Amazing!

Our water situation has been fixed, the only thing we don't do now is drink it. :) It snowed about 6 inches last night which makes everything beautiful! I'm sorry I'm not going to be able to reply to any emails this week! I want you all to know I love you! I have no doubt in my mind that this church is true! the gospel has been restored to the Earth today through a living prophet! We have so many blessings because of this knowledge and now we get to share it! I invite each of you to pray for missionary opportunities and when they come, simply open your mouth! The Lord will help you to know what to say. I promise you will see miracles! I love this work and I'm so grateful for amazing family and all your support! Have the best day ever!

Sister Herring

Picture 1 - Driving in the car! Fun times!

Picture 2 - Our cute Baptist friends, the Bryant's, :) with Sister Kitto. 
Picture 3 - It's snowing! Yay!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Laura Kesler
4:50 AM (5 hours ago)
to sewingmomma_830me
Hi, my name is Laura Kesler and we live in Roanoke, VA. My husband's name is Matt. We have four children, our oldest Haley who passed away about six and a half years ago (she would be 16 now). Our second is named Taylor and she is 14. Our third is Dessa and she is 6. Our fourth one is Chase and he is 4. We truly enjoyed having your daughters in our home. Your daughters are wonderful and have such sweet spirits! They definitely brought the spirit into our home and helped me personally with love and support. I know you are proud of your daughters and the work they are doing. It was so hard to see them go. I hope they are doing well in their new areas. I miss them and love them.

I apologize for taking so long to send these photos as they were taken a while back. I was going to post to Facebook but I thought I would let you do that if you would like. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Anna Herring

to me
My what a week!!! Where to begin?! I'll start at the beginning (a very good place to start) :),

Monday, we got to go ice-skating as a zone! Woohoo! It was a blast! I didn't fall once! 

Tuesday was the cold day for the mission. It got down into the negatives and was a bit scary when we began to see ice forming on the inside of our windows. They told us to keep the faucets dripping so the pipes wouldn't freeze, and we decided to spend the day doing service. We helped a lady in the ward who is preparing to move, we helped one of our investigators in her home, and we were able to serve a few people. Nobody was prepared for these cold temperatures, so we decided service was the best way to spend the day! The Cotrell family had lost heat in their home and still wanted to feed us. They are sweethearts! I'm so grateful they contacted you. We don't know what's been said on the news, but I wanted you to know that we are okay! Better than okay! :)

Wednesday, we began to see the temperature rise along with our ability to contact people! We went and checked on two less-active ladies in the ward.

Now on to the exciting parts!

Thursday morning, we woke up and had a regular morning. We decided that some time after weekly planning that we would go see this less-active family in the area that we've never been able to contact. I've been wanting and feeling like we needed to go see them for a while now and so we finally had a moment to go see them. We knocked on the door....and they weren't home! Hmm...We then went straightaway to the next house over to begin tracting the street when the first door we knocked on opened to this nice old man! He immediately welcomed us in and after reassuring us that his wife was home, (we aren't allowed to go in unless a woman is in the house), we came in. His name is David (what a great name, huh dad!) :) and his wife Barbara walked in moments after we entered. They are in their late 70s or even early 80s, but act like they are 20. They are hilarious! They began talking to us and they seemed to know a lot about the church. We began to wonder if they were LDs when the husband said he was a baptist. They are both very involved in their church, but have many friends who are Mormon and have had many positive interactions with the church. As we were sitting there gabbing, I began wondering if they would be interested in learning more about the church. I said, "Our message is simple, it is the fact that we have a prophet on the Earth today and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored today!" Right then a softening took place and the wife said she got cold chills (the Holy Ghost) and she wanted to learn more! What a miracle! They are taking us out to eat this Tuesday (if the water is working) and we plan on teaching them! They are an amazing couple and I already love them! We then went to a dinner appointment with a sweet member in the ward and while we were there we heard the news about the water situation. I thought it was a joke on facebook for a second before our phone began ringing off the hook! Sister Pitt called us, the Zone Leaders called us, the APs texted us, and that became the topic of conversation for the night. We were on our way home and were going to pick up some water when we realized that people had kind of gone into a panic. We decided to try the little gas station next to our apartment. It was out of water, so we picked up some flavored water, and gatorade. They were saying it would only last for about 24 hours so we weren't too panicked. We then went to the dollar store to pick up some baby wipes and make-up remover. Fun times! All of a sudden...inspiration struck! I turned to Sister Kitto and said, "Let's take Lisa something to drink!" We hadn't heard from her for about 2 weeks and had no idea why. We had pretty much thought she'd dropped us and were about to move on. I figured this was our last shot to have some closure and to see if we could help her in some small way. We grabbed a few extra drinks and headed to her door. We arrived at about 8:00 and were so nervous to knock! We then went for it and she immediately welcomed us in and expressed how grateful she was that we had come back! She had had a few really rough weeks and had secluded herself from everyone! She then felt bad and thought that we had given up on her and so she didn't want to call! We told her again and again how much we loved her and wanted her to be happy. We bore testimony to her about how the gospel of Jesus Christ provided answers to every question and peace for every trial. She had not lost her faith! She still wants to come closer to Christ! We had witnessed a miracle! We went to bed that night with wings on our feet! No water = miracles! :)

Friday morning we headed to the church to listen to Elder Nielsen! All the missionaries of the WVCM were able to come and enjoy his amazing talk and message for us! Sister Kitto and I had the opportunity to sing! We sang a rendition of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". It was a great experience! We then had a specialized training with the other leaders of the mission and Elder Nielsen. He said that Sister Kitto and I were the rays of sunshine for the mission. What a compliment! I loved it all! He spoke about how if there is anything we need to fix, fix it! If there is anything we need to change, do it now! It was a huge message of repentance and excitement for the work! He definitely stands behind every exclamation point he used in conference. :) He made us laugh, learn, and love to be missionaries even more! We then had dinner with the Bishop's family, then our second dinner with another lady in the ward needing a visit. Even though we didn't have working water, we still were so happy!

Saturday, we started getting a bit nervous about the whole water situation, but we knew it was all going to be okay because 2 sweet families in the ward were contacting us daily checking on our water supply, and the stores had all been stocked up at this point. We had some great lessons and Lisa is planning on being baptized on February 2nd! I don't think I will have ever had a happier groundhog's day! :) She is so ready this time and we are so grateful Heavenly Father provided a way for us to contact her once again. It is truly in the Lord's hands. Thank you for all your prayers and support! She is such a miracle for Sister Kitto and I, and we are grateful we will both be here for her baptism.

Sunday we had a phone call from Lisa and were a bit nervous that she was going to cancel, but instead she said, "I'm a bit sick, but I'm coming to church!" I love her! We had a lady in the ward pick us up and we all drove together. Lisa was so excited to go and not a bit nervous! I've never seen anyone so ready for this gospel! She's given up smoking for good and is determined to not begin again! She is amazing! Church was only 2 hours long due to the water situation and then we were able to go to dinner with one of the families that is providing us with water this week. I can't believe the love I feel from the members and this area! Great things are happening!

Now on to the fun questions. No, we are not able to shower. We have some baby wipes that have become our best friends and we feel like we are camping (to the extreme!) I washed my hair for church with some water bottles. That was fun! We have hand sanitizer everywhere. We use paper plates and bowls so that we won't have to do dishes. Laundry is going to have to wait until we have working water which should be soon. There are some ward members that said we could use their laundry machines if necessary. (They live out of the boundaries of the contaminated water.) The weirdest part is driving down the road and seeing every restaurant closed! Nothing seems to be open. The stores have aisles and aisles of water and all of the frozen meals and paper items were gone the last time we checked. When we go tracting we are now able to offer a water bottle with every Book of Mormon! haha jk. But we do check and make sure each person we visit or teach has water. Many people are starting to think that the Mormons were on to something with their whole "food storage" and "water supply". If you don't have any, I'd prepare now! This has got to be the craziest thing I've ever experienced, but also the best! We are the only sisters affected by it in the mission which has got to be the coolest thing ever! We've been looking forward to writing you all all week! So exciting right? What an adventure! 

That was about our week! Aren't you excited to see what will happen this week? So am I! Just know, all is well here in South Charleston. Things are happening, the work is moving forward, and it can't be stopped! Oh! One more thing! In church on Sunday, Elder Hess, one of the APs, said, "We told President Pitt that you and Sister Kitto need to just stay together your entire missions." It made me so happy! He said that it would probably be best to just double us into every area we go! It was such a compliment! I love Sister Kitto and we do have a blast being missionaries. The gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the Earth! We have a prophet today! Why wouldn't we be happy? ;) I love you all so much! I love this work! I know that prayers are answered and that we truly can turn every lemon not only into lemonade, but into miracles! Keep on being the amazing family I know you are! I pray for you daily!

Sister Herring

P.S. Happy Birthday Cody! Congratulations on your baptism! I'm so proud of you and will be there in spirit! Happy Birthday my dear Sister Bridget! I love you so stinkin' much! Have the best days ever!