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!

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