Sorry for the late email! It is transfers week and we are finally getting to email! A lot has happened and is going to continue to happen this week! First of all, drum roll please...Sister Kitto is going to be training this next transfer! She is the only sister in the mission and can I just say I'm proud? haha She is a fantastic missionary and I'm pumped to see all she will do! I'm going to be staying in South Charleston for another transfer. I'm not sure who my companion will be yet, but I'm so excited to stay. The good thing is, we are almost 100% sure she is not being transferred out of the zone, so I will still get to see Sister Kitto a lot! We will even get to do exchanges! This is the first time since I've been on the mission that I will not be either training or being trained and I think it will be great! I will let you know on Monday who the new companion will be. I'm going to miss Sister Kitto like crazy, but I know she will continue to work miracles in her next transfer.
The other big news of the week is Sister Angela Dorsey got baptized!!! After 19 years of meeting with the missionaries, she got baptized! Sister Kitto and I got to be the missionaries to witness the wonderful event. It was so neat! President Pitt spoke at the baptism, and because she wanted it to be a small event, it was a special occasion. The best part was right after she was baptized, she squealed and raised her hands in excitement, then as she walked up the steps from the font, we wrapped her in a towel and she burst into tears while saying, "That was amazing! Thank you! I feel so good!" Whoo! I was in tears, Sister Kitto was in tears, and the spirit was so strong! She was so ready for this and she felt so good after being baptized! The gospel truly changes people's lives! I'm so grateful to have been one of the missionaries to witness this event. I will never forget it!
Sunday, both Lisa New and Angela Dorsey were confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost and I again was amazed to get to be a part of their lives. They are strong women of faith and their lives will forever be changed and improved because of the blessings and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Angela Dorsey is now planning on being sealed in the temple to her husband in a year. I could be there! Yay! I'm so grateful for the temple and the covenants and blessings we receive there.
Other than the baptism and the transfer news, it has been a pretty normal week. We are continuing to try and find people and to keep this area strong. We are working on not only having investigators but having each of our investigators progressing. Meaning, keeping their commitments, coming to church, praying, reading the scriptures, and any other commandment that might help them come closer to Christ.
Funny story for you. We began writing emails this morning around 10:30, and as I was writing, this man came up and asked me to find where in the Bible it named the twelve apostles. I found it for him and then he began talking about the church. At first I was excited and felt like he was really getting everything we were saying and then he began to talk really strange. Sister Kitto came and joined me and after 2 hours, he was saying that he was an angel and that God had called him to testify of Jesus Christ in bars. He said that we (as missionaries) were not going everywhere, so he had to do it. He said he would go into a bar, buy a beer, and then drink it! Talk about testifying! haha We were not getting anywhere and when he began to try and convince us that every name in the Bible was a different spirit/person, we decided it was time to go. For example Jesus was a different person/spirit than Jesus Christ. Huh? Oh and that the Holy Ghost was not the same as the Holy Spirit. He told us he had been drinking the night before and I think this might have caused him some brain damage. What a sad thing to see! Truly, alcohol kills brain cells and changes personalities. We are teaching one lady who's son has early forms of dementia due to alcohol. He is in his early 50s and has had it for 10 years! So sad! And people wonder why we have the Word of Wisdom! I testify that it is a revelation from God through the Prophet Joseph Smith and I'm grateful to have grown up knowing the truth! We quickly left and went out to lunch and ran some more errands, but now we're back! What a fun day!
I love reading Rex's and Kortlynn's letter and realizing that even though we are different countries, the missionary work is the same! (I'm so jealous Kortlynn has an iPad!) :) But every Thursday, we all are doing our weekly planning, every day we are sharing the gospel and looking for prepared people, every Sunday we are in church! I love reading their emails and being strengthened by their faith and diligence. I can't imagine trying to share the gospel while speaking Russian or Japanese. I'm having a hard enough time with Appalachian American English! :) Rex and Kortlynn! You are both amazing! I know there are hard days, even times when you think you can't do another day, but keep up the good work! I've realized on those days when it seems that no one is listening, that someone is. Our Heavenly Father is there every step of the way! He loves us and is supporting us through our trials. Quick note: Rex, I just realized I never told you, but my companion's brother served in the Baltic mission. If you ever hear about an Elder Kitto, that's him! Sister Kitto told me today that he had a lot of hard work to do there, but he is now one of the most amazing men! (At least that's what he sounds like.) He's married and the father of 2 kids and he is a spiritual giant because he learned how to rely on his Heavenly Father and work through the rough times. I know that this is what the 3 of us are learning. If anything, we are learning to rely on our Heavenly Father and the truthfulness of this gospel. I love you both!
That is one thing I've experienced lately. As you know, this is part of the Bible Belt and we have many people who profess to know the Bible front to back. This fact made me extremely nervous when I first got here, but the thing I've learned is to rely on the spirit to help you know what to say and do. Usually a scripture will come to mind to answer questions, and if not, I simply testify of what I know is true. We never Bible Bash (although that is a possibility), but when we testify, the spirit carries our message to their heart. I've also learned the power of prayer. Heavenly Father hears and answers every single prayer!
I went on an exchange with the Parkersburg sisters and got to teach a Jehovah Witness couple. That was fun! They pulled out their Bibles and we had a great discussion. I love how the gospel of Jesus Christ makes sense! It is so fun to teach!
Oh! We also had the mission leader conference, and two zone meetings this past week. Sister Kitto and I got to teach a small portion to our zones (the Charleston and the Parkersburg) and we learned so much! I don't know if you got the email from President Pitt, but this past weekend, the mission had 19 baptisms! Woohoo! The work is truly moving forward! I'm so grateful to be a part of it at this time.
Thank you Mom and Bridget for the lovely Valentine's Day packages! So cute! Oh and I hope Gideon had a happy birthday. Happy Birthday Sam! I love you! Also, happy anniversary Mom and Dad! 44 years and still going strong! You are great examples to me. I love you all so much and I pray for you daily! I'm so grateful to be serving in the West Virginia Charleston Mission! Keep on being amazing!
P.S. Matt or mom or someone. Can you fix my facebook account so that people can add me as a friend? For some reason I have the settings on it that makes it impossible for anyone to add me/find me. It is a bit annoying. :) Even though I'm not on it right now. I love you all again! Have the best day ever!
Picture 1 - A few icicles?!
Picture 2 - Sister Dorsey's baptism
Picture 3 - She is like 5'2" maybe...haha I love her