Oh it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! I'm so excited that spring is finally in the air! It has been one of the longest winters of my life and now we are beginning to see the fruits of it! The birds are chirping, the buds are out, and things are beginning to come back to life (including our spirits). They say this was one of the worst winters in West Virginia since about 93'. Crazy! But this summer I'm sure it will be gorgeous!
This week has been a bit slower than normal with transfers and all, but it has still been wonderful!
Mandy is progressing well to be baptized soon, we are still working on a few things with her, but she has grown so much in the gospel and it is amazing to see the change in her life. She is a sweetheart and I'm so excited for the day she gets baptized. We are still working towards Easter, but if not then, we will continue to work with her.
Daniel is doing amazing! He came to church yesterday and wants so much to have light in his life. We realized that he hasn't had any experience with religion, so we are starting from square one. He was a little nervous at church, but I think felt the peace and was able to calm down by the end of it. This gospel will change his life! I'm excited to help him in his process of conversion. He is wanting it so much!
We are teaching a few other people, but as of right now, we are working on finding new people to teach. We get to go see Francis this evening which I'm excited for. She is the funniest older lady ever! We have a lot of those. heehee West Virginian women make me giggle.
This week we've had some truly funny moments. Here's a fun one for you! We have a house across the street which we think is possible a drug house, but there are always really nice people outside! (I can't imagine why?) ;) haha Well, one of the men we've become friends with across the street is named Moose. He told us that he always makes sure that we are safe as we are walking. haha no worries, he is perfectly harmless. Well, the other night we went to go invite some people to learn about the gospel when I saw a man I thought was Moose! I called out and quickly realized that it was not Moose, but another drunk guy. His name is Charlie and he was with his friend Mike carrying a bag of beer. Well, they walked up and Charlie slurred, "Hey! You're LDS I do LSD! We're pretty much the same!" hahaha Even now I'm laughing as I write this. It was one of the funniest moments on my mission. We talked to them for a little then as they were walking away Charlie was giving a fist bump while saying "John Smith! John Smith!" haha hilarious!!! We then walked into the convenience store laughing hysterically and the people working knew exactly our reason. They told us that those drunk guys are always in the area and that we have nothing to worry about. haha We weren't worried. I agree with Rex, don't drink!!! It is the dumbest idea ever!
We also had another good laugh when we realized that we have Reality Show in the making in our neighbor's house. Don't watch reality T.V., just move to West Virginia! So, we walked up to talk to one of our neighbors and she said that her 3 pregnant daughters (who were holding 5-month-olds) and their boyfriends also lived in the 3-bedroom house. Yikes!!! Doing the math, I don't know how 8 people and 3 babies could fit in the house. It was an interesting conversation, but they are super nice, so who knows! They have potential! Oh! And don't forget their rabbit! A house would not be complete without a rabbit! haha
Now these are just 2 of the wonderful stories that you experience while serving in the best mission in the world! But along with all the jokes and laughs, there is a sincere love for these people. You will never find more giving, loving, and Christlike people. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I'm so grateful that I still have time! Each person you come in contact with is a son or daughter of God and is loved by Him. I have such a special place in my heart for the people of West Virginia. I don't think in every mission would you be tracting and have people offer you hot chocolate even if they aren't interested in your message. (This has happened at least 2 times). People will also ask you to pray for people even when they aren't LDS. They recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ. Of course, there are the rude ones, the ones where you knock on the door and they say, "Nobody's home!" haha Those ones are my favorite! But overall, everyone is so kind!
This past week we walked about 5 miles in one day! It was a killer, but we met a lot of great people along the way! We also went walking in the rainand got soaking wet, but it was awesome! Such a good memory! We got to watch the Women's meeting and yes a few tears were present :). It was so cool to be sitting next to Lisa during her first ever women's meeting. I hope everyone gets to watch it!
Poor Sister Larrabee is still not feeling well, but we are taking her to the doctor. We think it might be her gall bladder. (Mike, any advice?) Poor girl! Sister Searle and I do our best to nurse her to health, and she is a trooper, so no worries, we are still working our hardest!
Well, we are off! But I hope you are all happy, healthy, and loving life! Enjoy the small moments! They are the most memorable! Life is too short to get discouraged, down, or angry! Learn to laugh at yourself heehee That is another thing that helps! Trust in God and have Faith that He will be there throughout it all! I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! My favorite song is now "Have I Done Any Good?" Ask yourself that question whenever you might be having a hard day! There is a really good version on MormonChannel.org by Alex Boye and Carmen Rasmusen. It is my favorite version! Enjoy!
I love you all so much! Remember the church is true! We are so blessed to be a part of it! Heavenly Father loves you and knows what you are experiencing! Ask Him for help and He will answer your prayers! The Book of Mormon is true and has answers for each and every one of life's questions. Turn to it for revelation and guidance. I promise there is a peace within that can't be found anywhere else! Get excited for General Conference! I know I am!
Picture 1 - Here are my cute companions as we were walking down the Holler to Daniel's house
Picture 2 - Yes, that is a crock pot in the stream...