Monday, July 21, 2014

Anna Herring

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to meErinAndrewkelceyherring
Family!

My how time flies!

What a week?! Where to begin? ...The beginning!

Monday - We had a great P-Day, then got invited to dinner at one of our recent convert homes. They are solid! Tanja and Scott! She has terminal cancer and Scott is a loving husband. Well, during dinner, she brought up all this anti- that she had heard. She said it was all over lds.org which was not true and that it was shaking her testimony, but we had to validate her concerns while helping her realize the truth. It was a very stressful dinner, but the spirit was felt throughout. I completely felt guided by the spirit in everything! Wow! I know that in the moments when we don't think we can do it, but still open our mouths is when the spirit takes over and helps us do more than we could on our own. I have a firmer testimony in the gospel through this experience. It all boils down to the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true, it all is! People are not perfect, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is. Thank goodness! I'm so grateful for a knowledge of this gospel. It is what strengthened me throughout this week! (It really wasn't that bad, I promise!) We also met with Mary and had a great lesson.

Tuesday - We had a fantastic day! We had Sister Mace come with us to a lesson with Jared and Jordan. The two brothers we met last week. They are awesome! They asked great questions and Sister Mace, who served a mission in Australia and is a convert, was phenomenal! The spirit was so strong and both Jared and Jordan committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! They are not looking to convert, yet, but definitely will someday! We then went to the Pink Cadillac for dinner and it was a blast! It is an old diner decorated with everything Elvis. I mean EVERYTHING! Wow. We then went to a lesson with Robbie and Kathy and Kathy definitely opened up. It was amazing! She usually is just nice to the missionaries, but as we shared a scripture about what happens to us after we die, she got teary-eyed and said, "I needed that, I lost 2 siblings last year." We then committed her to read Alma 40 and 41. It was so powerful! My experience with Frankie has been huge in helping me relate to people who have lost loved ones. I know that I have help beyond my capability in this work. We then went and saw Lilian for a split second before heading to another area to tract. It was a great day and very rewarding to see the light in people as they learned more of their Savior.

Wednesday - We went to try to contact a referral named Ruth Ann Herring! There are apparently many Herring's out here! So cool! I still have yet to meet one, but I'm looking! There is even a Herring's car shop in Buena Vista! We then went to go try some people and met many friendly people who weren't quite ready to accept the gospel. We ran into 2 separate atheists which is rare in this mission and I just have to ask Kortlynn and Rex and Chandon. What have you seen helps when talking to atheists?! Totally different than what I'm used to! It makes me realize just how different each of our missions are! Also, Kortlynn, do you deal with the Hindu religion? I have no idea about that either! But we are meeting a few. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Or Buddhism? Wow. So many religions! The church is true! Next we went to dinner before heading to the church tour. We had 3 people come! The church tour is starting to grow and we are seeing great success from this. We ended the night teaching Mary with her new visiting teacher, (she hasn't even been baptized yet) I love it! Sister Skinner is her visiting teacher and picture Diana Barry from Anne of Green Gables. It is her! I love it! She talks, acts, and looks exactly like her! Wow!

Thursday - Exchange day! We did our weekly planning in an hour, then drove to Lynchburg. We ate at Panera Bread (one of my favorites), I got my Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich and we were on our way back! Sister Christensen (who's first name is also, Anna) came with me and we got to work in Lexington. Sister Christensen has had an interesting transfer. She is one of the best missionaries and is with an interesting companion. She loves her, but she was excited for this exchange. We went and saw this cute 81 year old who is preparing to go to the temple, then we went and saw an old investigator who is still not ready. Sister Christensen had been serving in Lexington the transfer before me. We met this super nice Catholic priest who said he would take us to lunch, before heading to dinner at the Larsens. They are an amazing family and Rindy! Their daughter had Barta as a mentor while she was studying theater at BYU! So cool to make that connection. She was there years before you, but it still made my day. They made us a Cafe Rio type dish, yum! We ended the night seeing Mary and then Gloria and it turned out to be a great day! We were able to find a few potential investigators and get appointments set up with each!

Friday - We had a few plans fall through, but then Sister Christensen remembered someone named Desmond who lived close so we went to go try him. He was outside fixing his car and so we had the perfect opportunity to talk! He asked some great questions answered by the Plan of Salvation so we set up a time to come back and teach him! He is great! This is where the miracle happened. On our way back to Lynchburg to exchange back, we got a text from a girl named Brittany Fix. Apparently, she had met with missionaries in April and the week of her baptism, she backed out. She texted us and asked if we could help her get baptized. Um....Yes!!!! Hallelujah chorus! We met with her and she is amazing! She's read the entire Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, and is 20 years old. I already love her. She still has some doubts, but knows this is what she needs to do. We are going to meet with her tomorrow and hopefully clear up her concerns. She is wonderful! After we exchanged back, we went and taught Brittany before heading to a lesson at Michael's. He was a guy we met on Thursday who had told us to come back. We began teaching him and he had some great questions. He is not looking to convert, yet, but has great potential. There are a lot of people who have been turned off to religion because of past experiences, but when they find the truth, they act! I think he is one of those types. Ooh and he let us hold his Boa Snake!! Wow! Where was my camera? :) I've done things I'd never thought I'd do on this mission, but I love each experience! We then saw Mary for a second before heading home.

Saturday - Shows me that there must be opposition in all things. Friday was a miraculous and an unbelievable day! Wow! Then Saturday came...Yuck! I don't want to repeat this day. :) I loved the opportunity to experience opposition so that I could appreciate Friday more, but I think one Saturday is okay for the entire mission. We did service first at the food pantry which is always nice before heading to the District Leader Council. This was all wonderful! We then went and tried to see people for 4 hours with each one falling through and dropping us! Michelle included! She said that she'd been avoiding us because she was not ready to be baptized. We tried to assure her that there was no pressure and this was up to her. We hope that she will still continue to meet with us and see that there is more to learn. She said she'd call (missionary talk for not a chance), but we have hope that she will! We then were able to eat a wonderful dinner at our landlords and ended the night at the county fair running a family history booth. I loved it! It was wonderful! So I guess...We had a sandwich. It started wonderful, it ended wonderful, the middle was a bit rocky. :) Okay, looking back, not too bad! Wow! I just had revelation while writing this email home! In the moment, hard times can seem never-ending and the worst experience of our lives, but then looking back you see, it wasn't too bad! You are still alive, the church is still true, and there is still something to smile about! Like lightning bugs! Or Panera sandwiches! Isn't life wonderful? Wow! We are going to try this week having the sisters pause everytime they have to do something hard and ask, "What good thing is happening because of this?" or, "What blessing did we see because of this?" I think it will help them count their blessings and find joy in the journey rather than the mentality of: after this transfer, or after this companion. That mindset will get you nowhere! Find joy in the journey! That is what it is all about! Wow I love email insights! And that is how revelation works. :)

Sunday - I love Sundays. They are the best! We went to church where we were able to partake of the Sacrament, then we drove to Buena Vista because one of the sisters was having kidney stones. She needed some things and was in a lot of pain. Heavenly Father blessed us with an amazing week so we could help the sisters. Thank goodness! He is always mindful of us and provides a way to overcome every challenge. We then had dinner at the Lee's home. I love them! Their home is one that Robert E. Lee would visit often. It is gorgeous! We then ended the night by helping another set of sisters who was struggling. I'm grateful for this chance to serve the sisters and learn from them. I'm grateful for my companionship with Sister Wahlin. We have had zero arguments and the one time we had to discuss something, the spirit was present throughout! I'm so grateful for each of my companions. I have been blessed with the best! But, the truth is, any companion can be the best if each one is dedicated to the work. There is my marriage advice for the day. :)

Well, my time is up, but next week is transfers, so I'll be writing on Tuesday! I hope you all have the best week ever! I love you! The church is true! I'm praying Sister Wahlin and I have one more transfer together. That would be the best!

Love,
Sister Herring

Picture 1 - Stonewall Jackson cemetery!
Picture 2 - Don't ask me why there are lemons in front of his tomb.



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