Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My beautiful and amazing familia!

Boy how I love those letters. I think the librarians must think I'm crazy as I jump up and down in excitement. I am pretty much a school girl as I read these. So fun! Thank you! So about transfers! Drum roll please.............. I'm staying in Lexington!!! With Sister Wahlin! I can't express how happy that makes me! We have many goals and plans for this transfer and the neat part is, we are getting another set of missionaries in our ward which means our area is shifting. We are now going to be working a lot in Glasgow and Natural Bridge which are tiny towns near Lexington. We have been seeing huge miracles in these areas which I will explain more in the letter. We couldn't have asked for a more exciting transfer! It is exactly what both of us were wanting. We had been trying to work in Lexington this past transfer, but we kept on being drawn to Glasgow. Now we know why! This is where we will be working! Truly we are teaching some elect people in the tiny town. (I'm not even sure it shows up on a map. :) We will still be living in Lexington, but we will drive to Glasgow each day which is about 12 miles south of Lexington. I'm so excited! Woohoo! Oh and we have a little piece of Collierstown as well. Elder Hollembeak and his companion will be in a walking area covering Lexington, and then the other set will be covering the north area of our ward. I'm so ready for this transfer! (If you can't tell.) heehee

About this week! Monday we were able to do a little shopping before going to dinner at the Relief Society President's house. We even had rootbeer floats! Memories! We then headed to Mary's house to have a brief lesson with her before walking home. (Note: We did a lot of walking this week, due to being low on miles.) :)

Tuesday: We were able to go see Brittany and teach her a little more about her relationship with God. We are working to help her simply strengthen her testimony of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. She grew up Atheist which is strange to find in Virginia. Crazy in fact! After lunch and some Mormon.org time we drove to Glasgow with Sister Mace and tried to see Jared and Jordan. They weren't home, so we tried a few other people before getting pulled over! What the?! This nice cop (the only cop in Glasgow) had pulled us over to give her a ticket for an expired ticket. When he walked up he realized that he had made a mistake and told us to have a nice day...This is where the superhero, Sister Mace, made something happen. We went and drove back to the cop asking for directions to a referral and ended up giving him a Book of Mormon! So cool! There is a reason for everything! We then were able to make contact with Jared and Jordan before heading back to Lexington. I love Siste Mace! She reminds me of a Patterson. :) She told us about her life story on the way back and how she had been in an abusive relationship for 14 years and also had a record label. She is a talented musician but chose to be a mother over fame. Wow! She is now happily married to a wonderful man and in the Stake Relief Society Presidency. She had joined the church when she was 20 and immediately went on a mission to Australia! Amazing! If you want I think you can find her music under Leslie Tucker. I'm not sure if it will show up, but it is worth a try! She said she will play for us someday. :) After she dropped us off, we went to see a man named Frank who is a member but hasn't been to church since he was baptized at 8. He is now in his 50s. We ended the night by eating dinner at the Halls. They live up in the mountains and have a beautiful cabin up there. They are salt of the earth good and made us a delicious dinner of mac and cheese, fried chicken, rolls, corn on the cob, and apple cobbler for dessert. This is a very typical meal here. One word: healthy! haha Well, maybe not, but it is delicious! We had a lesson with them and some recent converts, Mimi and Bella. A mother and daughter who I already love!

Wednesday: Miracle day! We had interviews with President Salisbury and Sister Salisbury. I love them! They were so tired, but sincerely care about each missionary. President Salisbury was very loving and said, "You've been a Sister Training Leader for a long time!" I am thinking my time is about, maybe next transfer! I guess there is still more for me to learn. Sister Wahlin and I have decided that we have this calling because we don't care about it. haha There are many sisters that for some reason think it means you are something more than you actually are, but we know the truth. It means there are things we need to learn while serving the sisters. I hope to help each sister understand this fact. We aren't better, we simply need more opportunities to learn from other sisters on exchanges and in meetings. I'm grateful for this chance to serve. During interviews we were also having a district meeting. During the meeting, the Assistants introduced the new mission goals and stayed for the rest of our meeting. Elder Hollembeak is a fantastic missionary and did something a bit startling in the teaching portion. He asked me to come up to help him in a demonstration. He then handed me a card and said that the things on the card were my objections to his commitment and that I was to read them. I began reading the card and my objections were: "I'm already married.", "I don't want to marry you.", "I don't feel like I am ready to get married right now." I began to get nervous about his demonstration when he suddenly asked, "Will you marry me?" Ahh! Every person in the room was caught off guard, including me! I think I turned every shade of red. I began to read the objections on the card and by the end everyone understood what he was trying to get across. He was trying to show how we need to invite people to baptized in a more understanding way than we are right now. Each objection I had for not getting married was the exact type people use to not get baptized. If we teach them in a caring manner and in a way to help them understand, these objections can be overcome. It was a funny moment and one that I can now cross off my list. I can now say I've been proposed to while being on a mission. haha funny times for an awkward sister missionary. :) After our meetings were over, we went to lunch at BlueDogArt Cafe and then headed to Glasgow. We went first to contact a referral for a member's brother, and we happened to find him outside! He was very friendly and apparently after we left he called his sister and said that two beautiful angels had brought God to him. So cute! We then went to go see a recent convert who hadn't been to church in months and his girlfriend answered the door. The cool thing was, she was begging us to come back in two hours when Rob would be home. We told her yes and left a Book of Mormon with her. We then went to contact another referral from Jeffrey Early and he happened to be there, with his brother! They are both trying to get into the NBA and want to have God more in their lives. We are going to see them tomorrow and begin teaching them! We then went back to Rob's and taught him and his girlfriend and it was amazing! She'd already began reading the Book of Mormon and had many great questions. She wants to know it all! Rob even said the closing prayer! So cool! We then went to the church tour before heading to teach Mary. Mary is getting baptized this Saturday at 2:00 pm. Please pray she can make it! She is wonderful and I'm so excited for her to take this step of faith. She is so humble and loving. I'm grateful both Sister Wahlin and I get to be here for it. 

Thursday: Not much happened. We did weekly planning in the morning, then went walking. When we had gotten about 2 miles away from home, a massive rain storm hit and we were soaked in seconds! We didn't want to get hit by lightning so we went on the porch of some member's home and waited it out. We then went and changed into dry clothes before heading out to work again. Crazy fun memory! 

Friday: We were able to go to Correlation, then District Leader Council, then we went to Glasgow. We tried to find one less-active man who apparently had gotten baptized at 8, had heard anti-, and doesn't want to be a part of the church anymore. It was so sad! He softened by the end of our conversation as we cleared up the fact that we don't believe in polygamy. :) And I think in the future he will come around. It is amazing how the spirit softens hearts. Each of our appointments fell through this day, but we got a lot of return appointments for tomorrow! Woohoo! We were able to see Mary, Lilian, and we also had ourselves a little picnic next to a field of cows. So fun! Sister Wahlin and I are like two peas in a pod. It is wonderful! She is so supportive and loving. I'm grateful for her.

Saturday: We were able to serve at RARA before heading to help the zone leaders and Elder Hollembeak split our area for the new missionaries coming in. It took some time, but we think we finally have it worked out! Yay! We then went and tracted near our dinner appointment and out of 3 houses, we were able to give out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and have 2 people say to come back! Yay! People are so nice to you when you are walking in 93 degree weather and 100 percent humidity. The one lady let us right in and gave us both a huge glass of ice water and sat and listened for 20 minutes. I love my mission! We then had dinner at the Hughes' house and they are wonderful. We then came home and did some painting for service to our landlord.

Sunday: Studies, church, singing at a rest home, (my favorite person there is this cute old man named Lurty. He never remembers who I am, but I adore him! Sister Wahlin and I are convinced he will accept the gospel on the other side.) We then went and saw Stella before heading to dinner at the Lee's. They are amazing! I love them! We then went and had 2 lessons. One with Michael and another with Mary. It ended up being a great day and week!

Monday: We picked some green beans for a nonmember and she ended up giving us some and also some goat meat! I can now say, I don't like goat meat. Yup....It's decided. :) Next we went and worked at the library on the area boundaries some more and then we walked...and walked...and walked. We ended up walking about 7 miles but we found some amazing people and although we were worn out, each step was worth it! We went to dinner at Sister Christy's house and her 5 daughters. She made us nachos from scratch and then we taught Mary! We are trying to see her daily so that she can feel completely at peace about her baptism. She is simply nervous about going under water. She said she washes her hair in the sink, so this will be huge for her. But she is so ready! I love her!

Today we get to drive to Lynchburg and get our car fixed. Apparently there are 2 recalls on it and so we are going to make a day of it and go to Olive Garden for lunch with the other sisters! Fun times! 

I am so glad everyone had such a fantastic 24th of July! Kody's band! So cool! It sounds like everyone was there! If you want to send pictures (anyone) please do! I've been telling my companion all about the events and a play-by-play of what happens in good ole' SJ during the 24th and I've convinced her to come visit next summer! So fun! She is excited too! 

Mom, I'm glad you are okay. I'm sorry that the car is having to get worked on, but I'm so grateful you weren't t-boned! Ahh! Jack! Happy 13th Birthday you old man! I'm excited for you! You are now officially a teenager and from what I hear, a very good dancer! :) News travel fast in Virginia! 

I hope you are all doing wonderfully. Remember how much you are loved! Remember that this church is true! Remember to read your scriptures, pray, go to church! Do those small and simple things daily. You will see and feel your relationship grow with your Heavenly Father each time you do! I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to feel my testimony grow daily. This church is true! 

I love you!

Love,
Sister Herring

Picture 1 - Yes we caught a lightning bug that was sitting on our car!
Picture 2 - Stuck on the porch during the rainstorm. :)










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