Monday, August 18, 2014

Family!

What a crazy week! I hope you are all healthy and happy! If not, just think to yourself about the blessings you have because of the gospel! Holy cow we are so blessed! We have eternal families, a prophet, the Book of Mormon, prayer, church, the temple, modern-day revelation, and so much more! We are truly blessed! 

Monday - We were able to go play volleyball with the zone and I proved to myself once again that I'm not athletic. I can run, cheer, and dance (and that not very well), but you know what? I still can laugh at myself and that is the best part! I'm so grateful for humor in my life. haha We then went and each of our appointments fell through so we decided to do some tracting. We walked and met some amazing people! One lady was a bit rude at first, but then she realized that we were the missionaries helping her church and all of a sudden was all hugs and smiles! I love how service softens hearts! This gospel is true! We also met this man who is agnostic, but was so nice! he invited us in for food and water. I love southern hospitality. 

Tuesday - We did some Mormon.org time, then went to Walmart...You may be reading this and wonder why in the world we would go to Walmart on not a p-day. Well here's the down point (but funny point of the week). Tuesday morning I woke up with 13 bites on my left foot. Not mosquito bites, not spider bites, but bed bugs! Now I want each of you to think back to the phrase, "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!" Little did I know, that was an actual thing! We have bed bugs! Ahh! So embarrassing! I promise we are clean people! Our apartment is spotless! Bed bugs have been going through the mission and so we went to Walmart to buy special bed pads that are supposed to kill them all! We also sprayed our apartment with this stuff that is supposed to knock them out. I'm praying all this works, because my foot can't take much more! Awful! But we have been giggling like crazy because we actually ended up getting bed bugs! Who does that?! These girls! I promise they will gone by December. We joke about how our family will not let us in the door with bed bugs! I wouldn't either! Please still love me! :) 

After Walmart we had a lesson with Jared and Jordan where we stressed the Book of Mormon. Brother Bria came with us and he was awesome! We talked about the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. They weren't going to know unless they read! I love the Book of Mormon. We then went and met with Linda for a bit before heading to Connie's house. She is the one that came to the church tour last week and she is now on date to be baptized! She asked us what she had to do to get baptized! Hallelujah! So cool! We then went and stopped by Willie and Karen's house to set up some service.

Wednesday - We went and saw Michelle for a bit, before heading to this old plantation house to do some service. It is called the Paxton House and was the home of one of the generals during the Civil War. It has been completely destroyed over the years with graffiti and other things and so a team of people are working each week to restore it. I'm grateful I get to help! It will be neat to come back in the future to see what it becomes. A gorgeous part of the community! We then went and vacuumed Willie and Karen's house. They fed us dinner and then we were off! I love Willie and Karen! They are sweethearts! We then stopped by to see Connie a bit and then saw Marvin and James before heading to the church tour. It was a great night! Oh and we are prepping for our family history fair this weekend.

Thursday - We had a fantastic zone conference! President Salisbury came and taught the missionaries from 9 to 3:30. A long conference, but very meaningful! I loved it! He teaches a bit different than President Pitt, but both are spiritually packed! We then went tracting for a bit and met this cute lady named Kirby Kale. We hope to see her tonight. We then had dinner with the Scottens (remind me to tell you about this dinner in the future). :) We then went to a Relief Society activity about canning food. Very interesting! We weren't planning on going until Michelle said she wanted to go. She ended up not coming, but it was still enjoyable!

Friday - We did our weekly planning, and then went tracting in Collierstown! We then were able to see Scott and Tanja for a bit and taught them about Patriarchal Blessings. They haven't been able to come to church in over a month because of her health concerns which is sad. I hope she is able to get better soon! They are an amazing couple! We then ended the night with dinner at the Hall's. They are one of my favorite families in the area. They live in this log cabin up in the mountains and are salt of the earth good! You couldn't ask for better people! 

Saturday - We were able to help out with the Primary activity which Michelle DID come to! She loved it! We helped out with the kids fishing activity. Each activity was Bible-themed and so we had a little pool of water with fake fish and they had to catch them. They were fishermen of men! haha I love serving in the Bible belt. We then went and helped a family move. My favorite part was driving up and seeing about 10 cars. You know you're a Mormon when....you have 10 families help you move after the Primary activity! I love being a member of this church!

We were able to see Mary and she is doing wonderful! She is still working on her Personal Progress and has such a strong testimony. We then went tracting in Glasgow and met this girl named Stephanie who needs the gospel right now! We are going to teach her tomorrow and hopefully help her gain hope. We then ran into a less-active member named Skye. She is also in a sticky situation and will benefit greatly from the gospel of Jesus Christ. She is moving though in 2 weeks and is not seeking help which is so sad! I wish I could help her see how the gospel will bless her life! We then ate dinner at Bishop Huntsman's house. Hawaiian Haystacks Mom! It made my day! With root beer floats for dessert. I was home in Virginia! :) We then ended the night by tracting and met this cute Greek lady. She wasn't interested, but was very kind!

Sunday - Most likely my favorite day. We were able to go to church and Mary came with Marsha. I love being able to renew my covenants weekly and to feel the spirit there. The building is gorgeous and I'm grateful to be able to serve here. We then went and tried to see Stephanie, but ended up seeing Linda instead. Here is the sad part. While we were with Linda, she told us that Willie and Karen's trailer, (the one we had vacuumed on Wednesday) had blown up! A gas leak had caused a fire and it was completely gone. Thank goodness they weren't home! They were visiting her mother. It breaks my heart though because Willie is missing a leg and is wheelchair bound and Karen had a stroke a few years back and walks with a cane. They are the nicest people. Willie is not a member, but would give the shirt off his back. He always makes us biscuits which are hearty and delicious! Willie reminds me of a pineapple. Hard and prickly on the outside, but soft and gushy on the inside. I sure love them and we hope to help them out in any way we can. Please keep them in your prayers! We called and the bishop was on his way over to help assess the situation. I hope all works out. We then went and helped out last night at the Pentecostal church. They gave us lime green shirts to wear (with our tags) and we got to work in the kitchen. We ended up being the ones to wash the dishes (we didn't stop working), but my mother has taught me better than to leave dirty dishes in the sink. We got to work cleaning and each member of the congregation came in telling us to take a break. haha We didn't. :) We got it all cleaned and then headed out. Each person was so amazed by our work ethic and that we truly were there to help! I think they were skeptical at first that we were trying to take the credit, but we simply wanted to help! It turned out to be a great event and many hearts were softened. Yippee!

So as you can see an exciting week! Full of Bed bugs, explosions, zone conferences, and teaching the gospel! I love being a missionary! I love this gospel! Oh and I forgot to mention, at zone conference the assistants and zone leaders wouldn't even shake my hand! So rude! haha They love giving us a hard time, but we give it right back. We have great missionaries in this mission. I am so grateful for the friendships that have been made. 

I want you all to know that my testimony of this gospel has never been stronger. It has been stretched, pushed, and tested, but through it all, it has become my most valuable possession. Thinking about Willie and Karen, it made me realize that the most important thing in this life and the only thing that can't be taken away is my testimony and faith. I'm so grateful for the trials and hard times that help me realize that I do know this to be true! I know it more than anything! I know that this is the Lord's church. I know the Book of Momron is the word of God. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. I know my family is eternal. I know life does not end at death. I know we are blessed in ever aspect because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for all I have. As I close think back to that first question I posed. "What blessings do you have because of the restored gospel?" and I'd like to add, "Who do you know that needs those blessings?" If a name came to your mind. I invite you to make contact with that person, even to tell them that you were thinking about them. Tell them that they are in your prayers. Pray to know what you can do to help them receive the gospel and the blessings you have. The spirit will help you know what you can do. Then act! You will see miracles! 

I love you all! 

Have the best week ever!
Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite! Literally!

Love,
Sister Herring

Picture 1 - Two bites
Picture 2 - A few more bites. Yikes!



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