Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello my amazing family!

How are you?! I loved reading each email about Kortlynn's homecoming and how exciting all of that was! What a blessing to have her home! Kortlynn you are such a great example to me! So are you Rex and Chandon! I am always bragging to other missionaries and people of my niece and nephews who are serving missions. After the surprise leaves their face, they are just amazed! It truly is amazing! I love my family!

This week has been a long one! Holy moly! 

We started on Monday by meeting with Randy and the Brias. He was beating himself up for drinking and not being able to make his date of November 9th, but it gave us a great opportunity to teach him more of the Atonement and that he would still be able to get baptized. He is preparing for this weekend and is very excited! He is still progressing well! We were also able to eat dinner at Sister Clark's house and she made us this amazing pasta dinner! I love Sister Clark! Her husband works at VMI and she is just such a great woman! We then stopped by Mary's and were able to visit with her for a bit. She is doing well.

Tuesday: We woke up at 3 and drove to Charleston with Sister Kitto (yes, my old companion) and Sister White. We had an amazing and thankfully I still get to go to one more! I love these meetings and all we are able to learn. We talk a lot about the needs of the missionaries and how to help this mission improve. I always learn so much! It was great to see the mission president as well.

Wednesday: We drove to Lynchburg and went on an exchange with Sister Freeland and Sister Sullivan. Sister Sullivan and I drove back to Lexington for the day and got to work. We were able to see James and teach him a bit. He needs the gospel! We then stopped by Linda's and she has taken a few steps back in her understanding of the gospel. She won't keep commitments! It shows me how important making and keeping commitments are to progressing! We can't just simply say we believe, we must live it! We then had a quick dinner before the church tour. Brother Hughes did a great job once again, I hope to start these church tours in each town I ever live in. They are amazing! The spirit is so strong!

Thursday: We drove back to Lynchburg for their zone meeting where we were able to teach about Chapter 8 in Preach My Gospel, how to cope with stress, and how zone meeting should be a council/valuable time to learn! It was wonderful! The zone leaders, Elder Lopez and Zazueta (both Spanish speakers) are so awesome! We love them! We then drove home after getting our oil changed and stopped by James again. He has some great questions and we know the gospel will help him find peace during this trial in his life. He is going through a lot right now. We also left him with a half a pizza that we had in our car. (My wonderful companion's idea.) Poor guy was hungry! We then drove to the Relief Society activity and met Elizabeth there. Miracle for the day! She went ring shopping!!! They are going to get married! She is one step closer to baptism! We had a dinner together then made some holiday crafts for the activity. Elizabeth loved it. She is so Mormon! :) I'm so excited for when she gets baptized! Even if I don't get to be here, she is one that I will remain friends with for a while.

Friday: We taught at our zone meeting. We taught about Chapters 8 & 9 in Preach My Gospel and also about ministering to the one. It was neat to teach other missionaries what I'd learned from the mission president. It helps it become more solidified in my mind. I'm so grateful for the sisters I get to serve with and for all i'm learning each day. What a great opportunity! After the zone meeting we were able to see Mary again before doing some time. We then went to correlation with Brother Hughes because Brother Reynolds was gone. Brother Hughes is truly one of the funniest men I've ever known. He is so excited about the gospel and never knows a stranger. Every ward needs one of him. We then went and saw Pattie for a bit and then did some walking and met a nice man named Bo. 

Saturday: We worked at the food pantry. Bob was as wonderful as ever! :) I hope you all can meet him someday (I'll make sure to take a picture of him before I leave.) We then had a quick lunch before heading to contact some referrals. Ooh and we got a new phone! Nothing fancy, just one that works. :) We also got to see Linda and help answer some more of her questions. While driving in Glasgow, we ran into Brother Wells who stopped us and told us to follow him and he would buy us dinner. haha Sweet! We went to this Church of the Brethren where they were having Oyster dinners as a fundraiser. haha I've never had oysters and most likely won't be having them again. Sister Tobler and I had a few questions the entire day on our minds. "Aren't oysters fancy meals?" "Why are the backwoods people in Glasgow and Natural Bridge obsessed?" haha Fried oysters...So weird! It was definitely an adventure but of course we had our baked potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, and pie with the oysters. I love Virginia! haha Green beans have become one of my favorite vegetables. Yup! I'm now a southern girl. ;) We then came home and ended the night with some weekly planning.

Sunday: We were able to go to church, and Randy came! Also, a recent convert who hasn't been to church since his baptism came! It was a beautiful day! The whole ward welcomed him with open arms. It was wonderful! We then had lunch before heading to see a few people. We contacted a referral before heading to check on Randy. We don't want him to give up. We then ended the night be eating dinner at Sister Christy's house with her 5 daughters. We had homemade pizza! Sister Christy is one amazing woman. The fun part of the evening was when the daughters began brushing my hair. It turned quickly from curly to fro and they loved it! They told me I was Princess Diaries 1 and my companion was Princess Diaries 2 ! haha Good times! Ooh and Brother Hughes took our meal calendar around church and we now have meals at least once a day until I go home...I'm REALLY trying to eat healthy, so this might be a bit of a challenge. haha Good times! 

This week as you can see has been one full of meetings, driving, meetings, and exchanges. Not as much missionary work going on, but that just get me even more excited to get back to work! I love sharing the gospel! Meetings are good, but they get tiring quickly. I love meeting new people each day and knowing that I have something that will help them! Even if they don't listen or accept it immediately I know that they will have the opportunity to someday! For example, while I was in Charleston, there was a man we were teaching named Jeff Quintrell. His wife was a member but she wasn't active. Well, we'd been teaching him and on Saturday night he was baptized!!! In a month he will be baptizing his 8 year old son! His wife just sobbed and said, "I knew this day would come." I knew it too! This family will be an eternal family next year! Yay! The gospel is true! It unites and blesses families eternally! 

Well, I hope you all know how much I love each of you. I'm so grateful for your examples to me and for all you do! I can't wait to hear about your adventures this week. Keep Randy in your prayers! I want each of you to know that I have a firm testimony of the gospel. I know that it is true! All of it! I know that my family is eternal! I know that death is not the end and that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us! The Atonement is at the center and is real! 

I love ya'll! (Doesn't that just sound nice?) :) I also caught myself saying "kin" the other day when talking about someone's family. I guess... I love all my kinfolk! :) haha 

Happy Birthday Stephanie and Adam!!! You two are wonderful!!!

Sister Herring

The sunrise on our drive to Charleston
Sister Combs and Sister Shumway..two of the best. :)

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