Monday, June 30, 2014

June 23, 2014 -- Luckiest Missionary

Hello Familia!

Firstly I just have to say I am the luckiest missionary to be in Seymour TN, BECAUSE it is so beautiful! Our morning runs are covered in a thing blanket of fog, but when the sun breaks over the horizon the mist dissipates, and the cows in the pastures lift up their heads in the green fields.  Then the daytime comes, with hot sun but the big shady trees (and Air conditioning!) keep us sane.  Afternoon usually brings thunderstorms but after it's over it clears to a rainbow or just a beautiful blue sky.  When evening approaches there's always a stunning sunset amid peony-shaped clouds, and then the fireflies begin to come up through the tall weeds before the stars come out.

Just thought I should put my hand to a little creative writing.  

ANYWAYS, this week has been great! New transfer and we're feeling good.  We had a successful week with plenty of lessons to teach and we worked hard which is always a good feeling.  We taught Doris and Bernice.  They are difficult because they're very intelligent but fixed in their ways, and when we have a very spirit-filled lesson, I just want to be like "Snap out of it! You know this is true!" But that probably wouldn't be the best thing.  However, we did make some progress with Bernice because she is smoking like 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day (going into their house is quite the adventure) and so we made a deal that if she'd go down to 1, then we'd go off sweets for the rest of the week.  Which was hard.  But I was super happy when we called her the next day and she said that she felt a lot better.  So they're a work in progress.

We also taught Margaret-our investigator that loves to read.  We challenged them to hold family prayer, even though Margaret grew up very religious she'd never thought of that.  She said it really made a difference in her home that week. They are next door neighbors to the Lackeys, the family that we visit a lot.  The Lackeys have to move next week and their house is, let's say, very unclean, so Sister Malloy and I spend the spare minutes we have in the week helping pack up so they don't take too many of their critter-friends with them.  I'll let y'all to your imaginations on that one.  But I love them a lot, so it's easier to do.

We retaught the Restoration to Nikki this week, which she embraced again, and we set a date for July 19th! I'm excited. She also came to church, but her feet were hurting so she left early.  Not really sure where that'll happen but maybe in Maryville (since theaters in pigeon forge don't usually have baptismal fonts).  So after church we went to a member's house who wanted to make us a meal, and ate with her.  After as we were sharing our spiritual message, she just broke out in tears and told us of the problems she's been having and the ways she's struggling. One thing I've learned on my mission is how very real depression is and how deep some people's trials really are.  I can't even know what she's going through, but as I sat their in her kitchen and just tried to listen with love, I really felt like I was able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands even if just for a couple minutes and even if we were just there to listen.  Before we left Sister Malloy had the great idea of singing "There is sunshine in my soul today," so we did, and it left the house in better spirits.  I am just grateful for moments like that.

OK! Now for the fun part! Funny moments! :

-This little 5 year old boy Thomas is so funny, he is in the family of some absolutely awesome members. Anyway one day we kinda accidentally dropped in on them during dinner, and so we were apologizing, but they insisted we stay.  And it was Thomas' birthday so they said, "Thomas, do you mind?" And he just looks at us with the most refined face and says "Splendid to come."  So now we always just look at each other all serious and say that.  

-our 80 year old investigator, Lisbeth, is just hilarious, this week she said of her dog "Benji" 
" i am going to turn on Animal Planet to keep Benjamin occupied."

-other sweet investigator "I just loved reading about that LiaHOMEa, ya know? Cause it guides you home!"

As for P-day fun, we got to go to Maryville today and hang out with the awesome missionaries there which was the best, played games and laughed.  Life is good. And last week at the music outlet, theres a pic below and next week I'll send you the one of me and my mandolin. AKA future love.

Love y'all! 
Hermana Collier

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