I am here in Tennessee, so excited to write y'all, and so grateful for all the letters/emails I've received recently. Well here we are with our new hija!! Time in the last week has just flown seriously.
But there were some great highlights . . .
Something fun: last p-day we went with a sweet sister in the ward and her daughter hiking in the Smokies. It was beautiful! I love these mountains--and there are REAL TREES here! We got to see the cabin of the oldest people to live within the park boundaries, I could just see the mountain people living here in their old cabins, off the land, pickin' on their banjos.So on Wednesday, we went to Farragut for the biggest transfer the Tennessee Knoxville mission has seen in months. About 75% of all companionships were changed, so there were tons of missionaries, members and amazing people there. We entered the training meeting with President Griffen who gave us wonderful council. We found out in that meeting, that our hermanita wouldn't be spanish speaking assigned, (she's english) which I was a little surprised to hear. But we went into the meeting where trainers meet their trainees, and we received Sister Guevara, and it was all great! Her name is spanish because her grandparents come originally from Spain, and the boy she's writing is Mexican, but she's never learned Spanish so she was super excited for the oppurtunity to learn with us, and I think it's the Hand of the Lord for sure. She's from Lehi UT, blond and cute, is about Sister Malloy's height, so I feel like a bit of a giant, but that's ok! She's super chill and genuine. She loves dogs, her family and friends. She's more quiet but a really gifted, bold teacher, so I've enjoyed teaching situations with her. So I'm happy to be companions with her and work in Seymour for the next couple of transfers together.
Something funny: After a day or two in Seymour she said, "I never expected to be living in a big, creepy farm-house!" Now that she mentions it, I kind of agree. With ants and spiders everywhere, creaking doors, and rumors of past ghosts that lived in it I can see where she's coming from! Oh and Buddy the dog that died last week? He is now cremated sitting on the shelf. Maybe we shouldn't have mentioned that one. Haha we have a good laugh about it every day.
Something spiritual: On Friday, we had our first District Meeting with our new district, and it was really different, our district leader made it more of a discussion, which is GREAT because it made us all be more involved. We're really focusing as a district on what President's asked us to do which is really be led by the Spirit in our missionary work, so we had some great discussions on how we can do this. We concluded with praying often, working hard, using our own thoughts and ideas, and applying the scriptures among other things. We also talked about as we do this how our faith will increase and our success will as well. Faith is such an amazing and essential concept in life and in the work of the Lord. At the end we talked about goals. Some of us missionaries who've been here for a while put out an idea, and most nodded in agreement, until the two trainees who'd been quiet most of the meeting boldly told us their thoughts of raising our goals as a district. The Spirit was SO strong in the room as we felt the faith and enthusiasm rising. I'm excited for these next few transfers.Teaching moments: We taught a few lessons to the Glatz's grandchildren who are in town, and almost set a baptismal date. They are 10 and 9 and so faithful and sharp, it is a delight to teach them. However, they live in Florida and the Glatz's decided they want them to take the discussions there which we think is a better idea anyways.We also taught a young woman named Laurel, which went really well. She didn't show up to church sadly as she said she would, but we hope to keep working with her. We also got to teach sweet Joel and Averie -- a young, awesome, hard-core Christian family. It's hard because we agree on SO MUCH, and they just can't see the need for a Restoration and the Book of Mormon. But we left with them the commitment to pray with real intent about our message. The cool thing is that when I left that with them, I felt with a surety in my heart that if they do pray with FULL sincerity, then there's no problem, because the Spirit won't ever lead them astray.On my mind: The church is the same wherever you go, it is so true! Fast and testimony meeting here is SO powerful because I think it encourages the members that live here a lot to hear the visitors bearing strong testimony of the feeling of love and unity they felt in our ward. I KNOW from my mission that it is so important to lift where you stand, to grow where you're planted, and to be positive about it.something hard: Spanish once again has been used as a tool of the adversary, as yesterday I had a discouraging experience. But on the bright side, I have one comp who speaks it pretty well, and the other who wants to learn, and I know that the responsibility is mine. It was a needed moment and I have a renewed energy to learn the language. Just pray for my diligence please!
Love you all MUCHO!