|Funfact of the day, people down here LOVE their moonshine. I thought it was a thing of the past, but nope, the top seller of it bears my last name!|
Thank you for your wonderful letters and emails -- they just warm my heart! I was asked by a sister in your ward to write a letter to VV2, and it definitely got me thinking how grateful I am for the ward in which I was raised and the wonderful folks around there. I miss it!
Anywho, this week has been a fairly good one here in Seymour. It is crazy that it is September and I only have one more transfer left here, odds are. And then I shall die in my next area. Time really does fly!
So this week we have had quite some experiences, finding and meeting new less actives. We met one who works at Burger King, but is practically on her death-bed with cancer! But she was a very nice lady, we were just worried for her health.
One day we were looking at potential investigators in the area book, and we were headed to Kodak (another town in our area) that day. We saw one from 2007, and felt the spirit strongly telling us to contact Peggy - who lived in Kodak! So we went, and it turns out she is the girlfriend of a less-active man named Ed who is a little older and blind. He hasn't been back to church since he was about 20. We shared with him the story of the Stripling Warriors out of the Book of Mormon, and he said, "Wow! Could you get that book on CD for me? I really enjoyed that story!" And he also told us his girlfriend and he would like to start coming to church. So we are excited to continue to teach them!
On Wednesday we went with Bonnie Murphy and her family (recent converts that live right next to us) to "church". (No one ever calls it Young Women or Activity Days or Scouts. Wednesday night is simply "church" down here). It was SO GREAT because the Murphys haven't been coming to church basically all summer, and the kids have really missed it. Wednesday night went so well that Bonnie decided she would give church a try again on Sunday.
We had a very spiritual lesson with Nikki (who was just baptized). We went with a sweet sister, and talked about the Priesthood. She started to sob, and said, "Normally I cry because I'm happy, but today, I cry because I want my husband to know of these things so badly." It was so sweet. I told her that he will come around someday. Then she looked at me and said, "Yes, but I want him to get baptized before you leave!" I just love her. Her husband, Russell, is currently reading the Book of Mormon and getting closer and closer, but has a lot of fear about organized religion and actual church attendance still basically. But we're praying for him!
Yesterday we had a mission fast, to increase our finding efforts and open the hearts of the members to trust the missionaries. It began with a beautiful, heartfelt prayer by President Griffen on a mission-wide conference call, and I could feel the power of all 200 of us kneeling together throughout Eastern Tennessee. He then challenged all the missionaries to bear their testimonies in Fast and Testimony the next day. That meeting was so spirit-filled, and very centered on missionary work. I can already see the change in some of the members, who are beginning to catch the vision of what role we can play and how much we can truly help them and serve. So it was a very good meeting, especially because we had one part-member couple we teach, then two more less-active families that we never imagined would come, and then the Murphys too. Bonnie's concern with church had been that her two little boys have been crazy, but yesterday they were so calm! After sacrament, Celeste Murphy, the 16-year old daughter that hasn't been baptized, told us that she really wants to be baptized. She's said this before so we're hoping it really happens, but we talked to her with bishop and set a date for the 25th of September. Tonight we're going to start the lessons with her. We've prepared a Restoration jeopardy game, so I am SO excited for that! It will be a very needed review for the rest of the family.
I am so very grateful for the Atonement of Christ - I feel my weaknesses so strongly sometimes, but I find complete satisfaction and peace as I partake of the sacrament weekly. This ordinance has come to mean so much to me.
I love you and are praying for you all every every day!