Monday, February 24, 2014

Things are going really well in Abingdon!  It's starting to warm up-- it was 66 degrees on Saturday.    
We were able to meet with the Joyce family this week and they are awesome!  The mom was baptized when she was 8 but never really went to church afterwards.  The Elders were working with their 2 boys for a few months and in the last few weeks Ken- the dad- started joining in.  The boys loved the Elders, but they seem to like us too and are learning a lot!  Sister Little asked what they liked the most about what the Elders had been teaching them and Matt (12 year old) said, "I like now Nephi had a lot of faith.  He's a really cool guy." Sister Joyce told us that her boys are going to get baptized, but she wants to wait for her husband to be ready so it can be a family thing.  Ken is asking a lot of good questions and they said they would all be at church next week!  They are loving what they are learning and are excited to learn more. They are great!!
The Baptism on Saturday was such a neat event.  We got permission from the stake president to have Chandler's Aunt and cousins Skype in to see the baptism.  Since it wasn't recorded, they said it was ok!  We didn't tell Jada and Chandler till they arrived at the church and when we told them, Jada started to cry.  Then to her surprise her mom was also skyping in!  It made them both so happy to have their family there watching!  There was a lot of support from the ward which was awesome.  We had a ward activity afterwards and most of the people there were in their church clothes because they also came to the baptism.  It's neat to have the ward so involved. Sis Little and I made cupcakes that looked like hamburgers and they were as tasty and they were cute!  We had several less active members come-- it was a good turn out!

The baptism was a little delayed in starting because we were trying to get all the kinks worked out with Skype, but when we got it all worked out and were sitting in the chapel, we noticed that the Stake President, the Bishop, and the ward mission leader were all gone.  About 15 minutes later (30 minutes after we were supposed to start) we began the baptism.  I was talking to Brother Schultz afterwards and they had to wait because the water wasn't full enough yet!  They changed the pipes between now and the last baptism and it took a lot longer to fill up the font than before.  At 5:30 when we were supposed to start, the water wasn't even up to Bro Schultz knees and it had been running for an hour.  So he, the Bishop, and Stake President started filling up garbage cans, big pots, and punch bowls and then dumping them in the font.  It worked really well!  By the time we started the water was plenty deep! 

We got to explore a lot of the country this week and it was beautiful!  I used to think of myself as a city girl, but before I leave this place, I might be a country girl at heart after all :)

This week I've had a lot of spiritual experiences and the spirit has been so strong.  I'm so grateful that I have been blessed with the chance to have the Holy Ghost as my constant companion.  Being on a mission has helped strengthen and solidify my testimony and helped me remember what is important in life.  I'm so grateful for my Savior and how He can help us all in any trials that we face. 

I love you all!  Thanks for all the Valentine's Day goodies!

 Chandler's baptism - Sister Hales, Chandler, Sister Little, Jada
 hamburger cupcakes
 fun old bridge near Abington
Old log house

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