Monday, April 28, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week has come and gone!  Where is the time going?  It is really going to be May this week? This time of  year is my favorite.  The weather is perfect and everything is green here!  I love Abingdon!
When we met Nick for the first time last month and found out he could sing, we asked him if he would sing in church with us and he accepted! It was a double whammy for one, our ward doesn't have any musical numbers, and two- it was a guaranteed way to get him to church!  We sang Sally Deford's Come Thou Fount a Capella in three part harmony and it turned out really nice! 
We were able to do a lot of service this week and spent many hours cleaning a bed and breakfast place and Beverly's house.  It takes a lot of work to keep a house clean! Even more work when you have lots of knick-knacks!  It was really good to help these people out!  The owner of the Bed and Breakfast is good friends with the Gestewitz family in our ward and they've been working on sharing the gospel with her for a long time, so hopefully this service will help soften her heart. 
We also got to help with the day of service for our ward at the F-H center where I got to sew curtains all morning! (Thank you for teaching me how to sew, Mom!) The ward was able to get a lot done and the community was very appreciate of it. 
We had ward conference this week and I really enjoyed learning from our stake leaders.  The theme was hastening the work of salvation.  We are so blessed to be able to live in this time and help with such a great work!  There was a story I heard that I want to share.  You've probably heard about the experiment where a world renowned violinist played in the subway for an hour and only 20 people stopped for any length of time while over a thousand didn't even turn their heads.  There was one woman who recognized him for who he was and stayed and listened for the rest of his mini concert, but she didn't tell anyone who he was!  While she enjoyed it, so many more people could have appreciated it if she would have told them.  We enjoy so much from the gospel, but how often do we forget to tell others what a blessing it is in our lives?  I'm so grateful for the wonderful examples I have been given of faithful members of the church who reach out and serve everyone around them.  I am grateful for my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and am grateful for the chance to share it with so many people here in Virginia!

Emily and Sister Little went fishing on P-Day with the Joyce family.  Emily caught 3 fish. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A family in our ward invited some non-member family members over for dinner and a little message.  We showed them the "Because of Him" video on and it started a good gospel discussion. They said we could come back and teach them more!  We are grateful for the family's faith to invite their loved ones over and let us meet them! 

We had a good lesson with Nick at the McMurray's house.  We were talking about recognizing the Spirit and we had everyone talk about how they had felt the Spirit in their lives.  It was neat to hear how even the younger kids (they have an 18,14,12, and 10 year old) had felt the Spirit and recognized experiences they had with the gospel.  The spirit was definitely there and hopefully Nick was able to feel that also!

We had a good Easter yesterday.  We were able to spend time with a lot of members that I have grown to love! I felt the Spirit strongly all throughout church and I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and that He lives!

 Easter with Emily, Bev and Sister Little

 A duck crossing sign at Emory and Henry College

Sister Little hiding Easter eggs 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Monday we were finally able to go bowling with Sis Adams and we had so much fun!  She helped Sis Little score go from 70 to 111!  I had a hard time keeping my arm straight (we'll just blame the broken bone as a kid ;) so I didn't improve a ton.   But whenever we did what Sis Adams told us, we were able to get ourselves out of any mess we bowled the first time!  She keeps us laughing all the time!
We had a good lesson with Nick this week.  They have a little duck pond at the center of campus where we've been meeting with him. I love the spring time here! It is beautiful!  We were talking with a guy from our ward who goes to Emory and Henry and he told us that you were more likely to get kicked out of school for touching a duck or going in the pond then for smoking pot.  They really love their duck pond!  Nick is doing well-- Sis McMurray invited him over to their house for dinner and lesson tonight! We are excited!
We had a great Zone Training Meeting and it got me really excited about working with the members of the ward.  We started that same day and I can see this is going to be successful.  I used to think if members had friends they wanted us to teach they would just tell us, but now I'm realizing that we can encourage members (in a loving way) and help them feel the spirit who will bring names to their remembrance.  So far we've only met with three families, but two of them have thought of names they hadn't before and we are having dinner with one of them on Friday!
We got to do a lot of service for people in the ward this week, especially Sis Whitlock as she's getting ready to put her house on the market.  It's sad because we're spending so much time with her and getting close to her right as she's getting ready to leave!  oh well, I guess that happens!  She is such a great example to me and a wonderful woman.
I've heard Rachel (my roommate) say following your stomach and following the spirit is pretty much the same thing so after dinner on Saturday when we were feeling a dessert craving we decided to go to the ice cream shop.  I was craving sweets, but I felt like something would happen because of it.  When we were there, we were talking to this guy in line (turns out his friends is LDS and went to BYU!) but he wasn't that interested.  So when we didn't get any new investigators I thought that was kind of odd, but we went on.  We decided to go to a less active's house we had never met before and right after we pulled up, she came home!  She was only going to be home for a few minutes so it was perfect timing!  We had a good talk with her and found ways we could help her. I'm grateful Heavenly Father orchestrated that so we could meet her! 

It's crazy to think that this was the last week of Christ's life and that last year we were walking through the streets of Jerusalem with thousands of other Christians waving palms and singing praises to Christ! It was such a great experience-- I'm so glad I got to be there during Easter time. I hope this will be a Christ-filled Easter for all of you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dear Family and friends,
Life is going well out here in Abingdon!  The highlight of our week was being able to watch general conference and be spiritually fed by the general authorities of the Lord! We were able to watch a session with the Joyce family, and they seemed to really enjoy it! 
We were able to have a lesson with Brad this week and the Spirit was really strong.  Thank you for your prayers on his behalf!  Unfortunately, we weren't able to see him for long since Tuesday.  He said he would come to a session of general conference, but he let other priorities get in the way and decided not to come.  It's hard to see your investigator deny themselves of spiritual opportunities!  He's so close to experiencing all the blessings of the gospel, but he doesn't see them in himself yet.  Hopefully we'll be able to help him see the love his Heavenly Father has for him.
Our ward had a teacher appreciation dinner this week and we got to help serve the food.  The kids in the ward nominated teachers that meant a lot to them and the teachers were all invited to a special dinner at the church where they were honored for their service.  It was a neat way to reach out to the community. 
Funny story of the week:  we were at Emory and Henry (the local college) with Hillary (a new member in the ward) and when she was introducing us to some of her friends a girl looked at my name tag and said, "I thought your name was Jesus!"  We all laughed, but it reminded me that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and it inspired me to work even harder!

I hope you all enjoyed conference and that you are all doing well! Love you all!