Monday, June 23, 2014

The work is going well here in Abindgon! Things aren't perfect (obviously) but there is a lot going for us right now.  The members are coming out with us 5 or 6 days a week, they feed us almost every night, and they are slowly starting to have friends for us to teach.  There are about 3 or 4 people we are working with who were referrals from members!  Chandler (15) got baptized in February and then didn't come to church for three months, but is starting to come back now.  We went over to his friend Becca's house and taught her with two of their other friends also.  These 14/15 year olds come from rough backgrounds-- divorce, drugs, half have attempted suicide, and they question if there really is a God.  I really felt like the Spirit helped me know how to answer their questions.  Becca still isn't sure if there is a God, but she said by the end of the summer she'd be willing to at least pray (baby steps).  But what was super neat was that Chandler was able to bear his testimony and tell his friends at one point he didn't know if there was a god or not, but then he prayed and he knew.  He got to bare his testimony several times and his friends really listened.  It was a neat experience for Chandler.  

We have a baptism this weekend!  Our 65 year old investigator HG Fouse Jr. is getting baptized!  He is so excited!  He'll be baptized exactly one month after we first taught him.  It is such a miracle!  The Lord helped us so much and put so many different wheels in place to find HG.  I love meeting so many different people out here and helping them feel the happiness of the gospel.  Missionary work is the best!

 fun quilts Emily saw on her last PDay
 Emily thought they should visit Saltville to remind them of the great Salt Lake:)

A fun windmill at Saltville

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another transfer has come and gone and it looks like I'll be staying in Abingdon another six weeks!  Hooray!  There are lots of exciting things going on over here. 
For one, Chandler came to church again this week and was confirmed to the Aaronic Priesthood!  Brother Songer blessed the sacrament for the first time this week (he was so nervous but did so great!) and Sis Joyce got a calling to work in the primary!  It's so wonderful to see people progress in the gospel.
HG came to church again this week, but is still having problems laying off the coffee.  Hopefully he'll be able to put it down this week so he can be baptized soon.  He is a sweet man and wants to do what Heavenly Father wants. 
Life is good in Abingdon!  Happy Father's day!  I'm so grateful for my wonderful earthly father and my Heavenly Father.  I am so blessed!
 backbone break rock
 country music is the heart of the south
Jesus is the Rock

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We’ve had a great week!  We’ve been able to teach Chandler at the Bishop’s house twice this week (he’s been spending a lot of time there with Sammy and Joey) and had good lessons with them.  We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and gave everyone a part to teach.  It was so neat to walk into their home and see all these Preach My Gospel’s around and to see people studying from them!  I hope that scene will be replicated in my future home.  I hope Chandler will have a renewed desire to strengthen his testimony and recommit to the gospel.  He taught part of the lesson too and did a good job.  He is a great kid! 

I got to give a training for our Zone on Saturday and one of the points I focused on was asking for referrals from everyone.  I’ve been refocusing on asking everyone and Friday we asked SO many people, but no one had any referrals for us.  Then the next morning we got a referral from the Kingsport Sisters!  I felt like Heavenly Father was telling us that He was aware of our efforts and then sent out blessings to make up what we couldn’t do on our own.  He is a loving God!

On Saturday night we still didn’t have a ride for H.G. (who, by the way, is doing awesome!! He is so excited to get baptized and is preparing for the 21st of June!) and we didn’t have a ride for ourselves for church.  We had called a lot of people, but we really shouldn’t have waited for so long.  It was kind of our fault for not starting earlier and I felt so bad that H.G. wouldn’t be able to come to church.  When we knelt down to pray that night we were honest with Heavenly Father.  I told him that I knew we had messed up and that we really needed His help.  We asked Him to help us make up the difference and help us find a ride to church for H.G.  It was 10 pm and church starts at 9 am.  So it was too late to call anyone else and probably too early to call people the next morning and I really didn’t know what to do.  Right after we ended our prayer, Sis Bauserman said she would take us.  We had sent a text to one of our priest aged ward missionaries and the next morning when we woke up, he texted us back and said he could take HG if we still needed him to!  I  am so grateful that Heavenly Father answers our prayers through other people and that even though we should have started sooner to get him a ride, Heavenly Father still helped HG come to church and feel the Spirit there.  I’m so grateful for the gospel and I know that when we humble ourselves and realize we can’t do this alone, Heavenly Father comes in and gives us even greater strength. 

 Country music started in Bristol, Virginia
Welcome to Bristol sign - right on the border of Virginia and Tennessee

Monday, June 2, 2014

Exciting news:  we have a new investigator with a baptismal date!  His name is H.G. Fouse Jr.  He is 75 and lives in a retirement home, but he is soaking it all in and loved coming to church yesterday.  He told everyone that he was coming back next week!  He has strong and simple faith.  He is such a blessing!

Missionary work takes a lot of faith, but I know that Heavenly Father really wants us to succeed and will help us when we try.  Last week at the library we walked passed this family and I thought, "I should go over and talk to them" but I kept walking by.  I walked passed them again to go to the bathroom and got a similar impression, but I walked by again.  The third time when I was walking back to the computer I saw them and walked by.  I stopped and told Heavenly Father, "I have no idea how to begin talking to them, but if they are ready for the gospel, please help me know what to say!" so I took a deep breath, gathered up my courage and went back to talk them.  They said they were looking for a new church and that we could come over and see them!  We were only able to teach the wife for a few minutes on Sunday, but as we taught her a brief version of the restoration, she felt the spirit and said she'd pray about her and her family being baptized.  I know the Lord is on our side as we do His work!  He takes our best efforts and will take care of the rest.

Love y'all!