Monday, September 29, 2014

To my loved ones far away,

Life is good in Pellissippi!  We are really blessed right now!  There are still a lot of things to work on and people to help progress, but the Lord has been blessing us!  Thank you so much for your prayers-- I really do feel strengthened from them.

I went on exchanges with Sister Benge this week.  It was a lot of fun!  I stayed in our area and Sis Benge came over here.  Of course things fell through on our beautifully planned out day, but that always happens.  We were still able to feel the Spirit and work hard together!  We had some good bonding times :) We got a member to drive us over there because we didn't have a ton of miles, but Sister Lee accidentally took the other sisters car keys so we had to drive all the way back and give them back.  In our hurry to get out the door, we forgot the GPS and were so lost.  Even with the sisters on the phone, we still kept getting lost.  It was pretty crazy.  We blew too many miles to say the least!  

We also had Zone Training Meeting this week and we were involved in a lot of the meeting.  It's neat to be involved and see the preparation that goes into it.  I think we all learned a lot about finding and felt the spirit.  Afterwards, we got to watch all of Meet the Mormons!  It was really good!  If you don't want to watch it in the theaters, it will be on Netflix and you tube after it's done playing in theaters. 

This week I have really seen how Heavenly Father answers our prayers and our fasts.  I know that Heavenly Father doesn't give up on any of his children and is always preparing people to be ready for the gospel.  I know that He loves us and is ready and anxious to bless us.  I loved President Uchtdorf's analogy of God pouring out blessings on us, but sometimes we put up umbrella's that prevent us from feeling of His love.  So let us be obedient to his commandments that lead to happiness and feel of His love pouring down on us always!

Sister Lee and Emily trying out these fun lawn chairs.
Sisters Hales, Benge, Ellis and Lee getting ready to go on exchanges

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has had its highs and lows, but such is the nature of life! 

One of the greatest blessings was getting to meet and teach Kim-- the neighbor of a family in the ward.  The Graves family have been praying for missionary opportunities and all their invitations seem to be hitting dead ends.  But the day before "invite a friend to church day"  Kim called them up and asked if she could come to church with them because she really wanted to learn more!  Totally out of the blue!  She wasn't able to make it to church, but Sis Graves invited Kim and her family over for dinner the next night with us and we were able to introduce her to the Church.  She has been so prepared!  She noticed the ways the Graves family is different from other families in the neighborhood and she thought it might be their church.  She said she's tried several different churches and none of them are working for her, so she decided to go out of the box and call up the Graves and ask about their church.  Later that week when we were able to teach her the restoration, she said that she just felt that everything we were saying was true.  She is so attune to the spirit!  It was a great lesson! 

I was taught a lot from that experience.  People really can see the Spirit and light of Christ in the lives of us as members of the Church.  The power and influence of just living the gospel really can change people's lives.  I knew that the Lord was aware of the Graves' desire to share the gospel with those around them.  He didn't answer their prayer in the way that they thought, but because they had faith enough to invite those around them, He helped put His daughter who He'd been preparing into their path.  The Lord really is preparing people to hear the gospel all around us! 

I love you all and I'm so grateful for your love and support!  I couldn't do this without the strength from your prayers and without Heavenly Father and Christ holding me up. 

Hope y'all have a great week! 


Sister Hales 
Emily met Erica in her first area of West Hills.
 Erica has since been baptized and she and Emily got to have lunch together.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Family,

I have a new companion-- Sister Lee and she is great!  She is so hard working and we are going to do a lot of good things this transfer with Heavenly Father's help!  She is on the last leg of her mission and is going home in two transfers.  I keep killing companions off!  I'm guessing I'll probably stay here the whole time she is and then for a transfer after that, so I'm here for the long haul! 

It's fun to spend all my time in my area and really focus our efforts here.  We were able to find 7 new investigators this week!  What a blessing!  I'm excited to teach them all the gospel!

We had a really good lesson with Bethany and David this week.  Since David was getting ready to go to the temple, we talked a little more about baptisms for the dead and family history.  We showed them the verse in Corinthians that references baptisms for the dead and they both thought that was neat.  Bethany was a lot more open with us tonight than she has been in the past-- it's wonderful to see those walls coming down and that trust being built.  I can just picture David and Bethany being sealed in the temple one day! 

We saw Amber in the beginning of last week and she was doing really well (though we're not sure why she wasn't at church today...)

We got to go to the Tennessee Valley Fair and hand out surveys, just like we did in Abingdon.  It's so fun to be able to talk to so many people! 

I know this is the Lord's work and I love being a missionary for Him!

Emily and Sister Lee handing our surveys at the Tennessee Valley Fair

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been a good week!  We've had some good lessons with our investigators and have been really blessed.  Transfers are this week and I'll be staying in Pelissippi and getting a new companion on Wednesday.  I'm staying, but I'm loosing Sis Clark and Sis Nelson as my companions :(  I've gotten attached to several of the people we teach in Hardin Valley and I will really miss them.  I am excited to spend all my time and energy in Pellissippi though.  We've been able to keep things afloat with the two areas and I feel that now we'll be able to get things hopping!  We are already so blessed and I can feel that more exciting things are about to happen!

This week we were at John's house and while Amber was helping us chop vegetables for the salad Amber told us that she wants to get baptized by the end of September.  Um, what??? We were all in shock!  She said it was my fault because something I said in my talk last week touched her and she decided to pray and knows that she needs to get baptized.  She went to the baptism the Elders had in the Hardin Valley ward the next day and she was really excited.  I hope that she'll stick with this decision because I know that it will bless her life so much :) 

I am so grateful to be a missionary and for all the wonderful people I have the privilege of meeting.  I'm so grateful to serve here in Tennessee!
 Sisters Nelson, Clark and Hales
 The University of Tennessee's football stadium

 View of Knoxville from the Sunsphere
A beautiful bridge over Knoxville

Monday, September 1, 2014

This week has been a busy, but good one!  We had a great lesson with Amber this week and we are seeing her again tonight.  She and John are reading the Book of Mormon together and she said that she will pray about baptism.  She is great!  

I love working with Sis Nelson and Sis Clark and getting to know the people in Hardin Valley.  It's going to be sad when we aren't companions anymore!  I'm going to miss the people they work with and I'm going to miss spending all day with them, even though we still will be living in the same house (thankfully!).  This wouldn't have been how I would have planned this transfer, but I'm grateful the Lord knows exactly what experiences we need to grow and to learn.  I have learned so much with this experience and I know we are serving together in both areas for a reason.  

Mom, you'll be so proud of me-- I played the piano in church again!  I had the sisters sing "As Sisters in Zion" while I played the arrangement I got in Abingdon.  I love how music brings the Spirit.  

The ward has been calling on us a lot lately to help which is so great!  I'm so grateful they know that they can call us when they are in need.  We got called at 9:30 pm to teach early morning seminary the next morning (I loved it!!) and then I got called Saturday night to give a talk the next Sunday.  I'm so grateful that the Spirit is always there to help us out!  

Life is good!  I hope all is well for you at home :)