Monday, November 24, 2014

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!
This week we've seen several miracles that may seem small, but help us know how much Heavenly Father really is there helping us.  Kim made it to church this week!  She came right at the last minute and we were so happy to see her there. The spirit was felt and it was a great meeting :)

This weekend was our stake conference which is always a spiritual feast!  I got to sit by Aunt Betsy and baby Lilly at the Saturday evening session.  It was so good to see them!  I am so grateful to be serving so near them. We also got to see Amber who moved to Maryville (she is meeting with the missionaries down there) and I got to see Joe Feliciano!  He got baptized while I was in West Hills-- it was such a good reunion! 

I am so thankful for the blessings of the gospel in my life and the chance to see the gospel change people's lives and hearts.  I hope our actions reflect our gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for all that they have given us:)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter is starting to come in the air!  

This week I got the chance to go to Rockwood on exchange with Sis Benge.  Small towns have so much character!  I heard so many funny stories, I was constantly laughing!  Knoxville is definitely not the norm for most of the mission.  I'm glad I've been able to serve in both the city and the country!

We've been teaching a lot of people who only speak Spanish.  It helps me relate to my brother more to say the least!  I wish I had taken it more in high school, but I'm determined to learn it now and when I get home so I can communicate with and help so many more people.

We were able to see Kim again!  Her divorce got pushed back to February :(  But she is finding comfort through the scriputres and prayer.  We're trying to help her see how the gift of the Holy Ghost can help her in her life as well, but she still wants to wait.  She should be at stake conference next week!

I'm so grateful for the peace the gospel brings!

Monday, November 10, 2014

We've been so blessed this week with so many good lessons.  We taught the restoration a lot and each time the Spirit was so strong.  We taught Lori and Ken  who are neighbors of the Puckett family the restoration this week.  This lesson was a little bit different because Lori grew up in a RLDS church.  She told us that she believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet and grew up reading the Book of Mormon.  They have since left the RLDS church because she doesn't believe in  a lot of the practices.  Ken met with missionaries in the 1980s during his military/drinking days.  We're still not quite sure if he really met with LDS missionaries because he remembers some strange things.  But they could have just gotten skewed.  For example, he was really irked that Mormons didn't eat hot food.  At ward activities the women would have to let the food sit out for 20 minutes before they served it so it wouldn't burn their tongues and hurt their "temples."   Maybe he just confused it with hot drinks, and we do always let the food sit for 20 minutes because we always start late!  He also said the Bishop wanted him to donate one of his houses to the church because as a single man he didn't need two houses, so we're not really sure.  But it was really special to see how the restoration answered a lot of questions they both had and cleared up some confusion for both of them.  They both said they would read from the Book of Mormon and seemed really sincere.  A wonderful part was that the lesson was at their neighbors home-- the Pucketts-- and the spirit was really able to speak to them.  Because they were such good friends with the Pucketts, they felt comfortable there and Lori and Ken really listened whenever Bro Puckett would bear his testimony. 

 One evening I got this prompting that we should go stop by Sheryl's on the way home.  I suggested it to Sis Lee and she said, 'Sure! Why not?' though we were both thinking, we have so much to do and no time to do it!  When we went, Sheryl was home (that doesn't happen often!) and she let us come in and talk with her.  We read from 3 Nephi 11 and she was feeling really down.  She's in her 30s, a single mom, and living with her dad.  She's working at a fast food place and hates her job.  She feels really down and wants to move on.  She doesn't feel that God would love her after all the mistakes she made.  It was so good to help her know that Heavenly Father does love her and wants to help her.  She closed our lesson with a prayer, even though she was scared to do it.  I love hearing people pray so sincerely.  I can just feel that she is a treasured daughter of God and that He loves her so much-- hence why He keeps sending us back to go see her.  We're going to meet with her on Wednesday.  She's one of those people I just have a connection to.  I love her so much and I can see how much the gospel will bless her if she lets it!

We have a lot of exciting people we are working with.  We are so blessed to be busy!  I am very grateful for the blessings we are enjoying right now and I hope we'll be able to help those people continue on the path towards Eternal life!  

Monday, November 3, 2014

This was a great week to be a missionary!  

We had a special training meeting with Elder Kopishke of the 70, and I could really feel how Elder Kopishke brought the love that the prophet has for us, and also the love that Heavenly Father has for us.  The Spirit was so powerful in that meeting.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from a representative of the Lord!

Halloween was this week so that brought a different twist to things, but we had a great time nonetheless.  On Tuesday we had our Halloween party and had a lot of fun!  So many people invited friends to the party!  There were at least 15 non members there and 10+ less active members.  It was such a fun night and a great chance for people to develop stronger connections!  Afterwards we went on exchanges with the West Hills sisters and I got to be with Sis Johnson who came out a week ago here in Pellissippi.  She has so much excitement and enthusiasm for the work!  It was so fun to be with her for the day!  I love the spirit of new missionaries!  It is great :)  

We also felt the spirit really strongly at church.  One of our investigators, Angel, is Hispanic and only speaks Spanish .  We've been teaching him with the help of members translating for us.  He was able to come to church this Sunday for the first time.  We asked two members to bear their testimony in Spanish and several others followed suit afterwards. The spirit was so strong!

I love being a missionary!  

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains on P-Day

Beautiful fall colors

Elder and Sister Kopishke

Emily and her companion dressed up like each other for Halloween