Haha oh just wait until you hear about Darrell this week... oh boy. It's quite a story.
Cha came to the family ward last week but wasn't feeling good this week. She's going to start coming here to the family ward. She's doing so good though! She took the initiative to text us on Saturday to ask for a ride instead of us having to ask if she was going. She's making a lot of good progress!
This week I read a part that quoted Ether 12:27 and I thought "That's great that God will turn our weaknesses into strengths, but I just don't even have the energy on my end to try to strengthen my weaknesses. Then the next scripture that was quoted was Isaiah 40:29 which reads "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." I was so shocked. God just read my thoughts. I was blown away.
Ok now on to the week. The fun part!
It was a rough rest of the night.... I was just exhausted for some reason! We went to visit a less active family and I just couldn't stay awake. The mom was talking so fast the whole time and I was so lost... I made it out though!
We finished up the night with a visit to the Racey family. Tim has read a little in the Book of Mormon but not much. He said he prayed about it and that the answer was "all is right." He was kind of confused about it. I explained that it might mean that what he's doing for now is right and to just keep doing it. More answers will come later. They said they would all pray as a family. Sarah, the mom, also gives the best mom hugs! I told her I loved them because I'm so far from my mom and so every time we go to leave, I go over to her and we both say "Mom hug!" and she hugs me real tight. I love them so much!
We got to go to the Bishop's Storehouse for the first time this transfer and I loved it!! We fill truck orders that are taken throughout the mission and delivered to wards. The coolest part was that about half of the orders were for families in Clarksville that I knew were struggling and I was able to help them get what they needed. Then we also filled orders for members close by who brought them in. It goes so fast! There are just a bunch of shelves and someone tells us what to get and we grab it and put it in a box! We have the order filled in about 5 minutes. It was a lot of fun! I'm so excited to get to go back tomorrow!
Then I went with Sister Williams up to Joelton for an exchange. They are in our ward and just cover the really far away parts of it. They have a super nice apartment in a member's basement. It makes up for the hard work. Sister Williams is another sister who goes home with me. All my exchanges so far are with sisters who go home with me.
We didn't have tons of success, and so we went into Dollar General to contact people in there. When we walked in, the cashier was super happy and we immediately thought, "We need to talk to her." So we found some cheap candy canes to buy and went to check out. We asked her why she was so happy and she said she was just grateful for another day. We told her that we wanted to share something with her that makes us so happy each day. We gave her the Restoration pamphlet and she was so excited about it! The guy behind us said "Hey can you share some of your happiness back here?" I asked if he wanted a pamphlet too and he said "Of course I do!" The cashier was named Inga and the guy was Don. I really hope that Sister Williams and her companion get in contact with them again! We were about to leave and we were in the car and I just felt wrong leaving without contact info. So we pretended to be looking in the trunk for something till Don came out. He came out and we told him we had a DVD for him but didn't currently have any and asked for his info so we could bring it to him. He gave us his phone number and then he left. Then we ran back inside and we told Inga the same thing and got her address and phone number. Miracles! I was praying so hard for something like that just to keep the sister's spirits up, that there are still people prepared in the little town where they're at. It was a good night! Also, Sister Brown's bed had an electric blanket, so I turned that sucker all the way up and baked all night Haha.
We finally got to have our first District meeting! There are so many missionaries in our District! It's weird compared to my last one where there were only 6 of us, now we have 12.. or 14, I can't remember.
We went to see Darrell that day and we brought Shelby with us. She was a YSA in Clarksville who moved to Hendersonville which is in our ward. So we took her and they really connected right off the bat! He ended up telling us his entire life story.... it took an hour! We were there for 2 hours and I was fighting with everything inside of me to just stay awake! We ended by talking about the spirit and how He teaches us truth. It was a good, long lesson.
Next we saw Kimberly, who was a potential. She let us right in and we talked a lot about prayer. She said she doesn't pray much but she wants to get better at it. She was super nice and has an 8 month old named Arielle. We tried to see her later, but only found her toothless uncle babysitting. He said she was out "driftin" with her boyfriend. So they were racing cars.... that's normal.
We had dinner with our next door neighbors, Andi and Jayson (Andi is a girl). They are so funny! But I just don't understand how they are finding true joy in the lives they live. They are living together, smoking, drinking, swearing, and just "living life" and it doesn't seem happy to me at all. They seem happy, but I don't know if that happiness will last for much longer.... it's sad. I like them though. I hope one day they decide to listen.
Lastly we met with our new bishop, Bishop Sims. It was a really good meeting and it was set up before we even knew that we'd have a new bishop! We talked a lot about the missionary work and how to excite the ward. He loves missionary work. He mentioned something very true. He said, most members do not read their scriptures. They bring them to church and they may be active, but they don't read. And that's so true. So read. If you're not, start now. Read alone and as a family. Make this a habit. Life is better with it.
Lastly we saw the Racey family. They were expecting us and so they had chairs set up and they turned the TV off and we read 1 Nephi 1 with them. Tim and Sarah had a couple questions as we read. It was so great. They really liked the chapter. We've been having a hard time getting them to read on their own though.
We only had time to visit one of our less actives before Sister Pennington picked us up for dinner. She cracks me up. She was driving like a maniac and when we turned on a windy country road to her house she said "Welcome to my racetrack" and hit the gas! I love her! They have the neatest library in their house full of all sorts of religious books! We looked at them while dinner was finishing up. They also had a board game called Jots and Tittles. Haha, I've never heard of that game.
While dessert was being prepared, I asked Brother Pennington how they met and he said they went to high school together and then he moved to Germany while his dad was in the army. She wrote him for a while and then Dear John-ed him. He came back for his Senior year and Sister Pennington had been in a car wreck. Sister Pennington's friend asked him to take her to the hospital to see Sister Pennington because he had a car. So he went and they started dating again and got married.
We went and saw Debbie with Sister Pennington after dinner and Debbie had her backpack all ready to go back to school and she had pass a long cards in one of the pockets. She also gave a Book of Mormon to someone. She is so amazing!
We had the best day ever! It was sunny and we had 4 member present lessons! The first was with Darrell. We started to teach the Plan of Salvation. We only did pre-earth life and earth life and then gave him some scriptures to study. He invited us to come to his church Sunday and we agreed to go so he can then come to ours. This will be the first church experience at another faith on my mission. Pentecostal style. Oh boy.. wait till you hear!
Next we took a DVD to a referral who turned out to be a Spanish guy and his brother who were attending the Spanish class taught by the Hermanas and Spanish elders..... We gave them each a Spanish and English Book of Mormon and they said they were going to go to church! And they did! Cool miracle right?
Next member present was with Cathy and Brother Sims. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it! Instead of saying maybe she'd come to church, she fully agreed! But she didn't come... But she looked happy and excited about what we had taught her!
We also taught Debbie S. It was a rough lesson to stay awake in and then we went to see a less active and her non member husband. The husband never sits in, but for some reason this time he did! It was so cool!
It was the most beautiful day to be out walking! No coat! We walked to go tracting and then got picked up by a member to go to Calvin's baptism. I was so afraid that I wasn't going. I didn't get a ride until that morning. Sister West was going to stay and work with a member, but we used that member instead to drive us to Clarksville. He was so excited to see me and he looked so happy! He was just smiling the whole time and pretty quiet! It was a great baptism and we had Poptarts and milk afterwards. The Frogues took us home and we just told stories and laughed and had a great time! I love them so much and it's been a blessing to see them a couple times since I was transferred.
Me with Calvin at his baptism.
Many YSA, good friends and missionaries at Calvin's baptism.
We went to an awful buffet with a member after that. Even the member thought it was bad. It was just really gross cheap food and it cost her $40 for the 3 of us. Ridiculous! Then we went to try a few people with her but didn't have any success..... so home we went.
Church was so good! It was the first week I didn't fall asleep. As we were singing the Sacrament song, I just started crying! I had no clue why! A thought came into my mind that every single thing that I felt I did wrong this week, can and will be washed clean and completely taken away. I don't have to worry about it or drag it with me into the next week. I just felt an overwhelming feeling of God's love for me. It was incredible!
After church, Sister West and I asked Bishop Wayment (the last bishop) for a blessing. It was the most beautiful blessing I have ever received. He really listened to the Spirit and took his time. He told me so many amazing things. A few of them were that weaknesses and trials do not determine worthiness. He also told me that God loved me several times and I felt that I really needed to hear that over and over. Many other things were said that I wrote down but I don't have them with me. It was amazing though.
We went to dinner with an amazing family and we had the best meal! I loved it all! And then... we headed to the Pentecostal church.
It started out fine. We went in and Darrell was up on stage in a choir of 7 people. They sounded good! Everyone was standing and clapping and had their hands in the air! Then the preacher came up. He gave a 30 minute lecture on trust in God. It was very good. Straight from the Bible and he used the story of Jehosephat to tell it. There was a lot of good truth in it. The whole time people would shout "Amen! Hallelujah! Right! Praise!" and some would jump up and put their hands up! Then... it got weird. The preacher told everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. I was the only one who didn't. I looked like a deer in headlights looking at everyone. He basically said a prayer for them. "Say in your heart Lord give me strength!" Then they all stood up at the end of his preaching... and Darrell full on started yelling obscenities! He just "Spoke in tongues" and yelled and then said "Jesus...." and started bawling and shaking and then another man did it. Darrell stood there bawling and whining and then sat down and just cried. I was mortified. Then they had everyone go to the front who wanted to and they knelt on the steps and cried and prayed and just hugged each other.... Then the preacher invited the "elders" up which were just random men and women. They said if anyone needed prayer to come to them. The whole time, music was going on in the background. This one lady went up and the "elders" all touched her on her head or shoulder or back and started yelling crazy things. The woman started shaking and convulsing and getting lower and lower and bawling and screaming. They did it to several people. The preacher's wife would just walk up to someone and touch them and start talking in their ear and soon they were convulsing and had a crowd around them yelling at them. Then they opened a curtain on stage and 2 kids were baptized.... and it was so loud! One man jumped out of his seat and booked it around the whole room and others took videos and jumped and danced and cried and music......
This experience has made my testimony as firm as iron. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the entire planet. The Spirit was not there. I was so scared. The people who were yelling had angry expressions and it was not God that was there with them. Sure they taught some truth and desired to follow God, but their actions, were not from God and directed by the spirit. They were not. They were dark. There is a night and day difference between the blessing I got and the prayers they were getting. Night and day from our church and theirs. Night and day in the Spirit that was at their baptisms and the spirit at Calvin's baptism. It was quite the experience. I can't wait for Darrell to come to church with us and see what it's like.
Just take a breather for a second...
Well that was my week. It ended on quite the note. I hope you have a great week! I love you!
We had our carpets cleaned this week and had to get our beds out of the way.
Trying to take a selfie at the bus stop.....they never seem to turn out for some reason.