Every once in a while I get these little bursts of happiness that make me so happy to be here and be a missionary. I know it is the spirit testifying to me that this is what I am meant to be doing and this is so worth it. As a song says that sister Crofoot and I listen too, "when it gets tough, some days are bound too. And when it gets rough, I'm gonna push through. Just like the sons of Mosiah! I'll serve with all my heart, right from the start, the children of my father!" This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, it will be hard, but it will be worth it!
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This week was crazy, hard, unreal, exciting and nerve wracking. Amidst all of that though, we saw many tender mercies, here are just a few!
Monday: We traveled down to Wayne county, the county south, to find some ancestors of sister Crofoot. She is related to Cherokee Indians who are buried somewhere in doublehead gap....no specific cemetery, just a general area. Doublehead gap is pretty much all of Wayne county. Thankfully she had 2 cemeteries to try to find Chief Doublehead. What I didn't realize was this was literally a needle in a haystack search... We just had a name and a list of possible cemeteries. So we end up losing service on Sister Scheuning's phone and get lost halfway into Wayne county. Somehow, by the grace of God, we were able to realize we went 15 miles past the first cemetery. We found a cemetery but no luck with the headstone. Back on the road we went with no service. The maps were out of date on the phone too so we had to pull over and ask someone where we were going. It was a long journey. We finally get to some random cemetery that isn't on Sister Crofoot's list and start searching for the headstone. Oddly enough, there are other people at this family cemetery too... This just doesn't happen. These cemeteries are 5 miles in he backwoods off windy roads. We happened to show up to this one right as these other people did as well. I am convinced that God got us lost so we could end up at this cemetery at this specific time to meet these sweet girls! Sister Crofoot was able to locate the headstone of her ancestor while I talked to these sweet girls about the gospel! It was so incredible because we saw two miracles in literally two minutes! She found the needle in the haystack and I found some new potential investigators. Following the crazy p-day activity we were able to have an incredible member present lesson with an old investigator we had lost touch with! Mark is an awesome young man who is sincerely searching for truth. He asks such soul searching questions and knows that he needs to make changes in his life. He just needs to actually change! He is so close! There are some struggles in his life, but he can do it! The gospel changes lives!
Tuesday: we have this wonderful investigator, her name is Teresa. She treats sister Crofoot and I like her own daughters. Man, I love Teresa so much. This is the same woman who dressed us up as Indian women last week (oh that was so interesting. She wanted me to get into the belly dancer outfit... Hahaha sorry, not taking my clothes off! Then having to explain garments to her way before we needed too.... Yeah! Well that happened!). Anyway, we stopped by before our dinner appointment and she was like, "here is some money, go buy good ice cream and we pray to God that it doesn't go to our hips and read the Book of Mormon too!" This is why I love Teresa. Ice cream and the Book of Mormon, what could be better? Haha!
Wednesday: Ok, I was kind of cruel this day. I wanted to go out finding so bad and decided Tracting would be a good idea. I waited until the worst part of the day, right as it started pouring, and I mean POURING. I was also using this as a teaching opportunity to help sister Crofoot become more confident at the door. So we are sopping wet and she is doing all the talking. I am sure she hates me at this point, but she was doing so great! I love watching her progress in the gospel! We saw some young girls and stopped to talk with them. They ended up getting their brother outside, Kishawn, and we taught the first lesson right there on the porch. The girls were 6-12 years old and Kishawn was 17. It was an extremely powerful lesson! You could see the wheels turning in Kishawn's head and at the end he asked "so my church is wrong because we don't have the priesthood right? I need to read this Book of Mormon!" It was an incredible miracle! We are excited to teach him!
Thursday: we traveled to the big city! Lexington! Zone meeting! I absolutely love the Lexington zone! We have the greatest missionaries and the best leadership! We drove up the 75 to get there this time and passed Richmond. Oh man. It was so bittersweet. I left so many great people and memories in Richmond. It made me miss it so much, but I was also reminded by the spirit that I will be able to be reunited with those people soon! The work I did there is eternal and I will be able to see the reward in heaven! I will always have those memories and I will always be grateful for my time there. I miss Richmond so much, but I absolutely love Somerset! It is so different but so incredible! There are many blessings that come from both areas! At zone meeting we were trained on the importance of the sabbath day and setting expectations with investigators from the very beginning. Both were very good trainings! Some thing I learned to teach my investigators was just how important partaking of the sacrament is. It is the only ordinance in the gospel that we repeat. We are never baptized again, we only go rough the temple once for ourselves and we are only sealed once. The sacrament is so important! We need to partake of it weekly! We were able to apply that training right when we got home too! We taught Patsy and she completely understood it. It also helps our investigators know why it is so important to come to church.
Friday: we were dropped, harshly. We have the cutest investigator, Ruby, and she was working so hard on getting to baptism. We hadn't seen her in a week because she was on vacation and when we showed up to teach her, her boyfriend met us on the porch. He started to violently scream at us for a simple misunderstanding. He then told us never to come back. It was so heart breaking because he wouldn't even let us talk to Ruby ourselves. This is a small portion of the pain and anguish Christ felt when He was on the earth. I was absolutely devastated that tim wouldn't allow us to see Ruby anymore and it breaks my heart that someone could withhold another person from something that makes them so happy. Satan is definitely working against us, but we will come off conquerer! He will not win the war!
Also on Friday, we missed a call from president Brough. Getting a call from president the day before transfer calls is the most unsettling thing ever. We called him back and he was wondering about the dental work sister Crofoot needs done. He then pretty much told us sister Crofoot would be leaving! :/ bittersweet, but then the anxiety was HIGH because we don't get transfer calls until tomorrow night unless president calls to inform us of a few things such as 1. Going to a leadership position, sister training leader. 2. He is asking you to train or 3. He is whitewashing the area. It was a day of craziness!
Saturday: HAPPY FOUTH OF JULY!🇺🇸 Waking up I was so anxious. I had a feeling we would be getting a call from president and sure enough, 10:15 president calls! My heart sank to my stomach. I don't know if I am ready for what he has to say! I knew sister Crofoot would be leaving so he would be calling to talk to me. Goodness. I don't even know what to do. He proceeded to ask me if I would be willing to TRAIN A NEW MISSIONARY!!! I was shocked, but kind of expected it because of a previous conversation I had with President. Just like taking over Richmond at 6 weeks and helping Sister Crofoot get on her feet in Somerset, the thought came to me, why does Heavenly Father trust me with this task? It is going to be a whirlwind, I still feel like a greenie sometimes, but I know I am ready for this experience and I need it at this point. The refiners fire is going to get a lot more real pretty quick here! I meet my baby tomorrow! (Tuesday) The rest of the day was spent trying to see people to say goodbye and teaching a few lessons before no proselyting at 6pm. We then headed over to the Bohannon's and had a wonderful Fourth of July dinner and celebration! They are the sweetest family! We were able to stay out until 11 to watch fireworks and it was so awesome! Sister Crofoot and I had to take a cat nap around 9:30 because we were ready to pass out! Thankfully Sunday followed and we didn't have to exercise. ️
Sunday: we got a door slammed in our face (again! Yay, wahoo!) and the next door was a golden investigator family! We taught them the restoration of the gospel in 5 minutes and they invited us back to learn more! It was such a huge blessing!
I love is area, I know that the Lord is blessing me for my efforts and the effort that sister Crofoot and I put forth as a companionship. It is bittersweet to see her go, but it has been so incredible to watch her grow into the missionary she has become! She is going to do amazing things in her next area and I know she is meant to be wherever she is sent! Here's to some more miracles in Somerset and a brand new sister missionary and being out six months! Time flies when you're lost in the work!
Journey is the destination, so "find joy in the journey!"
So much love from the GKLM,
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