What a week
As I have mentoned before I am back in the Pensacola Zone
The way the mission Zones are set up here: according to Stakes
So I am in the Pensacola Stake which means I will get to see my friends in Gulf Breeze <3
I truly cannot even explain how much I honestly and truly LOVE Brewton Y’all
I was planning on naming my future son Brewton (still am) but there are a couple of hiccups with that on accouont of: I asked a couple of Elders if they think that’s a cool name and they said no…
Okay that’s actually the only hiccup
So I still like it and so does Sister Fast so I’m okay with that
Okay child bearing future aside…
I Love This Place With All My Heart
We have found so many amazing and prepared people.
“I wish my fat would burn as much as the spirit burns in my bossom”
I need to introduce ya’ll to the Jay Branch
The branch just like about every ward probably in the world is kept together and running by the same 6 or 7 families that are each about twice as active as any other family in any ward/branch because they do so much.
Am I repeating myself? I never remember what I have and haven’t said
These people understand WORK
NOT. TO. EARN. HEAVEN. TO. LEARN. IT.
Some of these lovely people will be included in this list but not limited to these humans because I still have not met everyone, some were out of town last week.
Part 1.The Kelleys
Sweet elderly couple
Sister and Brother Kelley are amazing. Brother Kelley has us call him D.O.D.
(dear old dad)
And everytime we see him, he says
“Now what do I do?”
And we are expected to answer
“You love us”
These two people are so sweet to us. Not to mention they have golden senses of humor. I can’t think of one of their one liners off the top of my head but I’ll start keeping track of them for next week.
Just thougt of one
“Why are oranges called oranges?”
“Because they are orange?”
“Right. So then, why aren’t apples called reds or greens?
“I don’t know… why not?”
“I have no idea.”
Talked about them scaring the heck right out of us with their practical joking.
Their son in law is our ward (branch) mission leader at the moment, we call him Brother Hyrum
Brother Hyrum is technologically the most intelligent human I’ve ever met. He has charts and graphs and stats and lists and birthdays addresses google and so much more. He is SO smart and has the best vocabulary I have heard in a year.
We call him Wade because he’s the computer guy while we go on the missions.
Sister Fast said I’m Kim Possible and she’s Ron Stoppable. I’m not complaining.
Lol. We go on our missions to find those searching, and teach them. + if we have any questions about where something is or who is who or what is what we text him and he knows.
He’s scary good at this whole branch missionary tech stuff.
When we first saw the home teaching list we knew Brother Miller was going to be legendary
He home teaches like… half the branch less actives
Dude has a Morgan Freeman voice and demands respect.
His wife.. is a riot!
Sister Miller made us laugh at least a million times when she fed us Sunday. She made us lasagna and at one very entertaining moment she got up on a chair and waved a towel around dancing.
She is SO hilarious. Her son in law is the Branch President
President Sumrall and his wife Sister Sumrall:
Brother Hyrum’s older brother who is married to his wife who is the daughter of Brother and Sister Miller
Are you with me?
President Sumrall and his wife are absolutely adorable, they have one little boy and one on the way. He is super young to be a Branch President, but he is so good at what he does. Also very smart like his little brother Hyrum.
Hyrum just married the Beldens daughter and they live with them.
Brother and Sister Beldens daughter is married to Brother Hyrum who is the younger brother of the Branch President Sumrall who is married to the daughter of Brother and Sister Miller.
Next are the Potters who have no relation to anyone that has been mentioned other then they are all in the Jay branch J
Oh how I love the Potters. They fed us the first night we were here. Sister Potters took us to a service project for the relief society to make wigs out of yarn for little girls with cancer. These wigs look like princess hair. I learned how to crochet I was so proud!
On the way there and home Sister Potter made us laugh and laugh. I swear these people know how to bring out the giggles. She is such a loving wonderful woman and her husband is also wonderful.
I told her I am related to a lot of Potters which is exciting because that means we are both on our way to being accepted to Hogwarts.
Who part 2
We have been talking to everyone and their dog about the gospel (literally) and it is paying off tremendously
When our faith is greater than our fear, God places people in our path because He trusts us to open our mouths and talk to them about what is true.
Well following up with the story last week about Corrine who’s husband just died, we went back for dinner. She made us pasta, the woman staying with her set the table all fancy because they were so excited to have us over. It was very humbling because they don’t even know us. Corrine made the best peach cobbler and made us sing some primary hymns because she loves singing. We shared a very simple Plan of Salvation lesson, and they both committed to come to church with us.
The sweetest part was when we were leaving and as she hugged me Corrine said, “Thank you so much. I know you two were led here. You’re doing much more for me than I have for you.”
She is SO incredibly kind.
And also hilarious
“I was thankin’ God because I couldn’t find my teeth for a while. Suddenly one day I found ‘em in the console of the car and I was praising my God with a thank you Jesus!
You’d be surprised the things you thank God for when you’re this old….”
We seriously should have 8 packs because of how much we have been busting up laughing
Now if you have ever watched Duck Dynasty, the relationship between Phil and Si is exactly what the relationship with the Jones brothers is like only the Jones brothers are in high school.
They have deep country accents, raise pigs, and really good manners
Well our second lesson with them was this week, we began to teach the Plan of Salvation. At the beginning of the lesson, we asked their mom if she would like to join. She hasn’t before. Well this time she agreed.
We got to Adam and Eve, read the scripture from 2 Nephi 2 about how if Adam had stayed in the garden with Eve they would have remained in a state of innocence knowing no joy for they knew no misery.. etc
We asked for their thoughts and she said
“Well you probably don’t want to hear my thoughts.”
We assured her that we absolutely do
She said, I don’t think God is a tricky God. I don’t think He would set them up for failure, wanting them to make a mistake.
I believe He hoped they wouldn’t eat the fruit, but He knew they would because He is all knowing.. but He probably hoped they wouldn’t.
We thanked her for voicing her thoughts and testified that God did know that they would partake of the fruit, and that He didn’t set them up for failure, He set them up to succeed in bringing about His plan.
She said she doesn’t count it as success to disobey God’s commandments.
So we explained that in order to keep the greater commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth, they had to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In order to be in a world of opposition, they had to make some kind of sin because God is a just God, and it wouldn’t be fair for them to come to the natural fallen world we live in if they were innocent.
She agreed to that, but she then told us she felt like God would have given them the knowledge of how to procreate, and the rest of us would have been happy in the gareden praising God forever.
At this point in the lesson, I could tell the Spirit was not awfully strong. My heart was sad because it’s sad to me when people don’t understand how much more there is to us. We are children of God and as such, we are destined and even designed to become so.
He did not just place us in a pretty garden to sing and frolic around for eternity.
What would be the point to that?
He sent us here to become/change/grow
And growing means growing pains
And a paradisical garden does not create the kind of back breaking experinces of life that will give us the knowledge and strength we need to become like Him.
We would be numb if we were all there in that garden
There was no sorrow or pain
Which means they didn’t even know they were happy there.
They weren’t happy because they never felt sadness.
If we were sad all of the time, it’s the same thing, we wouldn’t even know we were sad because we would have nothing to compare it to.
That’s why God put them in a place that would allow them to sin that would put them in a world where bad things happen, pain is real, sorrow and sadness are inescapable.
But the depth of those feelings, those trials and tribulations of life, determine our destiny. They determine our joy. Happiness. Peace. Comfort.
“my joy was as exceeding as my pain”
Do you ever look back on a growing experience with a sense of newfound reliance and relationship with God? With clarity of the knowledge you acquired from that experience? And a better appreciation and gratitude for how you feel and what is going on your life now?
That. Is. Joy.
If Adam and Eve had remained in the Garden of Eden, they would. Not. Even. Know. That. They. Were. Unhappy.
Bc no trials.
They coulldn’t have progressed.
And most important:
They wouldn’t have needed God for anything. There would be no need for Jesus Christ, if they had never sinned.
But that’s not what happened was it
Satan did tempt Eve with bad intentions
I can picture him thinking something similar to this
“I’ll show God they will never make it. I’ll show Him His plan is not going to work.”
As he tempted Eve it was as according to the Fathers plan
God knows all
Side note: again if we were truly supposed to stay in that garden, why did God put that tree there in the first place? If she wasn’t supposed to be tempted.. why did God cast the adversary to the garden instead of binding Satan in another place forever?
Eve understood her role in Gods plan.. she understood that one of His commandments was greater than the other, and that she did need to partake of the fruit even though she was told that she would surely die
That action is actually evidence of her complete TRUST in God, knowing that she would eventually die, and she did, but following what she knew to be the next step in the progression of mankind, trusting that God had a plan to save them from that death and from sin. She ate the fruit.
The Father did have a plan. His only begotten Son in the flesh. And that plan was set forth from before this life, Adam and Eve had simply passed beyond the veil left to the fullness of their agency.
After testifying of many of these truths, she said that she could understand why we belive that, but she said she would still argue that God would not want a child to sin. And that she does not believe in the Book of Mormon because it is adding to the bible and the bible is all we need.
“If we needed the Book of Mormon, He would make it pretty clear to me I think.”
I love when people say that. Or when we knock on their door right after they were praying for knowledge, and they say, “If I needed to change and read the Book of Mormon. IF it was really true, God would let me know because He is trustworthy”
It’s a tad bit frustrating. Because sending us, is how He’s letting you know. It’s actually an answer to your prayer.
The very next day we had two people reject us because the Book of Mormon “adds to the bible”
I just wanted to say
“Youre so right. Isn’t it great?! It adds to the authenticity of the Bible. It adds to the proof that God loves us yesterday, today, and forever. It adds more testimonies of Jesus Christ from His prophets”
(There are 3,925 references to Christ in the Book of Mormon.)
And shout out to everyone and their dog that believes when John the Revalator said “do not add to this book” that he was talking about the Bible.
THE BIBLE WAS NOT EVEN ASSEMBLED WHEN HE WROTE THAT.
So if you want to use that argument, you’d have to actually discount the whole rest of the Bible besides Revelations, because the entire Old Testament and the New Testament save Revelations is “adding to that book”
Thank goodness he was saying “do not add to this book or take away from it”
Meaning don’t change words in my book of scripture by adding things I didn’t really say or taking words away from my testimony.
Welcome to the South
I’ve given up explaining all of that because even when I do they don’t listen.
But some listen when we bear testimony and the Spirit testifies to them.. so that is a much better alternative to bible bashing. ;)
So instead of sharing those thoughtful insights from the study and testimony/acquired knowledge of Sister Saunders
We simply bore testimony. The Spirit was there. And she agreed to have us back. Our lesson with her is tonight, pray for us.
We met with other new investigators that day
Nettie, Lillie, Jesse, Gussie
And we met with Lillie to officially teach the Restoration on Saturday
Wow. It was one of the most amazing mracles from the Lord
We shared with her the restoration, she shared with us some very spiritual experiences she has had that told her she was not in the right place.
She said her soul has been yearning to find where she belongs, where we all belong, in His church. She said that she believes that this may be what she has been searching for.
She commited to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, to come to church, and to be baptized.
We are so excited for Lillie. She’s amazing.
Late 50’s, heart of gold
Keep her in your prayers please <3
Wednesday we went to a house that was in our gps and we met the Howards, former investigators from Sisters in the past.
Before the lesson we got to know them a little bit and they. Are. A. riot. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Kentrell is one of Miss Howards sons he is 18 and absolutely hilarious. He promised to read the Book of Mormon and come to church.
We are excited for the Howard family.
We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, Faith Repeentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. IT went really well, the spirit was felt and we are going back soon.
We also ran into Kentrell at the library today which was funny. Bless his heart, he said he’s been throwing up because he partied too hard.
Luckily, he admitted that it’s really not worth it. HONEST it’s not worth it. So hopefully he doesn’t have to learn that lesson twice J
We had Zone Conference and the Spirit testified of many things during that day.
I learned that I need to repent.
I’ve heard that all before.
But it really registered how lucky I am to have repentance as a part of my daily life. I love repenting. Seriously people it’s the best. Okay I should rephrase, the beginning of repentance is hard. You have to face a lot of uncomfortable feelings like guilt and sorrow for what you’ve done, but the end result is SO amazing. SO worth the hurt. SO pure and clean do you feel.
I love repentance and my Savior through whom it is possible to repent. It doesn’t mean changing our behavior only, but more so our nature that changes as we repent through Him who is Mighty To Save.
I learned that while it is not my place to elevate myself above others, or to judge their sins, or compare mine to theirs, it is my job and responsibility to humbly do all I can to help others to be on the covenant path along with myself.
I can’t just walk idly by and say “they’ll get what’s coming to them”
“I don’t want to be a tattle tell”
“I don’t want to seem judgy”
“I don’t want them to think I’m a hypocrite”
“I make mistakes myself, so who am I to invite them to repent?”
IT’S NOT ABOUT “I”
I, I, I
It’s about we
“You lift me, I lift thee, and we will ascend together”
Out of LOVE we have the ability to boldy correct and uplift and strengthen ANYONE and we don’t even need to be perfect ourselves to help others.
We just have to love them, and make sure our motives are pure when we do lovingly correct what we see all around us.
My dad used to tell me Irish people give you directions by telling you everywhere in the city NOT to go first before finally giving you the actual directions to where you want to go.
“If you take a left at the Catholic church, then a right at the pub, right? Then you are left with one more left right? And if you see the next Catholic church to your left right? Then.. you’ve gone too far…”
Well in the South, it’s a similar thing. Only it’s with scheduling, not directions.
“Oh I would love for you to come back with part two of your message!!”
“We would love to come too! Does the weekend or weekdays work better for you ma’am?”
“Well Tuesday!! Yes, Tuesday won’t work because I have a docter appointment.
And Thursday wouldn’t work because I have to take my dogs to the groomers. Mimi has an appointment.
Let’s see.. Oh that’s right! Sunday! I can’t Sunday because I will have family in town…”
“How about Friday?”
“That would be lovely!”
Picture us frantically turning in our planners to the pages they are talking about ready to ask about the time, and then realizing we are writing in their appointments with doctors instead of us.
I love the south J
I love you
Read that five times so that it actually registers and you don't just pass over it because it is said so much in our language and culture
I LOVE YOU
so does the Lord
Have a very Merry Week
and enjoy Beauty and the Beast for me
Yes, Belle is my spirit animal.
"I want adventure in the great wide Brewton"
|Our beautiful view :)|
|We taught the Word of Wisdom|