"Time is money and I don't got time. I don't got money, but I got this rhyme and
if you like it I could show you two or three-to me they're proof the best things in life are free..
if you've got love and your faith, well that's a good start
if you've got a smile on your face or you appreciate God's art
if you've got a prayer on your mind or a song in your heart
no guns or gold could tear these things apart."
I'm pretty sure most of these weekly emails start with the words
I think I'll try to be a bit more creative this week
actual beginning of this weeks episode:
maybe I'll just stick to my usual hey.
Hey ya'll, hello from the South
I am so deep in the South that people don't even say Southern
Well we went to huge family reunion of Diane's the evening of the fourth of July, met a lot of great people, and they made us feel right at home
They smoked a whole hog in the ground all night the night before, it was DELISH
Yes I ate it
It was super tasty, just a bit oilier than most meat, but still good.
a drunk guy taught me about a grill
Sister Palmer taught a bunch of kids a game that may or may not be a drinking game in another language...
Russian. I think she said it was Russian.
I met Eloise who taught me life lessons
and Diane fed us more of her famous pound cake.
I love this family holy pig
I'm so sorry, it's late so who knows what kind of goober things are finna get typed on this electronic journal rn
Anyway, as it came time to be home, the fireworks were just starting
so Sister P and I climbed on top of our car port roof to watch them...
Of course the only area of trees in the back was where the fireworks were, so we saw the edges
but it was still fun to be up there on a summer night under the stars reflecting about freedom!
We had a lesson with Rhoda and Johnny, Rhoda is in 2nd Nephi chapter 9
She's been reading the Book of Mormon for only THREE WEEKS
(Seth, she's kicking your can)
She is so awesome;
she loves it!
We asked her how she feels it is answering her prayers-
she replied that she has been praying, that if this is His word, she will have a hunger for it
well He has been answering that prayer!
"I can't put it down. I just want to know what's going to happen next, and God is answering questions I've had from the Bible in here. He's really showing me. He even wakes me up in the morning early to come out here and read."
pray for Rhoda
She is having a hard time understanding baptism, as she was baptized before
she also received the Holy Ghost in that church and speaks in tongues
so she doesn't understand authority/the priesthood
We have taught it in some way just about every time we go, but there is something missing...
pray for us to be able to help her connect the dots.
That can be a very difficult thing, when someone swears up and down that they know they felt the Holy Spirit when they were baptized, even if they later found out negative things about that church that caused them to leave
their baptisms are still very sacred to them
explanations to this predicament are not a one size fits all
For Diane, I simply explained that baptism is a good desire no matter what. God looketh on the heart, so naturally when you believe that you are following Christ and being baptized, you feel the peace that He is happy you are striving within your sphere of knowledge, to follow Him.
However, that commitment to follow God and have His spirit with you is an Earthly promise without His divine power and authority.
When we make covenants with His authority and power (the priesthood) the promises are made both ways thus connecting us to heaven.
-more than an Earthly promise, but a promise bound through Eternity
bound in Heaven and on Earth
Rhoda is having a harder time accepting that and that's OKAY
I know that because of her diligent study of the Book of Mormon, the Spirit will testify to her. And as we continue to be instruments in His hands, He is guiding her, and it will click.
and when it does it's going to mean even more to her because she is working so hard to receive an answer
She tearfully explained that she just wants to make sure she has done everything she needs to do to please God
The other lesson with her this week something came to mind that I felt would be the answer to her question
I told her that her faith has always been strong, she's always had a desire to follow Christ. So her baptism was only lacking the authority from the man who baptized her.
She mentioned that they had found out shortly after that baptism that he was not all he had said he was, that there were some shady things going on in that church.
So they left.
But she knows she felt the baptism of the Holy Ghost at that altar there, and that she felt the same thing happened to her that happened in the book of Acts- the speaking in tongues and such
She felt the Spirit
to be honest, I have yet to have found a solid response to speaking in tongues
because it's true, nowhere does the Bible say that speaking in tongues means you can't understand what is being said, but Joseph Smith did say that is an abomination because it is confusion and God is not a God of confusion.
but there are scriptures that talk about "babblings" in a positive way, so it contradicts itself.
I have read every reference about speaking in tongues I can, and have no concrete aide for how to answer this question when people are SO certain that they were filled with a positive feeling after praising God, the tongues come
"it is like I can't even find the words to say because there are none in any language to accurately portray my love for God, so it comes from His spirit in His language, the gift of tongues"
how can you seriously argue with that
How can you tell someone they are wrong, and that the adversary knows how to imitate the Spirit of the Lord and that speaking in tongues is more to be seen of man than to be heard of God..
that God hears us no matter what language we speak and that there is no account in the Bible of people speaking a language that only God can understand and no one else, not even the speaker
I don't have an answer to that currently, but I have an idea about what works
What helped more than any of my or Sister Palmers answers, or lack thereof, was Sunday after church when Rhoda was having a lot of back pain and we invited her to have a priesthood blessing from a couple of priesthood holders
the Spirit was so strong
and she felt a lot better physically and spiritually all the way home
the council throughout the mission of
"talk less do more"
is so inspired
"We can show them without saying anything at all"
she accepted a baptismal date, that she is willing to go through with if she comes to know that what she is doing is truly necessary and of God
I am SO excited for her. I know He will answer her prayers as He already has been.
The closest LDS dentist that our mission goes through here in the FTM is guess where:
why is that important
1. Sister Palmer needed x-rays (someone punched her in the face a few years back and long story short, needed her teeth checked)
2. As ya'll know, I served in Crestview for 7.5 months before I came here 4.5 months ago
I WAS IN CRESTVIEW WEDNESDAY
I got to see an old pal ;) and hear the famous meth lady story again
<3 the vanks, Ashley, you know who's #1
I'm so blessed
On our way out, we stopped at the Crestview building
there were some things I needed to talk about with God
It suffice me to say
I made peace, I felt peace, and I sure love all three areas of my mission!
How could I not feel close to God under that tree outside the building, we call it the tree of life because it's so pretty...
just a symbol of the "fruit we partake" in all the buildings, that gives us eternal life
I'm talking about the sacrament
Last week on Sunday, a less active family showed up at church
they are hoping to "become regulars"
it happened to be the daughters 8th birthday and she told her mom afterwards, that she wants to be a member of the church
"out of the mouth of babes"
Well we didn't know she told her mom that, but felt prompted last Thursday to go visit them.
We pulled up and the grandma was out pulling weeds in her garden, had been all day
so we grabbed a couple crates and weeded with her/talked with her and her granddaughter for about an hour.
At the end as we were leaving, we were invited to come back and teach the lessons to the granddaughter by the mother, so that she can be baptized.
I know that this little girls faith is going to help her mom and grandmother
and as we teach the lessons to her, the other two are going to feel the same Spirit, and come back to church.
What a miracle!
plus weeding felt really good
I miss it
Seriously, it was therapeutic. Who needs to be a crazy cat lady when you could be a crazy plant lady instead? plants>>>>cats
no offense Seth, I know you love your cat
and also Ashley because you are definitely a crazy cat lady ;)
and also shout out to aunt Loraine who has anywhere from 20 to 40 cats
back to the subject of being a missionary
While Chloe and I were raking the weeds into a pile, we sang twinkle twinkle little star and when she found out we will be teaching her the lessons she started calling me teacher and drew me a picture
made my heart happy:)
Paul and Paula received their endowments on Saturday and it just so happens that Brewton is on the way to the nearest temple in Birmingham Alabama, they were glowing when they stopped briefly Friday morning. I am so proud of them and cannot believe it was 17 months ago that I met them and there they were on their way to go through the temple. Wow God is good. I am so happy for them.
Some of my favorite Curtis and Rachel stories this week
C: Oh my gosh. Irene just texted me. She lost her phone, and has been looking for it for 2 hours. She's all by herself, well she says she opened the fridge to get a glass of tea and there it was."
"We were at the store and I smelled some really good smelling shampoo, so I told Curt to come smell it. Well he squeezed it too hard and out came a plop of shampoo right up his nose in a perfect amount to cover his nostril."
"Wow. Thanks babe."
Ya'll I just laugh and laugh with these wonderful humans.
We brought them The Living Christ and The Family a Proclamation to the World and Curtis took down his posters to hang them up in their house. He said "I figured these are more important than my posters." Wow. They are so awesome, my testimony grows each time we go over there or have a Book of Mormon read over the phone.
We went to the Crains FINALLY it's been way too long, they are doing so well.
I found out Kat used to be a staged fighter, and that the Crains have straight OWNED talent shows back in thee day with their in sync lip sync choreographed productions. I swear they have no shortage of hidden talents.
I look up to how much they are overcoming right now, and I am so excited for them to go to the temple!
--some other interesting things--
-Uncle Freddy the pastor, uncle of Curt, tried to bible bash us in their kitchen in front of Curt and Rachel
I bore my testimony, shook his hand, and we left.
That night Curtis texted us and apologized then called and promised us he's still coming to church, and told us he had to stick up for the church because when we left his uncle began questioning him.
"Don't worry, I'm still getting baptized."
"thank you opposition, for telling me I'm doing something right"
The Taylors invited us over Saturday to eat breakfast for dinner
meaning lunch because in the south we go by the breakfast dinner supper schedule ;)
she spoiled us
-grits -fried eggs- fresh blueberry pancakes- hash brown- casserole with cheese baked- bacon ham- assorted fruit- mango orange juice
Sister Taylor shared her secret to her famous family cheese grits, YES
I am honored of course
Church on Sunday was incredible:
the talks hit me so strongly, I know that our investigators there were very touched.
We had a fireside with President Smith and it was a pleasure to see him as always
Two things I can usually count on hearing from him because we are like old pals now that he has been my mission president for almost exactly a year and a week
makes my day
He also told me not to leave the mission so I'm taking that as an invitation to extend even longer than I already have ;)
|Fun on the Fourth!|
well it's that awkward part at the end of my email
Things are about to get crazy as it is my last transfer and I am getting another companion
and Sister Palmer is staying in Brewton
and so am I which means
I'm so excited
make it a good day