Monday, June 6, 2011


First things first: Mother, as I was saying my prayers last night I accidentally knelt on my glasses and they broke. Needless to say I look GREAT with only one arm and a diagonal tilt. I can't really wear them unless I hold them to my face. PLEASE send me those two pairs that I had made for me. PLEASE. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Thank you.
This week has been a good one. We had FOUR investigators in church on Sunday: Jackie Logan, Jackie Lee Sturgill, Judy Jones & Willard Cox. Jackie Sturgill is still set for baptism on July 2nd if he can quit smoking by the 18th of June. We taught him the Word of Wisdom on Friday and he immediately said he knew it was true and that he would need a lot of prayers but that he wanted to live it. We call him first thing every morning and then last thing at night to check up on him. The first day he only smoked 18, then it was 12, then it was 8 and yesterday it was 4. He looked miserable yesterday. He said church helped though. He's also having to move today because the shelter where he's been living is changing to a 7-day emergency shelter. He thinks he has a place to live, though. Jackie Logan isn't really progressing too much because he still isn't married. Judy is coming along quite a bit. She told us it would take her a very long time before she would consider coming to church and then on Friday she said she was coming to church and she drove the hour it takes to get from her house to our chapel and stayed for all three hours. It was awesome.
Corbin Chapel

Testimony meeting was a little... interesting... but I think she could tell which testimonies she should take to heart. Willard is progressing to a certain point, but he has told us that he doesn't want to be baptized because he already was baptized. He knows the church is true and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He knows that theBook of Mormon is scripture. He knows that the priesthood is in and only in our church. But, he still is getting a "no" when he prays about being baptized. Sister Ralph and I feel that the root of the problem is that he hasn't truly forgiven himself for some of the things he's done in his past. He hasn't told us what they are, but he obviously still feels very guilty for them. 

Yesterday I asked him if he's forgiven himself and he said he hasn't.. I told him a little bit about how hard of a time I've had forgiving myself for the things that I've done before and how I knew that everyone else deserved Christ's sacrifice, but for some reason I felt like I should have to pay for what I did because I knew better and I shouldn't have done those things. He agreed and said that he didn't want Christ to have to pay for what he did because it wasn't fair and he didn't deserve to not have to pay for his own sins. Then I asked him something that was sort of a cheap shot, but I think it got the point across. I asked him if he felt like I deserved to be forgiven of my sins and if I deserved to have Christ die for me.

He cries whenever he talks about me (he calls himself my lost sheep that I've left the 99 to find and "an angel"), and I knew he'd cry if I asked him that question, but I asked him. He said that of course I deserved it. He lives with his niece and her daughter who's a toddler and he LOVES her. Her name is Emma and she's just learning how to walk. I asked him if Emma deserves to be able to use the atonement. He said of course she does. I told him how Heavenly Father sees Willard and how much he loves Willard. Willard's lip started quivering really hard. I committed him to praying to know if he is worth the sacrifice of the Atonement and if he has been forgiven. He said he would ask. We've been teaching quite a few old people lately and it's amazing how the Lord loves all of them as his children. 80 years is nothing compared to eternity. We're all still his little children and he loves all of us. I need to stop so that I won't cry. I love Willard so much.

Sometimes I'm amazed that we find people to teach here in Kentucky. Tracting is basically a test to see how quickly the people behind the door can tell us no. Tons of people have told us that they'll pray for us and that we'll need it when we come to their door. They're not praying for us out of the goodness of their hearts, they're praying for us because in their eyes we're going to hell. We were tracting in Barbourville the other day and it was miserable. The only way I can think to describe the weather is sweaty. The air was sweaty. It was hot and thick and we were drenched. We were walking down the street and there was a couple with some kids walking on the other side and they said hello to us and we told them we were missionaries and they said they knew who we were and called us Mormons. They know Steven and Keith and the girl who introduced them to the church, Maddie. They've actually been to the Corbin ward before. We asked how they liked it and the girl, Dara, said, "I only went to support Maddie and try and see what made her such a sweet person. The religion doesn't hold water but I respect her." Oh. Ok. We didn't really know how to respond. 

She said that she could tell we were really hot and that when we were done with the street to stop by their place and they'd have some water bottles for us. So we did. We sat on their porch and had some cold water and they were very nice and talkative and testifying of Christ and talking about how much they love their Mormon friends. They asked me how I felt being called to Kentucky and I told them that I had said beforehand how if I stayed in the States that I wanted to go to the Bible Belt. Travis, Dara's boyfriend, said, "Well, you're definitely in the Bible Belt. In fact, I think it's safe to say that you're right in the Belt Buckle." Sister Ralph and I laughed because that is incredibly true. I told him how I love people that love the Bible and he said that he's into revivals and stuff like that. As we were leaving we asked if we could say a prayer with them and Travis said he'd rather say a prayer for us. He asked in his prayer for Sister Ralph and I to have our eyes opened and be led to accept new things and to truly do the will of God. 

Bible Belt billboard

That's basically how every lesson goes. People will be friendly but very blunt in their opinion on where we stand in the scheme of things. We taught a lady the other day who was a referral from a member and he told her we were nice girls who loved the Lord and she said, "As long as they teach from the Bible, I'll listen to them." It's sad how Satan mixes truth with lies. These people believe in God and love God so much that they hold on to the portions of the truth that they have and shun anymore truth that comes their way. Why wouldn't people want MORE revelation from God? If someone told me there was another Book called the Book of Steven or Joe or something, and I could find out if it really was, I'd be thrilled.

I think you'd all be proud of me because I don't freak out about bugs anymore unless they're on me or near me and I don't kill them or anything, but I don't freak out if I see one. When I was staying inBeattyville the shower we used was in a basement and I was about to get in the shower when I saw a HUGE spider. It was about the size of a quarter and an inch & a half tall. It was brown and hairy. I wasn't dressed and the spider was between me and the door so I couldn't run away or call for help. I started crying and got the trash can and tried to kill it but it JUMPED a foot off the ground. I tried smashing it a couple times but it kept jumping. Finally, after about 8 tries, I killed it. It was one of the most traumatic experiences ever.

Johnathan and Kaylee are still doing well. Sister Ogden said that after we left the other day, Johnathan told his mom that he'd be ok being a prophet. A couple days later he got into a fight with kids at school over the Book of Mormon. He still hasn't ever said a prayer for us and I've been trying to get him to forever. We play rock, paper, scissors tournaments and the winner gets to say the prayer. Whenever he wins he says, "Best out of 3" or "Best out of 5". Last time we were there he said, "Rock, Paper, Scissors (and then he put his hand like a phone and held it out and said) Jesus is calling". Haha. It was hilarious. He's started wanting to wrestle me for it and I tell him I can't and then he tackles me. It makes me miss Rex and Nina.

We've watched the full-length Joseph Smith movie two times this week and we watched it a couple times in the MTC, too. I cry every time. It's ridiculous. I can't talk because it makes me cry so hard. I'm supposed to be testifying afterwards to our investigators and all I can do is look at Sister Ralph and plead with my eyes for her to not make me talk after she's done talking. Then she tells me with her eyes that I have to talk and I try and I start crying harder. It's bad. But the movie is great and Joseph Smith really was a prophet and he was a wonderful man and so was his wife and I get tired thinking about all that he accomplished in such a short period of time.

Thank you, Dad, for your email this week. The volunteering feeding homeless sounds like a wonderful experience. I need to see pictures of Enzo's hair.

Extra Blessings (which only count if they are handwritten) go to: Sister Gossett & Brother and Sister J. (Email blessings go to Kiera and Paige).

Word of the Week: Keepin'. 
Keepin'= Babysit -  but for anyone of any age. Linda and Jackie keep nieces and nephews every weekend. People who have their elderly parents live with them are keepin' them. Sister Ralph and I pretend like we're keepin' Hagrid.
Everyone should serve a mission. EVERYONE. The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love, Sis Nelson

1 comment:

kandace said...

Love your posts Sis Nelson. Yes, I understand the Bible belt well. Four our children live in it and of course Nick served his mission there. Our oldest daughter is a convert to "true Christianity" We grieve and pray for her and she grieves and prays for us. It will be interesting to see how it all works out. I don't know what your mission rules are, but we would like to see you for lunch and take you and your companion out if that is okay. We'll be in Indiana from June 30th to the 10th of July visiting with Megan. You are in our prayers. Love ya
Sis Harden