I've changed my mind about people emailing me. I want anyone who is in the family to email me if they want to. I may not be able to email back every week, but maybe my siblings will write me more if instead of folding a letter, licking an envelope and finding a stamp all they have to do was click send. Ok? Ok.
This week has been a good week. Mary Smith got home from her trip to her sons where she visited her son's Baptist church which is the church she attended before taking the discussions. It's been almost three weeks since she's been away and we've missed her and have been hoping that she felt a difference in her old church and our church. When we walked in the door she said, "Guess what!" "What?" "I'm getting baptized!" "Hurray! When?" "As soon as you'll let me! I stopped drinking coffee two days ago." It was awesome. She's really awesome. She's sort of my hero because she's really old and really funny and really mean and I hope to be just like her when I grow up. She reminds me of a frowny-faced Carol Channing. She'll tell us something that reveals how selfish and mean she is and be cackling and laughing the whole time and be so cute about it that you can't help but love her. She has a lot of health problems and will probably have to be baptized in a chair so it will definitely be interesting to see how they work it out. Her date is September 10th. She has a nephew who joined the Church 20 years ago and once she started taking the lessons she called him and told him and he said that he'd love to help baptize her and at first when we set the date she said she wanted to make sure he could be there so we decided to tentatively pick the 10th and if we needed to wait longer for him to come that we could push it back. As we were leaving she said, "Even if Dally can't come down for the 10th, I want to go ahead and get baptized that day anyways." Luckily, he can come down. But even if he couldn't have, she would have gone on without him because she's so excited to finally be able to officially pay her own tithing to the Church. She's hilarious.
I haven't really been able to see anything or hear much about Hurricane Irene so any info on that would be appreciated. The weather out here is beautiful right now. This morning we went up to Otis and Autumn's and I got to mow my first lawn! And they fed us a country breakfast with pretty much everything from their own garden or farm. It was all really good. Probably because everything here is fried. EVERYTHING. And they fry it in bacon grease. Otis had been telling me how he likes to put the strawberry-jalapeno jelly on a biscuit and put bacon on there, too. When he first told me my knee-jerk reaction was to say, "EW! Gross! Why would you do that!" And then he made me try it and I actually really liked it. It makes me gag right now to think about it in my head because I'm so opposed to those sorts of things, but I actually REALLY liked it. CRAZY. Then we went and fed their horses. Then we went and fed their CHICKENS. I almost died because I was so scared but I didn't say anything to him or Sister Clemons about the family curse or my fear and I just went in there and kind of sang/whimpered to myself and I made it through alive. I was telling Otis how everything that I do when we're with him is completely new to me. These are things that he does every day and things that I've never done in my life. It's pretty cool. Otis is awesome. I hope you all get to meet him someday. He told us at our last lesson how he feels like he can really be honest with us and ask us questions that he's been hesitant to ask previous missionaries for fear of offending them. His questions aren't offensive, just very hard to answer. But he's sincere and honest and very giving and awesome and I really, REALLY want him to be baptized.
I hope the kids have a good day at school. Mom! How does it feel to have your last child out of elementary school? Thanks, MJ. I salute you and all the Nelson Mariners you've housed for the last 25 years. Hayley and Paige plan on naming their first daughters Jean and Joan in honor of the two J's that made MJ possible.
Dorothy the cat now sleeps in Willard's bed with him. He has one side and Dorothy has the other side. They're besties.
Brynn and Carly sent me a wonderful package this week and in them were Shark Fruit Snacks. My FAVORITE. It was hilarious because on Monday when Sister Clemons and I went shopping I commented on how odd I thought it was how the stores out here don't have Newman's Caesar Salad Dressing (they have every other Newman's salad dressing, just not the Caesar) and they don't have Shark Fruit Snacks. Then, lo and behold, SHARKS! Hurray! My friends know me so well. Seriously, I've been so happy this week because of those fruit snacks. I've missed them and craved them like crazy.
We teach this blind guy named Jerry and we always sing to him when we meet with him and the other day two other people from the apartment complex came over because of it and listened in on the lesson. One was pretending like she wasn't listening (just standing right next to me and looking at the trees) and the other was openly listening. It was pretty cool. There's this other lady we teach and she has seizures and she has to take pretty strong medicine to stop the seizures but they put her to sleep. The other day we were teaching her a lesson and her one eyelid started drooping hard core. I looked over at Sister Clemons and she had to look away from me to keep from laughing. So, I kept talking and then the other one started drooping and she started snoring and I had no idea what to do and then she blinked herself awake again so I pretended like nothing happened and kept talking. But. like. a. robot. to. keep. from. laughing. I would talk for a second and then have to stop because I was afraid if I opened my mouth again that I'd bust up laughing. And Sister Clemons was crying laughing silently and not helping out a bit. So, I kept talking until she fell asleep again and I asked her if she wanted to go take a nap and she said she wasn't sleepy and that I should keep going and then her eyelids drooped again and she started snoring again. She'd keep blinking herself awake and pretending like she hadn't been sleeping and I was about to die. So I ended the lesson early and we walked as quickly as we could to the car and laughed for a good five minutes.
There's a man in the ward who loves to invite people to church that aren't members and it's great. But, he also ends up saying really hurtful things to the investigators and we have to try and patch things up and the bishop has to tell this member that what he's telling the gators is way out of line and wrong and mean and it's kind of weird. He brings them in and then he pushes them back out. At least he brings them in though, right?
Friday we had interviews with the President and the Assistants trained us on some new programs that some general authority came up with to help us increase our member referrals. I'm excited. President is such a great man. I hope you'll all get to meet him and Sister Woodbury someday.
Sherry came to church this week! Finally! I'm actually very surprised and proud that she came this week because Satan was working pretty hard to stop her this week. She had seizures late into the night on Saturday. She didn't get to sleep till 3:30. I called her at 7:30 and woke her up and then I called at 8 to make sure she was still up and she didn't answer. I called a couple minutes later and she didn't answer again. I called again at 8:20 and she answered and was still in bed and I told her she had 20 minutes till Marvin came to pick her up and I expected her to say she couldn't come because she needs an hour to get ready but she got up and got ready. THEN, Marvin's car broke down on their way to Corbin. So, she had to call her boyfriend to come pick her up on the side of the road. So, she drove him back to Barbourville and then drove herself back up to Corbin but Marvin had stayed with his car and had kept her phone so that he could get a hold of the person coming to fix his car so she drove up by herself to Corbin and got lost without a way to call us. BUT, she made it. She didn't give up. She missed all of Sacrament Meeting but she made it for the last two hours. Phew. It was awesome. We were so happy to see her and so proud of her for not giving up. It was great.
Any time we decide to do something good, there will be opposition. But if we'll push through the opposition, we'll be blessed. God has commanded us to partake of Salvation. Of course, because it is of the utmost importance, there will be many difficult obstacles, but if we will push forward and through, we will be eternally blessed.
I wish you could see how pretty it is out here. The sunsets are unreal. Sister Clemons and I scream and gasp over them all the time. And now it's cooled down a bit and the weather is PERFECT. It's just so peaceful and gorgeous. It's nothing like I've ever seen before.
Extra Blessings: Carly and Brynn & Grandma Bonnie
Word of the Week: Mater. As in "Tow Mater". As in Mater Sauce. People out here really do call tomatoes "maters". Also, did you know that there are many different colored maters? Red, Green, Yellow and Orange. And I've eaten them all and I STILL hate them.
This gospel is the truth restored onto the earth by a loving Heavenly Father. He and His Son appeared to the boy, Joseph. He allows all of us access to His power here on the earth. It is the same power by which we can make the covenants we were sent here to this earth to make. It is the same power by which Jesus walked on water and by which Moses parted the Red Sea. His Son speaks to the Prophet Thomas S Monson today. This is God's Church.
PS - The Church is True!! Share it!!