Monday, September 19, 2011


Family! Friends! Other people!
This week has been great. Mary got baptized on Saturday and it was awesome. I didn't realize until all the other missionaries and ward members pointed it out to me, but 82 is a pretty old age to be baptized, not just cause she's frail and easily injured, but because she's old and most old people are pretty set in their ways and their beliefs. But Mary was just made for the church. Or I guess the church was made for her. I don't know. I just remember at Judy's baptism how she got offended and pretended to hate everything about church and what we taught and Bishop talking things over with her and him coming up to me afterwards and saying, "She will be baptized. You need to go teach her." Haha. I was like, "Bishop, she has very plainly told us before that she doesn't want us to teach her and that she doesn't want us anywhere close by in the house when we teach Judy." He told me to go back anyways. I told him I'd go if he and his wife would come with us. (Because I was a coward.) And now she's been baptized and confirmed!

Hallelujah! The baptism went well. She's terrified of water and she can't really move her back because of some degenerative diseases she has so Bishop and Mary's nephew both baptized her. She was afraid of falling down the steps and we assured her she'd be fine but then her nephew fell down the steps before she went down and she was shaking like a little baby when she was baptized, she was so scared. But she did it! And it was wonderful! EVERY soul is precious in the sight of God. And we should never think someone too young or too old or too set in their ways to be changed. The more I'm out here the more I pray not to be led to people that have been prepared (we've all been prepared) but instead to ask to know HOW these people have been prepared. THIS is the reason we're here on earth. We're here to make and keep covenants through faith and good works that will enable us to return to happiness with our Heavenly Family. EVERYONE has that potential. God wouldn't send a child of his down here without the ability to succeed. We've all been prepared. We've just been prepared in different ways.

This week we went to eat at a member home. I have no idea how this couple ever got together because they're so different and seem so indifferent about each other. But, they're married and working towards being sealed in the temple. They remind me of Dad's two favorite quotes: The gospel net catches all kinds of fish. & There's a Jack for every Jill. This couple fits both of those statements. I love being with Sister Clemons because she and I both get excited at the prospect of a weird and awkward meeting so those things aren't dreaded as much as they might be by other companions. We got there and there were only two places set at the table (they wanted to eat later on). They served us green beans, corn and mashed potatoes. HAha. No main dish, just three sides. And this isn't because they couldn't afford more food. They're just very peculiar people that must sometimes forget to eat a main dish with their sides. Then we sat there and listened to the husband practice the piano for 45 minutes while the wife who has narcolepsy dosed in and out of sleep. At one point she kept wanting to say something but her husband didn't really take a breath to let her edge in on the conversation. When he finally paused she couldn't remember what she wanted to say. So he kept talking. Then, she held up her finger and said, "I remember what I wanted to say!" So he stopped talking. Then her eyes drooped and she began snoring again. It was hilarious. But of course we couldn't laugh so Sister Clemons and I were suddenly very interested in the floor. Then he said, "Don't keep us in suspense, Wilma." And she woke up and said something about the generator outside. Haha. It was awesome. I really liked them and they were very open and teachable when we asked them who they could share the gospel with. They asked us to help them on what they could say and were very excited to try it out. It was awesome.

There's a man here in the ward named Brother Culler. He's the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric. One day he wanted to show me some cool stuff he'd found in his family history and he told me how one of his great-grandpa's was Joseph Smith's grandpa, Asael Smith. And I was like, "He's MY great-grandpa, too!" So, I found cousins here in Corbin! Cool, huh! He's through SIlas' line and if I remember correctly we're through Asael Jr. So, now I introduce him as my cousin. Haha.

We haven't really been too effected by the 9/11 rememberings because we don't watch tv or anything. But Sherry's son did have to fly out of New York yesterday and she was scared to death. They put the whole city on lockdown or something, didn't they? I was just thinking about how Joel and Derek were both missionaries when it happened and I can't believe that ten years later, I'm on my mission.

We found an awesome investigator on Saturday night who is from Minnesota. He has an accent that reminds me of the bat, Bartok, from Anastasia. He's so great. He's a truck driver who met some missionaries at the county fair up in Minnesota a couple weeks ago and he liked talking to them because they were the only church that said that you had to actually work to be saved. It was Jesus and the sinner that had to work together. He's so awesome. He's gone all week though so we have to wait to see him again. When we taught him the first lesson he was like, "how come I've never heard any of this about prophets and apostles being on earth before?" He was way excited about it.

I'm really proud of you all for your missionary work. The Primary program sounded really wonderful. I'm glad that Grandpa and Grandma got to go to that concert. I like imagining Grandpa and Grandma pulling out their lighters and swaying back and forth to the music. In my imagination though, Grandpa has that long ponytail that he had in the dream that Paige had about him on the bicycle. Haha.

I read a really awesome talk that Lauren sent me about optimism vs pessimism and how we shouldn't really be either but instead we should be the balance between the two. We should be improvers. He said that love isn't blind but that it has its eyes wide open, and its heart open, too.  Love should be able to see clearly all of the flaws in something and also be able to see the potential that something has to improve.

I love you all. I love being a missionary. I love the gospel. I love the scriptures. I love God. (Shout out to 4 year-old Joel!)

Extra Blessings: Sister Ralph, Sister Gossett x 2, The Hardens, Paige & Nina
Word of the Week: learn. Not learn as in: the student goes to school to learn from the teacher.  But learn as in: the teacher goes to school to learn the students how to read. You don't have to say "teach". You can use learn for both the learner and the teacher.  Like how every week I try to learn you how to speak hillbilly. Or how missionaries try to learn their gators the gospel.

Yuns are in my prayers! Keep me in yournzez! The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,

Sis Nelson

No comments: