Monday, November 14, 2011


Hail the conquering hero! Dah na nana na, nana na!


Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mom & Dad. For those of you who don't know, Mom & Dad paid for a hotel for two nights and Sister Clemons' parents paid for another two nights this week because of our bed bug dilemma. And it was wonderful! WONDERFUL! I never thought that as a missionary I'd be able to stay in a hotel, but I've done a lot of things as a missionary I never thought I'd do. This just adds to the list. And, we each got queen-size beds! It was glorious. Even though it was awful and horrible to have bed bugs and it slowed down our work a lot this week because we were dealing with them for a big portion of our time, we had some tender mercies from Heavenly Father. 
Our Corbin, KY Hotel
Note from Mom: This is the 2-Star Country Inn and Suites where they stayed.  I had tried to book another -
kept coming back to this one, called the front desk and talked to the nicest man, knew he'd be good to
the sisters, and went ahead and booked it online because he told me they have better prices. Tender Mercy, indeed!
The best tender mercy was that first night that we checked into the hotel. There was a man at the front desk named Bobby Monday (cool last name, huh?). As soon as he started talking I could tell he wasn't from around here. He had a "Yankee" accent (meaning he wasn't from the south). He looked at my check-in information and said, "You're from Las Vegas?" "Yep." "So am I!" "Really? Awesome! What brought you all the way to Corbin, KY?" "I should ask you the same question." We started talking and then he told me that originally he was from California but had moved to Las Vegas to be a chef. I told him I was born in Glendale, CA and he said, "No way! I used to live in Glendale!" "Woah!" So we talked some more. He asked if we were Mormons and we told him we were. He said, "I attended a Mormon church out in Las Vegas for two years when I lived there."

Ok, now this was getting too crazy to be a coincidence. We automatically launched in to questions like how he met the missionaries and what he thought about our doctrine and asked him why he stopped meeting with them. This launched him into telling us that he loves the Bible and he is really into the lost ten tribes and how he thinks it's awesome that we have a book proving that the people in America are from the tribe of Manasseh because he has believed that for a long time and then he started talking about Lehi and Nephi and I was dumbfounded. We talked for an hour that night, just right at the front desk. The next night we had a lesson with him at the front desk. And the next night and the next night and even the next night after we had moved back to our house on W 4th St. Huzzah! How great is it that Mom is obedient? When we're obedient the Spirit can whisper the smallest things to us like which hotel to book a room in. Mom had no idea what she was doing when she chose a hotel. She was just doing something nice for her poor, pitiful daughter. BUT, the Spirit was able to speak to her because she is a righteous woman. And there went another thing that I never thought I'd be able to say happened on my mission: my mom found me an investigator! Awesome.

Things were great at the hotel and we didn't want to go back to the bug house, but Elder and Sister Lewis (office missionaries) drove down all the way from Louisville (3 hours) in a 15 passenger bus named Gus with the GKLM trailer behind it just to pay the bug man, bring us new mattresses and take us out to eat. They're such sweethearts. Elder Lewis also put these special bed bug cover things on our new bed springs and our new mattresses and the beds are so comfortable and the bug guy said we did such a thorough job cleaning before he ever came that when he sprayed he was pretty sure that they won't come back but if they do he'll come back again. It was such a relief to be able to sleep soundly and not wake up even itchier than the day before. The Lord really does watch out for all of His children. He watched over Sister Clemons and me this week.

Speaking of Sister Clemons and I: We are the Champions, my friend. And we'll keep on fighting till the end. No time for losers cause we are the champions of the world! Or at least we're the champions of the Baptizing Lexington Zone! Woot-woot! So, every transfer or so there's a challenge that the Zone Leaders put on for the whole zone. This last transfer we had a challenge based on key indicators which are the numbers that tell missionaries which areas they need to improve on to help bring others closer to Christ. You got certain points for certain results in the key indicators and it's hard to explain but long story short, thePromised Land Sisters blew everyone else out of the Water! The prize was a pair of gold medals that the zone leaders had made that have the baptism symbol on them and say our zone name. It is probably the best prize I've seen up for grabs since I've been here. AND, the zone leaders put on an awesome awards ceremony at district meeting on Thursday where they gave us crowns and the medals as they played a song they'd recorded for us with one of the zl's playing the piano and the other singing about the Promised Land Sisters to the tune of "As Sisters in Zion". I have a recording of it. I'll send it to you. It was really, really cool. Haha.

Willard got a haircut this week. He looks adorable. He's also getting his teeth fixed this week. CRAZY.

Otis has been really back and forth about baptism ever since we set the date. I was determined on Sunday to push back his date again because I just didn't feel like he was ready. BUT, Otis FINALLY got his answer. He got a blessing from our High Counselor who I call Father Christmas (he lives an hour and a half away and drives down for church and always brings people food from the Amish place near where he lives. He always has candy in his pockets and all the kids come up to him on Sunday and wait for a piece. He always brings us our favorites, too. Whole packs of cookies and his homemade jerky that he always calls roadkill. He's awesome. He's the same guy who drove Sister Ralph and I to the temple this summer.) The blessing was beautiful and Otis was crying at the end. During the third hour he asked if he could talk to us for a minute and told us that something that Brother Brown said in the blessing made him feel the spirit really strong and it was the exact same thing that I had said to him during a lesson last week that I guess had really made an impression on him. He started doing this little dance he does and pumping his fists and saying "glory" and everything else and said that he was ready to fully commit to baptism!

Glory! He's going to be such an outstanding member! He still has a lot to learn but he is so willing to do anything he can for the Lord and once he's set his mind on something, you can count on him completely. Speaking of Otis, he's frying us a turkey today! I've never had fried turkey but I did eat a fried pickle this week. It's actually pretty good. Anyways, he called this morning and said, "Hey Sis! When are you coming over. We're taking you fishing and then having fried turkey!" Haha. Awesome. They're putting the entire turkey into the fryer and then pulling it out, I guess. I'm curious to see how it looks. I'm excited to go fishing again. I really have started to like it. Hopefully I keep my trend. This is my third time so this time I aim to catch three fish. Also, Malachi LOVES church and he apparently has a girlfriend in his church class but he won't tell us who she is. He's six. He wants to be a missionary when he grows up. Well, he wants to be a missionary, a cowboy, a policeman and a rodeo rider. He's so cute.

Sherry's brother came to church yesterday! (Sidenote: Sherry and I call him Grubworm because his last name is Grubb. Also, he has some dogs where he lives and his favorite dog's name is Rex). He's one of those people who pretends to be mean but if you aren't afraid of him and quip back to him then he cracks a smile and likes you. Also, he's a tough old man. He doesn't have any teeth but he can eat an apple without cutting it! He just bites into it with his gums! It's ridiculously crazy! I was anxious to see how he liked church because he was quiet the whole time. Our Ward Mission leader took a liking to him and he knew our bishop and another family in the ward so he felt pretty fellowshipped, I think. Afterwards Brother Maguet said he hoped Grubb would come back and Grubb said, "Oh, I definitely will." Hurray!

 Later I asked him if he liked it and he didn't want me to win the battle (I had been pretty persistent in getting him to come that day) and he responded with as little emotion as possible:"It's different." (He must not have known I heard him tell Brother Maguet he'd come back) Sister Clemons frowned. Then I said, "But different is good, right?" He smiled. "Different is very good." Haha. What a brat. You always have to coax things out of him. Then we went to Sherry's and ate and I showed them some magic tricks and Sherry got really mad because when she'd ask how I did them I'd tell her I was magic and she said that I was breaking a commandment by lying. HAha. Then she gave me a sweater that means a lot to her because a lot of people in her family have worn it and I started crying on the inside. She expects me to wear it now that it's getting colder and I can't describe it to you other than to say that it's so far from anything I'd ever wear EVER that if someone tried to get it on me even if I was cold and dead I'd come back to life and haunt them. Also, to top it all off it has shoulder pads. I don't know what to do. Sister Clemons of course thinks it's hilarious.

But back to Reid. Even though he pretends he doesn't like the church ("I think I'll try the Catholic church. They go to church on Sunday and then do whatever they want the other days") he'll be coming to church again and I'm excited! And yesterday in a rare moment where he was being nice/serious he said, "Wanda, you have a heart the size of Las Vegas." It was sweet. Then he followed it up by saying something mean to balance it out. At one point Sherry said after crying because I'm leaving next month, "Even when you leave here you'll never find another family that takes you in the way we've tooken you in." And it's probably true. She has us call her Mama and she calls us her daughters. Her grand-daughter April told someone at school that her ma-maw has two sons and two daughters and they got confused because they know Sherry and that she only has two sons. We're her two daughters. Grubb is heading the family committee to kidnap me before transfers. Haha. We're having Thanksgiving with Sherry and her sons and Grubb and all their extended family and Willard. They're also going to have an early Christmas because I'll leave a few days before Christmas. They're so wonderful. I can't wait for you to meet them. All of them. Heads up, Mom: I've invited them to Thanksgiving in Las Vegas next year. Surprise!

Word of the Week: Done. Done means already. I done told you what to do and you didn't listen. I done did that last week. I done knowed that would happen.

Extra Blessings: Kiera, Cami, Grandma Bonnie & Grandpa Rex , Gr'pa Buck & Gr'ma Frankie, Sister Ralph

Well, I've got to go change into my Jean Andersons and go catch me some fish. I love you all! The Church is TRUE! Share it!


Sis Nelson

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