Monday, December 12, 2011


Otis has been baptized! Twiced! Friday was an awesome day. Otis was beaming. He could hardly wait the whole week. We ate breakfast with him at Cracker Barrel two days before he got baptized and he kept saying how far away it seemed. He just couldn't wait. I think when the day finally arrived he got a little nervous but as he was driving to Corbin he called and said that he saw a rainbow in the sky. And I was like, "It's not raining." He was like, "I KNOW! But I swear I saw one! I even made Malachi look so that I could prove I wasn't crazy!" Haha! Hurray! Seeing that rainbow when it wasn't raining was a testimony to him that Heavenly Father was pleased with his decision and what he was about to do. And that's all that he needed. He was practically floating the whole time. The first time Bishop dunked him he didn't get him all the way under but Otis didn't know that so when he came up out of the water he held both of his hands in the air in fists like Rocky and looked like the champion of the world. He was so happy. When Bishop told him they had to do it again he was even happier! "Let's do it again!" Afterwards when he saw me he came up to me and said, "I'm twice clean, Sis!" What a doll. The next day was the Ward Christmas Party and I called him Brother Johnson and he started dancing and saying, "Glory! That's right, Sister!" Haha. That night I tried to nonchalantly mention how he would need to contain himself on the stand the next day when he got the Holy Ghost and it worked. He told me he didn't think he could and I was like, "I know! You might need to sit on your hands!" "Good idea, Sis." "But don't worry, after Sacrament Meeting we'll all three go out into the hall and dance around a little bit and get our excitement out." "Glory! That sounds great!"

The next day during his confirmation I peeked and he was wringing his hands the whole time trying to keep himself calm. I didn't even hear him say "Amen" once during the whole thing which means he either did a REALLY good job of containing himself or he was saying it really quietly. Afterwards he shook everyone's hands and was smiling so big with those three top teeth and as he walked back to sit next to me he shook the hand of everyone on the ends of the aisles till he got to me. Haha. He's so cute. He sat down and shook my hand and said, "I feel like I've got 440 volts running through me right now!" He was almost brought to tears when everyone sustained him and welcomed him as the newest member of the Corbin Ward. Sister Clemons was on the stand because she spoke yesterday and she said that the man next to her watched him walk down and turned to her and commented on how he's never seen someone so excited to be baptized. Ooh. I love him so much. I can't think about him without smiling. He's the biggest BYH in the world. He knows we're limited on miles so if he wants to see us and it isn't our day to go up to East Bernstadt, he drives down to us and takes us out to eat. What a sweet, sweet man.

The ward Christmas party was great. The best part was that Grubb and Sister Clemons and I were seated at a table with Willard, the Noe Twins, the snake people with the singing dog and the narcoleptic lady and her husband who looks like Bill Murray. We asked how the food was and Wilma said, "Good... if you like half-cooked beans." Haha. That was the best way to kick off the night. I'm going to try to find time today to write some of the stories about her and her husband. I'll give you a teaser right now: Wilma found out that she had a relative burried in Utah and didn't want them burried out there away from the rest of the family, so she and Paul hopped in their pick-up with some shovels, drove out to Utah and started digging the person up. They were halfway down to the casket when they were stopped by police and accused of being grave-robbers. Haha.

We had a good week with Grubb this week. He's still set for baptism and is starting to feel more confidence in himself. He's very worried about relapsing back to tobacco after he's baptized and doesn't want to dishonor the covenant he'll be making. We've talked with him about the added strength the Spirit will bring and about how wonderful it is that he's taking this so seriously and talked about how baptism is the gate, not the end. There will be mistakes after we're baptized, but coming unto Christ is the best way to battle our flaws. He'll be fine. I know he will. He doesn't do anything halfway. He's been really upset about having to give up coffee and last night we were at a little Christmas play that his grandchildren were in at a Baptist Church. Afterwards we were meeting his daughters and grandkids and his ex-wife. She offered him some coffee and he very nonchalantly declined. She was a little shocked and I was so proud. Afterwards I mentioned it to him and he said, "I'm Mormon, Baby! Mormon to the bone!" Haha.

We sang at Otie's baptism and then we sang a different song in Sacrament meeting yesterday and then I'm singing a song that Sister Woodbury wants me to learn that I haven't ever heard at a missionary Christmas devotional on Thursday in Lexington and then I'm speaking in Church this Sunday. A lot of preparing and stressing but it's good I think because it's taking my mind off of next Tuesday. The Bowens have offered to kidnap me and between them and Willard and Sherry and Grubb and Bishop I think my chances are looking good at having a Corbin Christmas. I love Corbin at Christmas-time. It's so awesome to drive around and instead of seeing signs and lights and posters that say, "Happy Holidays" they all say "Merry Christmas!" That's more like it! Let's get real, Christmas is what we're celebrating, not "holidays". I love it because there's Santa here but more than Santa there's Jesus. The Corbin City Hall has a huge nativity out on the lawn. The fire department has lights that say Merry Christmas. The Corbin water Tower has a huge star on top of it. Barbourville has a huge stretch of probably two miles down their main road that has the twelve items in the twelve days of Christmas going down the street. They have lights that say "Joy to the World". It's great. I love it. That play we went to last night was called "Three Wise Men and a Baby." It was an interesting try at a groovy Christmas story. Even though I was a little uncomfortable, I loved it. I loved seeing all of these people expressing their love, the way they know how, for Christ. I loved seeing these people quote the Bible and the little kids singing about Jesus. I loved it. I love Corbin. I love the South!

There's so much more to say and so little time left on here. I love you all. Thank you for the 12 Days of Christmas Package. I'm excited to open it today. I have the best family in the world. That includes extended family. I feel so loved. I don't know if everyone got to choose their families in the Pre-Existence, but I'm convinced I did. And I bet there were others vying for the spot that I got. I don't know how I got to be so lucky. Probably because I'm pushy and "spoilt". I love you all.

Extra Blessings: Paige and the 7 Pinegar Families.
Phrase of the Week: "Baptize the Tiger!" My Zone really loved watching the Colbert Report clip and in it Colbert tries to make a cool video for Catholics and in it he says, "Hi-five a tiger!" We've changed that to "Baptize the Tiger!" and use it to sign off of our voicemails to the other missionaries in the zone. It's fun.

The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,

Sis Nelson

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