You'll never guess what I got to watch this week. You never will. We were at interviews and while President interviews the other missionaries are trained by the Assistants. President wants us to start really utilizingMormon.org in our proselyting and he talked a lot about how right now with two LDS Presidential candidates how media is calling right now the "Mormon Moment". President said that in this short window of time we're going to have a lot of people curious about our religion. They'll be hearing good things and bad things but they'll be hearing things and they'll have questions and we should capitalize on that. As an example of all of the talk that's going on about Mormons right now, President showed us a clip-- are you ready for this?-- he showed us a clip of The Colbert Report. Haha. Seriously. How many missionaries can say that they legally watched The Colbert Report on their mission? I'll tell you: 170. And they're all missionaries in the GKLM. It was so awesome. The Colbert Report is awesome anyways but to be a missionary and to watch it was even more awesome. Stephen Colbert did a segment on how Obama's campaign is trying to paint Mormons as weird. So he talked about how not weird we are. It was pretty awesome. He poked a little fun at us, but mostly proved how normal we are. You all should look it up. His religious segment is called "Yahweh or No Way". I'm excited to start using Mormon.org more. I think it will help a lot in my new area, wherever that ends up being. Not too many people out here use the Internet, but we're probably one of the most hillbilly areas here that I'm guessing that my next area will have more people with computers and email accounts. In my interview with President he assured me that he has a very strong missionary coming in to follow up with the people and the progress that's happening here in Corbin. He said he's not willing to risk dropping the ball in a place that's on fire like Corbin is. That has really helped calm me down these past few days. I've been so concerned with the people here that there's so much potential in. Sister Clemons and I were scared that he might send a missionary that needed motivation or a boost because Corbin is the Promised Land. I'm glad that instead he's sending a missionary who will take what she's given and improve it.
This week we got a call from a Professor at Cumberland University in Williamsburg asking us to come and speak to his American Religions class. It was an interesting experience. He took us out to lunch beforehand and told us that he was Baptist as most people are at Cumberland since it's a Baptist University. But he said that he loved this particular class because it gave him a chance to broaden the minds of his students and let them see that there are people out there who believe differently than they do. He asked us to take up the whole class period and we did with parts of the Restoration until he asked us to talk about women in the church. Then he asked about women vs the priesthood. Then he asked about polygamy. Then he asked about blacks and the priesthood. Then he asked about the validity of the Book of Mormon. He ended by telling us that if we would study more that we would be shown by God the error of our ways and that he felt sorry for us because we seemed like nice, intelligent girls but that we should open our eyes a little. He kept throwing anti-mormon statements at me and saying, "Did you know such and such about your church? I bet you didn't." All of which I did know and had heard and have known for years. We kept pointing him to faith and telling him that those things can be understood with faith and with the help of a perfect teacher, the Holy Ghost. He kept shaking his head and saying that if DNA could prove middle eastern roots in the Native Americans then he would consider the validity of our church. What does church have to do with DNA? How is it hard to believe that Joseph Smith found a set of gold plates in a hill but it's easy to believe that a man named Moses was given stone tablets on a mountain? How is it hard to believe that there were civilizations on this continent that the Lord led from the Middle East but it's not hard to believe that a whole city was taken up into heaven by the Lord? Where's the faith, people? Oh well. It was a good learning experience.
This week was Stake Conference and Sister Clemons and I wanted to go to the Saturday evening session in Lexington but in order to do so we had to have an investigator go and we had to get a ride. We pretty much thought it was hopeless but on Saturday morning Sherry and Grubb said they'd be willing to make the drive. We drove 2 hours to get there and then sat in the session for 2 hours and then drove back 2 hours. But it was worth it. In the middle of the session Grubb leaned over to me and said, "Thank you for bringing me." "You're welcome. Thank you for bringing us." "You know, I've been thinking about this whole baptism thing." "Yeah?" "Yeah. I think it's going to be great. It's going to be wonderful. The more I learn about the Church the more I'm sure I'm a Mormon through and through. I'm Mormon to the bone." Hurray! That is what I love to hear! He is Mormon to the bone. He's the one who's been keeping Sherry active. A lot of times she'll say she's too sick to come and he'll go over there and get her up and force her to get ready and bring her with him. And she's always so grouchy at the beginning and so grateful at the end that he made her go. He's amazing. He's been having a hard time with the Word of Wisdom lately and he's scared of letting us down if he can't quit tobacco. We told him that we know he can quit but that we'll love him no matter what. At one point I was like, "Grubworm, even if you decided that you didn't think the Book of Mormon was true or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, I'd still love--" "Oh, I know he was a prophet. And I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it is. I just need the Lord's help settin' the backer (tobacco) down." What a wonderful man. He told his daughters he's getting baptized and one of them said she'd come and the other said she won't come because she doesn't support his decision. It's sad. Still, he knows it's the right thing and he's set on doing it. What a good example.
Stake Conference was great. There's two things I really loved that President Lindmark said. The first was, "You don't have to be perfect to go to the temple; you do have to go to the temple to be perfect." That's so true. He said that too many people stay out of the temple because they don't feel worthy. He said that the Lord has commanded us not to add to or take away from His word. If we pass the worthiness questions, then we are worthy to enter the temple. If we say that we aren't but we still pass the questions then we are telling God what to do and how to set His parameters. Don't do that. Another thing he said that I really liked was, "There aren't too many tomorrows left, so let's not put anything off till then." It's true. So much of what is being said by our leaders and the Apostles and the Prophet tell us that the end is near. We need to prepare NOW, not tomorrow but NOW. Otis told me something really depressing and sickening the other day. He said that President Obama stated that America is no longer a Christian Nation. Yikes. If this isn't a Christian nation then how can we expect God to remain with us and to protect us? We can't. We've been saved for these last days because of what we will do while in them, not because of what we will put off. I know we're not perfect, especially me. But, the Lord can take imperfect tools and preform a perfect work with them. He can. He does. He will.
Otis had his baptismal interview yesterday. We had to wait a couple hours for the man who was going to interview him to arrive from Georgetown. It was one of the counselors in the Mission Presidency. While we waited between church and his arrival, we made sandwiches and ate lunch. Otis brings Logan to church and we couldn't stay there without a woman so Grubb and Sherry stayed. It was our three adult baptism dates and a recent convert. I loved it. They were all talking and testifying to each other and crying and praising our Heavenly Father. I LOVED it. It was such a happy experience. Grubb got a little upset last night that the Church sends missionaries in to bond with the people and then moves them out so quickly and he said it's too hard to say goodbye to them so he's not going to meet any more after Clementine and I leave. He was pretty grumpy about it. But I told him that it's a short amount of time that we're apart but that missionaries are sent to invite others to come unto Christ and in the process they are able to form relationships with people they love and then help them ensure that those relationships last FOREVER. My goal is to one day have that same gathering with Logan and Otis and Grubb and Sherry and Sister Clemons. And we'll never have to leave each other because by then we'll all be in the Celestial Kingdom together. It's a big goal but it's an achievable goal and a wonderful reason to come out. It's hard knowing I'll meet people in my next area that I'll love and have to leave like the people I've met and loved here. But it's such a blessing to know that these people will be in my life for the rest of this life and then again in the life to come. Otis always says, "We serve an Awesome God." And we do. We really do. He allows us to be His hands and His mouthpiece not because He needs us, but because He's willing to allow us the chance to form eternal relationships. Relationships that will result in eternal happiness. We serve an Awesome God.
Sidenote: We went over what Otis will need to bring to his baptism and I don't know why but it's always awkward when I have to tell a man to wear white underwear under his jumpsuit. This time was especially awkward because Otis started laughing and threatening to wear red and black polka-dotted underwear. When he did his roommate said that he actually has some like that. AWKWARD. I about died. He's hilarious.
More good news: I've eaten roadkill. Brother Gross gave us some deer meat the other day and as we were enjoying it he told us that he had watched it be hit by a car and go off into the woods. It was suffering so he put it out of its misery and took it home with him to eat. Just another item checked off my list.
Word of the Week: fixin' to. Fixin' to means that you're about to or getting ready to. Grubb's fixin' to eat dinner. We're fixin' to decorate the house today. I'm fixin' to write me some letters.
Extra blessings: The J's, The Lakes Ward Young Women, my Provo friends: Kiera, Lauren, CJ, Andrew, Michael, DK, Trex, Whitney, Camillio, Shirly and some girl I don't know named Amanda.
I love you all. I love this gospel. I love my mission. The Church is TRUE! Share it!