Wednesday, September 19, 2012


 Thank you for your prayers this past week. I know that the way I've been able to get through this week is because of your prayers. It's been hard to not be in Salem for the funeral and to be with Brother Vonnahme. But I've been blessed with a busy and stressful week here so I haven't had much time to be depressed. It's been go, go, go every day and by the time I get home at night, I can't wait for my head to hit my pillow. Sister Mickelsen has been really good about giving me my space when I need it and asking me how I'm doing but not prying. I talked to Papaw Marvin last Monday and he said that it's going to be hard without Judie but that he's glad she's not in pain anymore and he knows their marriage is still in tact, it's just been put on pause for a while.

Close up on my guess at dad's favorite picture from the poster. 

National Chicken Month. Please notice all the awesome pictures. 

 This month is National Chicken Month. Why did I never know this until now? Probably because chickens aren't that important in the west. But they are out here. Just think about it: out of all the things in the world that you could devote a month to, what would you choose? An entire race got February. I'm not sure what the other months are, but I'm really happy that out of all the things to pay tribute to, and out of all the animals in the world, Chickens got their own month. So, eat some chicken or some eggs or play chicken or bawk instead of talk and strut instead of walk this month. Sorry I only informed you all halfway through the month. You could have already been celebrating these last two weeks.
Spider in the day
There's this enormous spider that has built a web across our entire window upstairs in our apartment. It's bigger than a half-dollar. It's easily the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life besides a tarantula. I can't open the blinds anymore because of it. Sister Mickelsen took some pictures of it and I'm sending them to you only so that you'll realize how hairy and multi-colored and terrifying it is. I don't know what to do about it. I want to call the Elders and make them kill it for us but Sister Mickelsen says not to and that she'll kill it but she never does. I HATE it!  

Spider at night
 We had some really good lessons with Adam and Maelyn this past week. They're both progressing at different rates in different areas. Maelyn will read and study and remember things and keep appointments. Adam will come to church and ask real deep questions. Maelyn keeps appointments but doesn't make it to church. Adam skips appointments but stays for all three hours. We've realized that we're going to have to start doing separate things for them. They aren't married and they aren't going to get married. They just used to date and still live together and it's really confusing. In a lesson on Friday Sister Mickelsen went to one part of the room with Maelyn and I sat in the other with Adam and we talked a little bit about nightmares because he has them, too. And then we talked about finding hope in a depressing world. I feel very strongly that I was sent to Berea in part because of Adam.

 The Price family was nice enough to have the four of us over to their house last night to watch The Testaments and have cobbler (he's the one who reminds me of Richard Dreyfus, she's a tiny Japanese lady). It was really good for Adam. He finally admitted to me yesterday that he knows it's true more than he thinks he does and that he just is afraid of committing to anything because the last time he committed to follow something exactly, it was the army and he had to do horrible things. We're working on building trust with him and Heavenly Father. Maelyn knows it's true but has never moved out of her house and has never had a real job and has never even gotten her driver's license. She needs the self-confidence to know that she can achieve things. She's been so sheltered and never been told she can do anything. But she can! We're just trying to build her self-worth.

Windee: the dog with a spine like a slinky
 Trinia went a whole week without smoking! Then her family bombarded her with anti about how we're a cult and how we're evil and she got so discouraged that she started smoking again and isn't sure anymore if she wants to be baptized. UGH! Satan! It's so frustrating. I've heard her bare her testimony and cry and tell us she knows it's all true and how it makes her so happy. She wants to do the work for he mom in the temple so badly. But Satan won't let people have even one day off. I hate it. We're worried about her. She wouldn't come to church on Sunday. We're hoping to take our Ward Mission Leader to a lesson with us this week. He's a recent convert and actually just went through the temple on Friday and was also sealed to his wife. He said he was hit with anti last year when he joined and we really hope she'll let us in.

A new guy moved in next door named James and he's totally prepared. We taught him and his roommate the plan of Salvation and before we'd teach a point we asked what he believed about it and he'd basically tell us what the plan says. He felt like the plan was very merciful and loving. He was in Iraq for a while and also Afghanistan. Last night he knocked on our door to borrow something and ended up telling us about his life and the things he's overcome and then told us that his little 3-year-old daughter passed away a couple months ago and a few days later his best friend died, too. I'm so glad we taught him the plan. I pointed him to Moroni 8 and I'm sure he'll love it because he was told that his daughter was going to go to hell by a preacher and that upset him. Our conversation ended with him asking if he could be baptized! We've known him a grand total of 3 days. What a neat reversal: usually we're knocking on people's doors asking them to be baptized and instead, James knocked on OUR door and asked if he could be baptized. I like James' method a lot more than the way I've been trying things the last year or so. Seriously though, it was a miracle and a much needed tender mercy after having tons of people fall through and cancel on us this last week.

The lady we think is on drugs came to church last week and her hair was amazing. It looked like when Paige and Hayley and I would play in the pool and do our hair like George Washington. She loved church and that week we were the speakers in Sacrament meeting and apparently told Sister Mickelsen, "Wow! Brooke sure is a great speaker!" Haha. She calls us by our first names. She left a five minute message on our phone the other day and then called back 30 seconds later and was like, "Sister Megan and Sister Brooke? This is Phoebe. I just wanted to you to know that the last message I left was by me. In case you couldn't tell it was me. Bye!" Haha. She's hilarious. We keep trying to get her to call us by our last names but she forgets.

The awesome house of a lady we teach who might be on drugs. We're not sure...  
 We were having a deep discussion with Adam the other night and he was asking why we don't pray with rosaries and about Mary and all that stuff and I said, "Well, we pray to God. Mary isn't God." Then he said how she became a saint or something and said I should go check it out in Jerusalem. Then he was like, "You know Mary died right across the holler from where Jesus died, don't you?" I lost it. Haha. Holler? I didn't know they had those in the Holy Land. I love Kentucky.

We had an activity with the other ward that meets in our building (Yes, it is weird that another ward is close enough to us to meet in our building. Also, we have PEWS in the chapel! It might be the only Sister Area that has pews!). So, we were at the activity and I got talking to a recent convert from the other ward. He reminds me of Art Lindsay in size and demeanor. He was really fun to talk to. He's from Mexico and he spells his name Jaime but it's pronounced "hie-may". Anyways, he asked me where I'm from and I told him Las Vegas and he said he lived in Vegas for one year 20 years ago and he asked where I lived and I expected him not to know. I always reference Summerlin and if they know it I tell them I live close to there. Most people don't know Summerlin. They expect me to say Henderson. If I lived in Henderson, I wouldn't tell people I'm from Las Vegas. Henderson is not Las Vegas. Anyways, I told him and he said he knew Summerlin. Then I told him the Lakes and he said he knew the Lakes. Then he told me he worked at the Citibank in the Lakes! What a small world! He worked like a block from both houses I grew up in. Crazy! It was awesome. And it was neat to think that we both ended up meeting in Richmond, Kentucky and that he had joined the church! 

Sister Mickelsen likes to stretch while she studies.
President and Sister Woodbury came and spoke to our ward yesterday in Sacrament Meeting. They talked on how the Spirit is still and small and that we have to be still to hear it. They also talked about how you never know if the people around you have changed and if NOW they're ready to hear the gospel. President shared several stories of baptisms in the mission of people who weren't ready the first or second or third time they came across the church but that through people fellowshipping and staying in contact and re-inviting them to come to church, these people were baptized. You never know. People might be ready that weren't ready yesterday! Love people enough to ask them more than once if they'd like to learn about the gospel!

Fall is officially here. The leaves are barely starting to turn and the rains are coming down. I'm excited for Sister Mickelsen to see how beautiful Kentucky is in the fall. Also, it's sort of on the DL that I'm in Berea because if people in Corbin found out, they'd bombard me and come up to church here and it would mess with the work here, so if anyone asks from Corbin, tell them I'm in Kentucky, but try to avoid telling them where in Kentucky I am. The Corbin Sisters said they don't know how much longer they can keep it under wraps from Willard and Otie. So, just a heads up.

Extra Blessings: Hayley & Otis x 3

I know that God knows us all personally and loves us enough to communicate with us if we will put in the effort. Pray. Read your scriptures. Go to church. Keep the commandments. Ponder on the gifts that we have from testimonies of the gospel. Read your patriarchal blessings. Personal revelation is real. The question isn't whether or not God is speaking to us. He always is. The real question is: are we listening?

I love you all! The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,


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