Friday, November 16, 2012


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone who wrote me for my birthday today. It made me so happy and grateful to be so loved by so many wonderful people. It took me an hour and 20 minutes to read them all and because of it I'll have a shorter email today but I guess that's a welcome relief from my usual epistles. Extra Blessings: Sister Noakes, Kaylee Ogden, Pinegar Grandparents
Quote of the Week: "I know the Bible says "Thou Shall Not Kill" but it doesn't say anything about torture."
Quote from last week- Maelyn has a cat named Delilah that has turned into my cat and I love her. She comes and finds me as soon as I come over and if she ever leaves I just sing "Delilah" like they do on Sunny 106.5 and she comes running. Maelyn wants to get rid of her because she keeps getting into the fish tank and killing fish. She said, "When you go home you're taking that cat with you to Las Vegas." I was like, "My mom would kill me if I showed up with a cat... either that or she'd kill the cat." Maelyn was like, "Just say, "Mom, she's a Cat of God! You can't shoot her!" Delilah will be fine if your mom knows she's a Mormon Cat." Haha.

Monday we went on a hike with Lainy, Adam and Maelyn. It was gorgeous. The leaves were in the middle of changing and I kept gasping and catching my breath at every new tree we saw. My favorite are probably the Cheetos Trees. Their leaves turn as bright orange as Cheetos. It's unreal. The only other thing that has stopped me in my tracks like that out here in Kentucky are the Sherbet Sunsets. They are so bright that they look like you could just take a spoon and scoop sherbet right out of the sky. I love it. When we got to the top we could see Jackson County and we took some Pocahontas pictures and then I scared everyone half to death with how close I liked getting to the edge (it honestly wasn't that close at all, they're all pansies) and then I was scared half to death when a flock of vultures started circling us. These aren't the singing, Beatle-esque, "we're your friends" type of vultures, either. They are about as big as a German Shepherd and they aren't timid. Hurray for not being dead because they didn't attack us or try to eat us. After I calmed down a bit, we had a lesson up there on the pinnacle and then went back down. Lainy and Adam had a race to the bottom. 
Lainy Mountain Woman and
Adam the Lamanite

Lainy was barefoot. I couldn't get "come run the hidden pine trails of the forest" out of my head. And Adam was hollering like a true Lamanite as he chased after her down the mountain, off of the beaten path. It was nuts. Lainy cut her foot open and Adam tried to give her a band-aid but she wouldn't take it. We now call her Mountain Woman. She's taking us to some caves this afternoon.
Adam got that tattoo when someone gave him $100 plus the cost of the tattoo if he'd go into the parlor and get the first thing they saw.
Of course he took him up on it.
We met a lady named Wanda this week who said we could come back and see her this week. I'm very hopeful about her because her name is Wanda, but she's not old. She's about our age. Cool, huh?We also met a lady in the middle of the hills in a place called Irvine. (It is not pronounced like we pronounce Irvine, California, but instead it's pronounced like Erven, aka Papa Elf aka Baby Stone aka Gr'pa Buck aka Erven Jean aka JoJo). She's total country in every way except for the fact that she's Mexican. Seriously. If you walked around her house and saw her chickens and her miniature horses and her 17 dogs you would expect an old white lady to answer the door. But instead it's a Mexican lady who was raised in California. She's awesome. Her name is RaJean. 
We set a date with this girl named Emily this week! She's our next door neighbor. We went for our follow up with her a couple days later and she's crazy sick. We also had a great lesson with this young couple who have a baby and the guy's brother who lives with them. They were set to come to church and the morning of they got a call saying that her uncle was in the hospital and that his grandpa had died. Ugh. I hate Satan! Why? Why can't he just take one weekend off? 

Good news! We heard from Trinia and she said that we could start teaching her again! We visited her and she looked awful. It's sad to see how people's lives change once the Spirit is gone. I hope this time she'll stick with it.

We also met a girl this week who is white named Octavia. She was extremely nice but said that she is mad at God and had to fight back tears while we testified to her of his love. I can tell that she's in a lot of pain over something. I hope she'll let us come back and teach her. 

Friday night was a special night. Our ward went to the temple and we went along and brought Adam. He couldn't go in of course and neither did we but we walked around the grounds and then went into the waiting room where non-members are allowed and had a lesson with him and the Temple President came out and spoke with him for a while. The temple president was from Alabama and so is Adam so they connected over that. Adam loved it and said he wants to come back someday and actually get to go inside. We told him that it would take work but that it would be worth it. Hopefully he can stay strong. He still doesn't have a place to go if he moves out and he's worried about that, obviously. He doesn't want to be living where he is anymore though and would be gone if he had somewhere to go. Please pray for him.

Phoebe is still doing well. She just doesn't want to have to leave her old church because it's like family and if she leaves they'll only have 9 members. I told her we want to teach the people in her church and baptize them so that she won't have to leave them and she'll get to come to our church like she wants to because she knows it's true. She liked that idea but I think she's too scared to invite us to meet with some of them. I hope she'll be brave and open her mouth about it.
Saturday was Sister Ford's birthday and we had a fun day. I love being with her. Sometimes we laugh and have so much fun that it feels like we're being bad or something. But then we remind ourselves that the Lord is the one who put us back together so He must want us to be this happy. 

Yesterday at sacrament meeting not one of our investigators showed up and only one of the members we work with showed up. The Elders didn't have anyone come. Every talk that was given and every lesson I was thinking about how these people had been inspired to talk about those things to answer Adam's questions or Maelyn's or Phoebe's or Julie's. I started thinking back on other people I've taught in my last areas. I started thinking about people back home. I just get so sad that people reject all of this happiness. Commandments aren't dues that some mean boss makes us pay. It's not like someone is there saying "if you'll go through this much sadness or deny yourself this much happiness, I'll reward you with blessings." What he's saying is "If you keep this commandment you'll be happy. On top of that happiness, because you've been obedient, you'll also be blessed. The word "commandments" is synonymous with "blessings". I went through the Sacrament Prayers the other day and listed out all of the commandments we have to keep in order to be blessed with the Spirit. Then I went back through and realized that every commandment was a blessing, too. 

Try it. You'll see for yourself that all the Lord asks of us is to allow Him to bless us. All that He's saying is, "Here's some happiness. Please take this happiness. I want to give you happiness. Free happiness! Happiness, happiness, happiness!" And all we have to do is take it. That's all. And yet, so many times I think I know better than Him or I forget or I ignore it. I search for happiness in things that can't last. I've watched others do the same thing. This happiness lasts so much longer than the buzz of a cigarette or high you get from a needle. This stuff lasts! And it's pure! Why? It's sitting right here for them. Why do they not take it? Ugh. It's so sad to watch people wish they were happy and then reject the only thing that will truly make them happy. Still, there are people who have found it and who hold on to it. And I know that Satan will not win in the end. The wonderful thing about Christ's Atonement is that it enables us to overcome no matter how many times we fall or mess up. WE have the power. We don't have to accept misery. Because of Christ we CAN be happy. And I hope that the people that I'm here learning about and loving will grab hold of it. 

I'm so grateful for the home and the ward and the friends and the family that I'm blessed with. I know that I'm very unique in just how much I've been blessed. I can't repay the Lord for it, but I can do my best to share what I've been given.
This is Christ's Church. I'm proud and honored and grateful to be a part of it. The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,


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