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Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunday!!!!!!! We had 3 investigators in church and 2 returning members!!!!!!!! Miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been wonderful. It has been full of many miracles, tender mercies, and sweet experiences. Sister Meek and I have been truly blessed. The Lord is hastening his work here in Texarkana. So much has happened in one week, but I'll try and go through the days and give yall a play-by-play. It may get long. 

Tuesday: We had district meeting in the morning and it was interviews to. The ZLs taught and I learned a ton, we always practice and I am grateful we do, I really need it. It is always fun to see President and Sister McDonough. They are the best. President is the most spiritual/wisest/sincerest/compassionate/leader/ I have ever known. He is incredible, and Sister McDonough is the same. I'm convinced that President knows every thought and intent of my heart even more than I do myself. I always thought an interview with a mission president would be him telling you everything you need to do better and change, but when President McDonough interviews me he always sits back in his chair with a great big smile and lets me talk and he just nods his head and smiles. He's taught me a lot about agency. He always puts things so simply and clearly. Afterward President and Sister McDonough took Sister Meek and I to Subway for lunch, it was fun to see them both at a more comfortable setting. They sure are great! After lunch Sister Meek and I did some tracting and we got invited inside to teach a lesson. Miracle! It was awesome! We were also able to see a family in the ward and give them a message about Joseph Smith and visit with them. We then went to see an investigator. Her name is Daphne. She had her BOM all marked up and had researched online and was prepared with some really good questions. It was awesome! (She's the one that we thought her husband was a preacher but isn't). 

Wednesday: A member in the ward has a friend that we taught the Stop Smoking Workshop (a program produced by the church that helps you quit smoking in a week, it's the best!). It was very spiritual and powerful. She was able to come to volleyball Thursday, churchSunday and now she wants the lessons! It is amazing, she is the best! I am so excited to start teaching her! 

Thursday: We were able to see a less active family that is really hard to get a hold of. I guess something happened in the past with previous missionaries, but we called them up and asked if we could come and they said yes! It was pretty big, and it was good to finally met them. Thursday night was volleyball and we had an investigator come and she had a blast! It was super fun! 

Friday: In the morning we helped a young family in the ward clean their house because they are moving. The good Lord protected us from two evil dogs, Lynn (she was baptized a few weeks ago) came to a lesson with us, and it was awesome, very powerful! 

Saturday: Remember how I told yall about Charles Brown and the church pants??! While Sister Meek ironed them up all nice and it was the cutest/tenderest experience when we went to his house to give them to him. Usually when we come he has a soap opera on, but when we went over on Saturday we walk in and the Tv is off, he's got his old country christian music playing and he's sitting on his couch reading the Ensign. He also got a hair cut, was clean shaven, and had bought himself a belt for the church pants. It was so sweet, Sister Meek and I wanted to cry. He went and got the only tie he owned and asked if we knew how to tie a tie, and then he says, "Do you think it will go with the pants?" It was so sweet. He was really nervous about it all. At are dinner appointment we had one of the elders tie it for us and then we stopped at his house on the way home and he tried it on with the pants. He said he felt silly, but we let him know how great he looked and that we would tell him if he looked silly. It was a tender moment. Also on Saturday we were able to see the girls, they have a date set for July 12, right before Sister Meek goes home! We also saw a member in the ward, Sister Turner, Sister Meek and I have both felt impressed to see her this past week. She lives pretty far out, but we had miles to see her, which is a blessing. She seriously lives out in the sticks of Arkansas! Her address doesn't even come up on a GPS. It was the best, she met us on her ranger and led us to her house so we could find it. She has the best southern accent I have ever heard. She is a hoot! One of the neatest southern ladies I have met. It was good to visit her and follow a prompting. 

Sunday!!!!!!! We had 3 investigators in church and 2 returning members!!!!!!!! Miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Meek and I waited outside for Charles Brown and sure enough he pulled up in his old red truck. He looked so good!! It was really sweet to see him partake of the sacrament. Really tender. It was sweet to, one of the elders came up to him and introduced himself and he says, "hey and I like that tie." Brother Brown beamed. It was perfect. 

Well there's are week! We've been so blessed! Texarkana is about ready to explode! 

Just one of the many baptist billboards.

We didn't have many meal appointments this week so Sister Meek and I decided we would offer some service and cook dinner for the Elders one night. Sunday night we thought of what we could make and the only thing that came to are mind was Sister Atterberry. She is famous for her egg rolls. She is amazing, she was really excited and made so much food!! In the picture i'm trying to roll the egg rolls how she taught me and you can see her in the background frying away. She is so funny, I said, "Sister Atterberry come smile for a picture, next thing I know she holds up her hands and says, "Okay peace!" haha it was the best.

Dinner with the District

Package from home

Mom sent me my favorite sweat pants.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"I don't have any church pants."

Time is going by rather quick. Sister Meek and I have been richly blessed. Remember the two girls I told you about last week? Well, we have started teaching them as well as their cousin. It is going great!! Their parents aren't active, but they come to church with their grandma. They are smart, and really fun. It is fun and good to teach simply. Teaching them has really helped me improve my teaching. We have taught them about prayer and how to pray and the prayers they give are really sweet and sincere. Teaching them gets me excited to teach my own kids about the gospel someday. Sister Meek and I have been having a ton of fun teaching them. We made cute sticker charts for them so they can mark when they pray and read and don't drink sweet tea. (got to love the south and their sweet tea!). The whole family is awesome and I really feel as though I am supposed to be here for them. 

Prayer chart 

Their is a returning member that lives really close to us. His name is Charles Brown, he is an older man. Anyways we see him every week and always enjoy visiting. He loves country music and has an old music player with stacks of dust covered cds. Must of which are old time country, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton etc. Sister Meek and I got to looking at them and found a Randy Travis cd. We listened to "Deeper than the Hollar" by Randy Travis and Brother Brown totally lit up when Sister Meek and I knew every word. When we went over again he says, "I've been working on that ol' record player and it is sounding good." It was pretty sweet. He hasn't been to church in years, his wife has passed recently so he is sad a lot. We started talking about having him come to church and he sorta beat around the bush. We finally asked, "Brother Brown why don't you come to church?" and his response was, "I don't have any church pants." (he wears overalls all the time.) We talked with the Elders and they had an extra pair of pants at their apartment so the next time we went over to see Brother Brown we handed him a bag and told him to open it. You should have seen his face when he saw what was inside. He got up and went to try them on. You should have seen him when he came out to show us, you would have thought it was Christmas. He says to us, "Well I think with suspenders they should fit." It was pretty fun to see him get excited to have church pants. 
Country side in Texarkana

My testimony was strengthened this past week of the power of prayer and God's handiwork in are lives. Sister Meek and I had quite the experience out tracting this past Friday night. We knocked on a door and a middle aged woman answered. Her eyes went straight to are name tags. The first thing out of her mouth were the words, "Jesus Christ." She invited us in and told us that she has been going through some family struggles and she had been praying to God to show her a sign of what she should do, when she finished the prayer she turned her head to the window to see us approaching, then we knocked on her door and when she opened the door she saw "Jesus Christ." It was amazing. One of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had. She kept saying that we were her angels and how much she loved us. When we asked her if we could give her a copy of the Book of Mormon she said, "Oh but I don't need it." When she saw the look of disappointment on are faces she went on to explain that she had a daughter who passed away when she was a teenager and that right before she died someone had given her daughter a copy of the Book of Mormon. She said that she still had her daughters copy and that she would like to read from hers. Isn't that amazing?!? God truly is mindful of us all and he knows and hears are prayers. 

Lots of fun things happening this week, lots of follow-ups to do, interviews with President McDonough, and a lot of teaching. Are meal appointments this week are pretty slim so Sister Meek and I decided that we would cook for all the elders one night. A member in the ward, Sister Atterberry, makes the best egg rolls, we called her this morning and asked if she could help us surprise the elders. She readily agreed, and goes, "I think this is wonderful!" She is the neatest lady! She is from Taiwan and I wish yall could hear her accent! 

The ward here is amazing. The Bishop, the members, everyone is incredible. Sister Meek and I were talking of how spoiled we are to be here. We have learned so much from each member. You truly are always an example of something. Here in Texarkana there are many amazing examples of individuals who live nothing but good, faithful, selfless lives. We have learned so much, we are so blessed. Are children will be richly blessed by the members Sister Meek and I have been able to meet and associate with. 

 God answers prayers. 
Practicing  building God's true church

I cooked my famous chili and biscuits

Having a little fun

Only in Texas

Hay bales for my dad.
The girls came to the baptism! Got to love Loriann's faces! 
Lynn Walkers baptism on Saturday, (taught by the Elders). She is awesome.  she had to do a report on a releigion in school and she did it on Joseph Smith.  She requested missionaries from mormon.org.  Love her so much.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Popcorn and trail mix

Hey y'all. The weeks fly by here in good ol' Texarkana. I love it here. Don't want to leave. I'm so spoiled to be here. We have another set of elders in are district. There's now 8 missionaries total in the ward. It's pretty crazy, but there is plenty work to do here. The ward here is amazing. The people are amazing. It's starting to feel like summer, it's getting hot. It stormed here last night and is still pouring. Sister Meek and I were up quite a bit in the night, the thunder is crazy, and you would think a lamp is on with the constant lightening. Last night we sat out for awhile and watched the lightening storm. It was pretty sweet. 

The work here is good. We tracted into an elect man this past week. He has been very prepared to receive the gospel. He has gone to every church imaginable but has never been baptized. We committed him to baptism and he accepted!!!! He pretty much said he needed to quit smoking before we even brought it up, and he asked us the question, "do y'all believe in different stages of heaven because I do and I haven't found a church that believes that." Well I about danced a number in my seat and told him that we sure did! Sister Meek and I were so excited! We may have screamed and laughed/cried, and screamed some more on the ride home. 

Yesterday at church a lady in the ward approached us with her two cute granddaughters and goes, "these are my granddaughters, they want to be taught the discussions and get baptized." Well Sister Meek and I jumped on that! I am so excited!!! They are a real southern belle family and I cannot wait to teach them. It is going to be sweet! Sister Meek and I plan to see much success before her mission is over. 

A lady in the ward asked me if I would teach her girls how to play the simplified hymns this summer. I guess it's hard to find piano teachers around here. Of course I told her that I would love to do that.

Saturday night we got into a discussion with a part member family about the Godhead and Trinity. Needless to say Sister Meek and I were up pretty late that night studying. Yes that would be a bowl of popcorn and trail mix. Just another day in the good ol bible belt.

The Lord continues to bless us. His hand is in this work everyday. 

I love y'all! Have a blest week. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sundays really are the best day to do the Lord's work.

This past weekend was a weekend of miracles! Sunday night we set out to do some follow-ups.

 One particular house we have tried for several weeks and have had no luck, but we gave them two Book of Mormons so we knew how critical it was that we come in contact with them. When we knocked on the door one of the ladies we gave a BOM to answered the door, Sister Meek and I put into practice what we learned at zone conference: we were bold and explained that if they were not going to take the opportunity to read from it we would like to give them to someone who would. We exchanged two BOMs for a pass along card so she can contact us when she is ready. I'll be completely honest, it was really hard to do. My goal at the end of each day is to make my bag lighter, not heavier, but I placed those BOMs in my bag and prayed we would give them to those who would cherish it. We started tracting at a near by street, it was getting late, but we kept going - remembering how important are tracting hours are. 

One lady we talked to said that a pastor lived across from her and suggested we talk with him. Again I'll be honest, Sister Meek and I didn't want to knock on the door at first, remembering past experiences with pastors, however having "faith to find" from zone conference came to mind so we started down the path towards a gigantic southern home. To are surprise a beautiful woman answered the door, let us right in, and called her husband into the room. Next thing we know they invite us to sit down and offer us water and want to know are beliefs. Turns out the husband wasn't a pastor, but a pastor's assistant. We taught them the Restoration and were able to give them each a Book of Mormon. They were excited to read from it and committed right away. How grateful I was that we were able to give a beautiful family a copy of the Book of Mormon. After we left another miracle flashed through my mind. During the lesson they each brought up several points from the bible such as authority, and forever families. Sister Meek and I were able to read several passages of scripture with them that helped with their questions. 

If we hadn't taken the time to do are scripture reference cards and commit them in are mind and heart we couldn't have answered their questions. One last miracle that I would like to share, no sooner had we left their home and headed toward are car did the phone vibrate in my hand. She had texted us to thank us for coming! Sundays really are the best day to do the Lord's work.

We taught Maria and Migel the law of chasity. Before we taught it we met with their mom, who's a recent convert, and talked of how we would go about it. I showed her the cupcake video and she loved it. I don't know if you remember it mom, but I showed it to you probably a year or so ago. If you google Jenny Phillips worth waiting for cupcake video it should pop up. We did the same thing with them, so here are Maria and Migel eating there cupcakes because they waited the entire 5 minutes. It was fun! They are ready for baptism, but don't have permission from their dad who has custody over them. I'm praying hard. 

Gotta love this picture! Here are the Texas missionaries! Elder Brown (far left) got transferred so we went out to dinner. These elders are awesome. They take good care of us and are amazing missionaries, I am so glad the MJM got them! 
Texas clouds are so different.