Hey Family and Friends!
I don’t have as much time today as I normally do because we have a Zone Outing today. We’re going to West Plains to play board games and volleyball with our zone.
I read Mom and Dad’s letters and it sounds like they are doing really great! I’m so excited for them and all the experiences they are having! I’m jealous of the nice weather. It’s been really rainy here and we had our first tornado watch of the season. Tornado season is coming up pretty soon. I’ve been hearing from locals that Ava has been pretty safe from tornadoes. I’m hoping that their luck will last. The only tornado they’ve had was more than 20 years ago. So that either means it’s time for one again or there won’t be any. We’ll just have to see. We live in the basement of a members house so we would be safe from them, we know where the tornado shelter is in town, and we have been trained what to do if we’re out in the country. So even if it does happen we’ll be safe. 🙂 I love the tornado talks in conference. I thought it was really interesting that they mentioned them while I am super close to Oklahoma.
We’ve had a pretty good week. It’s been crazy and has gone way too fast! Too much to tell in so little time. We’re still finding new investigators and we have a zone goal for this week. Our goal is to have 90% of our lessons with a member present. We are working hard to find members who are willing to go out with us so that we can reach this goal.
I went on an exchange this week to Marshfield. I was with Sister Stout for the day and we went to some members returning to activity and a couple people getting ready to be baptized. It went really well and all the people there were normal! haha I was surprised! I forgot to get a picture with her but I will when I see her next. I am so bad at taking pictures but i’m working on it.
This week we met with a man named Howie. He has two kids I can’t remember his little girls name but his son’s name is Budah! haha Howie is Black and is the only black man in Ava. He’s pretty funny and knows a lot about all different religions. We have only visited him once and on his record is says that he wanted to be baptized a while ago but we don’t really know what happened. We’re going to go back soon and see if he is still willing to be baptized.
We gave away a Spanish Book of Mormon this week. His name is Jose and he is a waiter at a Mexican restaurant that we have talked to before. I’ve mentioned him in a previous email. He seems so willing and he is the sweetest guy. We’ll have to check up to see if he is reading.
We talked to Lisa again and we know that she believes in the church and knows it’s true. So we are going to challenge her to baptism and set a date for April 19. She said that she didn’t want to be baptized in the winter because it’s too cold. But now that it’s warming up she’s thinking about it. She’s so funny!
We drove around for 2 hours yesterday trying to find a house way out in the country. Apparently we were on the wrong road the whole time! It was so crazy! We were calling the members that we were going to eat with and they kept trying to give us directions and it was so crazy. But they finally figured out we had turned off on the wrong highway and we finally found our way. I just can’t believe that we spent 2 hours driving around. And we used up sooooo many of our miles. We have limited miles each month and it is so hard to not go over them here because everything is so spread out here and we live 10 miles from town. We go at least 20 miles a day and have gone up to 90 miles on normal days and then over 100 on days like yesterday.
We have another investigator who is really close to being baptized, her name is Pam. Her son is a member and they both smoke. They are trying to stop. Pam has tried everything and she still can’t stop. We are working with her to find a way for her to stop. She really wants to be baptized and she comes to church all the time. We talked to her about conference and she was excited to watch it. We are praying for her every day so that she can stop smoking.
Almost everyone smokes here and it is the hardest thing for them to give up. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be. Sister Goodman and I are giving up sugar so that we can somewhat understand what it’s like to give up an addiction. We got rid of all the sugar we could find in our apartment. It hasn’t been too hard yet, and we’re not going to refuse to eat sugar if a member serves it to us, but just not around the apartment and no more 5 cent ice cream. I don’t know how long we are going to do it for but there are consequences for whoever cracks first.
Right now I am learning how to teach with my personality. When I usually teach I go into my teaching mode and it’s different from how I usually would speak. So I am learning how to be more personable when I teach so it’s not robotic and fake. That’s something I haven’t really thought about before. I know that sounds silly, because we should always be ourselves but I haven’t been doing that. So Sister Goodman is helping me to do that and tells me when I’m going back to being robotic. I’m doing better but I’m still working on it.
We went to Seymour this week to visit Pam, that’s where she lives. Part of Seymour is an Amish community! We were searching everywhere for a little Amish store where we could go get something Amish. We finally found one and talked to the lady who owns it and asked her how many kids she had and she said 15! And I thought 8 was a lot! The store was so cute! It reminded me of the bike trip and the Amish store we went to there. Except there was no electricity in this store. There are Mennonites here too, which are half Amish. It was really weird and we felt out of place among their horse and buggies. There was a little girl next to the store who was carrying a pail that was almost as big as she was and she was dressed up in her bonnet and little dress. She was so cute and I wish I could have taken a picture of her, but that would be weird.
Things are going really great here. I’m excited for more experiences sharing the gospel and hopefully next week I will be able to announce a couple of baptisms!
Hurrah for Israel!