November 16, 2015

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Better week! Things are coming together. I am loving Knoxville and the Pellissippi ward and the people I meet every day. I feel like I’m really getting the chance to apply all the things I’ve learned throughout my mission. And I have started to feel better and have a little more energy and optimism as well. Saturday was awesome! We spent all afternoon trying to contact potentials or less active members who were all nearby each other and ended up talking to a lot of people who were outside because it was a nice day and knocked on a few doors too. Feel like I haven’t done that in a while. We ended up meeting 2 or 3 new friends that way….one is a 94 year old lady (she seems about 80!) Christine who welcomed us right in. She said she has had Elders come by about once a year and she has a Book of Mormon on her bed stand with her Bible and reads it from time to time but hasn’t ever really been taught anything. We read a little and taught her about the Restoration and asked her to pray about it, and she said she would, and that she’d pray about baptism as well. We felt good about her. She also wants to understand the Bible better, I’m excited to teach her. And then we met a 16 year old Andrew who wants to know more. We’ve also had some good lessons with 2 different ladies who are members but haven’t come to church in a while, they have opened up to us and we are hoping they will come to a Relief Society activity this Saturday to get to know more people. They are both kinda in the same situation of feeling alone when they come to church…..we assured them that there are several members who are single or whose husbands aren’t members or whose family are less active….we have all gotta be extended family in a way and notice those who need extra support. We also told them that we don’t know anyone in the ward yet either so we are in the same boat and can get to know everyone together:)

We have been teaching members about missionary work and it is awesome!! And it is what we were supposed to do all along but I didn’t really know how until recently. I remember a lot of missionaries coming to our house for dinner but unless they left a challenge with me or asked about my friends, I really don’t remember being changed by what they shared. That has helped me see that it really is important to help the members become more converted to the gospel. And then they are ready to share the gospel so we help them and teach them how.

I about flipped a brick this week when I realized I have less than 11 weeks left…that is a weird feeling!! I really want to achieve the expectations I have had for myself. The biggest thing I want is greater trust in the Lord. If we trust then we see that the things we are worried about are going to be taken care of, and in the end any suffering or confusion or loneliness won’t matter. And it can be lessened by that trust, because our faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His gospel will qualify us for the Holy Ghost, which is the Comforter. “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.” (Moroni 8:26). I love that scripture because I have experienced it. When we are lowly in heart or humble, and recognize that we need a Savior, that is when our belief can be confirmed by the comfort of the Holy Ghost. That open heart and willingness to trust God and do what He asks is the only way we can truly gain the peace and healing and knowledge we want. Otherwise he might be trying to teach us and change us but we just haven’t opened ourselves up enough for the message to get through.

Gotta go, love you guys!

– Sister Hale

photo = the Robinsons from the Athens ward 🙂 Bill Robinson was a prisoner of ward in Vietnam and does a lot of presentations and we got to catch them for a few minutes between appointments. It was fun to see them again!

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