4 January 2016

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Hello everyone, It has been a pretty good week! Sorry I haven’t written in a few weeks, I didn’t have the energy but today I will make up for it!

So Christmas happened and that was really fun! We went caroling with our district a couple times and with some families in the ward. The best part of the season was Christmas Eve, a couple ladies in the ward had us deliver Christmas presents to another family. Totally made my day to be the deliverer!! She was so grateful!!!
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New Year’s Eve was a fun day, we got New Year’s stuff at Walmart so at Subway’s after District Meeting we had sparkling cranberry juice in shot glasses and took a picture with party hats on. AND as a result, a less active member happened to see us and thought it was funny, so she came and talked to us for a while. And now the Farragut missionaries get to go see her and her family!! Moral of the story: be a fun person and God will use you in creative ways!
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This week Sister Skinner has been sick. Oh! And we are in a trio now. Sister Beckstead is with us (we served together in Waynesville). So a few times this week, I went out with a member while Sis Beckstead took care of sickly Sis Skinner. One night I went out with Sister Griffin (mission president’s wife) and we taught Christine and Jorge about the Sabbath Day. That was a fun lesson, and I remembered that I like teaching, even though it is challenging. I realized that the hard thing about missions and why I don’t like it sometimes is because we try to teach so many people who don’t really want to be taught. They love us (most of the time) so that is nice and I am grateful for the many people I have met here. Many will be lifelong friends. But it is hard! I think about the times I really love to teach, and it is when the person wants to learn and be taught. Wow this sounds so obvious when I try to write it out. But basically I get down because I feel like I don’t want to teach anyone about the gospel and Christ anymore, but I’ve realized that’s not because something is wrong with me, it’s because I want people to want this but it is rare for someone to have a desire to learn and study and grow. When they DO have that desire, it completely makes my day/week/life!!! I remember teaching the Mendiola family in Athens and the first few lessons there were so powerful because everyone in the room was hungry for the gospel, they wanted to learn and understand, they studied and came up with ideas and questions between our lessons. Same with Kay Hebert who ended up getting baptized. So there is obviously a lesson here for me I am sure…..I need to be more teachable myself; maybe when I go to church and sit there impatiently or distractedly, or resist the people and the words, it is because there is something I’m not willing to admit to myself or change. Gotta let go of that in order to move forward.
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It has been wonderful to be in this ward. I am grateful I stayed another transfer because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have come to another area and met all my new friends! I have seen so many cool things through my trial of being sick/stressed/down where I have been able to recognize others who feel the same and hopefully help them in some way. I like this talk [https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/none-were-with-him?lang=eng], I remember reading it a while back with a girl close to my age who didn’t realize all that the Savior went through in order to be able to empathize with us, she was really impacted by that talk. It makes me grateful for the trial even though it was an awful 2 or 3 months to go through. Also super grateful that Sister Beckstead is in a trio with us, it has helped me a lot!!
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Ok got to go. Will include a few nice pictures.
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1: Hog-jaw and black eyed peas…mm mmm.
2: close up
3: our trio + Marco
4: Christine our friend that we teach who is almost 95! She worked in Oak Ridge in the 1940s….she is on the front cover of this book! Me and Sister Skinner tracted into her several weeks back.
5: happy new year’s!!!!

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