Happy Bee-irthday to me!!

Wow this week was seriously jam packed with great stories and miracles. I’m just gonna get right to it. Deal?

Monday was Sister Doxey’s last.. P-Day… EVER. Dun dun dun. Yeah that was weird.

So we had a chance to stop by Vicky’s place this week. She’s the one we went to the temple with when she went to receive her endowment. When we got there, she asked if we could help her with something and pulled up familysearch.org. She’d been working on trying to get all of her fan chart filled out and she had some technical complications… And before we knew it, I was searching census records and Sis. Kerby was looking through her family bible and all other records that she has and we were just like on FIRE with the Spirit of Elijah. We were seriously giddy.  It was so exciting. For some reason lately, family history has been this HUGE  push in all of our meetings. Missionary zone conferences, Relief Society, even 3rd hour combined meetings at church. It’s been really cool to look through my ancestry and learn more about those I’m a descendant from.

We had a lesson with a less active member named Steve. He’s been a member since he was 8 because his parents converted when he was 5 years old. But he didn’t really stick with it once he found out that girls and cars were cool and had a drivers’ license. So, he has had Bro. Gubbins as a home teacher for years and recently, Bro. Gubbins asked him if he might be willing to let us come and have a lesson with him. It was AWESOME. He was totally quirky but I like him a lot. He wanted us to teach him as if he didn’t know anything—like an investigator, basically. He was really receptive. He expressed so much gratitude to Bro. Gubbins  for his diligence because he is the only connection to spirituality and the Church that Steve has. It was just an overall awesome lesson. He accepted an invitation to read the Book of Momon and pray, and then told us he might come to church on Sunday before we could even get the words out to invite him! He also accepted a regular appointment on Tuesday evenings with Bro. Gubbins. So, that’s awesome. Evenings can be tough if you don’t have appointments.. Especially as it starts to get dark earlier. So I’m excited that we’re slowly building up our schedule. Our area is really growing and developing and I’m just really excited to keep working hard to help it flourish.

We stopped by Ann and Alex’s. And I guess I need to recap… last week I forgot to write about Ann. We stopped by and visited with her one night and she was just really stressed. She seems to always have a lot of hard things going on in her life. But we talked with her and then asked if there was anything we could help her with… she normally says no, even though she’s got tons of yard and house work that needs to be done. But this time she said we could come help her with her garden. So the next day, we totally helped her pull up  her whole garden and she was seriously just so grateful. It was awesome. Pretty sure I’ve never loved weeding so much as when I’ve been on my mission. Actually, I’m positive about that. But I all of a sudden have this passion for gardening so maybe when I’m a little mom and have nothing to do at home I’ll just garden. (Right now is where all the moms are just laughing when I say I’ll have nothing to do.. Hahahah okay anyway). SO, we stopped by their house the other night and Alex was on the front porch and he said Ann was asleep but that we could come back another time… but then we asked how he was and it lead to him asking if we wanted to watch one of his dance videos he wanted some feedback on… And an hour later we’re in this deep conversation and have to leave and it stinks. But bottom line, I’ve realized something. Even if Alex doesn’t get baptized soon, there are two great successes I’ve seen here. 1. I’ve made an awesome friend. Like for real though. Alex and I get along so well and it’s just a hoot to talk with him, so that’s sweet. And 2. We helped a guy who hadn’t had ANYTHING to do with faith or religion in years recognize that he received an answer to prayers. So maybe later in life when his circumstances change or he’s looking for something, he’ll remember these two persistent missionaries that brought a glimmer of hope back into his life and he can make some changes. So, I just feel really grateful to be working with him. He’s got so much potential even just as an awesome human being. That’s always cool… to get a little bit of a glimpse into heaven’s eyes and see God’s children how He really sees them. I can’t really describe it but it’s honestly just something that we can all experience if our hearts are open and soft and we’re living in a way that we’re receptive to the Spirit and His guiding.

On Wednesday we received a media referral for a guy named Ryan. Oh man. The referral said that he already reads the Book of Mormon and he is a miracle. Well, let me just tell  you that he totally is. We called him and he said he wasn’t off work until Sunday, but that he’d love to come to church. He ended up not making it to church but we met with him last night outside his house. Okay picture this. We’re walking up to the house and we see this guy in tight leather-y pants and a wife beater with a blue bandana and a white baseball hat on. He had tattoos all over his arms and neck and he had a wad of chew in his lip. And you’d think that in my head I’d be saying, “Oh great, what have we gotten ourselves into?” But seriously, truthfully, honestly what was going through my head was, “YES. This is awesome. I love being a missionary!” And man, I love being a missionary even more after that lesson.
This guy is the definition of prepared. He’s had so much leading him to the truth in his life. But I guess I’ll just tell you some of the things that he said on his own without us prompting him to say them in the lesson:  “I feel like a lot of the truths in the bible have been lost through a lot of translations,” “I think that there should definitely be a prophet on the earth,” “I try to live in the world but not of the world,” and “Faith kind of seems like a seed that you plant, ya know?” …. UM YEAH HELLO GET BAPTIZED. So.. That was pretty awesome.
We also taught Deb at a member’s house this week and it was just a powerful lesson. The members were so crucial in that lesson, and Sister Ellsworth was a boss and asked Deb for a ride to the Women’s Meeting broadcast so DEB TOTALLY CAME! It was so cool.
My birthday was so awesome everyone. It seriously was like birthday week! I had birthday dinners throughout the week with: The Jacob’s, the Calvert’s, the Raleigh’s/Evan, and the Shaffer’s. It was so great. I really feel at home in this ward. There’s just something about Etown.
And I totally have to give a shout out to everyone who sent mail! Man. I got mail every single day!!…. Except my birthday. haha. But it all came before and it was awesome to have there. On my birthday we went to this awesome Chinese buffet and I really mean awesome. Like it had all sorts of awesome seafood. It wasn’t a ghetto Chinese buffet at all. Man, I was stuffed, that’s for sure.
Saturday I got to be A BEEKEEPER!! I’m not even kidding. I was going to be really funny and title this email with “Here’s a picture of me in my birthday suit!” and then show the picture of the beekeeping outfit but then I thought maybe I’d better not totally scare everyone to death. Haha. So, I’ll just include the bee pictures at the end. But the Raleigh’s have two beehives they’ve started this year and they need to Re-Queen one of the hives! So.. Nobody else really wanted to help and we volunteered! It was seriously so amazing. If you want to feel just in AWE of the beauty and magnitude of God’s minute details in the world, just go study about bees. They’re pretty awesome.
The General Women’s meeting was really phenomenal. I enjoyed it a lot and it was fun to be with all the women in our stake! What a fun night.
Okay… Yeah I’m kind of out of news for the week but this email is ridiculously long. And today we’re going to hang out with Josh, Kendal, and Ian. Playing board games MY FAVORITE. So fun. Love you all! Praying for you!
#1. This was actually on my birthday when I was trying on all the bee stuff!
IMG_1176  IMG_1182
Happy Bee-irthday to me!!

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