Monday, August 10, 2015

Another Amazing Week!

It's Glorious!

The Elder's Home
August 10, 2015

Mmmmmmmmmhello! This is Elder Weight. 
This week has been pretty crazy.  Elder Snow in our trio got E.T.'d. There was an Elder up in Foxcroft, Illinois that got super sick and had to go home. And he was one of the missionaries that came out with me! So president Anderson transferred our Elder up to Illinois. He was super sad and emotional about it.  Livingston is honestly the best area. Everybody wants to come here apparently and he was real upset that he had to go. So guess what that means? We drove him to the mission home up in Franklin, which is close to Nashville. It was weird being back there a week later. Most don't see that place again for two years. We stayed the night there and had to say goodbye to Elder Snow in the morning. We ate Olive Garden the day before as a departing feast. Oh yeah, we had to get our car fixed, because the door handle was busted so we spent awhile at the dealership.  I wanted to eat at Bojangles across the way, but we went to the Olive Garden. 
The next day we went to my favorite investigators house, Betty and James. They are golden which is very VERY rare in the south. They are getting baptized at the end of this month in a river and they might even ask me to do it! (it doesn't seem to likely though.) We gave them both blessings and James was shaking afterwards and kept saying it was the power of God. I love James. When we talk to him it feels like he is teaching us. He agrees 100% with everything we say doctrinally. He says it makes sense and he doesn't see why everyone else can't figure it out. All we need to is help them stop smoking.  We've got a plan for that though.  Everybody smokes here.  One of the south's favorite pastimes is sitting on their front porch smokin.  And for some reason the men are always in their undies. The southern states are some of the most challenging and hardest missions in the world. True fact. There is a saying that the missionaries have here.  "They send boys to foreign countries to become men. They send men to the states to become leaders. They send leaders to the south to become legendary."  
After Betty and James, we went tracting in the rain.  Apparently, if you tract in the rain your wife loses ten pounds (not sure who came up with that one) anyway during the fairs they have here, the church sets up a booth where people come and fill out surveys.  If they want to know more about the church we go and find them. Because of this and because the sisters were taken out of our area, we are left with 200+ investigators total.  Our teaching pool is now a teaching ocean!!! While tracking we had our big rain coats on.  We knocked on this guys door with the paper he filled out in our hand and I think he thought we were cops with a warrant. 
Anyway, were going back to talk with him later. That was the experience teaching there. He was smoking right in front of us and he had some movie that I'm sure was rated R blaring loudly on TV, but somehow I testified of Joseph Smith and felt the spirit. That to me was really amazing. The next day we had zone conference in McMinnville.  Driving to that and back plus going to the mission home ate our miles for the month even though we had some approved. 
And oh yeah zone conference is LONG. From 8am-5pm.  I keep getting the feeling that there are a select few who are ready to be taught but we aren't sure where the spirit is trying to push us.  We seem to end up in the same place every time but we keep getting no and no thank you'd.  We did met this super sassy older women who had a cat named buttons.  She would ask random questions while we talked like does your church have any music? Like tambourines and gospel choirs? It was funny.  This is the north part of the south so almost everyone is old.  Old people set in their ways. But they are fairly kind.  There are little to no kids here.  
The seminary only has five kids in it!  The people that seem most willing to talk to us are the sweet old ladies.  They treat us like their grandchildren even if they aren't interested.  We met this nice old lady named Norma and we talked for a good long while. She was kinda interested but seemed to want to talk.  Another man is Fred. He is like 75 and we think he is going to die soon.  He has severe Alzheimer's and dementia. He reminds me of grandpa dorm before he died.  It's hard to teach him because he forgets everything. Apparently he was taught the restoration 6 times.  All we need to do is commit him to baptism and he'll be all set.  But everytime we talk to him about it he gets scared and backs out.  I think he says no because he doesn't want us to stop coming.  He is very lonely and really likes the company.  He should be baptized though because he comes to church more than anyone else!!!  He is always there on Sunday. 
Speaking of Sunday, I spoke on Sunday!  I gave a really nice talk(or at least I thought I did) about the importance of missionary work.  It was funny because there was a tiny spider on the microphone and it kept trying to jump on me and it looked funny because I kept trying to flick it off.  Elder Richins spoke after me and did a good job as well. After that we also taught the gospel principles class.  We never had time to prepare for it so we 'winged it' but the spirit did most of the work and it turned out great!  
Oh by the way, I don't live on a lake.  The trailers sit in the middle of this grassy little field and it only looks like a lake when it rains a bunch.  There are a lot of creatures here like red wasps, mosquitoes, slugs, frogs... Every night when we come home there is a little frog on our door.  Oh yeah, after the field floods and the water drains...there are frogs EVERYWHERE.   I'm not talking about a lot, I mean ALOT.  It's like in Exodus where it's the plague of frogs!!!  
I can feel your prayers and I feel the prayers of the temple while being out here. I have grown a lot from being out here in this short time. I've been more outgoing, more willing to share, more willing to speak up and more willing to show people the way Jesus Christ would act. I've seen a lot of little miracles while being out here.  I've had the chance to give blessings and hear of blessings where people have been healed. The same way Christ healed others.  I've seen to much to doubt that this church is Christ's true church.  Any person would be wise to come to it so they can best prepare themselves for that wonderful day where we see Jesus Christ again. This place builds my testimony and shows how much people in the west take the church for granted.  It's everywhere there, but these good people who love their Savior are not blessed with that gift. Look up Vaughn J Featherstone and his vision for the south.  It's neat that I get to be here fulfilling that and essentially making history!  I love you all and pray for you all. I hope you can feel my prayers the way I feel yours!
Elder Weight~
Making fried green tomatoes at Sister Huddleston's house.
Elder Weight and Elder Richins with their masterpiece. August 9, 2015
Seminary breakfast Early Morning Seminary in Livingston, TN.   August 10, 2015

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