Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The garden to this super fancy house we found!

Branch Council Meeting
 September 28, 2015

               This week was absolutely golden!!  We had exchanges with he zone
leaders. I went up to Cookeville with Elder McDonald. He is a stud. He
is from South Africa and has a cool accent.  I wonder what it would be
like to have one so I could sound super cool. Anyway we found the
coolest guy named John. He was a worker working on an old house. We
knocked on the door and was incredibly interested in what we were
sharing. He really wanted to know and I could tell by two things. One,
he actually said that, and two, he was super eager to get all kinds of
scriptures and pamphlets from us so he could read them. Can you
say...AMAZING!?! Good times up there.

               What made this week so fantastic was our investigator KayTee.
We went over to his home again this time to teach him the plan of salvation.
That was one of the most powerful lessons imaginable! Every time I opened
my mouth I almost cried! He almost did too! The spirit was incredibly
strong in that home at that that time. And the best part was everything we
taught him made sense to him! Yes! He shared some pretty amazing stuff
with us that only confirmed what we taught him was correct. We invited him to
church the next day but he said that his church was having an all week revival
and that he played the piano for them and couldn't miss. (I was shocked to think
that such a gangster looking guy played the piano so beautifully.)  We said that
we would come to his church with him. After a few hours of getting lost and going
to the middle of nowhere and back a few times we finally found the smallest 
church ever! They only had seven people there. I loved it because it was a
church she they say their hallelujahs and praise the Lords! Yes! I have fulfilled a
life long dream! Now to find a church with a gospel choir... During the sermon
the preachers mom went up and taught us. She shared with us her joy box. It was
filled with pieces of paper and on them was written things that she had done or
things people had done to her that gave her joy. Also little things people have
given her. She said that when she felt downtrodden by Satan she would
bust out her box and remember how kind a I'd has been to her either
through other people or good things she did herself. It always made the bad
go away. ( She also had a ton of chocolate in her box) later on Elder Richie
goes up and starts talking about trials and why bad things happen to good
people.  It was very good. He got a few amens and praise the lords on his
little sermon. I thought it was funny.  After church KayTee came up to us and
asked if he could come to church the next day. I guess he changed his mind
and I was okay with that. Yesterday was fast Sunday because of General
Conference. After a bunch of people vote their testimony, he wanted to go and
bare his.  I nearly had a happy conniption. It was hard trying to get him up there
because he had to try to beat a few people to the front. One of the negatives for
sitting in the back. When he got up there he borrowed from my testimony I have.
I talked about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon and how he had angels
and visions. When we pay we most likely will not have angels come to us but
we still can know truth by the Holy Ghost.  He says that he did have angels
come to him. He said that we are his angels and we can and knocked
on his front door and spoke to him. He shared how we found him and
how he knew that was his sign just for him....😧 Smiling face with heart-shaped eyesLoudly crying faceOH MY GOSH! THIS IS 
AMAZING!!!! God is truly merciful to us. He helped us find KayTee and helped
him come closer to God. Truly golden.

               I learned this week that If you are humble and willing, God will help you.
Especially if it is doing his work or knowing truth. I also learned one thing
while fasting. That is to not worry about what doesn't matter and focus
on what does. My advice, do those things. It is crazy how fast time goes by.
It feels like I have been here a long time and short time at the same time.
Crazy. If you got a trouble, pray and let Him fix ya. That's all for this week

love yal

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015
Seriously! We're has everybody gone! This week has been super rough on
us. What I mean by that is very time we tried to go to somebody's
house, no. Body. Was. Home.... We went all over the world it seems and
not one person answered the door. Sister Cooper passed away this week.
We went to her viewing. It was a strange moment. To see her there but
not alive. It was like she was here but not at the same time. I was
telling Mickey and Elder Richins it felt like she was sitting on top
of the lid of her casket and was smiling and waving to everyone who
came to see her. We were not able to attend her actual funeral because
we had zone meeting the next day which went very well. We did have A
CRAZY MIRACULOUS EVEN TAKE PLACE!!!! We went up to Byrdstown and had a
fair referral for a Kaycee Trice. We went to the door and the most
gangster looking African American guy came out. We said we had a fair
referral with his name on it. But he said he never went to any fair...
He invited us in and he told us how he used to be in a gang and what
not. He used to be a hard core bible thumper and how he had a thirst
for knowledge. He read the Koran and the Book of Mormon and all sorts
of books. We began talking about were the Book came from and explained
Joseph Smith. When we told him about Joseph there were tears in his
eyes. We asked him how he felt and he said it felt good! We were like
"what do you mean?" He said take a look at this, I am feeling
uncomfortable about my church. There are things I don't agree with. I
am tryin to fix my life around and get back into church stuff again.
Then you guys come. You knock on my door. Not across the street, not
my neighbors, mine! You had a referral thing but I never filled one
out, you called me by name and wanted to share this good message with
me. There is a greater work going on here and I think that is a sign."
I thought I was going to faint after that. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!! HOW
OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN!!! NEVER!! NEVER I SAY!!!! that just goes to
show that God is good. When it seems unlikely that is usually when
something good is coming. We didn't teach many lessons but the ones we
did were priceless. I have learned one solid thing this week. God is
good and he will provide a way. We also got to go to a baptist church
this week. I was a little upset because there was nobody shouting
hallelujahs but it was still pretty interesting. Everyone was super
nice. Even the pastor. Again, if our church was that friendly everyone
would flock to it. It is nice already, but I'm talking even more nice.
Crazy friendly. Good times... Anyway, it is time to go, converse with
you all next week.
Elder Weight~
Sent from my iPad

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so he is in the singles ward, the rm and Moroni in the Book of Mormon?
here is a lion.
View from the Church of Christ lady's house

September 14, 2015

Good day my fellows! Sorry about no email last week. We were at the
Nashville Zoo the whole day with a member family. Super fun times. The
beginning of this week was really depressing, Tuesday being the worst
day. The whole day we went to door after door and we had nothing!
Almost everyone was not home! And the very very very few people that
were home said that is wasn't a good time. We found this rich house on
top of a hill and there was a super pro church of Christ lady there.
She tried to bash with us but stopped because she kinda didn't know
what she was talking about. She was very strange. She stopped us in
the middle and tried to sell me acne products...?..She did have a nice
view of everything from her house though and was nice afterwards. And
to finish of an already depressing Tuesday, we had to drop two of our
progressing investigators because they are now going to a different
church! Agh! That was the first time I have ever really felt
devastated on my mission! The next day was sad because we spent a lot
of the day in the hospital. We just found out she has several brain
tumors from cancer and they basically are shutting her brain down so
she can't do anything. We went to see her and she is not doing well at
all. She still has a broken rib, she is super dehydrated, her lungs
are fillin up with fluid...she will die soon. We expect today or
tomorrow. She was moved to hospice the other day. After the hospital
we had Book of Mormon study. It was just a few of us. We sat there
talking about Sister Cooper. Most of us just started crying. This
little branch of people is like a giant family in every sense. Every
member is loved especially Sister Cooper. You want to talk about hard
things. Sitting there in a group of people who care so much about a
person with my call to help them, wanting to help so badly but feeling
constrained because there is absolutely nothing I can do... That was
one of the hardest things to me. But then we read in Alma 40.
Especially 11 and 12
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the
resurrection--Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that
the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal
body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are
taken home to that God who gave them life.
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are
righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called
paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest
from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
This touched my heart. I know where she is going is a place of
freedom. No more pain, no more sadness. Peace and freedom will be
We had district meeting the same day. Two of our elders left for home
(Elder Sōffe and Elder Cottom the old district leader) so now elder
Richins is the new DL. We now have elder Ruoho (pronounced rojo) and
elder Draper. They both seem very promising and are already jumping in
and workin hard. Oh yeah transfers happens a little while ago and
nothing has changed with me. Later on the week has been pickin up from
depressing to fantabulous. I met a lady who is nicknamed Jesus Lady.
Oh does she love her Jesus...she was decked out in crosses and shirts
and everything. She even sang to us. Multiple musical notesI love Jesus, yes I do! I love
Jesus how bout you?Multiple musical notesWe have been catching people home finally! We had
a training about baptismal invitations and we have been trying that in
our first lessons. We asked this one lady if she found out the church
was true if she would be baptized and she said for sure! Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes. If I
could only hear that all the time. Tracking has been great to! We
found these two friends out on their porch and we gave them copies of
the Book of Mormon and they just started reading it right when we
handed it to them! And by listening to the spirit, we met with another
guy we were going to drop but now we are taking him to Cookeville to
the family history center this week! Yay spirit! Even the weather has
been amazing! These past few days have been filled with light rain and
60-70 degree weather! The best kind.
So I guess this week has reminded me of something. One of my favorite
lines from any movie is from Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the
Restoration. It is "Sometimes the Lord brings us low before he can
lift us higher."-J. Smith. That is how this week has been. Personally
I have seen that from a rough beginning we are now seeing success.
Personally I feel the same. Life is full of challenges. But it is from
those challenges we are to learn and eventually have success. Even in
everyday things, there is always something to be learned. Just do your
best, forget the rest.
Love Yal.
Elder Weight 

hospital view

Elder Weight, Mickey Ledbetter, Elder Richins
Scripture Study

trying to improve my drawing

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Elder Weight with the District Leader and Elder Richins
September 7, 2015

Sorry for the late email. I hope it gets through before 6. We went to Nashville with a member family to the zoo! It was cool there. One boy, Avery, got a deal were he got a cup and could go back and get unlimited icees. He had a good 11 or 12... Yeah, he is going to be in the bathroom the whole time. Such good food...at this rate my mom won't even recognize me when I get home. Elder Richins keeps boasting about how he has lost weight. That's because he has this disorder where he losses a ton of weight if he doesn't eat so basically he has the metabolism of superman. Me on the other hand...it's my name. I'm kinda stuck with it. Anyway this has been a hard workin week. We have been really slamming down on the real deal mission work. Tuesday was trainer/trainee meeting. That was a neat experience. I got to see all of the people I knew from the MTC who came out with me there. It's crazy how fast and how much they learned in a little more than a month. In the end there was an intense game of jeopardy. We won. Later in the week Elder Richins was a little sick with more migraines. Elder Richins makes a horrible patient while I am the doctor and call around and get help for him. Anyway the week has been full of more and more walking. We tracked houses that were at least a mile and a quarter away from each other. We had dogs run full on barking at us and we thought we were going to die! They were nice though and they let us pet them. This one dog followed us back to our car for about 2-3 miles. Good times. Our investigators, Betty and James, are soooo close to being baptized!!!! They are having a difficult time trying to quit. The ward knows and is trying to help every way they can. Pew did have to push back there baptism date because they couldn't stop in time. They are such great people! They act as if they were members already. They are super nice to us and James says all the time that he feels like we are his brothers. I know that for sure the spirit is the converter, not the missionaries. Sure the missionaries play a big role, but the spirit is the main one.

Fred on the other hand isn't doing so well. Health wise he is improving, but he has been going to his friend's church. The same guy who anti-ed us. He still likes it when we come over but when we talk about the church he acts like he is sick or tired and goes and lays down. We have been trying really hard with him. He is really tough to teach, because he has a super hard time to retain things. We love him still and that's all we really can do. I thank you for your testimonies and love to here from everybody! Thanks for all your prayers and for your support. I thank you for prayers, kind words, everything! Hope everything is alright with yal.

See you next week! Elder Weight

Mickey Ledbetter being fabulous!
dog chasing us...

Fred's house

trying to get Fred's car started

You don't see this in Arizona!
Sister Huddleston
President Huddleston

Heading to the Nashville Zoo on P-day with some members

Nashville Zoo

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The most adorable and softest dog in Tennessee!

August 31, 2015
This week has been quite the adventure. It feels like everything has been very up and down. The low parts of the week were when Elder Richins was sick, which happened more than once, and we had to sit in the trailer and wait for him to feel better. Everything annoyed him because he had a nasty migraine. I was trying to draw random things and he said the sound of my pencil was annoying. So I hid under my sheets and drew stuff so it would muffle the noise. Very interesting experience. We do have a bit of an issue. We had more anti arguments with the same guy I talked about from last week. He was even more rude and cruel in his accusations towards us. It almost got to the point where me and Elder Richins were ready to plow the guy. But thank goodness for patience. It was funny because our investigator was there during the whole thing and he stopped his friend and basically said, "what the heck are you insulting my friends for." Eventually he left in a big huff because he saw that it wasn't going anywhere. Afterwards in the car, Elder Richins  asked me how strong my testimony was. I responded that it was strong enough. After a while though what he said resonated in my mind and I wondered how strong my testimony was. Was it really strong enough? I thought about it the whole rest of the day and even while I was laying in bed that night. I realized that it was strong enough to the point where I knew pretty well...but I wanted it to be to the point where I knew FOR SURE. The best way to grow your testimony is by sincere prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. There was a story I remember from missionary prep given by Bro. Cardon. He talked about how while in the MTC when after the guest speaker who I think was a member of the quorum of the seventy, bro cardon went up to him and asked him a very real and sincere question. "Can you receive the same witness of Jesus Christ the apostles and prophets have? And if so, how is it done?" The man sat and thought at the question. He then prompted the young missionary to come with him to a secluded room. They then sat down and he told him "my boy it can be done, and this is how you do it. You imagine the savior in front of you as you pray. And not just standing there, but listening to you." Such a small thing has a powerful result. I encourage everyone to give that a try. Watch as it changes you for the better. The other way is reading the Book of Mormon and not just passively. Begin reading with Moroni 10:3-5. Always keep that scripture in mind as you read from 1Nephi all the way to Moroni. Be sincere. Pray before each time you pick up that book. You will change you knowledge will expand to lengths you couldn't imagine. Watch as the spirit wells up inside you. At points you will have so much joy it will sometimes be ,ore than you can bear! But it is a good thing and nothing to be afraid of. It has brought me great joy and peace in this life. We are at the point in history where you can't be on the fence about good and evil. Soon everyone has to make the choice about which side they will be on. I hope and pray that all of God's children will choose his side. This is a story that I remember hearing from a dear friend. It makes you think.

"I remember a story from when I was a youth. Two men were sitting together on the slopes of a hill overlooking a vast scene. They beheld a large city in the valley below filled with busy streets and many people. But in the midst of the congregation, they beheld a devil wandering around and keeping things in check. Now of to the left the two men saw a great mountain that seemed to touch the heavens above. As they focused their vision, they could make out a single man, scaling the side of the mountain with his climbing gear in hopes of reaching the summit. Now around this man were twenty devils. As the two men sat and took in the scene, one said to the other, "My, that must truly be a very wicked man, for he has around him twenty devils! How righteous of a city that must be, for it has but one!" The other man sat in a moment of silence and surveyed the evidence. Soon he spake and uttered, "No my friend, you have this story confused. That city is so wicked, it has need of only one devil to keep it in check. Now if one single man has need for twenty devils to surround him to tempt him and bring him down,truly that man is a very righteous man! May we all strive to be like that good man." 
Most of the week has consisted of trying to visit the people on the farthest outskirts of our area boundaries. Some people get pretty interesting out there. Another interesting experience was when we went to a member's house and their dog is extremely friendly and likes to clobber you with love and at the same time the five year old who is unimaginably hyper jumped me in nothing but his undies. All good fun. I thought it was funny. It is marvelous how often we are doing something. Just something uplifting. Wether it is visiting with someone, saying a prayer with them, giving a blessing, pet a dog, bash a bible...okay maybe not that last one, but that's what is so amazing about being a missionary! You are always helping others. The same way Christ did. 

Well it is time to depart from this lowly valley and ride the stead of victory to a higher plain of triumph. I shall return a week forth from this moments time. Far thee well my friends.

Yours truly,
Elder Weight~
Ellie Grace, Mickey's dog

dead bug in our house

Kale...tastes like bug spray

massive horse fly in our house

magic wand I am trying to carve

 And, more pictures of me eating.....

pudding with chopsticks
ice cream with chopsticks
big beefy hamburgers!

So it's a really good thing that Elder Richins is making me run....

 Because I might just end up looking like this....