Hola mi familia,
Sounds like everyone had a good Easter and looks like y'all had nice weather! Hooray for nice weather! The Appalachians don't know what the sun is yet. :) It was a good Easter in Cherokee. It is a four day holiday outside of Utah! School and work all shuts down from Thursday-Sunday for Easter weekend so everyone we came in contact wished us a Happy Easter this week.
Each week that we're here, we improve.
Tracting here is a whole different ordeal than it was in Colfax. I thought Colfax was spread out until we got here. The houses are so so spread out but we do our very best. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "well girls...I'm a baptist but I appreciate what y'all are doing." I'd be one rich missionary if I got a penny every time I heard that. They all think that by telling us they're baptist that we'll turn away runnin. We ain't afraid. :) It's a common occurrence to say the least.
We had a few really good appointments with a couple that have been in contact with the missionaries since August or so. (they're the ones who sent that picture to you mom. we were in the middle of a lesson and Shirley whips out her phone and said, OH I always send pictures to the missionaries moms!) They're children are all members and they have a grandson on a mission in Utah and initially let the missionaries in because they wanted to see what their grandson does. The first time we saw them this week we asked if they had prayed to know if what they've learned from the missionaries is true and the husband said, "I pray every night!" And I said that's good! Do you pray to know what the missionaries teach you is true? And he said not specifically so we talked about why it's important to be specific in our prayers and how God will always answer our prayers. He told us he prays to be led to truth...*ding ding ding* we hopped on that and explained that the missionaries were led to his home for a reason and that missionaries pray and are led by God to where we should go and who we should talk to. His wife looked at him and said, "Oh!" and he took a while to respond but didn't know what to say. We had another appointment with them a few days ago and got hit by questions from Oz. He's been a Methodist for years and years and can't get past it. At our lesson with them on Friday we invited them to be baptized. Shirley said yes and looked at her husband and he sat there, deep in thought. When we left she walked us out to our car and told us to not give up and texted us later and said the same thing. We're praying hard that he'll soften his heart and be open to what God has put right in his lap. They'll progress. I know it.
We took the mighty trip to Charlotte this week for the training meeting. It was quite a journey but always a beautiful one. I learned a whole lot. We role play for hours at these meetings. I love to listen and see how other missionaries teach. There's so much we can learn from each other so it helps a lot. President Craven focuses a lot on "Today, Tomorrow, and Forever" principles. He always says, "we're more concerned about where you'll be in 5, 10, and 15 years than where you'll be at the end of 18 months and 2 years." He talks to us about our spouses at every meeting, especially with the Sisters. Pres. Craven wants to approve every one of our husbands. :) Also learned that next transfer there are 19 new missionaries coming in. SIXTEEN are sisters. Only three Elders. It is crazy. Lookout I'll probably be training my whole mission...and I didn't even get the last 7 weeks of training..something is not right about that. Pray for me. I'm still a brand new missionary who doesn't know anything:)
Happy General Conference weekend! I cannot wait. It's hard to believe that six months ago the place I'm now in was not a possibility. It's amazing how things can change so quickly. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary! The Lord's work is hastening and the elect are being brought into the gospel! Such an exciting time!
Fun fact about our mission. The average for baptisms in a month has been around thirty for years and years. In March we had over 50 baptisms. President said he got an email from Salt Lake asking if there had been a typo. The south is growing in the gospel. As tough as the Baptists and Methodists are....I never knew a good Methodist OR a good Baptist that didn't make a reaaaallly good Mormon. We're here to give them a new kind of heaven.
I love you all so very much. You're all in my prayers. Thank you for the love and support. I couldn't do it without y'all.