I love you all so much and miss you all like crazy pants!
I don't remember if I wrote about this in my last e-mail, but my mission president and his wife are so wonderful! They are so sweet to us, and they really are like surrogate parents for us! Fun fact, Sister Irion is Elder Nielson's daughter ... we were taking a picture and she said, smile because Elder Nielson is going to see this! Kind of crazy ...
I'm growing to love Tennessee more and more every day! The people are just phenomenal! We went tracting in a very poor area of Oak Ridge (which is already not the most affluent town in east Tennessee) and the people were so open and kind, and we ended up giving out 8 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we got two return appointments! Although, one of the return appointments we probably won't be going to... So we did a peace and blessings prayer with this older man, who was missing his front 4 teeth. He was really sweet, but it was hard to understand him. After we said the prayer, he was talking, but I was having trouble understanding him. He seemed interested, and he asked for our number, which is normal, and we gave it to him. We asked if we could come back to teach a message and he said we could as long as we stayed for dinner, which again seemed fairly normal. He then started talking about how he needed to find a wife, and I didn't really follow what was going on, but it was all good, I didn't really think much of it. Anyways, we left and knocked on some more doors, and on our way back to our car, we saw him talking to some woman in the street. He saw us, and came over to me, and pulled me in for a hug and then kissed me on the cheek! I ran to the car so fast! My trainers were laughing so hard. It was pretty funny. Anyways, don't worry, I've realized my naivety, and so we're not going back. We're sending the elders, so they can have fun with Derek :)
Anyways, big excitement, we set a baptismal date for Cindy! She's going to be baptized on September 28th! She is so excited! There's a scripture in the Book of Mormon that says, "...Angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is or the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word..." (Alma 13:24) This is absolutely the case with Cindy. She keeps telling us that everything we're teaching her "clicks" and feels familiar. She is such a spiritual woman, and has searched her whole life to find truth. She says that everything she's done thus far has led her to hearing the gospel at this time.
She had the opportunity to attend the baptism of someone else yesterday, and she was just beaming the whole time. It was really cool, because as missionaries, we are entitled to receive revelation for our investigators. I really felt that during the baptism. During the service, I was able to discern exactly which parts were touching her heart, and sure enough every time I looked over she had tears in her eyes. It was so incredible.
I love you all so much and hope all is well with you!