It's definitely fall here! The leaves are changing and it's just beautiful! It feels like a New England fall! It's also just a tad more chilly than I was anticipating...I'm definitely going to Goodwill to get some sweaters :)
This week has been just a little bit slow...which is really not good for missionary work. Because we're no longer teaching Cindy, we only have 1 progressing investigator, Shuntine the Chinese man who will only let us come over every other week, and only a few other investigators. (a progressing investigator means an investigator who's taken 1 or more lessons and is keeping commitments that you extend, such as reading from the Book of Mormon or attending church). We've been trying to focus on finding new people to teach, and it's been a little bit slow going. We've been contacting people who have previously investigated the church, and we haven't been able to find anyone to teach yet, but hopefully as we keep going through the list, we'll be able to find people!
That being said, we have had some different adventures this week...
Occasionally we do exchanges, where sister missionaries switch companions with the sister training leaders. We do these about once a transfer. We had our exchange on Wednesday, and I was the one who left. I spent Tuesday night and Wednesday in Knoxville with the sister training leader, sister Burningham and one of her companions, sister Turner, while the other sister training leader came here to Oak Ride. It was really interesting to be in another area just for the day! We had a chance to contact a woman who had met missionaries before, but never had taken the lessons. We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon, and when we explained that the "climax" of the book is when Jesus Christ visits the people here in America, her face just lit up! She was so excited and interested to know that Christ visited the people here! She was so sweet! We also went to a really awesome member's home for dinner and it was so much fun :) Meanwhile back at the ranch, sister Goates started to get sick. By the time we exchanged back on Wednesday night, sister Goates was really sick. On Thursday, Sister Goates was too sick to do anything, so Sister McGavin, the bishop's wife, volunteered to look after Sister Goates while Sister Sume and I went about our day. Sister Sume just finished her training a few weeks ago, and I'm still being trained so it was just a tad terrifying and extremely humbling to go out on our own. Sister Sume got permission to drive the car (because normally only the senior companion is allowed to drive) and because she had only been here for a week and a half, she had no idea where she was going. All of you who know me know that I can't navigate and I can't read a map. So it was truly a miracle that we only got lost ONCE! In an entire day of missionary work, I was able to direct us EVERYWHERE we had to go! It was literally a miracle! Luckily Sister Goates is feeling better now - another miracle :)
Saturday was probably the most random day that I've had yet on my mission! We got a referral from a member in Canada for her Grandmother, named Celeste, who lives here in Oak Ridge. I don't remember if I told you about her, but she is a concert pianist and piano teacher. We went to her recital last week and helped out with refreshments. She is so sweet and kind to us :) She is from Italy and is the classiest lady ever. We stopped by on Saturday, and she invited us in and told us her life story and her religious background, and how her daughter joined the church and now she has a granddaughter serving a mission in London. She invited us to come to mass with her that evening, so we went with her. It was interesting attending mass while wearing a missionary badge :) People were very friendly to us and very kind. After mass, Celeste took us out to dinner and we got to talk to her more about the similarities between Catholicism and Mormonism and she was very sweet. She said that she hoped that there were people who were being kind to her granddaughter in London and taking them out to dinner and things like that. It was great :) She is such an amazing lady! (awesome side notes, her father was a composer in Europe and he had one of the original Strativarious violins (I don't know if that's how you spell it) and he was in Africa directing a concert during WWII when he was held prisoner of war and his violin was stolen! Also, her daughter was in India during one of the terrorist attacks a few years ago (Mumbai, or Bombay, I can't remember) and she was shot three times. The doctors said she wouldn't be able to walk again, but she ran the Boston Marathon last year! She wrote a couple books about it. The name she writes under is Rudrani Devi - you should look her up! Also, Celeste has these priceless chandeliers from Italy that I'll try to get a picture of the next time we're there!)
Anyways, I love you loads and hope that you're all doing well!