Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feliz Natal! (December 23)

Hello, family!

Merry Christmas! Thank you for all of the Christmas goodies I got!  Side note, I haven't opened any of them, even though I started getting presents BEFORE THANKSGIVING! #selfcontrol

So this week has hands down been the CRAZIEST week of my entire life. Not that I've had a very crazy life, but this weeks was truly CRAZY PANTS!
Sister Pennington and her companions

So it all started Monday night. Setting: family home evening with the Kings. Mood: happy and excited about Christmas the following week. Phone rings. It's president always answer when President Irion calls. Sister Sume answers the's for me...I know what you're all thinking...VISA! But, visa for Sister Pennington.

Here's what he was really calling about. A sister in La Follette - a tiny town near the Kentucky border - needed to have her gall bladder removed, and someone needed to come and take her place while she recovered. The doctors said that the recovery time was about two weeks. Keep in mind, transfers are on January 1st - a little over two weeks from when President called me. He said that he had been planning on sending me to La Follette at transfers anyways. La Follette is in our zone, and we had zone conference this past Wednesday; the same day Sister Walser was scheduled for surgery. It worked out perfectly so that I could go to zone conference with my companions and bring all of my things, and then just exchange at zone conference. The Lord is in this work! President Irion is an inspired mission president, and I know that everything worked out exactly as it needed to to allow me to be transferred to La Follette this past week.

Sister Pennington and her companions

So I had one day to pack up all of my things and say goodbye to the people I needed to say goodbye to. I had to buy another suitcase to fit all of my stuff...good times :) I said goodbye to Misty, and that was so hard! Right from the very beginning, I felt like I was sent to Oak Ridge for Misty. I just love her so much and I knew that the message we had to share would change her life and bless her so much. When I told her I was leaving she started crying, and it was so terrible! I just love her to bits and pieces! Later at night, Sister Monteirth came over to our apartment and brought me some going away presents and Christmas presents. She is the sweetest lady in the whole world! I love her so much! I'm going to miss her! She said she already added me on Facebook, so in another year I'll accept her friend request :)

Saying goodbye to my companions was probably the hardest part. I know I e-mailed you just last week saying how much I love them and how much fun I've had this transfer. The last two nights I was in oak ridge, Sister Hatch, Sume and I slept in our living room under the Christmas tree (something we were planning to do on Christmas Eve). They are amazing missionaries and I miss them already!

Their Christmas Tree

Zone conference was really great, and because it was a week before Christmas, we had some wonderful Christmas festivities! After the conference I went back to La Follette with Sister Roundy, my new companion. She is so sweet! She is the cutest, littlest, sweetest sister in East Tennessee! I love her already! I was a little bit worried about the whole transfer situation, but talking with sister Roundy in the car confirmed to me that I'm exactly where I need to be! Sister Roundy told me of some of the struggles they'd been having, and I knew that I was meant to be here right now! My second day here, Thursday, we got our most progressing investigator to set a baptismal date for January 4th! Her name is Alley, and she had a boyfriend serving a mission in Nevada. She's so sweet, and I'm so excited for her to be baptized!

Also, La Follette is the cutest sweetest little town in the whole world! It's so great! There aren't enough people for a ward here, so it's just a branch. And everyone's related! It's awesome! The branch President LITERALLY lives in a holler! It's awesome! When he's not at church, he's in overalls and barefoot. Everyone here is just a gun-loving redneck American, and they are proud of it! I love every single person here! They're fantastic!

That's about all I have time for today, but there's so much I didn't have time to tell you! I'm so excited for the chance I have to skype with you in a few days! Love you so much!

Sister Pennington

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