Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hello again! (January 13)

Hi, all!

It's been a pretty great week...except for the fact that it's ALWAYS FRIGID!!!! It was s frigid, that one of the pipes in the church burst and flooded the chapel, the gym, and the YW room and the water went all the way out to the door! They had to take all of the pews out, and the wood paneling separating the overflow from the chapel and replace it and repair the damage on the ceiling. It was a process. All of the missionaries from our district spent Friday morning putting the pews back into the chapel. It took a sec, but it was good.

But it's warmed up a lot in the past few days, though, so that's good. Today's the first day in 2 months that I haven't worn my boots :)

It was branch conference this week, and there were a few member from Oak Ridge who came up. It was good to see them, but it made me so homesick for Oak Ridge! I loved that area! Good thing the people in La Follette are so amazing! They're already stealing pieces of my heart too!

Side note: I have to go get fingerprinted today to get an FBI background check for my visa. It'll make my visa take a little longer, but that just means that I get to spend a little more time in the Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission!
In the back-woods of Tennessee 

Anyways...some really cool stuff happened this week.

So we had exchanges with the STL (sister training leader), so Sister Ison went to Chilhowee (Knoxville) for the day, and Sister Weight came here. She's the sister that was in my district, and got hit by the car. She's doing a lot better by the way. She gets her cast off next week. Anyways, she came up here with me and Sister Roundy, and it was great. We had planned the exchange for Wednesday, but we had freezing rain/ snow and this is Tennessee, so nobody wanted to drive us to exchange. (I don't blame them!) So we switched the exchange to Thursday. No big deal right? Wrong. Thursday is our weekly planning day, so we cut out 4 hours of the day to talk about the needs of our investigators and members in the area. On exchanges, unless the training leaders specifically come to do weekly planning with you, you're supposed to fill your schedule with as many teaching opportunities as possible. We didn't really have very good plans for Thursday, because we had planned on doing weekly planning at that time. Anyways, the point is that we didn't end up seeing anyone that we had planned on seeing. BUT, the Lord is in this work! We were contacting people we didn't know from the Branch roster, and we didn't find the person we were looking for, but there was a guy sitting on the porch of his neighboring apartment. We decided to go over and talk with him, and he was so awesome! He was saying that he and his wife were looking for a church to raise their family in, and he said that he felt like we were there to talk with him for a reason. He's so awesome! We're going back to visit him and his family next week. Later that day, we were contacting more people we didn't know, and we couldn't find the address we were looking for (the houses are not numbered in such a way that we can really ever find what we're looking for - it cannot be found except by those who already know where it is!) so we decided we were close, and we'd just knock on a door and ask them if they knew where 137 was. We knocked on this woman's door and asked her if she knew where the address was, and she said she didn't. She didn't seem very friendly, or willing to let us in, so we asked her if there was anyone she knew of who could use a prayer, or a message about Jesus Christ. She paused for a second and said she could use one. She invited us in, and sat down with us and we said a prayer with her. After we said the prayer, she was so appreciative and so kind. She said that she normally wouldn't have let us in, but she felt like we had been sent there for a reason. She said that she had every reason in the world to not let us in, but that she did anyways. It was amazing to see the Lord softening her heart right before our eyes! From the time that she opened the door to the time we left, her heart was softened and she invited us back. She recognized us as representatives of Jesus Christ, and she even tried to give us what little money she had. She was so determined to give us what she had. Luckily we got out of it by telling her that the next time we come over, we'll all just share some cookies. She is so golden! I'm so excited to go back and teach her! How blessed are we that our God is a God of miracles! I have such a strong testimony that this is the Lord's work, and that He is helping us to find the people in this area who are ready to hear the gospel, and that He is actively softening their hearts. I love being a missionary!

Love y'all!
Sister Pennington

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