Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oi familia! (January 20)

Hello everyone!

So this has been a kind of crazy pants week. Let me just tell y'all about Tuesday alone.

So we've been working with these less-actives since I've been here, and they've been meeting with missionaries for years. It's a mother and her adult son living together. They're great, but they don't progress. They haven't made any changes in their lives to come in close harmony with the gospel. They love having us over, but it's so hard to teach lessons, and so hard to help them live the gospel. We decided last week to have a very bold, focused, but loving lesson with them. The lesson went pretty well, and it was more focused and more direct than any other lesson had been in the past. This past Tuesday, we went over, and the mom was there and she explained to us that we had offended her son by our last lesson, and that he didn't want us to come over. He is very controlling of his mother, and he said he didn't want her meeting with us as well. I think she would have liked to continue meeting with us, but her son made the decision and she didn't want to stand up to him. She even gave us a referral before we left, but said that we couldn't come back. Anyways, so we left the appointment feeling really crappy, and all of our plans for the rest of the day had fallen through. It was not a good time. We decided to go tracting because that was the only thing we could do. We decided to park at a member's home and walk. We knocked on the member's door just to let them know that we were going to be in their driveway for a little bit while we were working. Sister Riggs told us to come in, and I think she could sense we were a little bit down, and she  made us peach smoothies and made us cookies. It was such a tender mercy! This woman is amazing! She takes such good care of the missionaries! Before we left, she gave us a referral! We don't get referrals very often, and so it was such a tender mercy that we already received 2! Anyways, over the course of that day, we were able to hand out 5 copies of the Book of Mormon, and find 1 new investigator! It was so awesome! It was such a testimony to me, that the Lord is not only aware of us when we're engaged in His work, but that he is laboring along side us.

This past Friday was my 6 month mark! It's crazy how time flies on your mission! If I've learned anything over the course of my mission so far, it's to have faith and patience in the Lord's timing. Waiting for a visa has, frankly, been very difficult. I feel like I should be here, but I also know that I should be there as well. With having to get my FBI clearance this past week, I've felt particularly discouraged with the idea that I'll ever get to Brazil. Through much prayer, and many tender mercies, and comforting from the Holy Ghost, I finally felt really at peace with the idea of staying in this mission. My experience here in Tennessee has changed my life, and I've been so thankful for it! I love being a part of the Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission!

So just as I came to this peace, you can imagine my surprise when I GOT MY VISA!!!!! I'm leaving for Brazil on February 10th! Heavenly Father's absolute favorite thing in the world is messing with me!!!! I can't even explain all of the feelings I'm having! I have 3 weeks left in America!!!!

Just remember, everyone, that God is great!
Sister Pennington

[Note from Christie:  Once we have a better idea of exactly where she'll be and her address we'll update that!  Super excited!]

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