Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey y'all! (February 3)

This is probably the last week where it'll be okay to say that...better use it!

Anyways, I'm going to keep this week's e-mail pretty short because I'm running a tad low on time, but I'll hit the main points...

- As mentioned last week, we really did count the homeless this week on Tuesday. One of our members, Sister Riggs (who's a fantastic human by the way) came with us. It was wicked early and FREEZING!!! But, it was actually very educational, and it was very eye-opening. We found a lot of dwellings homeless people lived in, but we only talked with one actual person. He was sleeping under a bridge, and we went and brought him some water and breakfast bars. It was really sad to see someone so destitute. We offered him the help of the homeless coalition of La Follette, but he didn't say anything in response. It was really sad. After the homeless count, Sister Riggs took us home with her, and she made us a hot breakfast. Grits with cheese #southerncooking

- We got to see Elder Perry this week! He also brought with him Elder Rasband, Elder Zwick and Elder Kapiscze (I'm not sure if that's how you spell it) of the 70. It was a leadership training for stake and ward leaders for how to use ward council more effectively. His main theme of the whole meeting was "hastening the work" (D&C 88:73) and that 92 year old man has more energy than I do! He was so energetic, and so enthusiastic and hilarious! It was awesome, and it got everyone pumped up about doing missionary work. It was really cool to have Alley with us. She said her favorite part was when the congregation sang together. She said it was really powerful to hear that large number of members singing! It was really cool!

- My very favorite experience we had this week was on Wednesday, and all of our plans and our backup plans fell through. Plans cancelled that we didn't expect to cancel, and so we LITERALLY had no plans for the entire day. We had time, so we took our hour, and I came across a talk that I really liked and printed out, called, "cast not away therefore your confidence" by Elder Holland. It was really powerful, and I usually don't print talks out, but I felt like I needed to print that one out. We had a thought later in the evening to try to contact a less active, who is nearly impossible to get a hold of, and she "happened" to be home, and we were able to meet with her. The night before, she had had a really spiritual experience while she way praying, and she felt excited and ready to get back into church and to build her testimony. She said that she had wanted to call us, but she assumed we were too busy to go and see her. We had an awesome lesson with her, and the talk that I had printed out that morning was exactly what she needed to hear. It was such a big testimony builder to me, of the truth that The Good Shepherd will leave the 90 and 9 to go after the 1. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us individually, and I've always had such a strong testimony of that, but it was a very powerful manifestation of that truth when I got to be the Lord's hands in moving heaven and earth for one of his children.

- This Sunday was fast and testimony meeting, and one of our members, brother barber, joined the church 11 years ago, and has never shared his testimony over the pulpit because he's deaf. He decided he wanted to share his testimony, so he practiced and prepared for over a month. He even wore his best tie today to look his best. He stood up and said, "I believe in Jesus. Amen". And it was the most powerful testimony I've heard in a long time. He is such an amazing example to me of faith. It was really awesome.

I love this gospel, and I love being a missionary. It is the most important and rewarding thing I have ever done, and will probably will be for my entire life. I'm so grateful to have been able to serve here, and look forward to being able to serve in Campinas!

I'll e-mail y'all from Brazil!

Sister Pennington

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