Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Three Sister Missionary  Bikes
Studying Characteristics of Christ-Faith
It's hot enough to melt a crayon!
There are cute church buildings in Gainesville

Sister Stitt and I are both staying in Gainesville 3rd ward!!! We are so stoked! We both pretty much forgot about transfers so we were pretty certain we were staying.  Last transfer I knew I was leaving.

Only one of the four elders in the ward will be staying here, Elder Baldwin. He is getting a new companion and then the other elder area will be white washed (both elders are leaving) and a trio will be coming in. One is going to be a brand new missionary and another is Elder Collins who I served with in Arlington and I don't know the third elder.

Also, Elder Young (the elder who  grew up across the street from me in North Logan!) will be in the Gainesville 2nd ward! Yesterday I was just thinking he would be great in Gainesville!  Our wards meet in the same building and we will be in the same district so I will see him a couple times each week. I'm super excited!

It sounds like ya'll had an exciting camping trip in the "rainy" desert of Utah!  Haha, funny thing-it didn't rain on us once this week while we were biking.  That is truly a miracle because we biked EVERY DAY the last week!  I am so grateful we are in a car share because my knees don't ever want to see a bike again!  Well... at least not for a couple more hours!  Everyone keeps asking if we are dying in the heat, but Sister Stitt and I really don't mind it.  Maybe it's my bad circulation, maybe it's the breeze we get on the bikes, or maybe it's the spirit, but it hasn't seemed nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  (and I am pretty happy about being land locked during hurricane season!)  Anyway, we ended up running short on miles due to some miscalculations and the doctor trips the other sisters made when Sister Montgomery needed stitches.  We ended up biking every day for the last week of July (except my b-day!) and we called members for rides for things like meetings and shopping.  Can I just say how much I love the members?  Sister Mallory Gooch agreed to take us shopping last P-day and she insisted on paying for our groceries claiming she needed the blessings that would come if she did.  Then we needed a ride to Zone Meeting and Sister Haynes packed up her two little kids and took us there at 8:30 in the morning!  Isn't she just a sweetheart?  It was so kind of them!  And it's helping me practice asking for help!  We had so many members agree to come with us to lessons this week too.  The only problem is that every single lesson fell through.  Every one.

We also had our ward mission leader, Brother Bennion, deliver an air mattress and sheets last Monday so Sister Winkler could have a sleep over.  Ok, it wasn't really a sleep over, but she needed to stay with us for the night and work in a trio with us the next day while Sister Montgomery went to see a doctor in Jacksonville.  It was really fun riding bikes in a little trio and working together!  The best thing about biking is that you get to talk to a lot of people on your way from one place to the next.  We talked to a mother and her 7 year old daughter.  The mothers name is Sarah.  They were in a hurry so I was going to let them go with just the card, but the spirit pushed me to get all of their contact information.  When we rode away I just knew she would get baptized!  They just moved in and haven't found a church yet which is super helpful here in the Bible Belt.  We also met this super happy, fun woman named Pebbles.  Yes.  Her name is Pebbles.  You just don't question names in the South.

We called Sarah to set an appointment... but her phone number took us to the wrong person.  So we biked to her trailer.  A man answered and said he had a girlfriend named Sarah but they wouldn't be interested. Well our Sarah is married and Sister Stitt was able to see in the door to the woman there and it was not our Sarah.  So we knocked all around that trailer and asked if anyone knew about a family who just moved in.  No luck.  Later we went to our appointment with Pebbles.  Turns out the address she gave us is only for the trailer park--she didn't give us her trailer number.  We called the member who was coming to the lesson and told her not to come after all.  Now get this: it is the same trailer park these two elect potential investigators live in!!!!!  That trailer park ate our gators!  We just might be knocking that whole park!

We have continued to tract Haile Plantation with little to no success. We have clarified what some people thought Mormons believed but no one has been too interested.  One nice couple let us in during a bad thunder storm. We had the car that day but we were walking around tracting.  The woman was Catholic and the man is Southern Baptist. How those two make a marriage work is still a mystery to me!  We got sucked in there for a good hour and a half (which ended up being ok since it was shelter from the storm anyway) and we talked about the different beliefs of our churches.  They weren't interested in learning more but the man did take a Book of Mormon to put in the library he works at.  He asked us to bring another one by later too.

We have had some other amazing experiences this week.  We met a man named Quinton who said he didn't believe in God but he would love someone to prove him wrong.  The spirit must have taken over because I testified more boldly than I think I ever have that he could find God by reading the Book of Mormon.  He agreed to do it.  We meet with him again on Sunday.  We also met a man named Tony who let us teach the Restoration on his porch.  He agreed to be baptized on August 23rd!!! But then he didn't come to church so the earliest he could be baptized is the 31st. (a gator needs to come to church 3 times before baptism) The only thing that worries me is that he said he needed to talk to his pastor to see if it was ok for him to go to another church...  so we will see where that goes.

We had a miracle this week!  The sisters had been teaching a woman named Shaquana before I came and she was super elect!  About the time I got here she disappeared. Well, the Elders found her again and set up an appointment for us!  Go Elders!!!  She has been working A TON!  And her phone was turned off.  Her husband, Demetry, works driving a watermelon truck and so he is gone for about 3 months at a time.  He comes home again in September.  Apparently he has never been very interested in religion but several months ago they decided that if they found a church he liked they would have their whole family go to it.  Well Elder Tuft (whose brother was my fhe brother in Rexburg and he used to be an Assistant) and Elder Greenlaw taught him and they answered every question he had and now Demetry is interested.  We are excited for him to get back so we can teach him too! They have three  children: Demetry, Demetria, and Deondre.  (I promise those are their names!)  We had an amazing lesson with Shaquana yesterday!

We have also been teaching Liz Johnson.  It's super crazy, I went to high school with a Liz Johnson!  Liz is going to come to church this Sunday with her two girls, Quinn and Casey.  We are so excited for her! She is pretty much a blank slate gospel wise and is enjoying learning.  The Book of Mormon is hard for her to understand but she is so willing to study and learn that that is all we need to work with!

I know miracles are going to happen in the Gainesville 3rd ward this month!  Sister Stitt and I set an inspired goal of 5 baptisms this month!  There haven't been many baptisms in this ward in the last year so that is huge.  We need all of your prayers as we continue to work hard!  I'm so excited for the miracles ahead!

Ya'll are probably sick of reading this by now, but I wanted to share a quote I found in my studies this morning.  I discovered that there are 9 attributes of Christ in Preach My Gospel and I have 9 months left on my mission (crazy!!!).  So I am studying one each month.  This month is faith.

“There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. … It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect". … Boyd K Packer

Sister Murray