I am so excited to write y'all this week and update you on the work here in Kingsport Tennessee. I didn't really mention in this email that we found a raccoon in our apartment last week, which was the subject of my email but we did, but don't worry our landlord, Mac, SO country, wrestled it into a box bare handed and set it loose. I must say we saw a dead raccoon on the road the next day and I assume it was probably the same one, poor guy. Such a southern experience it was great! But anyway back to this week, it has been crazy! As a Sister Training Leader we do a lot of exchanges we had our first one, I stayed here in Kingsport and Sister Hatch, who is a brand new missionary, been in the field about a week came here with me, she is one of the 19 year olds and an incredible missionary, it's amazing how most of the sisters coming out are already pre-trained, seriously. They are amazing, such great teachers and working so hard here to help the work progress. I learned so much from her, these sisters in our zone are blessing me so much and just giving me more of a desire to work hard and become who Heavenly Father wants me to be. We had the opportunity to go to a district meeting outside of our own with the zone leaders and it was way awesome to see how other districts do things. The work is progressing, I see miracles every single day through revelation from Heavenly Father, he really does work through us for his children. Our zone is killing it in the way of baptisms these sisters in Watagua have like 7 baptismal committments it is just amazing.
A little bit about some of our investigators-- I'll start with Beth, Beth came to church yesterday and she loved it as usual, it is a matter of when she gets baptized, not if. I am amazed at the progress she is still making and we are pushing forfor her baptism, we will see if her husband and family can get on board for that date she has this incredible testimony of the gospel and her desire to follow Christ it inspires me.
Pam Mitchell is the one who is supposed to be baptized on. A couple days ago a bunch of members just donated like a million church clothes for her and her 13 year old son, this ward is amazing and we brought them over to her, she was very grateful and planned on coming to church yesterday, but when Sister Bastian came to get her no one answered and we went over after church to see if she was okay and there was no answer. We are hoping we don't lose her, she is so prepared and wants to follow Christ so badly, it's just the worlds influence that makes following the Savior difficult. We will keep following up and I will keep you posted. Needless to say disappointment is part of missionary work at times but you just learn how to never give up and continue to seek for guidance from the spirit to know how to help the people you serve. I have been working on my boldness with those that I teach really just committing them to doing things and helping them to change because if we don't invite them to change, they probably won't do it on their own.
I love being here in Kingsport, the ward is so supportive and we get so much help. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here with Sister Bedke who is so amazing and deals with my worrying about everything and everyone haha I have learned so much on my mission but one of the things is to accept the things you can't control and give the rest to the Lord. Sister Bedke and I were talking this morning and she just said sometimes I wonder why us? Why did we get the blessing of being raised in the gospel and others didn't? and really we don't know why our lives have taken the course we have but we recognize how blessed we are and use that to bless the lives of others.
"If you put the Lord first, the adversities can lead to beautiful blessings, you can see his hand and witness miracles." -Sister Mary N. Cook
"Following Christ is not an occasional or casual practice but a continuous committment and way of life that applies at all times and in all places." -Elder Dallin H. Oaks
My mission has changed my life, the people here have changed my life and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for it. I hope all of you back home are praying for missionary opportunities and for the missionaries around the world. Nothing will ever stop this work from progressing.
Keep being amazing! I am so grateful for the examples I have had in my life!
I love you all so much,