Took this nice photo next to my two favorite flags. I really love Tennessee haha.
Title: Ferd Hickey Road.
Well, the subject of this email is the name of a road here in Knoxville, it's been my favorite by far thought I'd entertain some of you with that. Maybe no one else really thinks the names of these roads are as hilarious as I do. Oh well, haha. Also, this week a lot of ward council was about how to keep transients, or homeless people out of our buildings, so that's fun, haha. They just need help but they really are all over here in the city trying to have somewhere to stay and someone to help them, so we're working on being more organized in locking up buildings and always having Priesthood there, it really was a pretty funny ward council, one of the best for sure!
But as far as this week goes it was really great, we've been having some success with going through our area book and contacting those who have been taught before or some potential investigators. I feel so blessed to be a part of this great work. We were going to contact a former investigator and we came across a woman who was sitting on her patio, we started talking to her turns out she's tried out or been to every single church in the world basically except for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She expressed that she knows God loves her but she doesn't know how to worship or what's right, we introduced her to the Book of Mormon and she just expressed that she'd been looking for a book to read and it must be meant to be that we came by. She said she's going to read a good part of it before we head back over there tomorrow, it was so simple but given the it seemed lack of interest of everyone lately it was such a tender mercy, sometimes we just have to take a few steps into the dark to get to the light, and to bring others that light. I love going to members homes as well for dinners and such because it just reminds me that we're all on the same team and that we're not alone out here, that they're here and they want to help, sometimes they just don't know how. There are a lot of people the members are working with, we met some friends of a family in the ward last night, they have been taught before and are looking to come back to investigate again, just a lot of miracles and I'm very grateful for them, it is always worth the hard days.
I just really felt like Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was speaking directly to me and to my companion Sister Sume, it was exactly what we needed and I'd just like to share a bit of that with you and share my testimony of discipleship and what I have learned on a mission specifically about discipleship.
"You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations. So here we have the burden of those called to bear the messianic message. In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship). They know full well that the road leading to the promised land “flowing with milk and honey” of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots.”
I think for the first time in my life I have had my faith really challenged, my beliefs reviled and rejected, I mean in a way that they've never been challenged before in my life. It's amazing though, how our testimonies grow as we believe anyway, even if we feel the rest of the world is in chaos and confusion and really aren't willing to listen sometimes, in the words of Joseph B. Wirthlin when someone doesn't want to listen, or isn't interested or challenges the beliefs you hold so dear to you and what has become who you are. He says: "Love them." that is always the answer isn't it? Love them. Discouragement will weaken our faith, I know that to be true because I've seen it, in my life and the lives of many others, we can't give up no matter how far we have to go in our journey as disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It will always be worth it, this is HIS work, and the only true church upon the face of the earth, it can bring anyone who will listen more joy, purpose and happiness than anything else.
I love you all and thank you for everything I hope you have a wonderful week!
This is our apartment behind, upstairs it's pretty great. Sorry not the clearest picture, this is my companion Sister "incredible singing voice" .
This is our kitchen, My Companion and I made that Enos 1:4 sign, had a lot of fun doing that with some members and their friends!