I love y'all! This week has been so full. I only get a chance to write down maybe 10% of what actually happens most days. But I'll do my best with keepin' y'all in the loop. (Share pretty much any story. I'll specify if it's only for y'all). I'll try to keep in chronological but essentially everything happened this last week~
Tue-We had ZTM (zone training mtg) up in...somewhere past Cowpens :) The zone leaders are great, we share a ward with them. They taught all about keeping everything strictly the doctrine--keep out the fluff--and being able to tie everything into baptism. Sis Derrick and I have worked on that a lot this week and it's really improved our lessons/ability to teach. That night we went down to the most southern part of our area to have dinner with the Robinsons and their daughter's family. Bro. Robinson is an incredible cook. He made my day with carmelized onions and squash and pork and mashed potatoes--all things I've been craving lately. The Lord blesses His missionaries.
Throughout this week I've really learned the difference planning makes and blessings it brings. We forgot a couple of things the night before to plan for...didn't end up being the most productive day we've had. The rest of the week we've focused really hard on filling our days completely during our planning sessions and it's made the world of difference.
Wed-We mapped like crazy! Marking where people live and figuring out who is in ours vs. the elders' boundries. A necessary evil when opening an area. BUT we did get to knock a few houses before going to our mission correlation mtg at night. We found some people of other faiths, a Spanish-speaking family, some who aren't ready for the Gospel yet, and we found a man on the phone. This man's name is Devin. We knew he was busy but asked if we could come by another time. He said yes. Tomorrow about the same time. Sounds good. We leave for out meeting, go about our duties and life is good.
Thur-We went down to Woodruff, and wanting to save some miles on the car, we decided to park and bike. We found a spot down the street from Sis. Bowman (who I love!), that is now saved in the GPS as Woodruff Parking Spot :) Anyhow, went to the first person on our list. Wasn't home but knocked some doors. Then we decided to bike to the next place that the GPS said--which is supposed to be the most efficient route to visit all 8-10 people. So we biked. and biked. and biked. and we made it to a one-lane construction hill. "Umm...we might be walking part-way up, just so you know," I tell Sis. Derrick as we look out. We start peddling and peddling and then the rain starts coming and coming and then it just dumps! and we are the happiest people on earth! It hasn't rained once since I came out! (though it has for the last 3 months) and Sis. Derrick has been dying to bike in the rain. It was so incredible! The Lord sends so many tender mercies.
Well, we get to the house and there's a NO TRESPASSING sign. Sad day, but we have an investigator across the street so we go to see her but no go. We left a pamphlet with a note though :) And then we have to go back as we're mostly dry at this point (the rain stopped awhile ago), and we had a dinner appointment to get to on time. We get going, back up the construction hill and around the bends, on we go...then guess what! Trickle...drip-drop...down-pour!!!! We decided it was safer to walk our bikes for awhile though and it gave us more time to enjoy the rain :D Our glasses are ridiculously fogged-up and dripping wet. What a sight we were. But it was wonderful.
We made it back to the care safe 'n sound. And to our dinner appointment a minute or two late. What was crazy though...Sis. Derrick told me--I didn't believe her at first--but we biked 12 miles!!! Wahoo!
The Taylors are so fun and funny! They have 7 children. Their 4 year-old girl was so fun. She hates school but loves books :) We had chicken on a stick (may have been home-grown chicken...we didn't ask but they do have pet chickens in their yard) and it was delicious. We shared the scripture in 3 Nephi 11 about the children being encircled by angels and talked about how Jesus loved all of the people but it was the children he loved the most.
Later that night we went back to Devin's house. And he was waiting on the porch for us. Like, tick-tock, tick-tock, where've you been? We taught him the first discussion on his porch, we invited him to be baptized--and he said yes!
Yesterday, after church we biked all around. We didn't meet any of the people we planned on but we found some gems. Larry, who wants to join the church "because it's true!" and we found a little community of mostly black people with lots of kids...we mostly got in because of the kids. We're going back there on Tuesday to teach a lot more.
Love the people!
And I love y'all too!
Have a most blessed week!