Saturday, October 19, 2013

Knoxville, TN

Dear Family! 

Thank you all so much for your emails! It was so nice to read them. Well, here's about my week: 

On Wednesday I picked up another companion, Sister Wynn. She is awesome. She is such a hard worker and hasn't been out very long... about 4 months I think. I know that right now I can learn a ton from her. I am very excited for the success that we all are going to have! As a companionship, Sister Stone, Wynn, and I have all made some goals that will hopefully help us to have some more success here. The work is going very slowly. As of right now, I am finding that one of the hardest things is to find people to teach. Most everyone is a set in stone baptist so it can be hard to share our message, but we are still working hard nonetheless. 

The young women's leader is awesome. Every Wednesday night she comes out with us and will go try and contact some of the less-active young women. This past week we were having trouble finding someone to visit. Everyone's house that we went to had either moved or given the church the wrong address. We finally decided to go and visit one of the names at the bottom of the list. When we went there, the lady who answered the door was so surprised to see us. She mentioned that she thought that it was divine intervention that we had come at that time. Apparently these less-active are living at another member's house and were having a hard time right then because the member had asked them to find a new place to live. We were able to go there and to share a quick spiritual message and talk things over. The young woman seemed super interested in some of the church programs, especially the choir, so hopefully she will start showing up to some of the activities and such. 

This past week we went over and visited a part-member/less active couple, the Amos's. They are elderly and cannot attend church because of their health. The wife is not a member and because the husband has not attended church for such a long time, he does not remember much about the gospel. When we went there, we had brought the Elders with us so that they could give them a blessing. So we first gave them a quick lesson and introduced the Book of Mormon and then went on to the blessing. It was such a cool blessing that the Elder gave. He kept mentioning to the husband how heavenly father was so pleased to have a son like him. That really touched me quite a bit. This man is home-bound, but it is so obvious to see the love and dedication that he has for his wife. Even when he can't do a lot, he still has an honest heart and is able to serve the best to his capability. I thought that was a great lesson to be learned. Anyways, when the other Elder gave Sister Amos a blessing, that was also a super cool experience. After the blessing was over, Sister Amos started talking about her daughter who had just barely died three months earlier from a drug-overdose. She pointed to a picture of her daughter in the room, right next to where I was, and I could literally feel her daughter right next to me. The spirit was so strong that entire visit. It was amazing. 

Well funny story that happened during that visit. After the blessings, we started talking to the couple about the plan of salvation. Sister Wynn was being awesome and using some of the "how to begin teaching points" in preach my gospel. She was trying to use the one that says: "We don't know everything but we will do our best to answer your questions." Well, she got ahead of  herself though and instead of saying everything, she said anything. So she ended up saying: "We don't know anything, but we will do our best to answer your questions." I corrected her just to clarify and everyone got a good laugh out of it! It was pretty great. 

I've started to read this book on the Apostasy. I believe it is called "The Great Apostasy"... or something like that. It's pretty cool though. So far as I have been reading, the thing that has really stuck out to me is the fact that even after Christs death and has people were standing strong to the religion, it wasn't all of the persecutions (burned, being fed to ravenous dogs, crucified, etc.) that they were facing that destroyed the church. The more the persecutions came, the more people flocked to the church. But what actually ended up causing the church to go into apostasy was the enemy that came from within. I think that there is a good lesson to be taken from there. 

Okay, funny story time. Last week my companions and I decided to splurge, so we went to McDonalds to go and buy some icecream. When we were there, we saw 3 teenaged-age boys. I didn't think much of it. We quickly got our icecream and left. Later that same night, we wnet and got gas fr our car and went in to buy some milk. When we were walking in to the gas station, those same three boys, called over to me and my companions. We went over, thrilled that someone actually called us over to talk to us. We started talking about the gospel. We gave them a pass along card. (I had almost written our phone number on it, but last minute decided not to), and then as we started to walk away, one of the teenage boys yelled to me and said "Hey, the whole reason why I wanted to talk to you was because I thought you were pretty." I thought about doing the whole "flirt to convert" thing, but decided against it so I just said thanks and went and bought the milk. 

I love you all!!

Sister Spencer

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