Well I am now in my second area! I am in Bristol Tennessee. Just a little info about the area for ya, it is RIGHT on the border of Virginia. So there is a Bristol, TN and a Bristol, VA. It is a very unique city and is the birthplace of country music. Our church building and part of our ward is actually in Virginia. It is about two hours from my past area, so I did not recognize one person coming here! The ward that I am in has a lot of potential and I am super excited to be serving here. My companion is Sister Neil. She is from Nevada and is super great. She is my only companion... it is really nice to be out of a trio! We get along super well and I can already tell that I am really going to enjoy serving with her.
|Bristol is in the top right corner of the map.|
Since being in this area, Sister Neil and I have already started to see many, many miracles. This week alone, we have gotten 6 media referrals! That never happens. We have been working on contacting them and it is so awesome to see the Lord's hand in this area! One of the referrals that we contacted was a bit of an interesting character... his name is Jared. If I were to describe Jared I would say that he acts exactly like Napoleon Dynamite, but looks like Kip (from Napoleon Dynamite) with dark brown hair, no mustache, and add about 100 lbs. He's an interesting fellow. Apparently he called Salt Lake looking for job opportunities and the person on the phone gave him the information for a member of our bishopric. The bishopric member contacted us so we went over that night to go and meet and start teaching him. The situation was a bit weird, so we didn't start teaching the restoration right then. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to start reading a few chapters out of it, defined our purpose as missionaries and set up a time the next day to return and share more with him. When we were there for that first visit, he kept dropping comments like: "Yeah, I could definitely see myself being a prophet... but not in my own land because it says in the Bible that prophets won't be accepted in their own land.", "I studied marketing in school so I realize that you have to get people to an emotional point where they realize the danger that they are in, and then, once you've got them there, then you can grab them and bring them into the church!", and "I have a 3.2 gpa so I am very intelligent and know what it takes to work hard." We were only there for about 10 minutes so we mentioned how everything we do in the church is voluntary and not paid, but he did not seem to catch on. We had a meeting with him for the next day, but he wasn't there... he said something about having to drive a drunk friend somewhere even though he doesn't have a car. Anyways, we talked to him on the phone the next day and invited him to church and told him we would find him a ride and call him back once we did. When we called him back, it was sure interesting. It goes as follows:
me: "Hi Jared, we found a ride to church for you. Brother ____ will be picking you up at ."
Jared: "Oh good. I am really looking forward to church. I feel like I have a lot of potential."
me: "that's great! Well we also wanted to let you know that church is 3 hours long."
Jared:" *Napoleon Dynamite sigh* that's sounds really long and drawn out. I guess you didn't take into account that some people learn faster than others."
me: "It is actually really great. It is split up into three meetings. This week is what we call fast. The first meeting is Sacrament meeting. That's where we partake of the sacrament... some church call it communion. Then, since it is fast Today,it is a bit different from normal and we have an open microphone where people go up and bear their testimonies."
Jared: *Napoleon Dynamite scough* that should be interesting.
me: " Well, continuing on. The second meeting isschool. And then the third is a class where the men meet together and then where the women meet together."
Jared: "Okay. *Napoleon Dynamite Sigh*
me: "Well we are excited to see you there!"
Jared: "Yeah. Oh, and I took three pages of notes on the 8 pages that you had me read. I feel like you will be really enlightened from it."
me: "Oh wow. Well we are excited to see what you have. Have a good day and we'll see ya!"
... Jared is unlike any other person I have ever met. We still have not gotten the chance to meet with him and teach him the restoration, so I am fairly certain that he still views this as a job opportunity. Hopefully he will still be this enthusiastic once he finds out that it is not. We will see though. I am excited to see where things go with him!
I was able to meet one of our investigators this past week named Don. One of the issues that he is facing is that he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and everything but he does not feel like he has gotten his answer yet. In the last lesson that we had with him we shared with him 3rd Nephi 11: 1-7 and talked about how sometimes the Lord is trying to tell us something but we just don't understand... and then we went and read the scripture from Galatians about the fruits of the spirit. I think it helped him out a lot so I am excited to see where things go with him. He should be coming to one of the sessions of conference at the church this week and we asked him to come with a question in mind, expecting to get an answer.
I am super excited to work in this area and feel that it has a lot of potential! Our ward is super friendly! People were coming up and saying hi to our investigators and we didn't even have to ask them to! It was awesome!! I can tell that I am really going to enjoy serving here.
I love ya'll so much!! Have a great week!