Monday, April 7, 2014

Two Ends of the Spectrum

What the Transfer Train Feels Like

So it's been quite the week. Between dealing with drunk guys in hollers and being without a vehicle for half the week… we've definitely had some adventure in Pikeville!

The week started out with P-day. The Martin and Prestonburg Elders came up to hang out with us and we ended up going bowling with them. It was great to see Elder Jackson, from the original Lexington family again! That night, something really cool happened. The week before I had met an investigator named E-----. He lives in an old farmhouse, generations old, down in a holler. He's Kentucky to the core. The first lesson I ever taught to him, we were sitting on the front of a tractor the whole time. For this lesson, we got to sit on his front porch swing with him as we read the Book of Mormon. It was dusk, and his front porch looks out across a little stream, his garden, and his field. On the far side of the field, the ground meets the hills that form the little holler where he lives. Up on the side of that hill, sit three gravestones, the resting place of his family. We read the Book of Mormon with E-----, frogs chirping, his farm dog at our feet, and I took a second to look up and take in the scene. For a second, I was back at home, dreaming of what my life would be like as a missionary in the WVCM. This is what I pictured. This has always been in the plans, I guess. I was always meant to be here in Kentucky, at this time. I've always known it I think, even when I didn't know it. That night, sitting there on that porch, I had that old feeling that I can't seem to escape out here, the feeling that I was home, that I was where I was supposed to be.  Even beyond that, I felt that I was back. That I had been here before and I was meant to be here again, now. I'm so lucky that I'm here. I'm so lucky to know what I know.

Also this week, we had an experience that was on the opposite side of the spectrum. I've heard a lot about an investigator, M-----, who lives up this holler they call Open Fork. Finally, on Tuesday, I was going to get to meet her! So we go driving up her holler to her
house (and by house, I mean trailer) and find the door wide open. We yell for her but as we're yelling, we hear a yell from down the hill. We look down to find M----- at her friend R-------'s house waving us down. We head down to R------'s house (again, by house, I mean trailer) and meet the one and only M----- D------. She tells me her story, and from her lips, I get to hear one of the most beautiful testimonies in the world. We talk on the porch, the Kentucky breeze in our hair, the smell of spring on its way. 

We talk until the phone rings inside, and R------ brings it out. It turns out it was M------'s boyfriend that she had kicked out the night before.  She kicked him out because she wants to live the law of chastity and be baptized. Well, the night before had gotten a little violent, and her boyfriend was mad, and he told her that he was coming to get his stuff in five minutes. 
M----- hung up the phone and she asked us, "Will you girls stay until he comes?" So of course, we did. We wait until two cars full of drunk men come pulling up to M----'s trailer. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty scared, and I was praying pretty hard. But God had our back as always, and it turned out that it was really good we were there. When they were all yelling, M------ said, "you boys can't use that language in front of my girls----they're good christians." We kind of helped keep things calmed down and helped M------ stay calm as well.

More about this week------
*  We haven't had a truck due to it getting a scratch fixed, so we've been walking and knocking doors like crazy.  
*  Saturday we watched conference at the branch building and our investigators, the B-----s, came!!! They also took us and the Pikeville Elders to lunch, which was a blast. 
*  Sunday we spent at the C-------‘s watching conference. The C------s take such good care of us! 
*  We were tracting this week and this kid on his bike followed us and told us which houses had mean people, and who wasn't home, and what not. Super funny. His name was C----- :)    *  Pretty much every time we tract, a dog follows us. 
*  T----, who is on date for baptism at he end of this month, took us out to Texas
Roadhouse to eat.  He is the sweetest man.

My new companion, Sister Tobler, and the Elders at an Easter activity in the branch
Saying goodbye to Elder Moffet.  He's my bro.  And we look like siblings!
Elder Confer's handiwork in my book
More from Elder Confer.  We had a lot of traveling time on our hands. . .
Elder Confer sent me this picture of the old Buena Vista family
Sometimes on a mission, you just can't contain the happiness!

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