Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Greetings

          Missions are the best!!! Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I am just some random girl from Mapleton Utah who somehow winded up here in beautiful Ohio in the middle of a glorious fall season and traipsing around Kirltland where the Savior and Heavenly Father have appeared and where the Prophet Joseph Smith and Emma and Newel and Anne Whitney and Brigham young and Orson Hyde and Father Tanner and all sorts of the most incredible people have walked! I get to tell people all about that and show them and walk with the and say "this is it! This is the very place where He stood" Its a truly incredible thing! And THEN, on area days, I get to drive 35 minutes through the most beautiful countryside to a town where the 4th largest Amish Settlement is! Our Branch is small and needy and full of really old people and I wouldn't have it any other way! So I get to go around visiting a bunch of Assisted Living centers and little old Grandma's and Grandpa's who can't make it to church anymore and I LOVE it. It is just perfect for me! Missions are indeed the best. Where else could I be having all these wonderful experiences?!!!

      SO that is basically my life. I know it sounds pretty cushy...TRUST ME, we have plenty of rough days. Its still really hard work. But, oh so rewarding.

       This week was really good. We saw a lot of the members in our area which was awesome, We have some that love having us over every week but we were able to see and get to know some that haven't had the missionaries in their home for awhile now so that was a success! We don't have many investigators to work with so we feel strongly that we need to follow the counsel we've been given and try and effectively work with the members! Its been going great! We have one member referral that seems promising so we aren't giving up on him (although he is very busy).
       We had such a fun lesson with Bro. Pitts this week (he is the 26 year old who overdosed and now lives in an assisted living type place) At one point in the lesson he just gets this big grin on his face and blurts out "God's the best!" quote ever...yes, yes God is the best! He also left us a voice mail later that night and said, "Hi Sister Nance and Sister Newren, I just wanted to call and say thanks for being so cool and valiant soldiers...and um...I don't know! K BYE!" haha... it was the sweetest thing EVER! I love that kid!
      Yesterday we officially started rehearsals for the Messiah Concert we are participating in. Some members in our branch are really involved with this community choir that does a Messiah Concert every year to raise money for the poor in the county. Well apparently "the sisters are in it every year!" So, we got permission to go to every other practice and be in it! The other 3 sisters in the Branch weren't too thrilled because they don't sing that often and its really hard music! But, I am actually WAY excited for it! It was so fun, The Shepherds (member couple who are making us be in it) had us over for lunch after church, we had THE most delicious fresh tomato soup (from the tomatoes we helped her can the other day!) Honeydew melon and gourmet chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches with Amish Whole Wheat Bread and Havarti Cheese. I am still drooling just thinking about it, It was SO good (maybe I am just getting sick of my own cooking..yep...that too)! Anyways.  Then we headed to this catholic church for the practice, It was a huge place, apparently its actually like a retirement home for the nuns when they get really old. So cool, So I sat next to some nuns and learned to sing Handel's Messiah. It was AWESOME!

        Well, I am doing great and LOVING my mission! Although, I often feel inadequate, I know there are a billion things more I could be doing. But I am trying to just take it one day at a time and recognize that I am a successful missionary when I am doing my best. And moving ahead with that Trust in God has taken me further than I ever could have imagined!
    I read this really good quote this morning! Ready..." The Virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fullness of the gospel.  Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down , and strengthen the feeble knees'" - Elder Uchtodorf. Isn't that great!!!! We just have to be the best we can be!!!!! When we are righteous we ARE living witnesses to the fullness of the Gospel and the joy and peace it brings. I am so grateful for that!  There is so much good to be done in the world. And who better then us to go out and do it!
         I love you all dearly! Thanks a billion for all your love and support!
Ps...this week in transfer meeting President gave us his "vision" for the mission. They are so good so here you go...
    1) LOVE your mission (or your life)
    2) BELIEVE in Miracles
    3) ANCHOR yourself in the Word of God
    4) GO to Heaven 
               So simple. I love it!

This is Hannah's district

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