Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello from...

Georgia! That's right, I was lucky enough to be called to the very very south part of my mission, and am serving in Thompson, Georgia! I'm discovering lots of new things down here, like mist and fog and lots and lots and lots of churches. Seriously there is one on every corner (sometimes more than one!) and there are tons of beautiful pre-civil war houses. I'm really loving it down here! the very best part of this area is the overabundance of trees. I LOVE the trees! its like camping, but with plumbing! :)

 Mom- I'm sorry for the lack of pictures... I'm waiting to get some from sister Mumford from the MTC, but I'll try to figure out how to send the few I have. I don't have any from my new area yet, but I'm working on it.

 My trainer's name is Sister Gardner, and if you want to know what she looks like, look up a picture of Amy Adams. seriously, they could be twins. She was a psych major in college, and loves to pick my brain and figure out how I think, because I guess I think differently from anyone she's ever met before (ha ha go figure ;)) She is amazing because she discovered she had celiac, plus a bunch of other health problems, while on her mission, and so she's taught me a lot about relying on the lord and seeing trials as blessings. the down side of it is she cant eat.... well, anything. needless to say, I'm so excited to go grocery shopping in a bit... its also kind of funny, because I'm the youngest girl in the mission right now, and I got paired with the oldest :)

 Right now, our teaching pool is pretty small, because we've been asked to focus more on reactivation. a good half of our ward is inactive. so, our day is spent teaching and lifting families, and trying to get them to church activities. I've seen gods hand in my life many ways this week, but the one that stands out most in my memory was something of a miracle. Sister Garnder and I have a list of less active members that we have been working to try and bring to church. It seems that every time we went to go meet one of them, they aren't home or have some reason not to attend. We've been praying for a solution, and doing everything we could think of to remedy the less-active problem. I remember one night praying mightily that our father in heaven would help us figure out what to do, and we were impressed to visit a certain family, one Sister West. We went to visit her and share a message about courage, and as we were doing so, her friend Martha walked in. As we got to know Martha, We discovered that she was close friends with every single sister we had been trying to get a hold of, and gave us updated phone numbers and times we would be able to catch them at home, and then agreed to come to church with us! It was an amazing answer to prayer.

 A cool thing: one of sister Gardener's converts went through the temple on Saturday, so we got to go and watch their family be sealed! It was probably one of the coolest things Ive ever seen in my life. I'm so glad our father in heaven provided us with a way to be with our families for eternity!

so, an embarrassing story: My very first Sunday, the day I got to meet the bishop and everyone else, we arrived at church (a good 40 min. away...) and I realise I FORGOT. MY. NAME TAG. oh my heavens, it was terrible. I had to borrow an elder's and jerry-rig it so it said my name, using a sticky note and a black pen to black out the background. not a great moment for me.... It ain't easy being green :)

 One thing I've learned in the scriptures this week: I've been splitting my study time between reading in the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ, and I've discovered a great pre-indicator of going down a path that will lead you to misery: Vain ambitions and Flattery. Almost every time someone does something wrong, they start with a vain ambition (oh, I don't need to do that, that doesn't apply to me, I deserve this, why is this happening to me?) or flattery (doing or saying something for the sole purpose of getting what you want, getting people to like you, or even justifying something). Ive noticed myself thinking, ' oh, maybe if I say this then they will like me enough to come to church!' or other similar ideas. this is not how the lord works. He works by lifting others, simply for the sake of lifting them. it is then, and only then, that hearts are changed and things get done..... just a though :)

 Quote of the week: " what is to be, will be, and what 'aint to be, might just happen... So don't worry about it!"
- Sister Pullam ( who originally told me her name was Sister Pusham... just to tease me :))

 Well, you all have a fantastic Easter, and remember you are loved very much.

 Have a blessed day, Y'all!

Sister Derrick
Here are a few pictures Bryndee sent from the MTC...Enjoy!
 Bryndee and Sister Mumford at the Provo Temple. 

Sister Severtson and Bryndee at the MTC.  It is so fun to see these girls together with their name tags.
Bryndee and her MTC district.

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