Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good Old Fashioned Missionary Work!

Summerville has the strangest weather I’ve ever experienced.  This week we’ve had severe thunderstorms and then cloudless days…days that are 20 degrees and then the next day will be in the 70’s…It’s messin’ with me!
This week has been a good one.  You know those weeks that just are not super remarkable…?  That was this week.  Noting super duper special happened, just a week full of good, old-fashioned missionary work!  J
Some People we’ve been seeing this week:
DeeDee – DeeDee is a 40-something year old woman from Detroit.  She came to Summerville to be able to take better care of her health (She has lost almost 200 lbs since she’s been here!) and, when we knocked into her she had just finished reading the entire Bible in 90 days.  She’d been on such a spiritual high, that when she saw us at the door, she let us right in…without a single word from us!  J  She has a church that she is strong in, but is open to change if that’s what God wants for her.  She’s such a neat lady to teach!  Right now she’s on baptism to February 8th J
Larsel – pronounced “Lar-Cell”.  Larsel grew up on the “streets” without any “instructions” from a mom or dad. (Have I told you yet? Southern people have this tendency to replace their T’s with C’s.  Why? No clue.  But it’s cute!) We were walking by  his apartment on our way to visit a less-active sister, when Larsel yells “hey! What’re y’all sellin?”  We love when people ask us that. J  We told him about the Book of Mormon, and told him we’d give him a copy for free. He was so excited!  We assigned him alma 36 and  set up a time to come back, and then went on to our Less Active appointment.  Well the appointment fell through, so we jumped across a nearby river/ditch type thing, on our way to check up on a few leads.  No sooner then we’d crossed, Larsel comes bolting out of his front door, and literally chased us down, waving the Book of Mormon in the air.  “I read it! I just sat down and read the chapter!  This Alma guy is just like me!!!”  He was shouting…really loud.  J I’ve never seen someone so excited about the Book of Mormon before!
The Brimley Family – Not an investigator or anything, just a really, really great family.  They’ve fed us 4 times this week!  J  I love families like that!
So by way of random news – Sister Lamb dyed my hair!  We had bought the hair color for a recent convert to do on a p-day, but during planning on Friday night, Sister Lamb looked up and was like “hey…wanna dye your hair?”  So….we did.  And it turned out ….exactly the same color as it was…hahaha!   J
So, we’re having another Big Lift!  We drove down to Columbia for a “Lift – Crew” Meeting.  We drove 2.5 hours, had a 20 min meeting, and then drove back…haha!  It was a really good meeting though.  President talked to us quite a bit about pride.  He told us that pride is the root of every human relationship problem.  And you know what?  It’s true!  Just kind of interesting…
Church this Sunday was NUTS!!!  There was a pipe that burst in the building that Summerville 2nd & 3rd Ward meet in, so their meetings got cancelled, and they came to our ward.  Remember when President Riggs was Bishop in AZ and our ward went back to the stage in the cultural hall?  Yeah, that was us on Sunday.  It was cool to see all those missionaries (6 companionships) with their investigators though.  Every companionship had at least one investigator, and we topped it out at 3 J  There was a neat spirit there with all those investigators J
On Monday (this was last week, but noteworthy none the less J) we went to a place called “Perfectly Frank’s”  It was on the Food Network…and they have the funniest Hot Dogs you’ve ever seen!  A few favorites: 
The Anne Frank = A turkey dog w/Swiss cheese, slaw, and spicy mustard. 
The Aretha Franklyn = Hot dog w/pulled pork, bbq sauce, slaw & crispy onions (I had this one…YUM!)
Frankie “Elvis” = Hot dog with melted peanut butter, grilled bananas, bacon, and honey J  Funny place!
A note to Jessica Kleinman (if she still reads these?) – You should check out the Lower Lights…they sound like Mumford & Sons and the Liminers, and they do church music.  You’d like them.  Favorite song = be Thou My Vision…look it up!  Also you should write me!  J
Welp I hope y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

Cute Sisters!
 Bryndee and Sister Lamb's area...3 times larger than they though.
A clever sign she saw.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Season 7, Grand Fanale!

My week…well, my week was pretty good.  I think there’s this funny phenomenon as a missionary where you sit down to review your week and you can’t remember a single…solitary…thing that happened!  That’s me right now.  So in no particular order…my week:
We started teaching Brad this week!  Brad is a 21 year old guy with a really really troubled past.  He’s been wanting to change his life for quite some time but never could seem to break the cycle he was in.  Well we’ve taught him twice this week (restoration & plan of salvation) and he’s on date to be baptized for the 25th.  I have never seen someone so excited to be baptized…he has caught the fire of the Gospel!  He’s even doing more missionary work that the members down here!  So far he’s brought a friend to church, invited the lady down the street to hear the missionary lessons, and he even committed someone to be baptized for us!  God is sure blessing us and we’re doing our very best to deserve it!  J
One night we were knocking in a neighborhood chuck-full of DNC’s (do not contact…scary stuff!) we were doing our very best to avoid the people who were mean, and knocked right into a miracle instead J  We were walking and there was a guy outside taking a  break from his football game, and smoking up a storm.  We started talking to him and it turns out he had just been thinking about how he needed to find a good church to join for the New Year.  Perfect!  We just happen to have a really fantastic one off of Bacons Bridge Road!  J  We gave him a BOM. explained what it was, and are super excited to go back J
I got to teach Mission Prep last night…oh my heavens…teenage boys start out as such awkward teachers!  It was hilarious!  But we taught a pretty good lesson, if I do say so myself!  J
Kitt bought us an ASL Book of Mormon!  It’s on DVD, and has people sighing…way neat!  J  My goal is to be able to sign my testimony by the end of next month…wish me luck!
I got to go on exchanges with Sister Warden on Monday!  Remember her, who lived with me in Simpsonville?  She was so fun to work with!  President Holm always talks aout how we should work with urgency, bordering on emergency and Sister Warden has mastered that!  She’s got more energy and drive than anyone I’ve ever met!  J
MLC this week!  They announced tons of meetings coming up (miles are gonna be fun this month!) including another big lift, and no more strangers, and specialized training by President/Sister Holms (I Pads?  Who knows…)  Here is a sublist of President Holm’s quotes:
             1.  “We have finite number of clean slates”
2. “You show me a person who strives to do the Father’s will and I’ll show you someone who's celestial material"
3. “The new day has nothing to do with the past day”
4.  “Honesty is the only answer, 100% of the time, no matter the consequences”
President talked a lot about the Savior, and how almost everything we have recorded of him happened with a span of 3 years.  Three years and yet the things that occurred were so important, the world changed its calendar according to his life.  Crazy!
The Brethren have also asked us to double the # of baptisms.  Whoa!  The work is hastening, guys.  Israel is being gathered.
I got to give a training @ our Zone meeting.  20 minutes on being a “fire in the belly” missionary.  I know my family is dying at the thought of me standing in front of people and running my mouth for 20 minutes. ..It’s hard enough getting me to talk for 5.  But I actually do it about twice a month.  It’s good stuff.  It was a cool training to plan for.  As I researched what I was going to say I realized that almost every time the scriptures refer to “fire’ they’re referring to the Holy Ghost.  Ex : The baptism of water and fire…God descending in a pillar of fire…the spirit of God like a fire is burning…I could go on.  There’s a reason that people describe the Holy Spirit as warm!  Being a “fire in the belly” missionary is simply having the spirit with you.  That’s what gets you excited and pumped…that’s what gives you the miracles.  Cool training to give.  J
Welp there’s my week.  It was pretty good one.  Hope y’all enjoyed your New-Year’s celebrations, and I see ya next week!
Y’all have a blessed week,
Sister Derrick

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bryndee's Christmas Letter...Finally!

Bryndee ran out of time to email us a letter so she sent one to us through "snail mail".  It got misplaced in our neighbor's mailbox and they didn't check their mail for a week...So 2 weeks after Christmas it is finally here and it is a good one!  Enjoy!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  And a Happy New Year too!  I had the great privilege of waking up to Sister Robinson every morning jumping up and down on the bed singing “it’s Christmassssss Eve’s  Eve!!! In her froggy morning voice.  It was wonderful!  J
So I started the week with an exchange with Sister Eames of Moncks Corner.  It was probably my favorite exchange ever; with maybe a tight exception for Sister Mumford J She was so fun to work with! 
Tuesday was DDM and Christmas Eve!!! We got to spend the first part of the night with the Wright Family.  My goodness, they were so fun!  They had a son who acted just like Porter, and a daughter who looks like Kymber, and acts like Torie.  Oh my gosh, I felt so at home there! J  We also got to go visit the Brimley’s for dessert.  They read us the Gullah version of The Night Before Christmas (Gullah = the language the African-American slaves spoke…Google it, its way cool!) They also gave us chocolate covered popcorn/pretzels/potato chips…surprisingly delicious. That night Sister Wallen and Dillion got to sleep over at our house so they wouldn’t be alone on Christmas…fun!
Then……Christmas!!! Sister Robinson.  She is so funny!  She stayed up all night because she was so excited.  So at about 4:00 in the morning she got up and watercolored us all pictures of the Temple for ChristmasJ Anyway, we woke up at 6:30 opened presents.  A big shout out to my family, Grandma Rosie, Grandma Sharon, The Julian family, and Momma Belyea J Thanks so much!  We then ate crepes…yum!!!! 
After breakfast I got to enjoy my favorite part of Christmas:  We got to spend 2 ½ hours in persona study time.  My goodness, that may have been the best 2 ½ hours of my mission.  I read Jesus the Christ.  In my studies I read the account of the Last Supper and the Atonement.  Aside from a few cool cool insights into the Temple a few things hit me really powerfully.  One thing I loved happens right before Christ makes it to Gethsemane…he says one last prayer with his 11 remaining Apostles.  The prayer (in Sister Derrick’s words and terms…) goes something like this…”heavenly Father, these are the 11 I have chosen to carry on with what I have started here.  They are not perfect, but they’ve got good hearts, and I have faith that they can do amazing things.  Heavenly Father, please bless them with the spirit, and the ability to do what they need to.”  This prayer reminds me quite a bit of the one offered by the Brother of Jared in Ether 2&3…”Lord, here are these 16 stones.  I got them as smooth and white as I could on my own.  I’ve done all I can…Could you make them do what you need done?”  And then…there’s us.  Sometimes I feel like Christ says “Heavenly Father, here are these missionaries.  They aren’t much to look at, and sometimes they’re immature or headstrong…but they’ve got willing hearts and ready hands.  Please help them do what you need them to.”  The cool thing about this parallel is what God made of those 11 Apostles, and those 16 stones.  He made them amazing.  So, look what he can make of little weak, imperfect me?  How cool, right?!?
After study, we took a nap (our Christmas present from President HolmJ) We hung out with Elena, our recent convert, Skyped with my family J, and ate honey baked ham (oh my Heavens…where has that stuff been all my life!  YUM!!!  We also went to see a revolution-era fort made out of oyster shells…kinda cool!!!
All in all it was a really good Christmas!!! J
On Saturday, we had our exchange with the coordinating sisters, and Holy Hanna…there were so many miracles!  Even with Christmas Eve/ Christmas, and the horrible numbers that came with that.  We still hit 21 lessons and a new investigator (that’s quite a few…J)  We ran out of miles so we walked all day but we worked really, really hard and were blessed for it! J
Welp, that’s my week!  It was completely wonderful, and full of the Savior.  I hope y’all really felt His love this Christmas season. 
Y’all have a blessed week!
Love ,
Sister Derrick