Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Family!
Whew-y you had quite the week. Your emails always put mine to shame. Katie's class sounds like way fun, she'll have to take some pictures of her work so I can ogle at it too. I can't believe Sophie is so grown up. Is she still working on a degree at UVU too? I forgot that CC won that game show, that might be the first show I watch when I get home! Haha when is she going on her trip/ did she ever decide who was coming with? I tried to be supportive of your Birthday bike race, by having my own little one, but due to flat tires and it getting to be too late, I had to call it quits after lap 20. So you only got a lap for each of the years that you've had me in your life... pregnancy not included... Happy Birthday anyways! :)
My brown shoes are by far my most worn down pair, all the others are in excellent condition. I've been trying to be better about not wearing them so much, but sometimes I just can't help it. I may or may not be currently wearing them today as well. I may or may not have also worn them yesterday. I have a problem.

We meet so many new people all the time here, that it really feels like our teaching pool is constantly shifting. We've got our few tried and true that stick around, but other than that it's a hot mess trying to keep everyone's names and stories straight. Thank goodness for planners, otherwise my brain would've thrown in the towel long ago, and left me a vegetable.

Yesterday Alma came to church as well as C+C! We were ridiculously happy. C+C had to leave after Sacrament meeting, but Alma was able to stay for all three hours. We went from having no Gospel Principles last week due to nobody at church to attend, to having a full class of almost 20 this week. The Lord always provides. I'm constantly amazed by the seemingly unending supply of part-member families that pop up exactly when needed. A less-active who brought his older sister and friend along (without any help from missionary or members) a couple of weeks ago, brought them for sacrament meeting again the next week, and then dutifully had his little company stay for all their meetings this week, enabling us to have a nice chat in Relief Society with his sister, and score a teaching appointment for Thursday. Unexpected miracles are the best kind.
Good luck with your interview, and good luck to Kami and CC too! May the odds be ever in y'alls favor!
Love,
Sister Markle

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Family!

It was soooo good to see y'all Sunday :) it was another batch of pure silliness, so it felt just like I was home. Christmas really doesn't feel like it was so long ago, which is scary because there is about the same amount of time left until I'll for real be home as there was between this and last phone call. Bum bum BUM!

And yes, taquitos are of the utmost importance, and the slightest chance of their nonexistence must be handled appropriately. I'm glad that they're still likely in circulation, and our Walmart workers are just lazy. It means my future taquito prospects just got brighter, so thanks again.

Quick recap of the week: We got to go with some of our ward members to help with tornado clean-up in Louisville Mississippi Saturday (I'm on the Arkansas border of Mississippi, and Louisville is near the Alabama border, so we had to get permission from el Presidente). It felt like being part of a news report, because that's really the only time I've seen such devastation before. I mostly have pictures from the first house we worked at, which was almost completely demolished. The lady was a horder, so we had to sift through all the debris to save her wet junk. She's going to go through the gigantic piles we left for her, and I really hope she doesn't save much of anything. Fresh start. It was crazy to see some houses so ruined, and their neighbors basically untouched. Tornadoes are insane. The end.
Yesterday we had interviews with President, which is an all-day process since we live so far from the rest of civilization. On the way down we stopped at Onward, MS which is the site that Theodore Roosevelt gained the nickname "Teddy" for not shooting a bear. That makes it the birthplace of the Teddy Bear, which is pretty cool. Sure beats last week when we accidentally drove too far during our search for the house from the movie the Help, and ended up in Money, MS which is where the infamous Emmett Till murder happened (he whistled at a white girl). That's Mississippi for you. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The work is still going well here, but I think the only major development was that L is still progressing :) On Wednesday she said that she had talked with her husband about baptism, and that she feels really good about everything, but then doubts creep in. She wants to be firm enough in the faith to be able to defend her beliefs, and she doesn't feel ready yet. We're still working with her to recognize/be confident in the answers she's receiving, but it is SO amazing the progress she's made the last month, even with us only being able to visit once a week. The Lord always provides a way :)
I love you all oodles and caboodles!
-Sister Markle

Monday, May 5, 2014

Family!
I am still in denial that it's my year mark, but I think I'll survive. Currently the plans are just business as usual, but since Thursday nights we visit people/eat with Amanda (Sister Welch's cousin), I have put in a special request for chocolate gravy and homemade biscuits. It's delicious. Best the South has to offer.
I kind of forgot that CC was still dating a kid, but that's good they ended things before she left, so there's no awkward Dear John/Jane-ing. Poor Kami! The Drill Team is waaay better and more prestigious than the Dance Company at PG anyways, so hopefully this extra year of practice gets her in Drill next year. New job?! That would be fun to work at the high school while Kami's there! She could mooch off of the Faculty Parking benefits without getting a ticket like I did... Would that mean you would be the lady next to the office that we hand money to through the window? I always liked the window lady. You'd get to interact with students again, but just not as much as you did at Windsor. Pros and cons, but change is fun.
This week has been busy busy busy! I don't even know where to start. Tuesday we had some cool spiritual experiences: we finally taught this lady named S that we met a couple weeks ago, and the lesson went so well! She hadn't read the pamphlet we left with her because she struggles with reading, so we just taught the whole lesson from the pamphlet to help her with her commitment. She's really not bad at reading, but we're probably going to give her the audio version of the Book of Mormon to get her started. S soaked up everything we taught, and accepted our baptismal invitation! We set her with a date for the end of May, and she asked us to repeat the day, so she could write it down and ask it off work. We thought that was really sweet, but it did raise the issue of her working on Sundays during church since she's the weekend manager at Subway. We talked with her about the importance of making it to church before and after baptism, and we'll be working with her on a solution. Still so cool!
After our lesson with S we decided to head over to an active member's house, but on the way we saw someone outside of a less-active's house that we've never been able to catch. We flipped a quick U-turn, and went over to go talk with her. It ended up being the member's mom instead, but we kept talking with her, and then introduced her to the Book of Mormon. She opened up about something sketchy going on in her church, and we were able to testify to her the need for the Restoration. She was really sweet, and it was just an added testimony to the fact that the Lord places us in the paths of his prepared children.
Another exciting development: I don't know if I've told y'all about the K's before, but they're essentially my favorite family in existence. They're from India, but Brother K was introduced to the Church while he was teaching in Georgia, and has loved it ever since. He's married now and has three year old son; the Sisters tracted into him last summer while waiting for dinner to be ready at a member's home in the apartment building next to theirs. Before I got here the ward had asked the Sisters to stop focusing on them, because Brother K respects his father's authority, and won't be baptized without his approval. We see them about every week or so, but without the goal of baptism they don't make it to church much because they stay up really late every Saturday night calling home to India. Sister Cottrell told me about them before I even got here, so I've been biased from the beginning, BUT Brother K's father will be visiting at the beginning of the summer (probably), and Brother K thinks it will help his father understand the importance of the church in preserving family values. So no "real" update on them, but I'm really hoping that this will get them started towards the temple (and the font...) sooner :) It'd be a mega huge miracle, so some extra prayers their way would be welcome :)
I love you all so much, and I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!!! So soon!!! AHHHH!!
Lots of Doubles,
-Sister Markle