The library was closed yesterday! Columbus Day? What the… Libraries close for that?
This week has been pretty exciting. We’ve spent a lot of time on our bikes, constantly finding more to teach. It’s been great. The harder we work, the more energy we have, and the better we sleep! It’s a fantastic cycle. We’ve set a goal to bike at least 1 hour a day, but it always turns into more. I love it sooo much!
We went out riding early Tuesday morning to an appointment in “the black neighborhood”. It’s kind of scary… About 4 years ago some guy stabbed his brother to death on the corner, I guess. We stick out like sore thumbs – two white girls, in skirts on bikes, wearing goofy helmets. It’s awesome. But we went to go meet with Ms. Billy but she wasn’t home. We saw a lady walking with a ton of groceries in her hands so we rode over to her and asked if we could walk with her, then put her bags on our handle bars. As soon as we said we were missionaries her face lit up and she just talked and talked. We walked with her to her house, which wasn’t very far, but it took us about 30-45 minutes cause she was a little old. When she’d get really excited about whatever she was saying, she’d stop walking. But her name is Linda and she’s met with Elders before. She’s very active in her little Baptist church, but said we could come back. We had a great chat – all sorts of restored truths were brought up.
We had quite a few members go out with us. One lady, Linda Odom, took us out to a little baby town (Warren) to find some lost sheep. Her visiting teaching route used to be in Warren so she knew all the county roads. It was awesome! People who the branch has been missing for years she knew how to find. We’re all – “Why haven’t they gotten with Linda before?” it was awesome. So we were able to find a bunch of houses, even meet a couple, that we can start to re-fellowship. It’s great!
On Wednesday when we did our mormon.org I found a super cool video. It’s named, “A Book of Mormon Story” and this black guy narrates it. The animation they use is sooo neat and the guy has the voice of an angel. They should have him do the Book of Mormon on tape. I really liked it… We also got to go out with a member, Connie Lovelace, and she took us to a little baby town called Colmesniel. But everyone calls it “Colmeniel”. It’s easier to drop the S. But we went and contacted a referral! Her name is Beth. She’s a patient of our sweet member, Betty Odom, who does home healthcare. Beth has had a double lung transplant and broke both her legs, all within the past 1.5 years. Pretty crazy! But she was so positive! It amazed me. I really liked visiting with her, but she didn’t give us a chance to speak! Then all of a sudden she was saying, “Well so nice of y’all to come by… I’ll see you later!” and we left. So we didn’t really know what to think of that. But on Thursday, Betty went to go do blood work on her and said Beth just talked and talked and talked about us. So we’re going to go back and give it another shot.
Thursday was quite an exciting day. We had a lovely lesson with JoAnn in the morning with a member, Dolores Lovelace, and then headed out on our bikes. We had dinner with Denese Durr that night before our Hour of Power. We shared a scripture with her, then asked her where we should head to find someone. She didn’t really know, so she spun a pen on the floor and told us to go the direction it pointed. Well – it pointed to the OTHER black neighborhood. It looked like a bunch of old slave houses – no joke – that you’d find on a huge plantation. Except there were just rows of them… all these little shacks. We weren’t really having success, so I said, “Hey, let’s go bike down there to the right!” the road looked so pretty; trees, a bend and a creek… Well we’re riding, and we hear a POP! POP! I looked over my shoulder at sister Allison and saw blood gushing out of her! jk. hahaha i looked at her and yelled, “retreat! retreat!” so we spun around on our bikes and booked it back to the main part of the neighborhood. So we headed left… and heard another POP! POP! so then we looked at each other, didn’t say a word, and but began to pedal out of the neighborhood as fast as we could. I don’t think we’ve ever biked so fast. I was actually pretty scared!
Our mission has been reading Preach My Gospel together. We read a chapter a week, study it out, and pray for strength as we do it together. It’s pretty cool the insight I’ve been getting… Especially with chapter 3 where all the lessons are. I’ve probably read those lessons a hundred times, but I’m learning new things! I love it. There’s such a strength to things when everyone puts their faith behind it… Like fasting! It’s pretty cool. We’re becoming better teachers.
Well yesterday – since I didn’t get to email y’all – we went fishing! We met up with the Fred Elders and all headed to Odomville. There’s a pond that everyone calls “the secret pond” that we’ve always wanted to find. FINALLY! Milton Odom and Marilyn McCabe set us up with some poles, sweet corn for bait, and a bucket then showed us where it was. It was SO COOL! It was way back behind all these pine trees. They keep it stocked with perch and catfish. It was the best fishing I’ve ever done (and I have SO much experience! :P) I have never had so much fun fishing. We’d drop a line, then yank out a fish. But it was funny cause Marilyn’s adult poles weren’t set up I guess, so we had to use her grandkids poles… I got to use the Spiderman one. Elder Bock and I caught the most, but we think I caught the biggest perch. It was so fun. We filled the bucket and they all started dying (lack of O2) so we had to call it a day. But I touched them! I took them off the hook and everything. It was so fun.
Have y’all been given those new family history books? They’re so neat! They’re the cutest little books that will help you get you going on family history. We had a whole presentation with videos and such during church last Sunday. It makes me so jealous – I want to do family history so bad now! I’ve caught the bug and I can’t feed the fire… It’s awful. I’m just so excited to come home and do temple work! Ahh man… Don’t take it for granted! Get going on it (:
Well this letter is getting out of control. I will call it good… I miss and love y’all so much! Thanks for all the prayers. See y’all soon! 😛
— Sister Stockinger