Wednesday, September 4, 2013

To Kingsport!!

Hey y'all!!

So, it's Wednesday. And the library is gonna close soon. So I don't actually have that much time to write this email. Apologies if it sounds shortened or scattered! So much has happened and I'm just about to throw it all out on the table. So here goes.

Last Wednesday was transfers!! We went to the meeting and I said a final goodbye to Sister Paxton and Sister Walker. I will miss those two; they are fantastic missionaries. I am so lucky to have two excellent companions now though! Sister Bedke is my fellow Sister Training Leader and she's been out 14 months. She has a really sweet and relaxed personality, and so far we've been getting along splendidly! Our trainee is Sister Roundy. She is the cutest little thing (4'10) and has an excellent personality to match! She is learning really fast and is happy to be out here! This being my third trio, I can tell that we will work together really well. I'm looking forward to this transfer! Since I received news of where I was going and who my companions were going to be, I have had a feeling of excitement. Big things are happening, I can feel it in the air!

So, I'm in Kingsport! I can't tell you how many missionaries came up to me after transfer meeting and said, "Kingsport?? Lucky!!! You're going to the Promised Land!!" So, here I am, in the Promised Land. Oh my heavens. It is so beautiful here!! I loved working down in Knoxville, but the West Hills area was pretty suburban. Up here in Kingsport there are rolling hills, large fields, farms, and trees as far as the eyes can see. I prefer the more rural areas. It is gorgeous up here, and I am so excited for Fall!! It's going to be beautiful!!! Woohoo!!

And most of y'all probably know this, but Kingsport is 30 minutes north of Johnson City. I'll be doing exchanges with the Johnson City sisters, as well as all the other sisters in this Stake. So . . . coincidence? I'll let all y'all finish that one.

And apparently yesterday Sister Roundy got to sit next to Chelise in institute. Sister Bedke wants to meet Chelise too. She says, "everyone else is doing it." How true that is! Thus far, there has been at least one missionary in every meeting I have been to who has told me that he/she has met Chelise. It's pretty cool. She gets to meet all the fantastic people.

Speaking of fantastic people, this area is doing really well! I remember mentioning last week that I was transferred right as West Hills was picking up. My very wise trainee told me, "Well, they tell you to leave every area better than you found it, right? So . . . wouldn't you want to leave an area right when it's picking up?" Good point. I was nervous I would be put in another slow area, but this one is doing really well! It's pretty much at the same point the West Hills area was. We have 2 investigators with a baptismal date and about 4 progressing investigators total. We've spent the last week meeting with members, investigators, and less actives. It's hard keeping everyone straight when I still have names and faces swimming in my head from my last area, but this adjustment is coming a lot quicker and easier than the first time I was transferred. This is the first area I haven't whitewashed. It feels kinda weird, actually. It's wonderful though! I guess I'll give y'all a rundown of the people we've been working with.

Debbie is our investigator with a baptismal date. She is going to be baptized September 14th! She's awesome. Just this past week she has been able to cut her cigarette usage in half! She is quitting cold turkey this weekend. We are so proud of her! We went over all the baptismal interview questions with her today and she passed with flying colors. We're so excited for her! I just love her already!

Gloria is our other investigator with a baptismal date. We've only met with her once, but I was extremely impressed by her solid testimony. She is a bible scholar and knows it forwards and backwards. She has been reading faithfully out of the Book of Mormon and knows that it's true. She knows God has a plan for her, and she said her life would be empty if the LDS church wasn't a part of it. So, we invited her to be baptized just a few days ago and she accepted!! She is going to be baptized September 28th! It was amazing. We didn't even have to ask her to quit smoking. In the middle of the lesson she said, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to quit smoking tomorrow." She is so inspiring. She knows she can do it. We let her set her own baptismal date and she knows she can be ready by the end of the month. Ah!!! Happy day! We are so excited for her!

Amanda is a new investigator Sister Bedke and Sister Burmingham found a while back. She is looking for a church to go to and she wants something more out of life. We had an excellent lesson with her about the tender mercies of Jesus Christ, and we committed her to come to church. Sadly she didn't feel well Sunday morning, but hopefully she'll come this next week!

And I heard news back from West Hills! Jeanette will be officially baptized on September 28th, and her friend, Amanda, came to church last Sunday! I found this out yesterday when I ran into the West Hills Relief Society Presidency. We traveled down to Farragut yesterday for a Mission Leadership Conference and they provided us with dinner! It was wonderful seeing them again! The meeting itself was really good. All the zone leaders, assistants, and sister training leaders met together and discussed the needs of the missionaries and had several trainings on the importance of the Book of Mormon. It was really fun! A tad long though. The meeting was 5 hours, and Farragut is 2 hours away from where we live, so it took all day. Hooray for travelling! This is the furthest I've actually been from the Mission Office. I love it up here though!
So as a Sister Training Leader I haven't actually done much yet aside from going to leadership training meetings. We'll be starting our exchanges at the end of this week though, and I'm really excited! This will be an excellent opportunity to get to know the sisters and find ways to serve and motivate them. It'll be awesome!

The ward is fantastic. I've made so many friends already! The bishop and his wife are fantastic. They actually drove us up to a park on P-day and we spent the day there with the ward. She's the one who sent Mom the email and pictures. She's so cute! Her son is awesome. He met Chelise a couple times and sent her a couple messages for me. He left for the MTC today! He's going to California to serve a mission. He'll be a great missionary!

That park I was talking about was really fun! Part of it includes a chairlift to a place called Natural Tunnel. It was the closest I have been to a cliff face in a long time. I almost cried. Y'all think I'm kidding. It looked like the best climbing spot ever, but I wasn't about to put that to the test. Maybe after the mission. :)

UMM . . . I don't know what else to write. The first week after transfers is when my brain is at its most scattered, especially trying to adjust to all the changes. I just now that missionary work is the best thing ever. I feel so happy to be here, and the adjustment is going really well. I know that this is where I'm supposed to serve, and I am so excited for the things that lie ahead! I know that this Church is true. I know that God is hastening His work and preparing hearts every day. There is nothing better we can be doing than sharing the love of God and the joy of the Gospel with our friends and those under our stewardship.

Thank y'all so much for your letters and prayers! As always, they mean the world to me. Sorry I can't respond to everyone due to lack of time. Know that your letters are greatly appreciated! Write y'all Monday!!

With love,
Sister Fox

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