Sorry this email is late. The library was closed for memorial day and then we have been super busy since then!
Yesterday I was invited to attend the Zone Leader Meeting with another Sister in the mission, Sister Bowman. We were invited once before and they had us both come again this time around. So this meeting is for the zone leaders but ever since November, the Presidency has asked that two sisters start attending these meetings. (I can see now, in preparations for all the new sisters coming!) So this last time, President Irion explained to us that the Presidency has asked that the missions start having Sister Trainee Leaders, or something like that. So for each Zone, there will be a set of those sisters. They are there to support the Zone Leaders and the President and help out with the sisters in a way that the Elders can't. For instance, the elders can't go on exchanges with the sisters, obviously haha. So the Sister Leaders will be able to do that to see how the sisters in the other areas are doing. I feel that this will help to unify the missionaries all together. Sometimes elders and sisters may not understand each other very well....ha so i think it will be good. And it gives the sisters more opportunity to support the priesthood while taking on a responsibility as well. Anyway, we'll see what happens :)
So we have 4 baptismal commitments here in Maryville! It's so exciting to see the Gospel changing people's lives. Here's the stories:
She is one of our neighbors and we have been teaching her since I arrived in Maryville. At first when we taught her, she didn't think she needed to be baptized again since she had already done so in her previous church.But as we have been teaching her and she has been reading the Book of Mormon, another light has come into her eyes and it is something she started "thinking about." Now, this last time we saw her, she decided to set her own baptismal date :) She set it for July 10, so a bit away, but she set it and wants to work towards it, so we are happy for her. I know that as she begins coming to church, she will really start to feel the truth of this Gospel and her desire to have it in her life will grow.
We found Brittany while doing tracting (what we call Peace & Blessings....super southern right? ha) Anyway, we ask to leave the Lord's peace and blessings in their home and with their family and so we pray with them and then help them recognize the spirit, and then try to get a return appointment to begin teaching them.
So we knocked on Brittany's door and she let us in, then she agreed to have us come back. When we came back, we asked her questions to find out more about herself and soon found that she has been looking for a church to attend. She told us that she wants to have something for her whole family (her fiance and her little girl) and that she wants to be baptized. We asked her why she desired baptism and she explained to us that she wants to get closer to God and she has never been baptized before. We taught her the message of the restoration and commited her to be baptized!
She then told us that the other day she had received a phone call from a wrong number. It was a church, calling to confirm someone's baptism. So it put baptism on her mind. Then we showed up at her door the next day. She told us that she usually doesn't let religious people in her door, but she let us in and she didn't know why. Then she said, "But I'm glad I did." We felt very humbled after she told us that. We are excited for her to progress.
James and Jennifer:
We were out tracting again and found a guy named Scott. We did peace and blessings and he invited us to come back. Well the other day, we came back but he wasn't there. Instead, James and Jennifer opened the door. Scott was gone and it turns out he doesn't even live there, he was just visiting that day. But they willingly welcomed us in when we introduced ourselves and what we were doing. James explained to us that he had just recently started going back to church. He and his wife had both been through a lot in their lives. We taught them the Restoration message and they both accepted a baptismal commitment. They are such a humble family with their precious kids. When we committed them for June 22, James accepted and told us it was his son's birthday that day.
We stopped by their home today just to check up on them. James answered and when he saw us, he got a big smile on his face. He explained to us that his wife was reading last night from the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes and wouldn't let him read it. ha. We are so excited for them as well. We hope that everything will continue to progress for them as they start making these changes in their lives and bring their whole family closer to the Savior.
Well family, I hope that everything continues to go well for you! Summer is here so drink lot's of water!!! It's always humid here, so we even have glistening faces in the mornings, haha. Well, I pray for ya'll every night and hope that things continue to go well for each and every one of you. I love ya'll dearly. Keep studying the scriptures daily, even if it's just a few verses! I promise it will bless you! I can see the difference it makes in everyone's lives, including my own. I love the good word.
Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you again on Monday! Love yall !!!
Sister Valerie Preston