Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello family!!!!

So this week was full of highs and lows. I'll probably start with the low. Our precious Sister Casper who worked in the mission office with her husband and lived with us here in knoxville passed away this week. It was a hard time for everyone. Elder Casper was being so strong, it was incredible to watch him. His mission is now over, so he left for Utah. We loved them so much. They truly became family while they were here. 
I was trying to think of the tender mercies that could come from this situation and the Lord helped me to see them. All of the Caspers kids were able to come to tennessee and see her before she passed away. So she was surrounded by her family before she left. She also had always wanted to serve a mission with her husband, so they were able to do that for a few months! And passing away while on the mission was in my opinion, a great place, because the family had all the support of the missionaries and the great spirit that comes with being set apart as a missionary themselves. 
I also was able to feel the great power of the Atonement while I was sitting in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Elder Casper and his children were sitting behind us and the spirit was so strong during the sacrament song. I was literally filled with love and peace. It was an emotional time, but I could feel the love of the Savior and I could feel of Sister Casper's love. 
Now she will be working on the other side in the great work of the Lord. 

We'll be getting new roommates upstairs in our home. The Hunts are a senior couple serving in our mission and they will start working in the mission office. We look forward to working with them. 

Miracle of the week. We were praying to have 3 baptismal committments by the end of the week because that was our goal for the week. It was Sunday and we still didn't have one. We had an appointment that evening with a young man, named Edson. He is from Haiti and is 19. We knocked on his door and his younger brother opened, Stevenson. We went inside the home and their other brother, Ritchie also joined us. These three boys came from Haiti a year ago with their father. They have siblings still in Haiti. They joined the Baptist church when they arrived. We began teaching them the restoration. They kept raising their hands when they had a question and they would get excited when we would ask them questions about what we taught. We asked them how they felt during the lesson and they said they felt amazing. We helped them recognize that as the spirit. We gave them the book of mormon to read and testified that Christ's church had been restored on the earth. They became anxious to know if that were true. It's like their souls were starving for this. We invited them to be baptized and they didn't fully accept because they want to pray about it first (good choice to pray first!) and they are excited for us to come back. 
It was such a tender mercy to see the Lord helping us. We didn't get actual committments but they are working towards it! The Lord gave us 3 PEOPLE to work with towards baptism. He answered our prayers in a different way; in His way, which is always the best way. 

We are excited to keep on working!! it's so fun being a missionary. I love you all and hope that you all have a wonderful week!!!!!!

Love with all my heart,
Sister Valerie Preston

Sometimes I feel like I don't send ya'll any pictures. Maybe i do. Either way, here ya go!

the first one is an action picture of our planning sessions haha....we love the floor

the second one is of all of us with elder Casper the night before he left for home

love you!!!!!

Sister Preston