Thursday, October 2, 2014

FanTASTIC week!

Hello Dearest Family and Friends!!!
This week has been wonderful!! It's beginning to feel a lot like Utah here, wahoo! The weather has been pretty perfect, just a couple days that got pretty cold but I still love it. Winter's coming, and the bugs will be dying. Win-win :)
These past few days have been so great, everything is coming along! This week actually was going by so slowly because I knew the Cartmells were coming by this weekend and it was a suprise for Sister Richardson so I was trying so hard not to say anything. But alas,Saturday came and it was great! Simone got baptized and it was such a powerful experience. She is really struggling with her family right now and she had zero support from them. It was very sad but she was trying to keep her spirits high because after all, it was her special day. Us missionaries were there and a few members of the branch and it did turn out to be a special day. I wish you could have seen her face and smile when she came out of the water. I asked her how she felt and she said it was like "taking a breath of fresh air" :) It was a great service, there are pictures to come!
So Saturday night--I hope all you girls, young women and women were able to watch the General Womens Meeting Broadcast, it was SPECTACULAR!! Oh my goodness, Sister Richardson and I have been talking about it for weeks and were SO excited when it finally came! Each talk had so much to offer, and of course President Uchtdorf is one of the coolest guys in the world and he just let Heavenly Father talk to us through his voice. Wow--make sure you go back and read it when it gets printed in the Ensign next month! It was such a great way to start of the Conference 'season' I guess you could say. Make sure you're ready for this coming weekend, it will be a spiritual feast!
Sunday is when we were able to see the amazing Cartmell family :) Sister Richardson still didn't know they were coming and we walked out of a meeting into the chapel and she about screamed. It was priceless. Such a blessing to see them all. They stayed for church and then we were able to take a bunch of pictures afterward, so I'll attach those. My Waynesboro family for sure. It was also great at church because Simone was able to be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Very, very special time. Such a wonderful blessing. I made a little baptism book for her like I have been for the ones in my area and it turned out really good. I'm excited for her to have that memory. We cut up the program so it's on each page, and then print out pictures and I have everyone in attendance write a note to her and we put it in the little photo album book. It's meant a lot to the people who were baptized and I think it will especially help Simone, let her know how much support she really did, and does have.
Sunday just kept getting even better! So we've kind of been teaching this man named Lurner and his 18 year old daughter, Hannah. At first Lurner was saying he wasn't really interested, he's Baptist, but he did allow us to come over for the first time a little over a week ago and we really just got to know them a little bit and established a friendship and trust with them. Lurner was asking Sister Richardson and I what our plans were for later in life, and Sister R was saying something with English like writing, journalism, or cooking and I told him special education. Well, we went back last night and were able to teach them about the Restoration and it was a great lesson. Then when we were getting ready to leave Lurner said he had something for us, and he went and gave Sister R a book of short stories by this author he thought she would like, and he gave me a 2-disc CD ROM of learning American Sign Language--isn't that the nicest thing you've ever heard??! He remembered me saying I was planning to minor in Sign and all these little details about both of us--he was so NICE! He really did not have to do that, but it pretty much made our lives. Southern hospitality at its finest. Seriously, we didn't even care that we only got a three-minute dinner because we were in that appointment instead. So anyway, that was awesome. And then right after that and our three-minute dinner, things still got better! We met this elderly couple last week named Edgar and Elizabeth. Elizabeth just turned 92 on Friday :D They are the CUTEST! Their son Joey was there last night as well. Joey went in and got us some pumpkin pie (which I'm not really a fan of), but he was so kind and we ate it with our hands because he told us to... haha. He went and got us more when we finished and that's when Elizabeth had rolled into the room in her wheelchair and told him to get us some forks. Haha. Then he asked if we wanted a glass of milk and both Sister Richardson and I can't stand milk.... makes us want to puke. We said no thank you, and we thought we were in the clear. But then about 5 minutes later he went into the kitchen and poured us each a glass of milk. Oh my... we tried our hardest to drink it. We drank some and then Edgar said what we couldn't finish we didn't have to, and we were so relieved. I mean, we were already stuffed anyway, we just ate practically a whole pie! But they were so nice. Joey said he wanted us to come over for dinner some time and Edgar asked if we liked fish. We had to be honest right off that bat that time, the milk was hard enough for the both of us. Haha. So we said we weren't huge fans, and they asked if we like chili. We said yes so within the next couple weeks we will be going over for a chili dinner and some pecan pie :) I really want to teach these three, they just made our day so bright. And Joey, before we even said much about the Church, said "Maybe one day I'll be Mormon!" Taking the initiative, I like it. Man, we've just been so happy this week. I really love being a missionary.
These past few months really have been wonderful, I have learned so much. I thought I lived the gospel well at home and I've really learned on my mission that no one is perfect. It's like taking a big helping of humble pie... mmmm. I know dad has been waiting to hear me say that... ;) But really, I have learned so much. So much about people and what they mean to Heavenly Father. Everyone is so different and I am gaining such a great understanding of that. Just in the time I've been on my mission I know I've made mistakes and fallen short. A lot. But that's what's so great about the gospel and the Atonement-it's OKAY. Heavenly Father knows that we will fall short. Even when we learn how to live the gospel so well, we make mistakes in other areas of our life. That really is something to learn. Forgiveness is real. Forgive and forget and when things come back to your rememberance, forget them again! It's good to remember so we don't make the same mistakes again, but Heavenly Father has promised us that He will forgive us and remember our sins no more, and we need to do that as well. (D&C 58:42). Like President Uchtdorf said on Saturday, "Heavenly Father knows the remorse we feel for falling short, and He still loves us." He knows our potential.
"Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation." -Brigham Young. (Thank you, Haylie) ;)
It's been an exciting and eventful week, with much more to come this week! Definitely keeps me on my toes in an appointment when a mouse comes running by my feet.... *eeepp!!* I will never live out in the woods. Ever. Haha. Oh and we caught a lizard on a sticky trap in our house... don't know if I mentioned that last week. It's a little thing though, my smaller than the ones we caught in our trailer in Waynesboro.
But I just want to tell you all, that's right, you get a demand instead of me encouraging you, watch EVERY session of General Conference--I promise Heavenly Father will speak to you this weekend. Begin watching with a question or concern in mind, I guarantee you it will be answered/addressed. I can't wait to hear of your experiences with it! I love each and every one of you dearly and I can't wait to talk to you again soon. Have the best week of your entire life!  And I know I've stunk at wishing people a happy birthday because I can't remember a lot of them, but happy birthday to Grandma this week! I wish you the best! :)  I will write you all again next week!
Sister Applegate

Simone's baptism :)

The Cartmells visiting Hazlehurst!
Brother Cartmell poured water on my head during one of the pictures. Some people never change.... :)

Sister Richardson and I with Edgar, Elizabeth, and Joey :)

So Haylie is pretty much the coolest girl in school. Talk about a friend!!! She sent me this today--my 'box of sunshine' :) How great is she?!?! I know you can't tell half the stuff that's in there, but she loaded it up with everything yellow, sunshine-y, and happy! Love her!

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