Hello, Hello, Hello!! :)
I decided I can't really title every email 'Best Week Ever' but oh my goodness--all of these weeks are just going so well and I am so happy and excited for everything that is happening!!! I have a lot of great things to tell y'all about this week but I'll try and build up to the best. :)
I guess bad news first, Skyla has fallen off date. She's still going to get baptized for sure, but she hasn't been able to get Sundays off so that she can come to church so we're going to push her baptismal date back until she can get things worked out, church is too important.
Oh y'all will love this.... So the other week when we had dinner with out investigators, Edgar, Elizabeth, and Joey, I don't know if I said all that happened or not. So we were running a little late and we were at home cooking the garlic bread really fast and then we were going to go to their house, they just live down the street from us. But then we heard this truck honking and we look up and Joey is right outside our door! So I walked out and was trying to keep him out there because he's just the kind of person that would walk in to your house and hello, we're not supposed to have people in our house at all. He did end up walking in and we were freaking out and we were like alright.... be down to your house in like 5 minutes Joey...bye now! And so he left andwe were just finishing up dinner and ready to head out and he came over again! So we were like oh no.. and Sister Richardson grabbed her bag and quickly went out and I did the same. And I locked and closed the door behind me. Sister Richardson turned around with a horrified expression and was like "I don't have the keys!" Oh. My. Gosh. I locked the keys inside the house. And we don't have a spare. Wonderful. Luckily I did have the phone and luckily the landlord's number was in the phone so we called him and he was able to get there within about 20-25 minutes. We just talked to Joey while we waited... he said maybe one day he'd convert to Mormonism. Haha. He totally wants to, you can tell. But tomorrow Sister Richardson and I were asked to give a training at our district meeting about using time wisely/working hard and enduring to the end. So we were going to include this little story of ours and talk about no matter how much time you have, always strive to be teaching! We taught Joey while we waiting for the landlord, haha. Good times....
Charlene! Ok, Charlene is so wonderful. We taught her a few times this past week and she just loves the Book of Mormon! She holds it so dearly and always says what a precious book it is-- and she's right! So right! She's told us multiple times that we were an answer to her many prayers and the Spirit is always so strong and we feel so good when we were there. She told us that she didn't know how we found her, but she had been praying for us to come (someone to bring her truth and show her the right way to go) and God answered her prayers. Just incredible. She was going to come to churchbut had to go to the grocery store early in the morning (Piggly Wiggly, yeah-it's a real store! haha) and when she was done there was no way she was going to make it to church in time because she has to walk everywhere (dedication though, she'd rather walk than not go unlike most people). She said she was so sad because she had a dress picked out and everything. As soon as we knocked on her door afternoon though she was so excited and let us in and was like "I have something for you girls!!" She had gotten each of us a small bag of cheetos, hahaha. She said she was at the store and was sad she wasn't going to make it to church but wanted to get us something so we would know that she hadn't forgotten about us. Aww.... she's great. She said she believed we would come talk to her since she wasn't able to come to church and was so thrilled when we did. We really feel the Spirit in her humble trailer home, I love it. :)
Alright here is the best moment of my life!! This week has been absolutely INCREDIBLE with Willie!!! Oh man! So he was still praying about being baptized onand had a few concerns and we told him the best way to learn the gospel was to live it. So we invited/challenged him to do the Stop Smoking Program the Church has (very effective, by the way) in order to live the Word of Wisdom and see if he were to get more of his answers by living all aspects of the gospel. Well.... HE DID!!!!!!!!! The Stop Smoking Program is a 15-step 7-day smoke-free program. It includes needing cinnamon toothpaste, mouthwash, candy, and grapefruit juice. It requires a lot of self-discipline and prayer/help from the Lord as well. So we made him a calendar, talked about it with him, made it so his last cigarette would be smoked last Thursday, and that we would have a victory party this . Man oh man... greatest week with him! He ended up stopping smoking , relapsed a little with coffee (you can't have coffee, tea, or alcohol on the program, they trigger the "cigarette bell") but since then has done wonders!! He is free from all those things!! He is still struggling, and was especially and , the most painful days. At church he was really having the urge and had a lot of heat and pain in his chest but after church he had a gleam in his eye and the biggest smile on his face-the urge was gone. GONE! :) He's quit for short periods of time before but said he's never had anyone offer to help him, nor included the Lord and he said this has been the easiest attempt yet, one that will last forever! We met with him last night and he was telling us how in priesthood it was mentioned that there were some upcoming baptisms in Hazlehurst and in Baxley, where the elders are. Willie inquired about those so we told him about the few people that are on date to be baptized, and then were like "and you know, you're still praying about the 8th. He had a big smile on his face and I asked him what he was thinking about and he was like "well, baptism." And then I had a smile on my face and was like "yeah..what about baptism? :)" And he said if the Lord wants him to do it sooner than the 8th then he would!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S OFFICIAL HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED YOU GUYS!!!!!! Willie was like "Heck, we could do it Tuesday or if the Lord wants me to." Oh my goodness I wish!! Gotta quit smoking first, but he said right now it's the 8th unless God tells him to do it sooner. YES! And he's also kin to this guy named Jerry in our branch. Jerry has lukemia/blood cancer and some other things dealing with that and he is also deaf. He is totally being healed right now from cancer though and it's incredible. As we were talking to Willie we brought up the fact that if he wanted Jerry to baptize him, we could make that happen. Again, big smile on his face! :D We're going to make it happen! We had walked to Willie's yesterday and it was dark when we left, but we ran out of sight of Willie down the road and started screaming and jumping up and down and celebrating--it was so much fun! People must have thought we were completely insane, skipping down the road laughing and not even able to breathe we were so excited. We ended up walking to Skyla's house too so we were walking along the highway (actually skipping still) just singing the most upbeat hymns we could all along the way. Last night had to be one of the happiest nights of my entire life, it was just GLORIOUS! I don't know the hymn name because I didn't check, but it's like "Victory! Victory!" in the chorus so that's where the title of this email came from. I can't even get over how thrilled we are. I am PRAYING Sister Richardson doesn't leave, she has been a huge part of Willie's progress and I want her to see the day he gets dressed in white and steps down into that water. That will be a day to remember, the most blessed day for sure. We are just so excited for him. We are having his victory party . He loves Dairy Queen blizzards so we are going to get those before heading over that day and it will be an amazing day to say the least. So stinkin happy for him! I probably forgot half of the details I wanted to share about the week with him but this will suffice! Thank you everybody for your prayers, we have seen many miracles this week!
Willie had asked last night what if he wasn't ready--he asked if I had felt ready when I was called to be a primary teacher. My answer: Nope! And then I gave him this quote: "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." We told him he was ready, and that the Lord would help him, which he truly did know. Three weeks everyone, or less! Mr. Willie will be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! He posts stuff on Facebook all the time and was like "People probably already think I am Mormon by what I post" hahahaha. He's so great.
I'll attach pictures, but we also made Willie our hand-made cigarettes with quotes and scriptures on them. There was one scripture I found, 1 Nephiwhich I liked but hesitated. I figured the bands for him could mean cigarettes, so I wrote the scripture down and put it on the paper anyway, with the explanation of the bands I just gave you written in parenthesis. Sister Richardson was also looking for scriptures and was like "I don't really know about this one, but I like it.." guess what scripture it was? Yep. Same one. We only had one of his empty boxes of cigarettes so we grabbed half of the rolled up ones we had made and stuck them in there. When we took him his goody bag of stop smoking stuff and our home-made cigarettes he was pretty excited and opened one up. Out of all the random ones it could have been to put in that little box, the one he opened had the scripture of 1 Nephi on it. Cool right?! God works in the coolest ways. Willie ended up posting that on Facebook later :) The Lord's hand is in everything and I just love the gospel!! And I love being a full-time missionary, able to share it with every person we pass! This is a great time we live in :)
I hope y'all could feel my excitement and join in it with me, we are having the most amazing times here in Hazlehurst. I love you all and I will talk to you soon! Have the best week of your entire lives, we will here! :)
All my love,
Sister Kaylee Applegate
Us and Lucille (and Glynn). Lucille is on date for!
WILLIE!!! Stop Smoking stuff!!! I wish y'all could see the smile he had, when we gave him the stuff and when he crushed his cigarette and threw his ashtray away. But here are the moments I did capture on camera :)
We had to pause or lesson while we ran to our Book of Mormon class, that's why it got so dark in between pictures.
What happens to a cigarette when you put it in a glass of water. Yum....not! Glad we took it all from Willie, they can't harm him anymore! :)
Welcome to the South...
Doormat we saw, describes this apartment complex very well. They weren't too fond of us
The elders made us homemade pizza calzones! People are nice when you give them ice cream cake ;) They earned themselves some scotcharoos for tomorrow, haha
I waited forever, but this is where I'm living!
We've caught two lizzards! Not nearly as big as the ones caught in Waynesboro, thankfully. I think I've only killed one cockroach since I've been here. That is saying something, awesome! I killed probably 10 every day in our trailer in Waynesboro
Still Willie :) Look at what he posted on Facebook about us! Aw! He's the best ever!
Sister Richardson and I. It was Bulldog day or something, so we wore the colors, red, black, and white. We've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how about you?! :)