I am so excited to Skype with you guys this week!!! Yippee!! Getting to spend a little part of Christmas day with family, seeing everyone and meeting my nephew Carter will be the best gift ever! I can't wait! :)
This week has been full! Another roller coaster I would say. Things were going so great with Charlene--she was interviewed for baptism, WALKED to the church Christmas party, even though someone went to pick her up, and was choosing everything for her baptism--who she wanted to baptize her, give talks, etc, but yesterday things got weird again and now I'm really worried for if the baptism is going to happen. Oh boy... pray for her! We're really looking forward to a 'White Christmas'! If all goes well, she will get baptized this Saturday!
The only hard thing about the holidays is when hard things happen, or sad things, they seem even worse. There's a less active member from Douglas named Yvette who is in a nursing home here that we've been seeing. She is on hospice and I don't think things are looking good for her right now, I'm afraid she will pass soon. That makes me so sad because physically she doesn't even look sick! :/
And more bad news, Joey and his parents. Joey's health is really declining. He's never had alcohol or been a drinker, but sadly he does have cirrhosis of the liver and some other thing and one of them is going to take his life, it's just a matter of which one first. He was told this past week he has one year left to live, MAYBE two. :( He is only 55 years old. So that's been a worry, but he was released as a resident from the nursing home and went back home to live with Edgar and Elizabeth. Yesterday we were driving home from church for lunch and they live at the end of our street and there was an ambulance in their driveway. So we went over there instead. Joey is really sick. This is when he told us he only has about a year or two, but he thinks he'll go sooner. I talked to Elizabeth for a bit too because she looks SO sad. She can't do much and she really feels like she isn't strong enough. She is 93 years old and seems pretty healthy for her age, but she told me she has been praying for God to take her, she doesn't want to live anymore. Her sister Juanita is still living too, she is really old also. If one member of this family goes, the rest are going to go very soon after. I really would like to be in attendance at the funerals because this family and I have gotten so close, but that scares me knowing I really could be at their funerals, and that time frame can be put into a number of weeks :( I'm bracing myself, but this is going to be so hard. They really are family. They invited us over for Christmas dinner, I don't think they could get any sweeter.
After we left their house yesterday Joey got himself up and was going to go to the nursing home to read the Bible with his friend who is there and he came honking up our driveway and was like "Just wanted to let you know I'm not dead yet!!" Hahaha. Oh my gosh! He said he's stubborn and he can't just lay on the couch right now. He's been refusing medicine so that's not good, but I'm glad he's being stubborn about not dying right now :) He also said he probably won't ever become a Mormon, and that he has a problem believing Joseph Smith. I told him that was okay and he didn't have to be Mormon, but he told me he saw this huge look of disappointment and sadness come across my face. I guess I shouldn't try and fake anything, that was a sad moment. He has talked to Elizabeth about it I'm sure because he was like "Mama told me I better not DARE hurt y'all's feelings..." and then went on. He says that, but when he was at the branch Christmas party, I KNOW he felt the Spirit there. We watched Joy to the World and he burst into tears. Talked so much about Christ and His gospel. He'll get baptized. I know he will.
We contacted this referral named Tynesia this yesterday and it was so great! I really have a testimony of asking for referrals, because that is where we find the most willing and prepared people! We had asked someone who they knew who was going through a hard time, and they mentioned their friend Tynesia. They told us she lost her brother, mother and grandmother recently and that her dad has cancer right now. So we knew all that going in, but went over and started to share the He is the Gift Christmas video with her and her boyfriend/husband (I don't know which) JoJo. The whole meeting turned out so awesome. We were able to teach about the restoration of the Gospel and at the end Tynesia opened up about everything with her family. All of the deaths, and she said she didn't understand why God would take them and she just wanted to know why. Many people have that question, or similar ones. I promised her I would look up what I could to help answer those questions, and I told her when we came back to share with her the Book of Mormon and more about the gospel she would find all of her answers. Afterall, that's how I came to know the Book of Mormon was true. I prayed intently about something, and I read my answer plain as day. It's always fun to share that with people, and share in the moment when they discover that for themselves. I can't WAIT to share the Plan of Salvation with Tynesia and JoJo, THAT is going to be a cool lesson. All these questions they both have that DO have answers and JoJo has searched and looked into a lot of different churches and it brings me so much comfort to know that he can finally receive all the answers he is searching for. All because a friend of theirs cared enough to tell some missionaries that they were struggling and could use something good, even if it was just a prayer. Miracles happen, I promise they do. They have not ceased. The gospel is the cure for everything it life--it is centered on Christ and His Atonement and can heal any wound. If you know someone who is struggling, or could just use more happiness in their life, have enough love and care for them to share the gospel with them. They will thank you. Share the Gift this Christmas, the Gift of Christ.
I love you all so dearly!! I am excited to spend this holiday season as a missionary and I hope y'all make the best of it back home as well, wherever you may be. Remember that giving is better than receiving, and true love for someone goes further than you will ever know. Remember the first two commandments. What will you give to Christ for Christmas this year?
I will talk to you all again soon, and I will SEE and TALK to some of you on Thursday!!!
All the love in the world,
Sister Kaylee Applegate
A sign I like... :)
Cindy's grandson Trell playing with my hair. Kids are drawn to my hair.. they LOVE to play in it. You wouldn't believe how much hair I've lost... goodness. Or what gross stuff touches it. Like one little girl who put this comb all in between her toes and then brushed my hair with it. Uh, gross. Thank you for that.
Me and Ms. Yvette :) She made us an ornament!
Travel Nativity mom sent :)
We were Santa's helpers ;) Little gifts we made for the elders who serve with us in the branch