I get to stay in Hazlehurst with Sister Wood for another transfer!!! Wahoooooo!!!! I'm gonna be in this area for a total of 7 1/2 months!!!! Yippee!!!!! Oh that was the best transfer call ever! Haha. This week has just been so great! So I know for sure I'll be leaving in 6 weeks, but we're gonna make this last stretch here the best one yet! :D
And happy birthday to Parker this past week! If I'm right he's 13 now!! Holy smokes... he was a little 11 year old when I left and now... oh my gosh. I probably won't even recognize him. Stop growing! Everyone!
You guys want to hear a funny story? Okay, here you go :) So yesterday morning we left our house at about 7:45 am so we could go to a meeting before church started at 9. As missionaries, there is a rule that the missionary riding passenger must get out and back the driver each time we go somewhere, so we always do our best to find 'celestial parking' so that we don't have to back each other. We used to be able to flip around in our backyard but then with all the rain the mud was getting deeper and it was like a swamp. So to make it so we still didn't have to back, we just pulled around our backyard, around the side and onto the front yard and then out. Worked like a charm. Well, there's been a lot of rain lately. There were a few times we would drive through where we almost got stuck but didn't--so we kept driving. Our luck ran out yesterday.... hahaha. We TOTALLY got stuck in the mud. Oh man....it was hilarious. Our front tires were buried and the front of the car was touching the ground. We called the elders to tell them we wouldn't make it to the meeting on time because we were stuck in the mud and the guy that drives them to church (his name is Reggie) was nice enough and the elders were nice enough that they all came to our house to rescue us. They couldn't believe that we even attempted to drive through it, hahahaha. But they are smart! We ended up getting the rubber mats out of the car and putting them behind the tires and then the three of them lifted and pushed the car out while I pushed the gas pedal and had it in reverse. Sister Wood videoed the whole thing :) Bahahaha. We had texted our branch president and told him we'd be late to the meeting because our car was stuck in the mud and it was pretty funny when we finally got to the church. Elder Peterson is being transferred after serving with me for 6 months in this branch and he bore his testimony yesterday and Brother Henderson (who is in the branch presidency) concluded and was saying how his own shoes were polished and looking nice, and how Elder Peterson's were dusty and dirty. Brother Henderson (knowing what had happened earlier) said "might we all be like Elder Peterson, and really serve each other" or something to that affect. Hahaha. I love them. Elder Peterson said he just shined his shoes not even two weeks ago... Good thing I had brought him some scotch-a-roos to make up for it! Oh man, we really do have the best missionaries and members around :) I'll attach pictures and see if I can send the video Sister Wood took as well, it's hilarious :)
We had exchanges this week and Sister Wood got to go to the place where I was born in the mission, Albany!!! Lucky duck! BUT since I'm staying and our sister training leaders will still be the sisters in Albany, I get to go there this transfer!! Heck yeah! I get to go "home" and see everyone for a day! It really is so great to be so near still and have that opportunity, I can't wait! :)
We saw a less active named Yvette on the way home from exchanges since she lives with her dad now and is not in our boundaries. We had a great visit with her. She asked me if I would write down her testimony and read it on Sunday; I did, and it was super cool. She has PPMS (progressive something multiple sclerosis) and struggles a lot because of that. Brother Martin in our branch gave her a blessing a little while ago and he too has multiple sclerosis so he kinda knew what was up. In her testimony she said something to the effect of "maybe that blessing wasn't just for her--maybe it was for the people in the room also." Ohhh so powerful. When I sat down in the congregation after reading it Brother Martin and I just looked at each other and smiled. There are amazing miracles every day.
We had a great visit with April this week, we wanted to show her that the Book of Mormon really is true so we worked to find a chapter we could read with her that would really meet her needs and apply to her. We decided to read Mosiah 24 and after we finished reading I had her reread three of the verses. She cried as she read. It was so great :) But it was awesome because she KNOWS that that was what Heavenly Father was saying to her!! A lot of people want answers and want to feel peace and you don't have to search the entire Book of Mormon to find that "one" verse that will change your life, just start reading!!! The whole thing brings peace and answers! Haha. One day people will see :)
We also saw Preston a couple of times and had some good visits with him. He brought up a few things but was like "well I can't deny them, it says it plain and simple right there in the Bible!" Yep, you can't deny, because everything about Christ's church is in the Bible and that's what's restored today. Same thing. Just look. But it was funny to have him say that, he's getting cloooosseeerrrrrr :)
We were so worried this past week that Marquis and Frances got anited because they cancelled our appointment and said that they would call and let us know when we could come but every time people say that it means they're not interested. "I'll call you." Yeah, right! Never happens. But we popped in on them yesterday and they still let us in! We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it went pretty well. Until Marquis started playing with the remote control helicopter and flying it over Frances's head to aggravate her. Hahahahaha. Oh my heavens my abs hurt from laughing so hard. Marquis is the type of guy that says he buys those kinds of toys for his son but really gets them so he can play. He's so funny. He doesn't even let his son do the remote control helicopter he just makes him watch haha.
Speaking of aggravate, that is definitely something I don't think I said in Utah. I didn't think I was keeping a lot of the stuff people say here but this past week I would say certain words that are common here in the South and not in Utah and Sister Wood said she would wait to see if I caught myself but when I didn't she would wait about three hours and then ask me if I realized I said something that day. This week I said 'grown', 'kin', now 'aggravate' in this email, and that's all I can remember. Still trying with all my might not to let 'fixin' to' escape my tongue. But it has before. Quietly... you really do fall into the culture and pick up on a lot of things, even if you don't want to!
P.S., Sister Wood ate deer for the first time yesterday. She thought the couple that fed us were lying. But in the words of the guy who shot the deer and fed it to us, a pound of beef cost $5 whereas the deer cost 22 cents--the price of his bullet. Hahaha. Luckily I've already had deer here so it wasn't that weird but it was funny to see Sister Wood's reaction. She's not picky and she's willing to try things but she was a little surprised after dinner when they told her that's what she ate. Haha. The South is great.
All in all though, the South is wonderful and I love serving here. It truly is a blessing for me and hopefully for the people I serve. Being around members and such, especially yesterday some were talking about how we all have callings in some form, we try and read the scriptures, be a good example, and whatever else; but even when we're doing all that, there's more we can do. Heavenly Father knows that, and we'll know if we look. If we read the scriptures once a week, try reading once a day. Or if we read every day, try studying sometimes instead of just reading the words on the page. There is much to learn, much insight to gain. There's a quote I like by President Hinckley where he said "Try a little harder to be a little better." There's good, better and best. When we look at our lives and make priorities, although our lives are full of many good and wonderful things, if we were to seek for the best things instead of just the good, how much more would be added to our lives? What blessings would abound?
Each day is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. A time to learn who our Father in Heaven would have us be. So that is my invitation to each of you this week and forever more, "Try a little harder, to be a little better." I love you guys!!!! Have a blessed week!!!
Sister Applegate :)
Last district meeting! I look awkward because I'm squatting.
Our awesome Zone Leaders, Elder Simkins and Elder Brooks. Elder Brooks is being transferred as well
Exchanges with the Albany sisters! Sister Ward got to come to Hazlehurst with me :)
A sign for Mom and Dad, since that's what Mom calls Dad
We had dinner with Grace and her friend Gail, they go to the McRae branch
Our poor car and our wonderful elders, Elder Harris and Elder Peterson and Reggie who helped rescue us :)
Farewell to Elder Peterson!!! (sorry the picture is blurry)