So, y'all should watch The Voice tonight and vote for DeAnna Johnson. She's from our small town of Hazlehurst so she's kind of a big deal. :) Haha. There are posters and red ribbons and stuff like that all over the town. Lots of support! She's 18 and a lot of people here know her and/or her parents ('cause it's so small here) so this is something really exciting for the town! So yeah, lend your support and help her out so Hazlehurst can have a parade or something! Haha.
This week was crazy, goodbyes are so hard. But it was a really good week. I'm being transferred tomorrow and I'm thinking wherever I go will be my last area of the mission. We'll see, but that's my prediction. We've spent a lot of time saying goodbye to people so it's emotional because it feels like this is home, but I am excited for my new area. The whole time I've been here I felt like I was a failure with one family in particular because I just didn't know how to help them and I never felt like we really bonded or that they liked me. Just this week though, like the last three days, I found out that that wasn't true. The mom said I helped bring the Spirit back into their home and the things she told me brought me so much peace. After 7 1/2 months I feel like I can leave this area because all really is well. I feel like I did what I was supposed to and now I can move on and help whoever else Heavenly Father puts in my path. I'm excited for the new adventure. :) Things are just.... good. They really, really are :)
Yesterday we went to church and the stake presidency as well as a few others from the stake were there so we knew something major was about to happen. We were right! After 5 years, the Hazlehurst Branch presidency was reorganized. I'm so glad they did it as I was leaving, haha. I loved all of those men! I got a picture of the 'old' branch presidency so y'all can see :) They were all such good men, and then men now in those callings are wonderful too!!! Brother Martin was in the presidency before and he's the new branch president, Brother McClendon is the new First Counselor (he's a convert of two years) and Brother Jerry (he's the one who had cancer and they did all the experimental treatments and a bone marrow transplant and such), he's the new Second Counselor!! Oh I am so excited they will all be so wonderful. This branch is amazing it was so hard for me to express that to them, I cried like a baby haha.
We started teaching this really cool guy named Johnathon this week. He knows Cindy, so that helped us a ton. He's usually at another investigator's house so he's heard a little bit, but he let us teach him this week. He wants to be taught, he just doesn't want us to know. Haha. He's been through so much, he's the kind of person we LOVE meeting because we know the Gospel will help him tremendously. I'm excited for the future for him. He's 34 and has 4 kids but he's lost everything. He doesn't have any of his kids. Once he knew who we were he started seeing us walking all around town and we told him it wasn't a coincidence and deep down he does know that. He doesn't understand why we always 'pop up' but we do... :D Being a missionary is so fun and rewarding, you are so happy all the time! Even when things are hard! :)
Josh is doing wonderfully too, he came to church yesterday and it's just so awesome to see his life change so much for the better. Ah, I'm just so excited for this area! Sad I won't be here, but it's still so exciting! And we saw D.L. (Sheila's dad) and he showed us that he was copying down the Restoration pamphlet to share with his friends!!!! Hahaha I love people!!!! We just laughed and were like "D.L.! We can just give you more pamphlets!" hahaha. So we gave him a few more to pass on to his friends. Man I love the gospel. :)
Sister Ellison just showed me what she typed in her email and I told her to forward it to me so I don't have to type it out, haha. It's funny because it's true. Here's what she wrote:
"I did not completely believe Sister Applegate when she told me that everyone knows everyone and everyone is in everyone's business until this week. IT IS TRUE. She knows him who is neighbors with them who divorced her dad whose mom is across from the church but her sister in law lives there and her neighbor babysat her kids so her cousins are the relatives of everyone on that block and they know..... so on and so forth for the entire town. It blows my mind everyday. I will get used to it though.. actually probably not! Except everyone tell us all the drama because we are unpaid counselors who are not supposed to give advice. So we kinda just sit there and tell them Jesus loves them. HA True story. The end."
She didn't even get the half of it. But maybe you get the point. I told her she would never get used to it. I stopped being so surprised when I learn who else is kin to who, but seriously, I can't believe how into each other's lives everyone is here. I don't think I could live in a small town haha. Ten and a half months thus far for me on my mission might just have to do it ;)
Sadly though it is time to say goodbye to the town I love so much.... so many memories were made here. When I got dropped in to this melting pot of drama when I first got here I couldn't wait to leave. But so many months later, even though I still don't like the drama, I've given my heart and soul to this area and the people here and I will miss it so, so much. It's amazing how much your heart grows serving a mission, what you learn, and how enriched your life becomes. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. By losing yourself and serving others, you truly do find happiness. I can't wait for what is next. Have a blessed week everyone!!!!!!! Talk to you soon! :)
All my love,
Sister Kaylee Applegate
Lots of churches around here.... VICTORY-Church of the Hurst. Yeah baby! haha
The Courthouse in Hazlehurst, cool memorial and it wouldn't be complete without their sign to support DeAnna!
You think gas in your state is expensive...
Dee Dee and I
Sister Hester and I
Sister Samples and I
Our awesome branch presidency! President Hester, Brother Martin, and cute old Brother Henderson :)
Sister Henderson and I
Annie and I
Annie and Reggie and I
April and I
Sister Ellison and I
Us and the elders, Elder Harris (who went home today, champ!) and Elder Carter. Tried to get decent lighting.. sorry
Sister Ellison and I with D.L.
Golf course for dad. I wish you could see more, but it is pretty small compared to what he's used to I'm sure
Frame picture I liked
Easter in Georgia
They have these signs as you're entering Hazlehurst coming from Douglas and I love seeing them!!
Sister Ellison :)
The Church I love so much! I'm gonna miss Hazlehurst.
Me with Brenda and Eugene
Landon is our investigator (he's 12) and he didn't want to read with us last night so we challenged him to an arm wrestle. If he lost, he had to read. If we did, he could just listen. Sister Ellison and I kicked butt!!! hahaha. I can beat her left handed but she got me right handed. And we competed against a 16 year old but he didn't try that hard.. lame. ;) Lockland is 7 and I went a little easy on him but the picture looks super dramatic. He got me ;) I love little kids.
Josh, Olivia, and me
Grace and I
Dasia and her son Braelyn
Skyla and I
Brother McCall, his grandson Luke, and me. He is a GREAT man!
Noe and I
Sister T and I
We helped Sister Cunningham grocery shop today (I got to drive the cart, yeaaahhhh!) and then she took us out to lunch! Thought you might appreciate the menu-for once I did NOT get the chicken tenders! Seriously I love those things but I resisted today. :)
Sister Ellison and I