Well this week was full of changes:
New Areas: I am now serving in Lexington ward, which is in West Columbia. I was also given the special assignment, with my companion, to serve on the Fort Jackson Military Base on Sunday's with the missionaries that serve there! They needed more missionaries to be able to teach all the troops that want to learn, so we were assigned!
New Home: I now live with another set of Sisters! Sister Ramstedt, who I know from the MTC, and Sister Jensen!
New Companion: Sister Doughtery. She went to BYU for 4 years and now is serving a mission! She is from, get this, Fairfax, Virginia and knows my cousins the Eccles! What a small world! Her family is all military, perfect right?!
1) Austin Garbrick, who was in my homeward growing up and married someone I know, served in this ward for 6 months (about 1-2 years ago). All of them know and love him!
2) Laurie Farnsworth brother, Brother Temple, is in this ward! He sent a photo of me to her after sacrament. She was also in my ward growing up as a small child. He knows a handful of my family friends from back home.
3) Last May/June, while I was at BYU-I, I ran into a friend of mine, Sister Jacobson, serving in Rexburg. She was at the missionary desk with three other missinoaries, one of which was from, Lexington SC. Well Sister Christiansen, told her Mom in an email to look out for me. (One year later) I was in the car with her Mom, Sister Pollander, this week and figured out the connection! I walked into her home and saw a giant picture of her daughter, I said, thats her! Small, small world.
4) Sister Pollander grew up in the area where my Father served his mission, the same time my Dad was there!
5) Small world!
Funny Moment: My Bishop in my last area told me that he use to do this in church: When he was teaching a class, every now and then he would be slight off doctorine into the lesson. All the older men would wake up and "correct him" then at the end of the lesson, he would do it again. He said it was very affective to keep people awake!
I love serving on the army base! It is amazing! We literally have a horse troft that we baptize people in outside. The troops are so humble and ready to learn the gospel. Due to basic training, they are very straightforward and answer all my questions. Becuase there is only a small window of time we can be there at church, we teach them lessons invidtually while in the same room as our companion in order to teach more people. For once in my mission, my prosolighting close (dress or skirt) is normal clothing compared to the normal military attire. Crazy huh?
Yesterday, I was teaching Specialist Guo. Specialist Guo loves the church! Her native language is chinese, but she speaks english pretty well. While I was teaching her (using chinese pamphlets for reading and english for speaking), I noticed a soilder by himself. I found out that he was a member of the Church, Private Lau Fulu, from Somao. Well, english was not his native lanuage either. He spoke less english than her; his native langauge is Samoan. I invited him to join in on the lesson. Your thinking, "Oh great! More confusion." It was amazing though, how this lesson was so power full and it was clearly understood! I know that even though the english was not perfect, it was understood. I am grateful that the Spirit teaches the universal language.
I love Lexington! It is a normal city, but I feel as though I am in the deep south. Here are some common phrases: "When the south will rise again..", "We will be ready when the government takes over...", "Bubba Gump", "I fixin too.." I sure do love it!
The area has more members densley populated, so there are 3 wards that meet in this buliding! Unheard of in my last area!
We had a baptism this Saturday! Tappreona Moore, who is 17 years old. She was so excited to be baptized! It was wonderful! The ward loves her.
Tender Mercies: I was standing at a door of an investigators home, waiting for him to come to the door, thinking how nice it would be to have some chocolate. Well he came back with some chocolate hearts for us! I was elated! I know that God hears and answers our prayers. Not that I prayed for chocolate, its just that I had had a long day and that sounded nice. Heavenly Father knew that, and blessed me through the actions of another person.
I know that the Lord is so aware of us and that He loves us so much! This week there was a big german shepard blocking our path home, so we said a prayer and felt that it would be ok to proceed. Moments later, as we proceeded to the path (pepper spray in hand), three young men came out of the dark street and started walking the direction we needed to go. They then walked through the gate where the dog was, so we followed them and were unharmed. Moments later, after safeftly making it through, one of the young men turned around to talk to us. He asked me for a cigarette, I told him that I didn't have any but I had a picture of Jesus, so I gave it to him.
I know that the Lord will always provide a way for us to do the things that we need to do, to follow Him. Lastly, here is a scripture I love: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the thigns which the Lord hath commanded, for I knwo that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he hath commanded them" (1 Nephi 3:7).
I love y'all! Will you do the things that you know to be right? I know that if you do, you will be aided by the Lord.