I can't believe that it was only last week when I was trying to talk to the Mummsie and Daddy through the airport noise. And I can't believe that I've been a missionary in the actual field for a week! Time does weird things when you're on a mission.
So here are the details of my first area: I'm serving in a town called Tullahoma in the McMinneville stake. My companion is Sister Tenny and she is amazing! She just turned 21 in December and attended BYU-I prior to that. She has been out in the field for only 5 weeks and is doing a great job as a trainer. Although there is a ward in Tullahoma, missionaries haven't been there in a while so we have a brand new area book which translates into lots of tracting. The hard thing about tracting is that everyone is super nice about the first contact, but when we come again at an appointed time, they have mysteriously disappeared. However, the ward is super helpful and excited to have not only a set of missionaries again, but a set of Elders, a set of Spanish-speaking Hermanas, and a senior missionary couple. The work is progressing! They barely split the ward and the new branch is currently meeting in the Funeral home. We haven't been out there yet, but they say the priest bless the sacrament on the coffin table and the nursery is in the cremation room....I bet people were DYING to be called as nursery leaders. As for our ward, we have a 600 name inactive list! Whew! We are diligently trying to work with them and we have picked up a few potential investigators. I never expected to be opening an area, but the Lord placed me here so I will work my hardest.
Mission life is super hard, but I am excited to see the growth and progress. I've already met a couple of people and I have to contain myself from dragging them off to the baptismal font. I have a long ways to go before I'm the missionary that Lord can make of me. I have to remind myself that I'm only a few weeks in and that I can never be "perfect," but with faith I am striving to focus on the people, my purpose, and Jesus Christ.
Challenge: Do something to increase your faith! We are the Lord's investigators and we need to continuously do something to increase our faith. This comes from prayer, study, bear testimony, share experiences, service, etc. I want to hear about it!
I love you all so very much and I'm incredibly grateful that our family can be together forever!!!
Love Sister Neener