Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trios, Duos, and Power Teams

I don't know if I've ever explained my favorite word "SFERS", but, guess what, it's Sfers day. My dear companion Sister Smith is heading deeper into the depths of Alabama to become an Ozark Sister. She is happy for the venturing, but is not so stoked about being in a trio! Hahaha, every sister's worst nightmare is to end up in a trio. ('_') ('_') ('_'). As Sister Smith told me two nights ago, when we were discussing possible transfer outcomes, "The scriptures say the Gospel is to be preached two by two, not three by three!!"

And that's not the only trio action happening in our world this week. The Brewton Elders, in a confusing stream of Emergency Transfers and Untransfers, have landed themselves in what they call the "Power Team" and the "Tenacious Trio" and other assorted things. We just call them a car-full of boys that we have to share way to small of a space with when we ride together. They were told that the trio would stay the same for the upcoming transfer, but then Pres changed his mind again, and on the transfer sheet today they found out that Elder Kimball, the original Brewton Elder, is leaving, and Elder Edwards and Elder Brewington are going to be the Jay and Brewton Elders now.

Whew. It has been a confusing week for us up here in no man's land. We were confused like 90% of this week and we invented a word for all of this backwoodsy strangeness and confusion that makes people scared to be called to an area like this. "BOONEYITS", named for the boonies, which is right here where I sit.

As I'm stalking my new companion, Sister Lloyd in any way I can (mission blog, lds tools), I'm starting to gather that she is either coming from a Branch or another group. So she's east of Tallahassee, but at least she's not in Tallahassee because Tally is for crazies. :D And yes, Tally thinks everyone outside of Tally is crazy. It's a love-rivalry relationship.

Oh dear, it's just hitting me that Brewton is being left in my nervous little hands. I'm gonna need a GPS and a lot of help from above.

We'll see how this goes. We're doing bad on miles, have a few investigators in Brewton, a solid recent convert, a sweet new investigator that is technically outside of our area that we have permission to teach (she's so boss! she wants to know about God's power being on the earth and about it being lost and restored! So sick.) We've got the Spirit and lots of people that we haven't talked to yet! And I've been craving a good bike ride. :)

Leggo. Let you know how it goes next week. 

-Sister Laura Cooper 

                            Me and the Sister Trainers at Zone Training.  (Sister Thompson, Me, and Sister Strickland)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

8 Hours Never Seemed So Fast

Gah does anyone else feel like they should still be watching the Saturday Morning Session of Conference right now? Sometimes I think they should just make a Conference month with one session every weekend so that we don't get spiritually drained and then depressed because it's over too quick!
This week has been a lot of rain and a lot of running around. One of the challenges of Brewton, I've noticed, or perhaps one of the challenges of not whitewashing, is that there are actually times when we have no ideas what to do. Whenever I was opening or whitewashing it was like "GAH ENDLESS MEMBERS TO MEET ENDLESS PEOPLE TO TALK TO ENDLESS DOORS TO KNOCK" and now I'm in a place Sister Smith has like met everyone in the branch, has a deep relationship with everyone in Brewton Group, has knocked all the doors around our house, and is aligned with the reality that no one is on the street after 7. So sometimes I'm like it's only 7 and we can't be in, but we have a very dark city and not a lot to do... :P
The good side of not whitewashing is that things were already happening when I got here, so hence that we have a sweet recent convert family to see a lot, and they sure do need it. Since the whole group is recent converts, everyone loves and needs the missionaries. It's cute. It's a special area and as much as I want to like juice some life into it and meet everyone in the town, people here take a lot of individual time and attention and that's building patience which is good.
I loved Uchtdorf's talk on Gratitude! That was my favorite. You can leave it to that man to put it simply and come up with good phraseology. Be grateful in, not grateful for.
Catch yall next week. Watch conference reruns!
-Sister Laura Cooper

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Sound of Water Running in the Church

On the missionary CD, The Work, the last song is called "The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved to Do". It's about this one Elder's most memorable moments of his mission. I love that song, and my favorite part goes like this...
The hardest tears I've ever loved to cry
Fell as I opened up my mouth and testified
Between the tiny walls of a stranger's living room
The Spirit told their hearts my words were true.
And the most wonderful sound I've ever heard
Is the sound of water running in the church
As someone I'd come to love got dressed in white
My eyes saw their first glimpse of heaven's light.
Although lessons and baptisms aren't quite as dramatic as the above song makes them sound, I love the whole thing about like the water and especially about seeing heaven's light because that part is totally real!
So as you might guess, we had Renee's baptism this past saturday. I know I joined her story rather far along, but in all cliche it does feel like I've known her for years. Especially since she has undergone so much change in the last few weeks that she even looks different than when I met her. 
We are so glad she's started on the right path. She bore a great testimony yesterday and inspired quite a few group members to share their thoughts on their baptism as well. So sweet! She, like us spent all day saturday involved in churchy stuff, which was really cool to see. And she said that she had a cigarette craving on the way into the water, and it was gone when she came up. Of course. Cliche but true as always.

So on a different note, how did everyone like General Women's Meeting? It was really special to have the first one during my mission! Hehe true I was making comments about how it was way more childish than Priesthood Session, but I mean there were little girls present.
Did anyone else feel like they were watching UP during the second video clip???? Please let me know I'm not alone in that! Haha.
-Sister Laura Cooper

                                                      Sister Smith, Elder Gardner (who baptized her), Renee, and me!