Monday, June 23, 2014

As a Little Child

Brewton had an exciting moment this week as our littlest investigator finally helped her less active mom overcome whatever was holding her back, and come to church again. Britney (the little one) always reminds me of why the scriptures say that we need to come unto Christ like little children. We teach her the basics of the Gospel, and even though she doesn't understand everything as deeply, and even though she can only read the Book of Mormon like one verse at a time, she wants to lead her family toward the Church. She's so cool and we are excited for Britney and her mom as well.

We'll be having a little 4th of July Weekend baptism at the crick! Yep, since Brewton doesn't have a building to meet in, and Jay's church building doesn't have a baptismal font, we can either drive with everybody down to Milton like last time, or we can do it in the creek by the Civic Center. We totally are going creek style this time. Hopefully there won't be too many swimmers and barbequers out. We might have to do it at some weird time like 10 am or something so that the partiers will maybe still be in bed.

There is a rumor going around that Brewton is becoming a branch. We need a certain number of priesthood holders and a couple of the recent convert males are progressing in their priesthood. I don't know how we will function without Jay, but I guess if the Lord thinks we can... Haha. We have started mentally staffing our group. We've got some solid potential Primary and Young Women's Presidents. We aren't sure who our Branch Mission Leader would be though and that's important to us!

For the fun news of the week two things happened. One, me and Sister Lloyd found a Duck Pond in Brewton. It's hiding out behind the community college and has just the ugliest ducks. Second, we went to the Alabama Blueberry Festival, which was actually a non blueberry themed craft fair, but fun nonetheless. And we got to meet awesome beekeepers from DeFuniak there. :)

Peace out followers!

-Sister Laura Cooper

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fizz Boom Birthday

Before I came out, I thought about how I would be serving "most" of my mission at the age of 19. That's strange to me now because... I'm 20. Preemie me was foolish. I've had my birthday now, and I've still got plenty of mission left. I will hit my 11 months next week, but Sister Lloyd and I keep saying I have 9 and a half months left. More specifically I like to say that I have 9 months and 10 days. It never changes. It's great.
This week we went on a great exchange with the Milton Sisters. One Sister Trainer, Sister Strickland, has been sister trainer here for 4 transfers, and had never gone to Brewton on exchanges before. We made sure to set that straight and having her here was awesome! We went to go see a new investigator we found last week. Her name is Barbara. Even though she goes to another church, she asked us for something to study from and we gave her a Book of Mormon. When Sister Strickland and I went back to see her, it turned out that she was super interested in it. She was totally moved by the idea of another book that could bring her closer to Christ--she has a real sense that the Book of Mormon can do that in a new way for her. On Thursday we went to check on her again and she said she's been writing down questions and can't wait for our next appointment.
We also picked up an investigator that former Elders and the Jenkins have worked with before. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and all of those things. He's read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and other church books over the last few years. Basically he's just waiting for a sign that he needs to get baptized. We are hoping that as we focus on some of the commitments he hasn't tried in a while (especially church attendance) that he will understand the answers to his prayers. He would be such a great addition to our group.
On Saturday we started out the day by coming here--to the Brewton Public Library and volunteering with their science-themed summer reading program-- Fizz Boom Read. We got to take pictures of the Big Bad Wolf and a Little Piggie acting out their book and we got to blow up balloons and pass out treats. It was the perfect service project to celebrate me becoming a full-blown adult hahahaha.
Then we tried to see a few people, but most of the rest of Saturday and Sunday we were at Stake Conference. Hastening the Work themed, which always makes us missionaries happy. It made for a wonderful birthday weekend! And after the Saturday session some members took us out for Barbeque. :D
It's been a great week, and no matter what preemie me says, I have 9 and a half more months of it. ;)
-Sister Laura Cooper

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Four Man Carry

For those of you happy followers who went to Girl's Camp back in the day, you theoretically know how four people can carry one injured person comfortably for miles until you reach safety.

I do not remember how to do this... but theoretically I know because I did graduate girls camp. And going on week two without the senior couple in Brewton... I feel like Sister Lloyd and I and the Elders are four man carrying this entire city... Well, God does know that I like to feel useful. Currently, between Sister Lloyd and I, we hold the callings of Church Setter-uppers, Group Pianist, Group Chorister, yesterday's speakers in Sacrament, Youth Sunday School Teacher, and Primary Worker. And the Elders run the Sacrament, teach Elders Quorum, provide the water for our portable fountain, and take down church at the end.

We need a senior couple. For reals.

Bless this little group. We only need to make it 3 more days and then the Bowlers will get here and hopefully straighten things out a little bit. It's amazing the difference the presence of a couple full grown adults can do in a place like this!

The part-member families we work with (the only 2 in the city haha), are both doing a little better than they have been. Babies have been born; sisters, aunts, and third cousins, have all been housed somewhere other than with these families; maybe soon both of the mothers with their eternal migraines will get some relief.

We also found a new investigator from an old potential sheet in the area book. She goes to church across the street from her house and loves all the hooting and hollering they do there. She said it was like a higher level of spirit or something like that. So we thought she wasn't really interested, but she asked us for something to read from, so we gave her a book of Mormon and she was fairly interested in that. She said we can come back and talk more about it with her. Hooray. I will be teaching her with one of the Sister Trainers tomorrow!

That's about all the excitement of this week. It's hot as heck. And humid. SURPRISE SURPRISE! And guess what, you can be in a cool building, walk outside for less than a minute to get something out of the car, and walk back inside to find that the building has become freezing due to all the water you collected on your skin during your little adventure outside.

Engage old lady voice

"Where I come from, when it rains--it's cold! And when it's hot--it's dry!"

-Sister Laura Cooper

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's Steaming in Brewton

This week Sister Lloyd and I were left all by ourselves in Brewton. No Elders. No Jenkins (they have finished their mission and are going to pick up their daughter off her mission in Tampa). Just me and Sister Lloyd holding together the group for a few days. We had an entire church building's worth of sound equipment, tablecloths, podiums, books, music equipment, and even Brewton's good old portable water fountain (orange water spout bucket) in our little Malibu.

So that was kind of stressful. I'm glad the group didn't fall apart. We've made it almost a week now without the Jenkins and only have like 2 more weeks until we'll have our new senior couple. Hopefully we can keep making it haha-- pray for us up here.

It's been stormy on and off. It's so not unusual here to just be chilling in partly cloudy weather and all of a sudden the sky starts grumblin' and 10 minutes later it's pouring down rain. And when puddles form and drains fill, they are always full of bubbles. Steam bubbles. I'm not sure how that works. I guess I'll ask a Physics teacher when I get back to BYU. Steam rises off the roads too.

I guess we aren't the only one's who have steam coming out of our ears from time to time in this town. Even the pavement has it's stressed out days.

Sister Lloyd called up the mission office and ordered me a name tag in Spanish to wear to the lessons we teach our Spanish friends. She thinks it will help me gain confidence. We'll see. A couple of our Spanish friends said they would be at church yesterday and bring some drunk friends that need help, but then they said they forgot and went to Pensacola... Oh dear. No drunk friends in Brewton this week.

Spiritual/fun thought for the week. Discovered this scriptural gem in my Book of Mormon studies this week.

 Alma 15:17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts, and began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction—

Basically Alma be like

"check yo self"

Talk next week, my happy followers. Peace! :D

-Sister Laura Cooper