Return: July 21, 2011

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010 - Oakdale, Louisiana

Hello all!!!
Ha, it sounds like everything is going well at home. Here in Oakdale the internet goes down at least once a transfer for some reason. So if I don't write one week, you know why. And we also can't load pictures here, so I will be sending them home after printing them off.
I did see who Elder Frampton from the Stake in Arizona was though. I didn't know, but he moved down south and I'm more north now, so we kind of switched places. But I'll get to know him one day, who knows, maybe he'll be my district/zone leader or assistant to the president one day! I love the pictures from Todd's party! It looks like it was fun. I'm glad Andy made Todd breakfast in bed for his birthday, I was hoping someone would do that. IT'S TRADITION! And if you weren't there, who would do it? Yay Andy. I don't know, but I'm glad everything is going well at home.
Well I am here in Oakdale, and we cover a good surrounding area. We go to Mamou (Mah-moo), Oberlin, Elizabeth, Turkey Creek, Glenmora, and a bunch of other tiny towns. Basically we cover a lot of the small towns. It's nice here, and it's beautiful scenery. Different from the bayous, more country here. My companion is Sister Brooke Thomas, and we are basically the same person. She is from Rexburg, ID and has been out about 10 1/2 months. She loves music, reading, and is just an all around sweet girl. We get along really well and like to have fun. We also have a senior couple here in Oakdale, and they are the Vances. They are from California, and they are just as sweet as can be. Sister Vance actually reminds me of Grandma Lucile. But she does our laundry on preparation day, and cooks us dinner on Sunday and it's really nice to have them here. We love them! But, it's interesting, because since being in Oakdale, I am a completely different missionary. I talk a lot more, I am not scared of door contacting/store contacting, and I am having a lot of fun! I am more optimistic and I am just loving it here. Don't get me wrong, I love Houma and Sister Schulz too!
But, I don't have a ton of time, so I am going to tell you about Reggie first. We went to this big event called "Relay for Life." It's to help cancer patients, anyway, we thought it might be a good oportunity to contact some people and find new investigators. Nope, we were wrong. People were so consumed with what they were doing, there was a band, and it was just hard to talk to people. So we decided that we would leave. On our way out I said hello to a man (Reggie) and asked him if this event was annual, and he told me that it was and I said that we weren't from there, and that got us started on the topic of why we were here. Well after some talking we gave him our card and we honestly never expected to hear from him (because most of the time, they don't call us). The next morning around 9:40 am we get a phone call "Get up! It is a beautiful day!" And he kept talking to Sister Thomas and he said "Do you know who this is?!" And she said "Is this Reggie?" And he said enthusiastically "Yes it is! I have about 20 minutes before I need to leave for work and I want ya'll to come and teach me." Ha, needless to say we were astonished. So we quickly put on our nylons and headed on over there! We taught a wonderful first lesson, and the spirit was strong. He's been struggling a lot with depression, and he told us that we had already helped him a lot (so that was pretty exciting).
So the funny part with Reggie is his description of how he met us. Reggie is a funny, vivacious man. Anyway, basically to him, it looked like I was beelining it right towards him. He said I was so confident and aggressive! I guess I was intimidating, but nice at the same time is what I got from it. But he told me I was aggressive. Which was really weird because a lady in Houma described me as "The quiet one." Anyway, Reggie is amazing. He is a shorter, black man and he works at the Prison here in Oakdale. He is in charge of keeping the inmates happy with sports. He runs all the soccer, basketball, and other leagues to keep them busy. And yesterday when we were in Oberlin he called us to see how "his girls" were doing! Ha, we couldn't talk long, but he told us he has been reading a little of the Book of Mormon and has been doing his research... I hate when people say that... it generally means they have been looking on Anti-mormon websites. And he said he had questions for us. Well later that night he texted us, so I called him (because we can't text). We had a 35 minutes conversation about the gospel and he actually said he had gotten on some anti-mormon websites and they just confused him so he thought he's look at the good websites and just ask us. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was the best thing I have ever heard. Oh he is the best. We are teaching him Wednesday morning and will probably talk to him more on the phone tomorrow. But ah! Anyway, he's great.
We have also had a lot of luck tracting, and yesterday we taught a first lesson to a woman named Miss Georgiana. She is in her 60's and is just as sweet as can be. She gave us some of a dinner she had made (and it was delicious!), and we taught a wonderful first! Ah, it was good. We asked her to read and pray about the book of mormon and joseph smith, and she said she would. The Spirit was so strong and so I just asked, while you are praying about that, if this book is true, and joseph smith really was a prophet, we want you to pray about a day to be baptized. And she said she would! That was the first time I had ever said that. It was great. Anyway. I loved it.
But we have really been finding some great people to teach and have some people commited for baptism, but things aren't going so well with them.
Anyway, I love you all and hope everythings going great! I will write next week!
Love you bye!!!
Sister Stacy Jo Earl

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