Return: July 21, 2011

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 23, 2010 - LaPlace, Louisiana

Hello everyone!
It sounds like the funeral was beautiful. I was very grateful I was able to talk to each of you for a little bit, ha, time just flew by WAY to fast and you definitely kept it to 15 minutes. But it's good. I wish I could have been there, but at least I know that I will see him again. Sounds like y'all had a crazy week as well though. That might be us this week though... but I will start at the beginning.
Well, I wrote you on Tuesday and that night was a pretty great finish to Oakdale. We went and saw the Veazey's, and we were able to dress Brother Veazey up in the "Whole Armor of God!" It was pretty funny. It was a little hard though because their dog Lucky is on the verge of death, it can barely breathe. It's a little Pomeranian, and mom I know how you love those, but this one was cute. But Sue could barely focus on the lesson. She was crying most the time, so it was a little bit heart wrenching. Lucky is 13 years old, so it's about time. After that lesson we went on over to Jeanette's. It was AWESOME! She said "I took a look at the website like you told me and it answered so many of my questions, now I am excited about this! Let's get ta studyin'!" Ha she had looked at, and if you haven't looked at it, you should, because it is freakin' awesome! You should create a profile even! But yeah, the church is starting a whole new media spot, and this mission is a pilot to test it out and see how it goes. But it is pretty neat. Anyway, Jeanette is a lot closer to baptism now I think, so I'll be anxious to see how that goes.
Wednesday was transfers. Basically we got to the church at 12 and the transfer van was running VERY late and didn't get there until about 2 o'clock. So I was in the van till about 7:30pm, then we had to back track and drive to La Place which took an hour, so we got in about 8:30, maybe a little earlier, but we didn't have much time to go out and about, so we just unpacked a little bit and tried to figure out the area.
Thursday...we mostly cleaned. We were supposed to be weekly planning, but Elders have lived in this apartment for about 19 years and it is DISGUSTING. In fact, we are probably moving in the next couple months. We are checking out places today and also getting me a new mattress because mine looks diseased, and it's 2 box springs with a paper thin mattress on top. I hit the box spring when I sit on it, so today is going to be busy. But yeah, we cleaned a lot on Thursday, went shopping and the whole enchilada. At 4:30pm our Bishop and his family took us to dinner at a place called Sicily's and it's like an Italian/southern cookin' buffet. It was really good. Our Bishop is basically awesome. He took us around to meet quite a lot of people. His counselors and their wives, a less active member the Elders had been working with, and a less-active part-member family. We weren't able to teach anything the the less-active part-member family, who are the Sweatnum's, because their mom/grandmother (who was an active member) is on her death bed. Last Monday she wasn't supposed to live 24 more hours, and here we are a week later. It's really hard on them. She has like liver disease and kidney failure and cancer. It was really hard to be there, it reminded me a lot of the last time I saw grandpa and how sick he looked, but we started to sing when we were with them. Apparently she really enjoys singing, and it really touched the family. If one of the cousins can't come back for the funeral, we might end up singing, so we'll see what happens. But they are a great family. We had dinner with them last night, and we sang to her again. This time she was a little more coherent, she smiled a little bit, mouthed some of the words every now and then and even tapped her foot. It was a neat experience.
Friday we basically planned all day, trying to get our heads wrapped around this area, it is wicked crazy being double transferred. You get a little bit lost. I guess I should tell you a little bit about my companion right? Her name is Sister Brook (no 'e' on the end) Hill. She is from Aurora (Portland area), Oregon. She just graduated from the University of Utah in exercise physiology and is applying for graduate school. She is going to be a physical therapist and might go to a school in Mesa, Arizona if she can get in to the program. She is an awesome girl. I am really excited to serve with her. We have a lot of the same goals and are really excited to be here. This is the 4th sister's area that she has opened, and she goes home December 15th. So she is almost done. It's crazy weird. Her family just got her go home itinerary plans. WEIRD! She told me to say she's crazy.
Um, La Place is probably about the size of Highland or Orem. The main shops are all on Airline Highway, but the homes are all behind. It's a nicer area, so that is pretty great. I'm excited to be in a bigger area. Our area is surrounded by a number of smaller towns, but they all just run together, like being in the Utah valley.
Anyway, Saturday we met Moneika and taught her a first. She's a really sweet girl and I'm excited to get to know her. We then went home and I got to talk to all of you. It kind of made the day hard knowing I wasn't there, but I got through it and I am ready to kill it this week! It's going to be an awesome week.
Sunday was PHENOMENAL! We went to church and the ward has only about 50 active members, but we had about 65 people there this week. While we were there, I was able to go into Primary and play the piano, because the primary pianist was sick, but it was fun! After that, we went to Young Women's, and one of the Young Women has been bringing her non-member friend to church for about 6 months, and the Elders have never talked to her...DUH! We sent a paper around all the auxiliaries to see if anyone would be willing to come out with us, and Shai (the non member in YW's) wants to come out and teach people with us! Ha, we are going to start teaching her next Sunday at a dinner appointment at Bishop's house. Then Bishop Brown's brother Kerry Brown invited us over to meet a woman named Natasha. We then had an appointment with her and her children for 4 o'clock. We went home, ate lunch, took a power nap, went to see a couple that the Elders had been working with (cleared up some misconceptions with them, now they are excited to read), went to the Brown's (who make up most the ward), had an awesome lesson with Natasha, PJ, and Akea, the went to the Sweatnums, sang some more, ate dinner and went home. Basically yesterday we had 4 referrals and all of them became new investigators. So it was awesome.
All in all it was an okay week. A little stressful and hectic, but we are definitely getting it. I love you all so much! Just know that I am praying for you and everything! I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. Thank you for supporting me. I have seen such a change in me in these last 6 and a half months and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to meet these wonderful people. Some of them are crazy, but I love them. Time is flying by and it's amazing to see how the Lord is working in my life, the people here, and our family. I love you all so much and I love being here. I love being a missionary, even though some days I want to quit and give up, don't worry. I'll "NNNNNEVER GIVE UP, NNNNEVER SURRENDERRRRRRRR!!!!!" Ha, love you!
Sister Stacy Earl

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