Hi family and friends!
Well we had a pretty great week! After I emailed last Monday I went to Avery Island and went to the Jungle Garden's and Tabasco factory. It was pretty fun, but the Tabasco factory reeked of vinegar. Nasty. Also, Sister Stewart almost got eaten by an alligator. SCARY! Yeah. When we were driving around doing the tour, we saw an alligator out of the water. It was about 4 to 5 feet, not too big of one, and it loved getting its picture taken. A man had spotted the gator before us, and he was a professional photographer. So he got out of his car and started taking pictures of it. We wanted some pictures, but we weren't about to get out of the car. Sister Holmes was convinced that because we were missionaries, the gator would come and eat us...Elders here used to catch gators and put them in their bath tubs...I don't know why but that it just stupid. Anyway, so Sister Stewart was on the other side of the pond from the alligator and got out of the truck to start taking pictures of it for us. After the professional photographer got in his car, the gator saw us and b-lined it towards us! He swam across the pond, crawled on the shore, and started walking towards Sister Stewart. She grabbed our camera's as fast as she could, and then we went on with the tour. It was exciting.
This week Shawndricka's family was moving so we didn't really get to teach them a whole lot. We did help them pack up a little, and then we taught them a smidgen. This week will be better for them (all except for Dreia, she's going to girls camp!)., I'm just sad I won't be there to see it. Oh yeah! I already told mom, but for those of you who don't know, I am going back to Covington for my last transfer, and I will be serving with Sister Smith. If you don't remember Covington's address it is:
124 E. 24th Ave. #7
Covington, LA. 70433
Sister Smith is actually from American Fork, and she seems like she is a lot of fun. According to Sister Holmes she is, so we shall see! I really do think she'll be fun. She used to play rugby apparently. Just a little random fact about her that I thought I'd throw in there! So back to Shawndrick'as family. We are finally teaching her son Teekie. Since they moved, he doesn't live by his friends, so we are a lot more interesting now. But yeah. That family is amazing, and I'm excited for them to get baptized. I love them! :( It's always hard to leave when you have investigators that you have just come to love so stinkin' much. What can ya do? It's part of bein' a missionary.
Shannon is doing alright. A while back her x-husband broke her foot by smashing it with a chair and it has been giving her problems ever since. She is now working at a job where she is on her feet all the time, and her foot never healed properly, so she is in a lot of pain. She hasn't been to church the last 2 weeks because of it. But she is remarkable. We actually have started to teach her (almost) brother-in-law, and he is also really neat. His name is Raymond, and he is REALLY searching. He kept saying how he didn't think it was coincidence that we met him that day, and he was really excited to start learning more. It was a really amazing lesson...Shannon started testifying of how she knew it was true and how it made her feel. It was really neat...it was like she was already a member! I just can't wait till she gets baptized.
It was a really good week. It's just been a privilege working with these remarkable people and I hate to leave, but I'm excited to go back to Covington. Apparently they have a baptism this weekend, so it'll be exciting. Well I'm sorry this email is so short. I just don't have a whole lot more to say... just know that I love y'all, and that I am so happy that I am a missionary. I really am. I think this last transfer was the best for me because I was able to see that change in Shawndreia and Shannon. I saw other changes too, but Shawndreia and Shannon just amaze me. Shawndreia was really starting to rebel against her mom, but she really looked up to us, and we were able to help her realize that it's not good to do that, and that she needed to listen to her mom. She loves the Book of Mormon, and this week she told us "I've never been so excited to go to church in my life." It was really neat to hear that. Shannon...it was just REALLY neat for me to hear her testify to Raymond that it was true. I don't know...if I was on my mission just to meet those 4 people, it was all worth it. All the tears, the nasty, sweaty heat, and all the frustrating, annoying people and crazy drivers, it was worth it for them. They definitely touched my life, and I am so grateful that I was able to know them. Well family, I love you. You are the best family a girl could ask for. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and I will email you on Monday!
Sister Stacy Jo Earl