Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Final Post


"All I can really say is wow. What a marvelous 18 months (and 2 weeks) this has been.
I've been blessed. I have changed. I have come closer to my Savior, and know who I am.
What a blessing, what a privilege!"

"I hope that everyone who keeps up with the blog will keep in touch, and I am really excited to come back out and visit the mission in the spring."

"I know this gospel is true. I know my Savior loves me. I know that when we keep our "eye single to the glory of God" we will always be right. I am go grateful that families can be together forever. I am so thankful to my wonderful parents for helping me find my testimony. I forever am in debt to them for making me go to church every week (: I know that I was sent to the West Virginia Charleston Mission for so many reasons of which I do and do not know. I am so thankful to my wonderful new-found friends and family that have helped me physically and emotionally through my mission while I served in their areas. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it's true, with every part of me. I know that when we read it, we find the Savior, and we come closer to knowing him. I know that our Prophet is a true prophet on the earth. I know the Atonement is real, and that it fixes broken hearts and spirits. I believe in using the Atonement every day of our lives. Heavenly Father Loves us. The Savior loves us. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Gator Hunting"

"Wow. 10 days. It's really almost unfathomable. But I will be completely honest. I am really excited to come home. I was thinking about it the other day...and I honestly feel like I have done all I can. Obviously I will continue to work hard every day until the end, but I feel very satisfied with my mission. I am happy it went the way it did. I am starting to see so many blessings come because of my missionary service. I am really excited to be a member missionary, to be involved in the work with a tag painted on my heart."

"Big rains finally quit. Now it's just hot and sticky, but the leaves are starting to turn colors. I can't believe it's fall already. We've seen some really pretty trees and some not so pretty trees...everyone's anxious to see what colors will show this year."

"Investigators are going semi-ok. One of our investigator's was going to move but it fell through. She's going to get a restraining order on her ex husband that keeps bothering her. She's going to get his mode of transportation (a four wheeler...everyone drives them around here) impounded. She's still strong in the gospel, and we're now working to put her on baptism date again for a later day. We had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators this week in her home. She's never had any religious exposure so we're starting from some serious scratch here. We taught her about Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost and we're looking forward to our lesson about the Savior. It should be neat. We haven't met with our other investigators lately. We are "Gator Hunting" this week haha...We have a lot of great potentials and a lot of work to do. Grateful that we have miles again on the car."

"Well, I hope y'all had a great week. Stay safe and be happy! Can't wait to see you NEXT WEEK!!!"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wet, Wet, Wet

"A saying that they have in these here parts of Ken-tucky is "If God be willin' and the creek don't rise." Well, the creek rose this week. a little too high. "

"We have had a very wet week. We had severe slow moving thunder storms over like, 8 different counties including ours on Friday night. It poured for about 4 1/2 hours, causing serious flash flooding, mudslides, and rising creeks/rivers. There are still areas that are needing severe clean up. The side of the road at the base of our holler fell into the creek next to it was pretty awkward. There was a mudslide right below our apartment building. It literally is like, 20 ft from the top of the mudslide. One town about 30 minutes from Harold got completely closed off from in and outgoing traffic because it was so flooded and the damage was so bad. People are still cleaning up their hollers. Everything is still a mess."

"Besides wet, things here in KY are going alright. The work this week was really hard. We didn't get to see a lot of our investigators this week, and the thunderstorms were so bad every day this week we didn't get to work as much as we had hoped to. This week is going to be killer though, I am super excited! We are seeing really neat miracles with our investigators. We have two we visited this week who are both really new investigators and haven't been taught really anything yet. When we committed both of them to read the Book of Mormon, we had hopes that they would, but they are both super busy with their own lives, we figured we probably wouldn't get them to read. When we went to see both of them this week, both of them had read different chapters in the Book of Mormon. It was so sweet, and such a tender mercy. They are both very prepared and ready to receive the gospel, so we are going to continue to visit them more frequently."

"We have been working with our members in finding new people to teach. We don't get a whole lot of dinner appointments because everyone lives so far. But we always get Sunday dinner, and we always get Wednesday night dinner with the same families. The younger couples come out with us when they are available, but most of them are young married couples with kids and a med student husband. So we work with what we have."

"Well, things are officially coming to a close...and it makes me so hyped up with so many different emotions. I gave my first departing testimony last Tuesday at my last zone conference with the mission president. I almost choked up, but I did pretty good."

In zone conference, our mission president also announced the upcoming movie, "meet the Mormons". I guess it's supposed to be a really big thing- its supposed to help others see what Mormons are really all about, and clear up misconceptions and such. he and his wife saw this movie in the MTC.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Head Over Heels in Love with Missionary Work!

"AH! 25 days! Actually to be totally honest, I'm doing really good, cause I just barely had to count how many days I have left."

"Things in KY are going pretty good actually. We had one investigator at church, but he is solid, and we're going to try and set him on date this week. His whole family are members, but him, and after his aunt died, he started investigating the church. He was raised in it, and knows a little of the doctrine, but he is still very young in the gospel. He knows a lot of the branch members so that helps. I'm going to start teaching piano to one of our investigators. We had this REALLY amazing member present lesson with her at the park with a really solid recent convert. At the end of her lesson we got on the subject of music, and she mentioned that she had always wanted to learn to play something, but she never got the chance. So I offered to teach her to play the piano, and she got all excited and said she would love to learn. So I'm going to start teaching her (: I'm really excited!"

"This week was...well, eventful. That's a good word for it. Tuesday was the longest day of my life, I swear. Our numbers looked REALLY good this week, and we almost hit the standard. That is my goal this transfer is to hit the standard at least one more time, and with our awesome teaching pool (one of the best I have seen my whole mission), I think we will be able to hit it."

"Thursday we were teaching one of our investigators and Sister H got bit by a hornet or wasp or something. She said it hurt really bad once we got to the car. She almost cried it hurt so bad, and her arm started to go red. She had a rash and it was swollen, but it wasn't too bad. The next morning we looked at it and it looked worse. I tried to get her to take Benadryl, but she said it makes her extremely drowsy and she refused to take it. I had some extra allergy pills and gave her some anti-itch stuff to rub on her arm. She said it helped for a little. Then during the day it just kept getting bigger and redder and puffier, so finally we called the mission nurse and we sent pictures from Beth's phone. Frantically, the nurse called us back after she got the photos and had sent them to the big east coast mission doc and said we needed to go to an outreach clinic or the ER that night. It was like, 7 so we go to the outreach clinic. We wait an hour and ten minutes. The doc put her on this steriod cream, demanded that she take two benadryl every 6 to 8 hours and sent us home. It has cleared up really nicely, just a slight rash. She slept the day after the ER until 12:30 in the afternoon. No wonder she doesn't like to take it haha...I couldn't get her up, no matter how many times I told her what time it was. But she's doing better now."

"It has rained everyday except for like, 2 this week. Did I miss something, or is this another round of Noah's ark? I swear, I have never seen so much rain! Driving in the rain will be a cinch for the rest of my life."

"I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting on Sunday about the gathering of Israel. I talked about member missionary work and temple work. They live in the Louisville (loo-a-ville...) KY temple district. It's about 2 hours away. Family history doesn't seem to be huge out in these here parts as much as WV. So I told them to get crackin' (: haha not really. I was kind about it. but I did tell them that it's part of our duty as members to be gathering Israel just as the Savior has asked us multiple times."

"Well, not much else to report this week. I've fallen head over heels in love with missionary work! I can't wait to continue this at home. I love you all- hope to hear from you soon!"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rain, Rain, Rain and a Banjo

"Well, we are very similar in weather patterns this has rained almost every day. And southern rain isn't like western rain. It rains and rains and rains, and then stops after an hour, and then rains again for another 45 minutes. It's sticky and hot until it rains, and then it's just way humid. The last sister that served here left her black rubber rain boots...and they have been my friend for the week."

"Things are getting a little more organized. We have one lady, a non member who runs a UK clothing store in town and we go help her with service every week. She's young, single, and a lot of fun to be around. The sisters have tried to teach her, but she doesn't want it right now. I know she will later though, when the time is right. She is the one who sent Daddy a video of me playing her dad's banjo. She told her dad to bring out his banjo, and he plopped it in my lap, handed me the book and said "go to town!" and he started kind of teaching me how to strum and how to use the little finger picks and such. It was super fun! It's actually a pretty easy instrument."  

"So we have several really promising investigators! We have one on date for September 27th. She was super strong in her church and then when the sisters started teaching her husband, she decided that she was interested, and ended up being more interested in the gospel than her husband was. We had a cool experience with her this week. We went to her house to teach her. She had expressed her desire to quit smoking several weeks before I got there. So we go to her house and the lessons we felt impressed to teach were tithing and fasting. So we started our lesson and all of a sudden she was like, "God told me I needed to tithe my cigarettes on August 12th, and he also told me that I need to stop drinking coffee." My companion and I were FLOORED. We hadn't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet!! So we taught her about tithing and about how when she payed her fast offerings, tithing, and fasted, she would be able to quit smoking. So next time we taught her the Word of Wisdom lesson...and SHE was floored that the Word of Wisdom required us to not drink coffee or cigarettes. It was her 2nd witness that she was being taught from on high and that God was really watching out for her and leading in the right direction. We are so excited to see her continue to progress."

"The other investigators we are working with are an engaged couple. They are adorable, and so prepared!! They are young, my age I believe. They are living together, but engaged to be married in October. We are going to try and get a wedd-ism out of this hahah...But all in God's timing of course. She always has these amazing questions. Yesterday after church we asked them if they had any questions for us, and I believe it was the 2nd question she asked was about how we do baptism, and she expressed that she had been deeply and seriously considering that she needed to be baptized, and wanted to know how to do it. It was incredible. We are going to try and set them on date this week."

"I am so grateful for you all. I am so excited to be a part of this marvelous work for another 5ish weeks. And then, once a missionary always a missionary! yay (: "

Monday, August 4, 2014

Living up a holler with my truck

"Alright, alright. Kentucky really isn't all that bad. But it is definitely different. Let me tell you a little about my first weekend in Kentucky."

"The Lord really surprised me this time. I wasn't expecting anything fancy, just another missionary area. On the front of my planners, I usually have a quote or picture that ends up relating itself to a transfer theme. A lot of things happen during the transfer that involve the cover of my planner and it ends up summing up my transfer lol...This transfer's cover is a quote by Joseph Smith- "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." I had to sacrifice leaving Bluefield big time, but since I have left, I have been blessed temporally and spiritually in so many ways. Heavenly Father really wants me to end my mission a solid, successful missionary, and the extra blessings must have come from working so hard in Bluefield. I'm not entirely sure. Still trying to figure that out."

"We live up a holler...lined with rose bushes. Our apartment complex is something out of a travel magazine. We have a pool and a gym- I go run at the gym every morning...the Lord really blessed me, I finally have a treadmill again. We drive a 2014 Nissan Terrain. Um, my next car will be a used truck or jeep. I'd really like a Jeep Wrangler. Sister H doesn't really like to drive, so I get to drive the truck (: it is the funnest thing ever!!"

 "We serve in a branch. It's smaller than Bedford, there was a whopping 45 people at church yesterday, lol. Services were nice, the ward members are great! Lots of young couples studying medical things at UPike and UK. It's fun to see new babies again. I don't think I saw any in Bluefield. The building is tiny!

The chapel has a divider and they use it as the relief society and priesthood rooms. There isn't a gym, not even a quarter sized one. The primary room is half the size of ours. The whole building is cute and little. My piano skills will be used, yes. The ward pianist and her family are moving in a week, lol."

"We have quite a few investigators. I haven't met all of them but the ones I have met are really promising. We don't have any on date, we're going to try and set about 4 on date this week though. Pikeville needs some work. There's a lot of clean up to do with the paperwork and we need to pick our numbers up out of the gutter. Still working hard, trying to make my last 5 weeks the best! The first day I got here I was seeing so many miracles. There is so much potential here, and we have a lot of work to do. But I am seeing the fruits of my labors, and I am really actually...happy."

"Transfer meeting on Wednesday was really bittersweet. My MTC companion went home. She took the early transfer. I would have been home this week if I had taken the early transfer. I can't believe how time has flown. I'm really glad I took the late transfer though. I saw a lot of elders and sisters at this meeting that I probably won't see again till they come home. It was so wierd. Everyone was like, "Sister Peck, isn't this your last transfer?" I teared up a little every time I thought about it. I am really excited but not at the same time. It's one of those things, lol."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

McDonalds, McDonalds...KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN (and a Pizza Hut!)

"Tell Grandpa he finally got what he wished for. That's right folks. I'm headed to Pikeville, Kentucky to serve with Sister H...again. I don't know what the deal is, but they really like to stick me with sisters I have already served with. All that I know about Pikeville is that it's 2 hours from any of the meetings we will have, out in the boonies. I am excited for the people. I love poor people, they are so humble. I think our apartment is one of the nicest in the mission. I think the complex has a gym so that will be nice."

"I'm dreading this. I couldn't even finish talking to the zone leaders last night I was crying so hard. I've been crying since then. I know there is a reason for all of this but it's not the last transfer I was expecting. I'm trying to have a positive attitude but I have been trying to avoid Kentucky my whole mission. Bluefield is my second home. If I ever ran away, I would run away to Bluefield. I am friends with all the ward members here. I'm praying for strength and courage to do what God asked me to do. I'm sure the ward is great. I'm sure that it won't be horrible. I hope they don't feed me Opossum."