Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mar 30, 2014

     Here we are with another week gone by.  Sometimes it seems as if there isn't enough time to visit everyone that needs a visit.  With 92 less actives that alone would keep us busy but all the active members want a personal visit as well.  When we met with the Branch Pres last Sunday he told us that some of the actives were feeling bad that we hadn't made it to visit them yet so we are trying to resolve both issues.
     On Monday which is our Preparation day we had finished the laundry and were on our way to do some grocery shopping when we got a call from the Relief Society Counselor asking if I could go with her and the Relief Society President to do a food order.  They don't have the luxury of a bishops storehouse here so it is a matter of someone paying for the order and then being reimbursed for the amount.  Only the IGA store will take a voucher and they are so much more expensive than Walmart that this branch needs to do it this way.  We met with one of the ladies  Andrea and she had the lists for herself and the other lady Laura who had gone to the hospital.  Laura has a lot of health problems so had just given her list to Andrea.  Because of room issues and time issues we just took the list and went to Walmart and got what we could without the sisters.   What a blessing it is to have a bishop's storehouse and so much easier.
      Because we were having FHE at our house and we fix a meal for all those who come I needed to get back home and get things finished for dinner.   One of the Sisters who we have become good friends with came over early and helped me get things ready and Evan had chairs all set up.  We had 15 to FHE and showed Elder Ballard's talk on missionary work.  I think that even more than the lesson's that are given it is the time for some of them to really get together and visit.  Because some of them live so far out and don't take the time on Sunday to visit this gives them a chance to just talk to each other.  Two other families hold FHE on a rotating basis and they both live quite a ways from Tell City but there are about 9-13 people who make the effort to go each Monday.  We carpool which helps with the travel and gives us even more time to visit.
     Tuesday we spent the afternoon working with the Elders.  They are teaching an older sister so need us to be there with them.  Her name is Nancy and she seems to be quite interested even though on our first visit her husband Bud didn't seem to be.  Nancy asks a lot of questions and is reading what she can.  She is blind in one eye so Evan gave her his large print Book of Mormon so that she can continue to read.  I thought it was just one extra thing to bring when he put it into the car but it is serving a great purpose.  Nancy's son is living there and he would walk into the kitchen and then stand at the door to listen for a minute and then leave.  He finally came in and sat on the floor and listened and asked some questions.  He accepted a pamphlet so we will see next time if there is really any interest.  After that we went with the Elders to teach Keith.  He must have been taught before by someone because he certainly asks insightful questions.  We also had a meeting set up with a part member family but by the time we got through with those two it was later and when I called the family they had just gotten home so we set up a meeting for the next day.
     Wednesday Evan had to take the car in to find out why our air conditioning is not working.  Unfortunately it doesn't look positive and we might have a very hot summer if they can't get it fixed.  Pray for miracles.  We went and visited with the Skeen family.  Eva Mae Skeen is the Relief Society President.  She has one daughter who is the Primary President and then a son and another daughter who are less active.  She also has a granddaughter Brittany who the last couple spend many hours with but never had luck getting them to come to church.  Brittany was there at her grandmothers so we had a chance to get to know her.  Brother Skeen had a stroke at age 44 and is paralyzed from the neck down and has been that way for over 30 years.  He only talks a little but seems to have a great sense of humor.  I can see why Sister Skeen needs some company and we will go back just to visit.  After leaving there we went to another family who are endowed, have had their children sealed to them but have become less active.  They are raising a bi-racial granddaughter and someone said something that hurt their feelings at church and they haven't been back.  The man has had a liver transplant and the ward said there were certainly miracles that happened in his behalf.  We certainly want to help them feel the spirit and return to church.  This little branch could use people like them.
Thursday we had a downer day when we couldn't seem to find anyone home.  We did get to go back to Nancy's with the Elders.  They committed her to coming to church and we will pick her up on Sunday.  Her husband came in just as we were getting ready to leave and Evan talked to him about the tractor he was fixing up and he opened up well.  We probably need to go do some friend-shipping there so Bud can see that we are just normal people with a great message.
     Because the Elder that was here on splits found out that I had been making bread for our Elders that are here, he wanted some and because we were having district meeting on Friday, I made a double batch of bread which would give each companionship two small loaves.
     Friday we left for district meeting at 10:00.  Elder Stohel and Elder Crichton(Zone Leaders)  were there so it meant I was short two loaves of bread so told our Elders that they could get some on Monday when they come for breakfast.  They still had some from last Monday so were okay with that.  I really like how our meetings start out with reciting our purpose from PMG and Doctrine and Covenants 4.  It is good to see some of the work that each companionship is doing as they do their accountabilites.   Our meeting was all about working with ward and branch correlation meetings and what our role is there.  Elders Davis and Gerrard had done up an accountability sheet with star wars names for our new members and a ward list of other characters.  It brought some humor into the meeting but also brought some focus as to how we need to fill out our sheets for the council meeting so that it is clear what each new member or investigator needs.  One of the Sister companionship's shared the miracle they had happen in their area with their girl that was getting baptized.  It is hard to put into words the feeling we had as they told of how the spirit worked to make things happen.  Elder Stohel, the zone leader also told of his miracle going to a different area than he was planning and how they found someone ready to listen because they listened.  The companionships were all thrilled with the bread.  We all went to Wendy's for lunch afterwards and then we got back to Tell City in time to tell our sister Christine who is moving to Missouri goodbye.  We certainly pray that her new ward will take care of her and keep her active because she loves the gospel.  The Elders wanted us to go to three different lessons with them but one by one they canceled so we ended being able to go to our meeting with the branch mission leader.  It works better for him to have the meetings at his house on Friday rather than on Sunday because of his family.
     Saturday we went to visit a part member family.  Sister Burst is 82 years old and joined the church 16 years ago.  Two of her kids are also members but less active.  After Sister Burst and I left to look at her quilts her husband opened up to Evan and told him that he almost joined once but was afraid of what his mother would think.  His mother was a single parent and raised him and his two siblings and he doesn't want to do anything that would displease her.  Evan told him that he needed to pray and find out what his mother would want him to do now that she has been gone for so long.  They have lost 5 of their 10 children and Sister Burst is such a strong person with a wonderful testimony of the hereafter.  We had such a wonderful visit.  It is so inspiring to hear of the conversion stories of the people here.
     Because of the health issues Laura has been having and that her and Andrea are such good friends and the fact that the Elders weren't able to give Andrea and her son Matt the final discussions their baptism which was originally supposed to be on Saturday has been pushed back.  I believe that it will still happen but just don't know when.
     We had an investigator to the women's conference and 4 investigators to church today.  Nancy was ready and waiting when we got over to pick her up and she asked several questions and said that it was different than she was used to but she enjoyed it.  We will see on our next lesson with her how it goes.  The young couple, Jared and Cassie who are investigating are just having their second baby.  It would be such a blessing in their lives to find the gospel.  The young girl Allison knows a little of the gospel because her grandma is on our less active list. She actually asked one of our members who was substituting in her school class about the gospel.  She says her grandma probably hasn't been to church in 20 years.  It was Fast and Testimony meeting today and so many of those who born testimony were of members who have been in the church less than 5 years.
We love you all and pray you will each find missionary opportunities and take advantage of them.  The world needs to hear this message.
Love Elder and  Sister Fullmer

Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22, 2014

     It is hard to believe how fast the weeks are going.  We have now been here for almost three weeks and have met so many good people.  We have also put a lot of miles on our car already and gas keeps going up.  We had our first interview with our mission President just a week after we got here.  While each of the missionaries were having their interview the rest of us were in training from the AP's.  It is amazing to listen to these young missionaries.  They have such enthusiasm and knowledge.  Pres. Woodbury told of an experience that a pair of sister missionaries had just had in Louisville.  They went to an apartment where they had a scheduled appointment but no answered the door.  They of course were disappointed and left but got just down the road when they felt they were to go back and knock on all the doors in that complex.  On the 10th door they knocked on a man answered and when he saw who they were he left them standing there and they could hear him talking to a woman in the back.  He came back and just said "Come back on Tuesday at 7:00".  It turns out that he was a less active member and had wanted to come back but said he would know the time would be right when the missionaries contacted him.  He had seen the missionaries on the street one day but they were across the way and didn't come toward him.  His name is Mark and he and his girlfriend Ann both dance with the Louisville Ballet.  That Tuesday they had the first discussion, went to church that Sunday and had the second discussion and the had FHE at President and Sister Woodbury's on Monday.  Sis. Woodbury and the sister missionaries were talking to Ann and wondering how it was going and  Ann said that she already had her answer.  They set a baptism date but were worried about them getting married because Ann is from Kentucky and they were afraid that she would want a great big wedding.  They learned that Mark had already called the bishop and he married them that evening and they set the baptism date.  President Woodbury's point was not just that the people are prepared for us but that we should never leave an area if an appointment falls through but just to knock on all the doors around there because the reason you are there could easily be someone else that has been prepared.  I think every missionary dreams of that golden contact.  They are out there but we have to find them.
      On Saturday we took the Elders to Evansville for Stake Conference.  It isn't as far as I thought going the way the members from here go so it takes us just about an hour to get there.  The theme for conference was Hastening the work which I imagine is the theme for all conferences for this six months.  We heard a wonderful conversion story from a lady that was very very active in the Catholic church but finally found the full truth when she listened to the missionaries.  Pres. Woodbury told a story of the hunter and the lion.  The hunter went to shoot the lion but his gun misfired because he hadn't cleaned it.  He thought for sure the lion was going to kill him but when it jumped, it jumped clear over him and he was able to get into the fort.  The next morning the hunter knew he had to clean  his gun so it would work right.  He look out the window and saw the lion practicing shorter jumps.  The point of the story was that we need to do small things well.  We need to pray for the missionaries by name, pray for missionary opportunities, volunteer to participate with the missionaries, let them teach people in your home and set an example in the way we live.  He quoted from Elder Ballard "The voice of the good shepherd is your voice and my voice."
     Sunday morning we went back to Evansville for the other session.  The Stake President talked about how we should not delay, that inspiration has a time stamp.  When we hear that the talks are going to be on missionary work we might feel guilty and say "Just one more thing I don't do well" but that faith casts out fear and we should make a positive difference in someones life in some way this year.
     This week we have been with the Elders a lot as they are teaching some single sisters and need us to be with them.  Tonight when we went with them they challenged this woman to be baptized and she is ready.  She and her 11 year old son will be baptized  next week if all goes well.  They had originally challenged her in December but she ended up having surgery so now is the right time.   Elder Davis hadn't planned on doing it this evening but the spirit was there and it was just right.  This work is so great.  We have also taken a sister to several doctors appointments and done genealogy for her (found so much work done on her mother's side but can't get in contact with the cousin that has done it).  We had zone meeting and met the other senior couples in our zone, were taught by the young missionaries again and learned how much we don't know how to teach.
     We were able to go out to the farm of a non-member whose family we have gotten to know and love already.  The wife and adult children are members and have been for 35 years but not the father.  We have found that a lot here.  The wife joins but not the husband.   Evan so wanted to cut some wood :) and there is certainly plenty he could cut.
     The country is so beautiful here.  With the Ohio River just minutes away and the hills covered with trees it is truly some of our Father's greatest creations. 
There is lots more I could write but I don't want you all to get overwhelmed.  Thank you so much for all the replies that we received.  We really appreciate all the positive comments and the love that everyone sent.  We are being stretched but it is a good thing.  

To our temple friends--tell everyone hi for us and tell Brother Bean to give Sister Bean our love and best wishes.
To our MTC friends-hopefully you are having as much fun as we are.
To our family--Hug and kiss those grandkids for us.  Congrats Sam on the win and getting to go to Worlds.  Congrats Maya, Emma and Becky on the good job at the competitions.
To Norma Boyd--one of the Elders here in Tell City is Alex Gerrard.  He sure does love his Great Grandma Johnson and we sure do love him.  We seem to run into your family wherever we go.
To Amy J--Good luck with the wedding.  Sometimes it really is easier without another mother :)
To Sherry Brown--so sorry about the loss of your cousin.  Aren't we glad we know what we know.
To you all-WE LOVE YOU
Love Evan and Trudy
Elder and Sister Fullmer