Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014

Dear All
 Sometimes we look back on a week thinking we haven’t really accomplished much and then we look in our white planning book where we keep track of those we have visited and we see that once again we have met people and put miles on the car.  We spent one day with the Elders using their car because they had lots of miles they could use and went over into Kentucky to try and find some of the families over there who we haven’t found yet.  We have become quite the detectives and aren’t afraid to ask people on the street about some of our people.  We found that one family has moved out of our district but we were told of an aunt of his that would probably have his address.  No luck finding her home yet but we won’t give up.  That same day we also drove out the complete opposite direction to try and find members.  One house no longer exists and no one knows the lady, one lady has moved and no one was home at the other two houses.  The Elders put over 100 miles on their car that day with our travels. We are learning why some of the Senior Couples didn’t ever have these families on their weekly reports.  It takes a lot of traveling and perseverance to try and find some of these people. I have used whitepages.com and peoplefinder.com to try and locate some of these people and have found a couple that way.  In between the morning travels and afternoon adventures we visited a lady who just had surgery and went up to the hospital to get her car for her. 
That evening we had an appointment with a brother and sister who are from Utah but have lived here for years.  We spent a very enjoyable hour and a half visiting with them and learning their story.  They are both pretty shy and are more comfortable around animals than people.  At our coordination meeting on Friday our branch mission leader was surprised that we had even gotten into their home because he had been their home teacher for six months and had never gotten in their house.  We never know who we can reach that someone else perhaps can’t.  That is why we are each so important to this work.  You might be the one to reach a person that has turned everyone else away. 
Saturday we were again able to attend the temple.  We do a branch trip every month that we are in charge of and we usually have 5 or 6 people go.  This was a special day because our one young man was going to do baptisms for the first time.  His parents and brother took him to the temple even though they couldn’t go in.  They wanted to feel the spirit of the temple and be that much a part of his experience.  I love our small temple.  This session was so crowded because two people were there for the first time and the room was so full and the spirit was so strong.
We went to visit a lady Peggy when we got home and ended up meeting her ex-husband who is also one of our less actives we have been trying to find.  He says he still knows the gospel is true but just has a hard time with feeling judged because of his tattoos which he has had since before he joined the church.  He has just moved out of one of the apartment buildings where we have tried teaching some people and told us that some of the people tease and taunt anyone we are teaching until they drop us.  He said that is what happened to our sweet Anna and he thinks she might let us come again.  We are certainly going to try.  Satan really does try his hardest when we are finding choice people to teach.
Because our scheduled appointment cancelled on us at the last minute we took the Elders and dropped them off to do some tracting while we went and visited one of our members who just got out of the hospital.  When we got to her house she asked us if we had our umbrella because it was supposed to rain.  I told her it was in the car but we probably wouldn’t need it.  Before we had been at her house long it started to pour and we got a text from the Elders asking us to come and rescue them.  We had a hard time getting away from her and her son and our poor Elders stood under some trees trying to stay dry in the deluge that came.  We got soaked just running to our car and they had been out in the rain for about 20 minutes.  Needless to say that meant a trip home to get dry.  It was late enough that we decided to just call it a night and stay home and enjoy the rain from our nice dry home.
One of the less actives whose grandparents are active has a little girl who has MRSA and she asked her granddad if he would find someone to help give her little girl a blessing.  They all came to our house before Family Home Evening and we had a really nice visit getting to know her.  She believes in the power of the priesthood even though she is totally in-active and doesn’t seem to have much of a desire to change that.  If the families of two of our active families would come back to the fold we would have enough people for a small ward.  Too many of the second and third generations have fallen away here. 
We are doing all we can to help the branch and most days we feel that we are a benefit.  Some days it is a lot of traveling with no results except maybe cleaning out the branch list which I guess also helps at least the next Senior Couple.
Be kind to everyone.  Share the gospel everywhere because we want everyone to feel the joy.  Let your light shine.
Love to all
Elder and  Sister Fullmer etc

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear Family and Friends
The highlight of this past week was going to the temple with our good friends from the branch.  Janene is fighting two kinds of cancer and has only been given about a year to live even with chemo but is the strongest most positive person I know.  She said that if she could make the drive to Louisville and a 4 hour chemo session 3 days a week she could surely make the drive to Louisville for a temple session that lasted less than two hours and would build her up so much more than the chemicals ever could.  She has a tracheotomy so can’t talk and it is challenging to read her lips to carry on a conversations but I loved every minute I got to spend with her.  She was pretty worn out by the time we enjoyed the temple session and had a great lunch at Olive Garden and she slept the hour and a half home but her smile was so worth it.  She has so much trust in our Heavenly Father that she just radiates goodness.  I suppose she has her down, depressed days but she never shows it to any of us.  When I find myself getting discouraged or annoyed or bothered by things happening in my life I just have to think of Janene and her great example.  She is the primary president in our tiny branch and although we only have 5 kids in primary she tries to be there and help whenever she can.  So often she can only come for Sacrament Meeting and then has to leave but the kids know her and love her because she loves them.  I want to be more like her.
The other thing that has brought us joy is that our one young man-who comes from a less active family and we are working so hard with-is going to the temple this weekend to do baptisms for the dead.  When we went to his house last week and told him about it he was very excited.  He came to church this week to have an interview and is so proud of that first recommend.  He also passed the sacrament for the first time and I was as proud of him as if he were my grandson.  He will be the reason this family comes back into activity.  His spirit will be felt in their home.  They live 20 miles from town so he has to depend on his parents to bring him to church and that will help them to come back.  The spirit truly is what converts people and not people converting people.  We have seen that with the couple who were baptized a couple of months ago.  Once the missionaries left who taught them they slipped away and have not been back to church.  They are again separated.  Jerad wants to come back and is meeting with the Elders a little so hopefully he will again feel the spirit and want to be a part of that again.  Jerad was the stronger of the two from the beginning and seemed to feel the spirit more and not just love the missionaries.  It has really shown us how important the branch members are in someone’s retention.  Without that fellowship from the members it too often is about the missionaries and not about the gospel itself or it is the newness of all they have to learn past the first lessons that make or break a true conversion.  As members we all need to step up and do our part or the missionaries are working twice as hard doing that which we should be doing.
I know that the gospel is true and is where we can find true happiness.  I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us and our Savior suffered for us that we would not have to suffer for our sins if we would repent.  I am so grateful for a young boy who had a question and was bold enough to ask and received such a wonderful answer and that because of Joseph Smith, I can have my questions answered as well.  The gospel brings me great joy and I want that for all the people especially at this time in this part of the world that I have come to love.
Love to all
Elder and Sister Fullmer
Mom and dad
Grandpa and Grandma
Evan and Trudy

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

As I sit here and listen to the rain I feel so blessed to be here.  It is our p-day so we don't have to be out in the rain but we are so grateful to be getting it.  Evan just barely finished mowing the grass which hasn't been mowed for 3 weeks because we haven't had enough rain to even make it grow.  We have had thunder all morning but just now got the rain and it isn't our normal pounding storm but we will take whatever we can get.
We had a bit of a slower week as far as meeting people as we took one day to take the Elders to transfer meeting which takes the best part of the day.  We had 33 Missionaries finish their missions and go home and 26 come into the field.  The missionaries going home always give their "words of wisdom" in transfer meeting.  Some of them are so touching, some show what kind of a missionary they have been and some bring some comic relief.  Our one and only black Elder was very late getting to meeting because of being behind a bad accident that slowed traffic and the meeting was already into the assigning of new companionships when he got there.  President stopped the meeting for Elder Daynuah to give his words of wisdom.  He gave a spiritual message and then said "the field is white---and it just got a whole lot whiter."  He has been a very well loved missionary and everyone who knows him will miss his humor.
We spent another day just driving finding more of the less actives.  We actually found the homes of three more but with no one home.  So many men here work at the factories, or coal mines or construction which may mean 6 or 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.  It doesn't leave much time for anything else.  These peoples names have been on the branch list for years but no one in the branch even knows them.  After District Meeting because we were going to be in the area where 3 more people live who we have tried to find before, we stopped at their homes.  We were at least able to get into the gate of one person whose gate has been locked when we have tried before but no one was home.  We left a note and some zucchini bread and will keep trying.  We did meet one lady and have an appointment to go back on Wednesday to visit.  She is originally from Utah so we can talk about common things.  We are whittling down the list even though it takes multiple times going there.  We have found that it does no good to try and call the people because they won't return the calls so we just have to drive out and hope we find them.
Part of one day I worked on the Finch genealogy that I found on one of the headstones out to the Grandview cemetery.  I found that all of the temple work has been done except that one son has been missed.  I will have to go to the cemetery next Zone Meeting day and get a rubbing off the headstone because my picture isn’t clear enough to read the date.  I think this son died as a child and has been missed.  I would love a genealogy mission where I just went to cemeteries and got the information off headstones did the genealogy and got their temple work done.  I feel so bad that so many of the headstones in some of these cemeteries are getting so faded that the only way to take the information off is to do a rubbing and it is all getting lost.
We got an email from President Brough in reply to Evans weekly email.   Evan had told him about our visiting 38 families this month for visiting and home teaching and he replied.
 Elder and Sister Fullmer:
Thank you so much for your report.  I think you need to write your Bishop, High Priest Group Leader and Relief Society President and let them know that you are Home and Visiting Teaching 38 families a month.  With this information your ward leaders can let their Home and Visiting Teachers know they have it pretty easy.  Thank you for all you do in Tell City.
Gospel love,
President Brough

That made us feel really good as that 38 doesn’t include all the doors we knocked on where no one was home and the multiple visits we made with some of these families.
That is all for this week.  Thank you so much to all of you who sent emails this week.  We appreciate hearing of your lives and the encouragements you give us.  Being able to communicate so easily is such a blessing especially on one of those discouraging days when no one wants to listen.
We love you all
Elder and Sister Fullmer
Mom and Dad
Grandpa and Grandma
Evan and Trudy
The first picture is of me with a less active's pet turkey.  #2 is of a flower in the neighbors yard. Then pictures of a barge we watched go through the locks.  The first ones shows how high it was compared to the wall then about half way down and then how low it went to get through and then coming out.  It was very interesting to watch.  Now I want to watch one go up the river.  The next one is for the Harrison boys.  We thought they might enjoy this.


Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4. 2014

Dear Family and friends
This week we have been able to enjoy the produce coming from so many others gardens as well as the cantaloupe from our own.  I didn’t know that a cantaloupe would just fall off the vine when nearly ripe but learned that we need to let them set for a couple of days before we cut them.  After the first one we have really enjoyed the fresh fruit.  We have been blessed with tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, corn, summer squash and of course zucchini.  I have made lots of cinnamon zucchini bread as well as some very delicious raspberry lemon zucchini bread.  I love baking and it is nice to be able to do the baking but not have it all around the house as we both have put on a few pounds.
We have found more of the Sketo family and have been very welcomed by all of them.  None of them seem to want to come back to church but still say they have testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel.  It seems that after the parents died there was a big fight over the property and some really hard feelings that no one has wanted to fix.  It is so sad to see such a conflict in a family.  If they could only let the “things” go and realize that family is the most important.  These families have all turned to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and crime to try and find happiness and it has only brought them sorrow.  One of the sisters who we talked to this week says she knows the gospel is true.   At the same time she is an alcoholic and has suffered drug overdoses and two of her sons are in prison and the third one is on probation.  Why is it that people can’t see that the gospel is where they will be free and all this other stuff just keeps them in bondage.  Satan is working hard in this area to keep the people in bondage.
Our one Elder is being transferred tomorrow and it makes me sad.  He is the Elder whose mother is a cousin to our son-in-law and reminds me so much of Shawn.  I am really going to miss him and his jokes and teasing.  When he was called to be the District Leader as the mantle of his calling fell upon him, he really stepped up and has been a good leader.  He has motivated the rest of the district to work harder and be more committed.  He is going to a different district as a DL so will be able to use his talents to help other missionaries.   As I have said before-I love missionaries. 
As we ended the month we checked our numbers of visits and this month we actually visited just over 48% of the branch members with about 2/3 of them on the less active list.  Some of those we visited multiple times so it has been a busy month which is just the way we like it.  We are so grateful that gas has dropped by 34 cents a gallon because it averaged out to be $10 every day for the month of July that we spent on gas.  Our old car is handling all those miles well though so we are blessed.
We sure would love to hear from all of you.  I am sure that each of you have things in your life that would be interesting to share with us-trips, children, grandchildren, temple work, missionary work, service or just a simple hello email would be greatly enjoyed.
Love to all of you
Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.