Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

It has been a typical week for us.  We have done service again, met with lots of people, had interviews with our mission president and I have worked on the 72 hour kit project.  That is pretty much all the week consisted of.  We did get to watch the new movie Meet the Mormons while we were having interviews with the President.  Evidently the mission presidents have a link to stream the movie. I asked Sister Brough about getting it because it isn’t going to be showing in Indiana at all and the closest showing to us is in Lexington Kentucky which is 150 miles from us, she said there was a possibility they would be getting it on dvd because the streaming is having some problems and we could possibly get a copy.  It was so good and will be a great tool for introducing people to the Mormons.  I loved that it really showed the diversity of the Mormon people and that we are not all white, rich, educated people but have our trials and challenges just like anyone else.  If you get the chance I highly recommend you go see it.
We had two different members of the branch who are less active tell us that they were just not interested in coming back to church right now.  That is always so hard to hear but we won’t give up.  Because we are doing this 72 hour kit project and we also have a branch activity coming up out at the branch Presidents home, we will make sure these two people know about these activities and hopefully at least spark some interest.  One never knows what will get through to a person.
Our one sweet sister who is a convert of 4 years had her next door neighbor to the women’s conference on Saturday.  I couldn’t tell how Lacy felt about the whole experience but the spirit was definitely there.  It was so good to see strong women speak about important things and show that women are valued in this gospel.  Hopefully it touched Lacy in some way as she has 4 young daughters that want some kind of church.  She was raised with no religion and says she will just let her girls decide for themselves but how can they make a choice if they are never exposed to any kind of religion.
There’s not much else to say about this past week.  We are busy but it is becoming much more routine as we have now been here for 7 months and know most of the less actives and the actives who want us to make a visit frequently.  We have found several of the less actives who have moved from the area and been able to get them to the clerk to clear them off the branch list.

The gospel is true and we are so blessed to be able to serve here and try to help these people feel of the blessing of membership in the church.  We all need to actively help in our wards and branches to hasten the work.
Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.

the picture is of one of our chestnut trees.  See all the prickly spine balls. You can see the one that has opened up and dropped its nut out.  Evan has collected a whole ice cream bucket and a large butter container of nuts.  He is enjoying "roasting" them.  I think they are rather bland but he likes them.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Dear All
This past week I spent a lot of time working on a 72 hour kit project that the branch wants to do.  I made the mistake of letting them know I had done one for our ward last year before we left and they asked me to head it.  It is really different planning for a much smaller number of kits than the huge project we did last year.  I have spent hours trying to figure the best foods with enough calories to keep someone going without costing too much.  I think after making a trip to Sam’s club and redoing some things I have it pretty well figured out.  Now it is all about spreading the word so that all the less actives know about the project and can be a part of it all.  We found when we did it at home that it was a really good way to bring the less actives out and fellowship them.  Hopefully it will be the same here.
Not much else different has been going on this week.  We have made visits, gone to transfer meeting to pick up our new Elder, had District Meeting, had FHE at our house and done service.  I did get to help in Primary yesterday as the President and her daughter (both part of the presidency) had to leave after Sacrament meeting which only left one counselor who also plays the piano and teaches.  It was an interesting challenge to keep those 5 boys under control.  We have one 7, one 8, two 9 and one 11 year old boys.   Our only girl usually comes for the first hour when her grandpa teaches Sunday school and then they leave.  I guess it was a good thing our boys didn’t come that I needed to teach in the Sunday School class but the Sister I am teaching with and I had an awesome lesson planned.  We will just hold it for another week which we have done before.  We have only actually taught two lessons together because the boys aren’t really active.  We had had a lesson with them on Saturday evening about preparing for the temple but it isn’t going to happen quickly because the one boy is terrified of the water and doesn’t want to be baptized.  He is becoming a little more open to the idea but I think it is still a ways off. 

Evan has enjoyed being able to cut wood with one of our members.  He spent a couple of hours on Friday cutting and went out again today and spent 4 hours.  With getting to drive the tractor last week and cutting wood thins week he is very much in his element.  He is enjoying all the nuts he finds out here (and thats not the people).  We have a chestnut tree in our yard and it is very interesting to see how the nuts grow.  There is a very prickly green ball that falls off the tree and the nut is inside.  The thorns on it are very sharp.  After the ball opens up you have to roast the chestnuts (not necessarily on an open fire :).  This makes them edible and quick tasty.

We learned about the predicting of the weather by the persimmon seed.  When you cut open the tiny seed you will find either a knife, fork or spoon inside.  If a spoon it means a lot of snow, a fork means light snow and a knife means it will be cold and cut like a knife.  We only cut one open and it was a spoon so maybe lots of snow this winter.  We questioned what was really inside the seed but it really did look like a tiny spoon.  We will cut more open later to see what it predicts.
The first picture is the prickly ball and a cup of the nuts before cracking them and the second is of a nut roasted(in the microwave).  The third is the persimmon seed with the tiny spoon in it.
Love you all

Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014

Dear Family and Friends
I don’t know how the time can fly so fast.  I guess it is because we find ourselves so busy some days that there aren’t enough hours.
We have done a lot of service this past week.  One of the ladies in our branch was moving from a trailer into her house that the renters finally moved from and we spent a good part of two days helping her.  When we got there for the major move and she took Evan to get the u-haul truck I just started putting things in boxes trying to clean off the furniture that would need to be moved.  She is the sweetest lady but as we had learned doesn’t pack up ahead of time when she moves.  This is the 4th time the branch has helped her move so they knew what to expect.  With the Elders, another branch member and the two of us we moved most all of her stuff the 2 miles and then unloaded.  By the end of that day we were really feeling the years.  Thank heavens for young Elders and their energy.
On Wednesday I had a scheduled appointment with one of our less active sisters who lives about 20 miles out of town.  I picked up our sister Janine (who has two kinds of cancer) to take her with me because she really wanted an out and to visit some of the sisters.  We tried both Shannon and Melinda but neither were home so we just drove to the little town of Birdseye to get ice cream cones at a wonderful little ice cream place but the shop didn’t open until later so we just got ice cream bars at the station and started home.  Both of the sisters we had tried to visit were now at home but we didn’t have time to stop as the other sister who was with us had to be back home and we had another scheduled appointment.  I put about 85 miles on the car and we didn’t get to visit with anyone but I think it was just what Janine needed as the only places she ever goes are church(just sacrament), chemo and doctor appointments.
Friday we had District Meeting here in Tell City and I made lunch for the Elders and Sisters.  I really enjoy cooking and they really appreciate not having to spend money for lunch.  It is almost like having all 11 kids home again only the 10 Elders in our district can certainly out eat any of my boys I think. 
Saturday we went out to the Branch Presidents house to help him get his yard ready for the Branch activity we are planning.  He has a big yard and it hadn’t been mowed all summer so Evan got to drive a tractor for 5 hours and mow which he really enjoyed.  We are planning on a hay ride and big fire (to burn all the tree limbs he has cleaned up this year) as well as singing, games and visiting and of course lots of food.  When they did this last year they had over 70 people come which meant that lots of the less actives were there because we only average about 35 to church.  As a lot of the less actives are the Branch Presidents relatives that helps the numbers.
The James boys finally came to church and I was able to give the Sunday School lesson I have had prepared for over a month.  With the two boys and the two Elders we had quite a good lesson.  These boys have never had any primary and we really have to teach them on a very basic level as they learn about the Savior and Heavenly Father.  We talked about the commandments and how they bless our lives and it was a whole new idea for them to actually hear.  I think they especially enjoyed it for the fact that we used the ipad and tablet for them to look up scriptures and also had a video.  They became quite good at finding scriptures in the topical guide.
We are losing one of our Elders.  He is being transferred tomorrow which means we are making another trip to Louisville.  He has been a good missionary and has struggled with his companion who is getting trunky already even though he doesn’t go home until December.  We are praying for a really strong gung ho Elder that will get the work going again in Tell City.  We need some greenie fire here but know we aren’t getting a newby.
I know that we are here for a reason.  Every District Meeting and Zone conference we repeat our purpose which is to invite others to come unto Christ by learning of the restored gospel….  I know the gospel is the only way to find true happiness and I am so grateful for that knowledge.  I know my Savior lives and that brings me great joy.  Share your testimonies every chance you get.  Spread the joy.
Love you all
Elder and Sister Fullmer

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

Dear Family and Friends.
After writing in my email last week about our 5th Sunday meeting in which the branch members seemed to have the same excuses for not visiting our less actives which we all use I got a reply from my sister who lives in a tiny branch in Texas.  I wanted to send it along hoping she won’t mind because it is such a good message for each of us.  Here is what she wrote.
“I can also relate to the members of the Branch who weary of trying to get their inactive members out. I, too, have had the attitude of "why keep visiting them because anything I do never does any good, they still don't come out."  Then I became converted!  When I was in the District Relief Society presidency, we were keeping track, BY NAME, not just numbers, of those sisters not being visited each month.  I was embarrassed at one meeting to find that one of the ladies who hadn't been visited for 3 or 4 months WAS MY responsibility, my sister who I hadn't been visiting.  When I was driving home from this meeting I was reflecting on this experience and was murmuring and trying to justify my non-visits.  "Why should I keep going and visiting her, she is never going to come back to church.  I have been her visiting teacher off and on for several years and I have never seen her come out."  Then the Spirit quietly told me, "This isn't about her coming back to church it is about your obedience--your obedience in doing what you have been asked to do."  Well, since then, I no longer worry whether my efforts are going to produce fruit, I make a strong effort to do my fellow shipping and 100% visiting teaching so that I can be obedient.  And with the change in attitude I have a greater love toward my sisters and less fear or worry about them coming out, understanding more strongly now that each of us is judged on our own merits.  I also know more firmly now that "you can't hold their hand all the time"  and I am okay with that. They, too, have their choice to take or refuse but at least I am being obedient in offering.”    
I love the perspective this gives.  It really is about us doing our part and not worrying so much about others not doing theirs.  We will only be judged on our efforts and the things we said we would do when we sustained our bishops, branch presidents and the prophet.  I encourage each of you to go the extra mile in home and visiting teaching and fellowshipping the less actives (and the actives who might need an extra boost).  We all need each other.
We had some interesting visitors at church yesterday.  Brother and Sister Huntsman from Las Vegas were here.  He served his mission here clear back in 1972-74 and then came back 16 ½ years later to baptize one of the men he taught when he was here on his mission.  He was the Elder who taught the man in our branch who is paralyzed and he comes back to visit periodically.  It was so interesting to hear his testimony and it sure is a testimony to never giving up on someone because we never know what will make the difference.  
We have had a good week and found three more of the people on our branch list and had good visits with them.  It is surprising how a loaf of bread can get you into a door or at least a visit outside.  Not once have we been turned away although there is one sister we still have not had answer the door as yet.  Maybe she really is gone every time we try her door.  We actually visited one home and as the Elders were all getting out of the car I saw a man poke his head out the door and then shut the door when he saw us but when we went again on Sunday he actually answered the door and said we could come back another time as they were just sitting down to dinner.  We have actually visited with the wife who is the member once on the porch so I think we will eventually get to visit again.  We have visited with her daughter a couple of times at her home down the hill from her mom and she is very welcoming. 

We saw more of the tobacco process this past week.  As we drove by the barns we saw that there were men working there so stopped and actually talked to the owner and learned more of the process.  It is all done by hand from the cutting of the tobacco through to the end.  They chop the tobacco stock, put 6 of them on a stick and then load them onto a trailer.  When they get to the drying sheds one or two men climb to the top, one in the middle and then the man on the trailer hands a stick up to the middle man who either places it on his row or hands it on up to one of the men on the upper rungs.  The pictures don't show how quickly they work or put off the heat you feel in that drying shed.  We were in there for probably 10 minutes and I was dripping with sweat and my sinus hurt from even smellling the tobacco.  Tomorrow we should be able to get pictures of them actually cutting in the field because they are now cutting the fields closer to us instead of the ones in Kentucky.  I will sent those pictures next week but below are a few more of the whole process.

The first picture is of the soy beans which they will start harvesting in October. The rest are the tobacco pictures.
Love to you all
Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Septemper 1, 2014

Dear One and All
This past week we were blessed to have a Mission Conference where we not only learned from our Mission President but from Elder Cardon of the Seventy.  We spent the whole day with four other zones being taught how to more effectively bring the spirit into lessons.  Elder Cardon had some of the greenie missionaries give the talks they had prepared then some who had been out more than a year and then a couple who were close to finishing their missions and it was amazing to hear them all speak.  The greenies are a powerful force in missionary work because with their greenie zeal they teach just as powerfully as those seasoned veterans.  The caliber of missionaries in the field –at least in the GKLM- is astounding.  We both really enjoyed the meeting except for the 1 ½ hour drive each way and sitting for 7 hours.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (I was tired of sitting).  We had planned on trying to catch two of our families we have been unable to meet on the way home from the meeting but even the Elders were too tired to try and find them.
We spent a lot of time cooking this week as we have had several sisters ill in one way or another.  I love to cook so it gives me a good opportunity to make the food and have a little for us and lots to share.  I make a lot of breads but this was actual meals instead.  Our good friend Carolyn is having a major flare-up of her MS and doesn't feel like cooking but needs to eat so I love being able to help her out in that way. Because she is on steroids which compromise her immune system we are two of the four people who are allowed to go see her so we get to visit.
Evan had the opportunity to give another blessing this past week to another less active sister.  This sister is down to weighing 98 pounds but is still as feisty as ever.  She has always been small but with her illnesses has lost even more.  I took zucchini bread over the night we gave her the blessing and then took food over the next day when I went with her visiting teacher to visit her.  She said she had already gained 2 pounds from the zucchini bread which wouldn’t surprise me as it is so rich and you can’t quit eating it.  She is as feisty as ever even though she has been ill.
On Saturday we spent five hours helping the Branch President and his wife with the house they are still fixing up.  We got two more rooms painted with two coats each.  We are getting to where we can see the end of this massive project.  Basically the living room and landing are the only projects left for us.  Then they will decide what to do with the floors and put the carpet down on the spots where they go.  I really enjoy the change of pace that doing this service gives us.  It is such a relief to not be so out of my comfort zone trying to meet people.  We both came home tired from using muscles we don’t use enough and it was raining again so we had a quiet evening at home.
We had a combined 5thSunday and the Elders talked about how the branch worked so hard getting people to come to church when they were trying to get their new building and had to have the numbers and what made the difference now that they didn’t need those extra numbers.  There was a lot of discussion but I don’t know if it made much difference.  Some of the people have a good reason for not going out and inviting others to come to church but most of the branch just doesn’t take the time to visit the less active and encourage them to come back.  The attitude is that “we have visited them once and it didn’t make any difference” or “you can’t hold their hand all the time”.   I know some of the people feel this way because it is their own families who are less active and they do keep trying.  We won’t give up on these people.  Not the actives or less actives.  I have certainly seen that it really does take learning to love the people before you can make any difference.
This seemed like a slower week as far as visits but again we check our little book and see that for the month we visited 36 families just two less than last month and with the number of phone conversations we had with some of the less actives it still turned out to be a busy month.

The pictures are of the tobacco harvest which is taking place right now. We noticed the sheds starting to have the tobacco hanging so stopped to take pictures.  Since we did the sheds are even more full.  We want to try and see them actually harvesting the tobacco but so far haven't been there at the right time. The 1st picture is of one of the sheds with the hanging tobacco.  There are 8 sheds in all.  The 2nd picture is an outside view of the hanging.  The third is just of some of the buildings.  4th is part of the field and 5th is one of the long buildings which is now nearly full of tobacco.  We learned that tobacco is grown on this field every year and once you plant tobacco in a field that is all you can plant there.  Also we were told that it is interesting to watch it be planted because it is tiny plants and not seeds that are planted.  We will have to watch for that next spring.