Monday, February 16, 2015

February 9 and 16, 2015

Feb 9& 16
I started this letter a week ago but got distracted and didn’t finish so here is a double dose.
We had an experience we didn’t imagine we would have on our mission this past week.  The only young family we have in our branch asked us if we could possibly babysit for them so they could go to the temple.  We have told them since we got here that we would but they haven’t asked us to until now.  We have no young men or women in our branch so they don’t know any girls they could get to babysit.  We spent 8 hours with 4 boys ages 9, 7, 3 and 2 and it was mostly fun.  The weather was so beautiful that Evan cut wood and the boys stacked it.  They thought it was great fun and after stacking two small stacks they thought they “had enough wood for two winters”.  
There has been a lot of sickness going through our branch again so lots of cancelled appointments.  One of the Elders was also sick for four days and we sure missed him.  Thank heavens I had plenty of genealogy research people have asked me to do so I got to spend time doing that.  I have cleaned up some of the mistakes in the Burst family lines where there were lots of duplicates.
Evan confirmed Sydney in church last Sunday and gave her a beautiful blessing with it.   Sydney called later that evening and wanted to come over and talk.  She said she was disappointed about her confirmation because she didn’t feel the spirit like she did at her baptism.  We talked with her about feeling the spirit and how it was not always a grand big experience but sometimes a still voice.  We talked about how she seems to have been a member so long because she uses correct prayer language and just understands all she is taught.  She told us about sometimes when she is talking to her friends about the gospel that the answers just come to her and she doesn’t know where they come from.  It was so wonderful to teach her from the scriptures about the things she already knows.  She truly is just remembering what she has always known.

I read our good friend Wanda Yearsley’s blog and she had this story in it from their final Outgoing devotional.  They are serving in San Jose California and are just about to finish their mission.   I liked the story so well I wanted to share it. “(President Lemmon is a counselor in the mission presidency).  President Lemmon said that when he was 16, he had a great bishop…..his dad.  After a meeting one day, his dad asked him to meet with him in his office.  His dad then told him things that he wasn’t doing very well at and needed to improve on.  He was being a typical teenager, not looking at his dad and trying to just ignore him.  His dad could tell from his actions that he wasn’t happy with what was said.  Then he said to him, if an angel asked you to do these things, what would you do?  President Lemmon said he thought a minute, and thought of the angels that Laman and Lemuel had seen, and how they just ignored them, and thought to himself, I’m not going to be a Laman and a Lemuel.  Then his dad said, I am your angel now, representing the Lord.  So President Lemmon took the council from his dad to heart.  He said that the Lord’s hand can be seen in all things.  There are no coincidences in life.  We are not God’s Saturday afternoon hobby when He is bored.  We are His work and his glory.”  He surely did “liken the scriptures” to himself.  If we could each think of ourselves as being someone’s “angel” or thinking of those who have and are “angels” to us we would all strive to do as Nephi and “go and do”.

Feb 16
Winter has finally come to Indiana.  We had only had one small snow storm clear back in November which only lasted one day.  The predictions for this past weekend were for lots of snow and cold.  Saturday night at our Valentine’s social the branch President called (he wasn’t there because he had been in meetings with Elder Christofferson) and cancelled church because of the weather forecast.  When we got up Sunday and there was no snow and it was only -6 we wondered about the stamina of these people.  It worked out well though because it gave us the opportunity to go to Louisville and visit Sister Hinkle who had a brain tumor removed on Saturday.  She is fighting lung cancer and now this.  We also took the winding way home and found a less active we hadn’t found before and had a really good visit.  He is from the Sketo family who were so active at one point but now only one out of 10 children is active.
We woke up this morning to snow and it has continued to snow all day.  We probably have about 12 inches and it is still coming.  I had been missing the snow until I looked out the window and remembered that I really like summer better.  The missionaries were told not to leave their apartments until noon tomorrow because of the weather and to not drive their cars at all.  Our Elders called and got permission to walk to our place so they could do laundry.  We live about 10 blocks apart and they were pretty cold when they got here.  Evan is presently digging out the drive so we can take them home later but first we will have a rousing game of Racko.  We do have fun in this mission.
We had the opportunity on Saturday to have a mission conference with Elder Cristofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Soares of the 70.  They and their wives each spoke to us.  I especially loved Sister Christofferson’s talk about this not being our home but we are all away from our heavenly home and have an innate longing to go back home.  Elder Christofferson had a Q&A at first and it was wonderful and inspiring to hear his counsel and to feel of his spirit as he taught us.
This has turned into a real epistle.  I just want everyone to know how grateful I am for this opportunity to serve here.  I love every meeting we go to because of the spirit I feel.  I love the Savior and all those who are teaching of Him.  I love to see the changes in not only the investigators but the missionaries as well as they truly become converted.  I highly recommend a mission to everyone who can possibly arrange it.  When we were talking to Elder Roderick who works out of the mission office he told us that there is a shortage of 156 couples right now.  Our branch doesn’t know how it would function without a Senior couple and some of the branches in our mission are now without a couple because of the shortage.  Don't miss out on the opportunity.
Enough for today.  We love you all.  We know the gospel is true.

Elder and Sister Fullmer

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