Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flowers or snowflakes?Spring or Winter?

It seems like Mother Nature is confused as the rest of the world as we are approaching the end of March and it is still snowing. Elder Donaldson and I thought we were serving in a southern mission that would be warm. I didn't bring a winter coat but I have learned to layer well when preparing to go outside.

Why do we make life so hard on ourselves? Just a little more than a month ago a woman in mid thirties was taught and baptized into the gospel. She has had a very difficult life and it was awesome to watch her grow in the gospel as well as her personal life getting it on track. Two weeks ago I noticed something that gave me a red flag and I mentioned it to the Elders. As Bob and I taught her the new member lessons...we realized that she didn't really comprehend the restoration and what it meant. We met with her the second time and still she didn't seem ready to move on so we went through the restoration video and then had. A nice discussion asking her questions and making sure she "Got it". The next time she didn't call and I finally got a hold of her. We re-scheduled. I ran into her brother at Walmart and he said she moved down to Cookeville where her X and baby girl live. She share custody with her X. I called her talked to her and asked her what was the happiest moments in her life she said her baptism. I asked how she could let that feeling go so easily Yes,I understand she wants to be this eternal family but she isn't ready. I feel like I am hitting my head up against the wall and letting her down at the same time. It is so frustrating. Anyway, we are still working with her but only by text.
Another couple in the ward was preparing to go through the Temple when we first got here. I remember her husband told me how much he loved this woman. Now 2 weeks after we got here they are getting a divorce. Today, I have spent most my time talking to the sister who finally checked herself into a hospital because of depression or to the Louisville Mission to get missionaries over to the hospital. During this 4 weeks she has also lost her job,and will probably lose her house plus her 1st x husband is taking her back to court to try and get her boys away. This is her 3rd marriage I believe.
Oh this week in Walmart I met the Lady who unsure of how many years ago was told never to come back to the was a mistake come to find out they wanted her cousin. However, she told me she was becoming Catholic. She is still angry. All I can say is embrace Abigail and forgive already. She said I looked normal. I laughed.
We have had some great experiences with the towns folk. Old Mulkey service project was a success. Still have work to do but have a great start.
This is all for now. Good night

Monday, March 11, 2013

Long Day

We are being talked about all over Tompkinsville. The word is out and thwe word is good.....The Donaldson's have arrived by storm.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Power of Habit

In Tompkinsville where we are we find that so many people are unemployed ,underemployed and most in the poverty or below level especially members of the ward. We ask ourselves often how we can help. In the book Power of Habit, It states, "Cultures grow out of Keystone habits. For instance, when researchers studied an incoming class of cadets at West Point, they measured their grade point averages,physical aptitude , military abilities, and self discipline. When they correlated those factors with whether students dropped out or graduated, however they found that all of them mattered less than a factor researchers referred to as "grit" which they defined as the tendency to work "strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. "
"Studies have documented that families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control, and more confidence. Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget. It is not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start a chain reaction that help other good habits take hold. (Who knew your mamma was so smart) LOL
If you focus on changing or cultivating Keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts."
It is these Keystone habits we are trying to cultivate in the members and the community here in Tompkinsville .

"Keystone habits offer what is known within academic literature as "small wins." They help other habits to flourish by creating new structures, and they establish cultures where change becomes contagious.
This is what we need here in Tompkinsville. People are always full of excuses. Bob is so good at taking away they excuse. I am learning much from him.
We teach Beverly tonight and will answer questions she said she had for us. It should be good.

Today, I asked the Elders to give me their sheets and I would wash them. They put them in the washer and I just started it not paying attention. When I pulled them out of the dryer each elder had only given me 1 sheet each. I told them I was writing their mothers. So funny. The Elders will be with us probably til the weekend. We found them an ok apt. But it needs a scrubbing and fixing a few things but it is better than some apts. I have seen. Looks like furniture will be here Thursday from the mission so that is good. They are great young men but getting ready in the morning is a challenge makes me wonder how we did that my whole life with 9 people and 1 bathroom. We have become spoiled.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

To my children and grandchildren

Feb 23, 2013

As the organ plays "Come, Come, Ye Saints", my mind returns to Winter Quarters and the times that we visited as a family and enjoyed the serenity and peacefulness that surrounds the grounds. It has always been my most favorite of church sites. My mind reflects especially on the day with our family surrounding the monument in the graveyard. We were all sad and full of fear and apprehension for the future having just lost our Husband and Father. It was at that time at the monument that I knew what our instructions were to be as I read the words surrounding the monument. "Gird up your loins fresh courage take our Lord will never us forsake. All is well, All is well."
So we have gone forward without our beloved Father and Husband and The Lord has blessed us mightily as we have strived to be obedient and draw near unto Christ. Things may not have been as we I visioned them as children or when I was a young wife and mother but I will say we are doing well even with the trials of life we struggle through each day.
I want to testify to you my children that I know The Book of Mormon holds the fullness of the gospel and that Joseph Smith was called to be the latter day Prophet who would be the Lords instrument in bringing the restoration of the Christ's church upon the earth.
I testify to you that as you keep your covenants and live your life in accordance with those sacred covenants that you will be happier and able to take on the trials of life.
Hold to the rod. Get a good education. Attend the your meetings and Temple regularly. Make studying your scriptures a priority in your life and in your homes.
Prepare yourself to be the best that you can be. Each one of you are so very smart and talented.
I testify that The Lord knows you and loves you. Teach your children and bare your testimonies often to them and your spouse. Love them and tell them you love them.
I bare my testimony as a witness of Christ that God lives. He knows you. It is when we drift away from him that we feel alone and confused of how to move forward in our life. Draw near to The Lord to find the peace and happiness you seek. Make your prayers sincere and ask with exactness. The Lord waits to bless you. I plead with you my children to step up your efforts in drawing close to The Lord and strengthen your testimony. I love each of you dearly and I pray for you each day. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only church on the earth with the authority to act in Gods name. I know it holds the complete truth. Where other church's have parts of the truth. We have the complete truth with the line of authority. I leave you a mothers blessing that you will be blessed in all facets of your life as you live the gospel each day. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Elders come to Tompkinsville

Saturday we got word that we are getting Elders. We are thrilled. We have Elder Huffacker from Boise and Elder Burgan from Brigham City. Elder Huffacker was one of the traveling elders that has worked Tompkinsville for the past 6 months. He is town District Leader and training greeny. Elder Burgan just arrived on Tuesday from the MTC.
They are living with us until we can find them a decent apt. So far it isn't looking real good. Can I say mornings are quite interesting with shower time. I have all my clothes and everything in their room so I really have to plan my mornings. I have been cooking for them they really like that.. It is great to watch their dedication to the work and their obedience to the schedule.
The added stress of it has kept me up coughing and in the chair. I am so tired since I have gotten no sleep for the past two nights.
We visited with Sheila at Old Mulkey about our upcoming service project. She is excited for the presentation we gave her on repairing the rock grills they have there. We are having a service project with the ward opening it up to the community to cleanup and plant small trees and bushes. Pray that Sheila's heart will be opened to hear the gospel.

So much to do hear I need sleep to work..