So let me just tell you how awesome the Hovis family is. When I first got here in Russellville Sister Warner took me over to introduce them to me and then Sis. Hovis signed up on our food calender. She had just been coming back to the church after some years without going. When we were over we would teach them the lessons. Xander who is 11 had not been baptized yet and neither had Katie who is 8. Sis. Hovis wanted them to be baptized and really wanted Tristan her oldest to be able to baptize them. He was working with bishop on getting the priesthood. Well they told us last week that they were planning on moving to North Dakota at the end of September. We really wanted for Tristan to get the priesthood before he left and for Xander and Katie to get baptized before so they wouldnt have to start the lessons all over again when they moved to North Dakota. So, this week, it all got put into action!we helped sis. Hovis pack up some stuff for the move, got everything ready for the baptism. During Sacrament meeting Tristan got ordained and Leslie gave a wonderful talk on enduring to the end. After church, Xander and Katie were able to be baptized by Tristan and be confirmed members of the church and get the Holy Ghost. It was such a cool experience to be able to be apart of. After the baptism, sis. Hovis gave my companion and I a hug with tears in her eye and said, "Thank you," and it brought tears to my eyes. I know it wasnt me at all that helped this family, but it was the gospel that we shared with her. The gospel gives us so much hope, so much peace, direction, and purpose for our lives. Sis. Hovis testimony is so strong and she is such a great mom to her kids. I really feel like I learned more from going over and teaching than they learned from me. I really did learn that people can change and that none of us are perfect. That is why Christ came, so that we have a way back when we do make mistakes. I know this gospel is true and that it is what makes us happy in this life.
Okay so just a few other cool experiences this week that really strengthened my faith. So this week, our zone decided to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. So, we are on day 3 now. I was super scared to do it because I read super slow and I have never read more than like 7 pages a day during studies... yeah... I know you would think because I am a missionary I could read more ;) but reading in spanish takes awhile. but I really was worried that it was going to be super hard and I was also wanting to do it in English first and was upset because I am also trying to finish in Spanish by December. So I thought reading it in English would take up all my time and I wouldnt be able to finish my first goal of finishing in spanish by december, am a making any sense or am I just repeating myself? ;) Anyways. I decided I was going to stop being a butt about it and just read it in English for the 30 day challenge and put my spanish on pause. I prayed super hard that God would help me be able to read fast so that I would still be able to read in spanish during language study. I had faith and trusted, and the first day, I read the first 9 pages in 15 minutes. I wasnt able to read the rest of the 9 pages(you have to read 18 pages a day) so I read 27 pages today and it only took me like 40ish minutes (for those of you that read fast dont make fun ;)) But it was just a testimony to me that when we are asked to do hard things, God always provides a way (1 Nephi 3:7). And not only am I reading fast but I am actually understanding the stories and learning so much! It is super cool. For those of you that havent read the Book of Mormon in awhile: Do it in 30 days! I dare you ;) God will help you find the time and it will bless you so much!
Okay one more. So the baptism was the exact same time as the Spanish branch and trying to be a part of both spanish and english sometimes there are conflicting times where you have to be 2 places at once. Well, the spanish branch was having a special musical number sometime during the baptism. Lovely. How can I play for the branches number and play for the baptism and watch the baptism all at the same time? I cant cut myself in half ;) But I knew somehow it would work out and I prayed that I would be able to do both and it worked out perfectly. It was a little bit stressful but it was perfect timing. I was able to play for the baptism, watch them get baptized and as they were getting dressed I got a text from Isabel in the spanish branch saying it was time for them to sing so I ran into the chapel with my comp. of course and played for them and then got back just in time to watch them get confirmed. Faith is so real! Seriously if you have faith that things will work out, and you do the best you can, God provides the rest and everything will be good :) Oh the joys of being zebra!
Okay. sorry that was a bit long. I love yall!
|We went fishing in Danville last weekend with the Elders (my cousin Elder Ludwig)|
and Sisters and their recent convert Katie! Gotta love the South, playing a harmonica. :)
|Oh I have missed my cousin!|
|The lovely Sister Thompson. She came out to fish with me. :)|
|Look how cool! They had 4 leaf clovers everywhere!|
|Just finished in Danville. We didn't catch anything though :( It was|
a great time though and beautiful!
|Katie was so excited to get baptized. Right before this she wrote "I love the|
book of Mormon" and drew a picture of it.
|The Hovis Family! :) Okay so some of them might be making serious faces, but|
I promise they are happy. ;)
|Xander (11) and Katie (8)|
|I had to get a picture with Lilly too! :) She is 6.|