Newport News 4-29-13

Oh man. This has been a heck of a week! Actually, it’s been only four days, so that makes it extra crazy. I have so much I want to tell you and so little time, so I’m just going to word vomit for the next 30 minutes and pray you can make sense out of it. So the first day was crazy. Our flight was delayed in Atlanta for an hour so we ended up arriving late here. Yaknow that feeling when you’re standing in line for a roller coaster and they announce that they’re having technical difficulties so they’re doing some work on it first and they’re really sorry but it’s going to be a little longer…and you really want to get on that ride so you wait in line anyway…and then they finally announce it’s ready…and you realize you’re going to be the first one to try out this roller coaster that they just “fixed” (hopefully)? Well that’s sort of the feeling you get when they announce that at the airport. So the two hour flight with “light to moderate” turbulance caused moderate to heavy damage on my nerves. Es cualquier. Anyway, we arrived safely and the mission president and his wife and the Assistants to the President were there to greet us. They took us to the stake center where the senior missionaries spoiled us with the best food I’d eaten in 6 weeks. We then had a meeting and slept at the mission home. The next morning we had a transfer meeting where we were put with our trainers and areas. The president told me the night before that he felt very strongly about the companion and area I was to be put in, so the Lord has something for me to do. Anyway, I was put with my companion, who is a native speaker from Mexico, so I was really lucky there, and we were sent to open an area in Newport News. So we arrived at Newport New and met our district, (they’re so great) and our roommates, with whom we share a one person apartment. It’s really crammed and we had been sleeping on the floor until the Zone Leaders came and fixed our bunk beds. So we spent half of the first day cleaning the apartment. I wish I had taken a before/after picture. It’s amazing. So the living situation has been a little stressful, but we’re moving to a different apartment in a couple weeks so it won’t be that much longer. Back to the area. Although we’re opening the area, it’s only because we’re rearranging it a little to make room for all of us here. We have, wait for it, 7 missionaries in our branch. The branch. I think there were maybe 30 members there this Sunday. Including us, and the 5 elders. There had previously been one companionship here, so this all pretty much happened the day I arrived. This area has been struggling for a long time. And it’s not for lack of effort. Our District Leader has been here for the past 6 months and it sounds like they’ve been working their tails off to “plant a lot of seeds.” Every night since we’ve been here we’ve been fed dinner at a member’s home. All seven of us. They always insist on feeding us all at one time. They’re great. Anyway, last night we ate dinner at the Stake President’s house, whose family is extremely missionary minded and they’ve been attending the Spanish branch lately to help out. We had our spiritual thought after and it turned into a discussion on how much this area is just waiting to explode and has been for the past 6 months. It’s amazing the faith of the people here. The Elders that have been here longer said that they’ve struggled for a long time and have been praying and fasting for their work to pay off and they said that as soon as they got the call from the Mission President that we (the Hermanas) were coming, they knew that their prayers had been answered. And last night when we reported our numbers to the District Leader for the week, he was shocked. He was so excited that we had had so much success already and said that he thinks this is the time when we are finally going to harvest all of those seeds that have been planted for so long. The Lord has big plans for this area. I can’t wait. My first day in the field we had a little extra time before a dinner appointment since the investigator we had gone to see wasn’t home, so we knocked some doors in the area. About 4 doors in we were about to run out of time but decided to knock one last one. We saw two hispanic kids playing in front of a trailer and decided to talk to them. We asked them to get their mom and she came out. We started to share our message with her and her face just lit up. She was so receptive. She said she never comes to the door for people that knock but she felt differently this time and didn’t know why at first but thought that she could see God in us and that her prayers were answered. We shared almost the entire first lesson with her right then and there. When I finished telling her about the First Vision, she said that she believed everything we were saying. She believed in prophets in the Bible so why couldn’t we have prophets today if God loves us? I couldn’t believe how prepared she was to hear our message. She committed to start reading and praying about el Libro de Mormon and we made an appointment for this week, so hopefully she will have followed through on that. And last night the same thing happened and we had a little extra time to knock doors from an appointment falling through. We found two families who were very excited about the Gospel and we have appointments with both of them, and a reference to visit from one. After that we tried to find another investigator, who, you guessed it, wasn’t home, and instead found a woman who was baptized a year ago but hasn’t been to church since because of health problems and she thought that everyone had forgotten about her. Little miracles. It hasn’t all been success, and actually most of it hasn’t been successful, but each time we are trying our best to do what the Lord wants us to and our plans don’t work out, something better comes along and it all happens for a reason. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here. It’s been a real challenge, but amazing nonetheless and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love and miss all ya’ll. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Hermana Karson

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