Holy tomato dad, I stinkin' love you. Just thought you should know. :) Thanks for that awesome quote and that great spiritual insight! I love stuff like that, seriously!
Thanks for the advice about roaches. We've had a few really big ones (close to two inches long) and a few smaller half inch ones. They are better than spiders, though, that's for sure. I would much rather have roaches than spiders. We have this roach spray that we spray our apartment with once a week and it kills the little ones, so we just find those ones already dead. The big ones require a little more force - funny story: So there was one of these big daddy roaches crawling around our sink and Sister Alvine found it and started freaking out and so I got a paper towel and was summoning up my courage to squish it when she just grabs the roach spray and just starts spraying the bejeepers out of it with the roach spray, chasing it back and forth as it crawled around the counter, just spraying and spraying and screaming and screaming hahahaha. It was so funny. And that thing wouldn't die. Finally, it started crawling a little slower and a little tipsier and I just grabbed it and smushed it with the paper towel. And that was the end of that roach. Poor guy - death by spray and screaming. We are going to Walmart and either need to get more spray or try some of those bug bombs. Thanks for the tip! We do feel safe, we just have to be on the look out when we come in at night and turn on the lights haha.
So, you asked about my new area. It's funny you should ask because I feel like I am definitely in Cajun country. Lots of trailer parks, lots of forest, and lots of long winding country roads with big gnarly trees that canopy over the roads. It gets a little creepy driving home at night, sometimes I think I hear banjos...hahaha.
Really, Denham Springs is a suburb but I feel like in Loosiana (people down here actually say it like that) anything outside of Baton Rouge or New Orleans is a rural little country town because everything is so spread out. They have a Walmart and a Taco Bell, so really we don't need much more than that, the biggest attractions here are the antique stores and the Bass Pro Shops. It is pretty, I love it down here, and the weather is starting to cool off a smidge. In the mornings it's in the 70's and perfect outside, from noon onward though it's high 80's low 90's. We had to bike a bit this week because we were out of miles, and I got pretty sweaty. Let's just say I'm headed soon to Walmart to buy more deoderant.
The two wards we work in are great. Sometimes I wonder if the two wards are kind of Hatfields and McCoys-ish (some people don't really like people in the other ward and vice versa) but as missionaries we don't get involved in that, we just try to help where we can. 1st ward has a LOT of less active, part member families and so we are working on finding the less active women who have nonmember kids and husbands and we have seen some sweet miracles from that. The Lord has definitely prepared people here for us to teach and bring back into the gospel or bring into the gospel for the first time. 2nd ward has over 60 less active or inactive sisters who they want us to focus on. But get this - they don't assign visiting teachers to these people. What's up with that? If every active member would just do his or her home/visiting teaching, the missionaries could focus on teaching nonmembers and strengthening members instead of rescuing less actives or acting as the ward's personal investigators. Thanks for being such a great example to me of a faithful, dedicated home teacher. The way you've fellowshipped the Teufels (a part member family!!!) over the years is awesome, and I know that their family has been blessed because of it.
Because we work in two wards, our area is ginormous - we cover from north eastern Baton Rouge to a little town called Watson in the north over to Walker in the east and down to St. Vincent in the south. Some of these places are unincorporated, but maybe you can find them on google maps.
So me and Sister Alvine spoke in church yesterday and we were asked to speak about missionary work. I felt impressed to speak about the atonement, because there is this line in Preach My Gospel that says "As you come to understand and apply the atonement, your desire to share the gospel will increase." Such a powerful and interesting statement. And so I taught about the doctrine of Christ, and how as we use and apply this cycle in our lives, our joy will increase so much that our love of the Gospel won't be able to be contained within ourselves. We will just have to share it! Sister Alvine said it another way, "Our desire to share the gospel is directly proportional to our personal conversion." How cool is that? I love it.
I'm so excited for conference this weekend! It's like the Super Bowl for missionaries (or the Stanley Cup haha ). I can't wait to see what the Lord will have us work on for the next six months. And it's fun to think that me and you will be doing the exact same thing at the exact same time this weekend. So great!
Love you with all my heart!