"During our last few weeks of traveling, Sister Turner and I suggested to President McKee (our new mission president) that he put full-time missionaries in Fulton ward. It was our busiest area while we were traveling, and we both felt like it needed more time and attention than we could give it. We figured President would take our advice and send some elders to Fulton, and we told him they needed to be really good elders! Well, he took our advice, but rather than sending elders.. he sent us! We handed our traveling area book and phone over to the new traveling elders, and filled them in on everything that was happening. We then took our car and drove to Fulton..without a phone, area book. or apartment. And thus began the final adventure.
"The past week has been pretty chaotic. Fulton is about three hours away from the mission home, and we cover one of the largest areas in the mission. This ward covers six counties! We stayed with Mike and Lou Place in Sharon, TN for about ten days until we found our own apartment in Union City, TN. As Sister Turner and I were riding bikes back from the library today, we passed some commercial landscapers working on a cemetary. We waved as we passed, and a few minutes later I heard a lawn mower coming up behind me..and someone whistling from that lawn mower. I didn't slow down until he was right beside me and he motioned for me to stop. It was a guy who was close to my age, and he yelled over the sound of the mower, "Hey! Can I get your number?" Haha.. I wasn't sure how to respond, so I just told him that I am a full-time missionary, and the only way I could give him my phone number was if he was willing to read the Book of Mormon and would let us teach him more about it. He looked a little disappointed but he took the book and said he'd read it. Only in Tennessee would a sister missionary riding a bike in a skirt and dorky helmet get chased down and picked up on on by a guy on a riding lawnmower.
"This is Sister Turner's last week in the field, and every day leading up to today has been pretty miserable. Almost every one of our appointments have bonked; everyone has been sick, experiencing tragedies, or simply not wanting to see us. Its been 99 degrees outside, and flat out miserable. But today was our "eleventh hour".. and thank heavens God came to our rescue. First of all, it was rainy and dropped down to 80 degrees.. what a blessing. Our meeting at church today was incredibly spiritual, and some people we've been teaching came to church for the first time. While we were at church, we were asked by Sister Duke to come and teach her grandson Garrett in order to prepare him for baptism. After years of coming to church with his grandma, Garretts parents finally consented to let him be baptized, and we have the opportunity to teach him. After church we had some very spirit-led lessons and were asked by several different people if they could learn more about our church. Miracle Sunday.
"I have been so busy that I didn't even mention the fact that I'm training again! Her name is Sister Nalder and she is from Alberta, Canada. Sister Nalder and I have had a great three days so far, and are getting along well. Michael and Ginger, and couple who I've been teaching for a few months now, are ready to be baptized next weekend, and I am so excited! I sure have grown to love this couple. Unfortunately they moved to Tennessee right after we finished teaching them all of the lessons, but luckily they still want to have their baptism here in Fulton! I am so thankful for how humble they are, and willingly they follow Jesus Christ.
"I am loving the people here more and more each day..especially the ones we are teaching. This evening Sister Nalder, Sister Jasper (who is staying with us for a few weeks until she's assigned a new companion) and I went to our friend Mary's house to help her with her daughter's birthday party. We didn't know most of the people there, but everyone was so welcoming and sweet to us. The party was a success, and we had so much fun! Mary is one of my favorite people we teach, and so far everyone we've met from her family just treats us like a part of the family. They have such strong faith in Christ, and their foundation of the Bible has allowed them to accept and understand the Book of Mormon quite easily. I feel very blessed to be able to share it with them.
"My life is moving much too quickly right now, and I really just wish I could slow it down! The events of my last transfer as a full-time missionary have been simultaneously chaotic and wonderful. We have done so much traveling, preparing, and teaching. Every time things get a bit hard or frustrating, the Lord steps in and pours miracles and blessings into our laps. Two of the men we've tried to teach without much success have shared with us visions and promptings they've received from the spirit which have allowed them to listen to and accept the message we share. Sometimes I feel so undeserving of the miracles, but they motivate me to continue working and serving the Master. I know without a doubt that this is His work, His errand I've been on for the past year and a half of my life, and I wouldn't give any part of it back. He lives, He loves us, and this is His gospel I share."