Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pikeville to Nashville

Things don't change much in Pikeville, so things are about the same as the last time I wrote you. Well, with a few changes.  We had another Tuesday evening Study Meeting.  These meetings are mostly for investigators of the church....however most (all but 1) of these are current members.  We give a lesson from the scriptures and then we mingle and eat lots of goodies.  We didn't have a very good turn out for this meeting. It was held the day after the Labor Day weekend. 

This is Valerie and Kara Pendegrass (daughter and mother).  They live a little ways up the mountain in a situation that is not desirable. They live with their father/husband, and they have no transportation most of the time. They are such sweet people and deserve so much in this life. They have a brother/son who lives in New York City.  He was able to leave this situation and get a good job. He is preparing to serve a mission for the Church.  Valerie made this Christmas ornament (an angel) and 3 magnets.  They hang on my refrigerator.  Valerie usually is making beaded jewelry, and she is quite good at it. They are so special.

We went to lunch is this diner in Crossville one day. It is called Sisters because it is run completely by 2 sisters who are about in their 40s.  I wish I could have snapped a picture of them.....but then that would be rude. Originally I never wanted to go to this place, but after it got the stamp of approval from the young Elders, I thought I would chance it. They serve real down-home cooking.  We had an open-faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes w/ gravy and a salad for $4.50.  What a ganga!!! Then topped it off with pie. Elder Dunn had a peanut butter meringue pie (a southern treat), and I reverted back to apple.The dessert was extra.These two sisters work so well together that it was inspiring.  They are only open 5 days a week. One Sister does all the baking.

These are all the missionaries in the McMinnville Stake which goes from Kentucky to a small portion of Alabama and Georgia.  There are 5 or 6 other stakes in the Tennessee Nashville Mission.  This training conference lasted for about 7 hours in Cookville, Tennessee.  It was superb.  The 3 young Elders in the front rows (the assistants to the President) all gave excellent talks and training.  The young girls in the first rows of each picture are the trainers for the Sister Missionaries. (They handle any training unique to the girls). Miracles happen to these young people when they enter the mission field.  They grow and develop into strong teachers with unbelievable talents and testimonies.

This is President Andersen.  He looks a little shocked or befuddled.....maybe that is because he was
about to complicate our life.  He pulled Elder Dunn and I aside and told us they may need us to move to Nashville to work in the mission office.  They are having trouble finding a senior couple to go there to replace the couple who oversees all the housing & finances of the mission and the automobile co-ordinator.  This was just a possibility and he would let us know on Monday if we needed to move.   Sounds pretty simple.....but I sure do hate waiting!  You really can't begin packing, because then maybe we would have to just unpack.  So we waited.  And I prayed.  This opportunity sounded wonderful to me, but I am only 50% of this partnership.  I found myself bargaining with the Lord......but I did promise that if we were to stay in Pikeville I would be happy.  On Monday night we received word that they had interviewed a couple that would not work, but there was another couple that a Stake President had found that was coming in more waiting.  Tuesday night the call came that the couple was so excited to come to work in the we would not have to move.  I didn't understand that because I felt that I had gotten a real impression from my prayers that we would go.  But I had promised to be happy in Pikeville for 16 more months and I was reconciled with that.  The next morning we were preparing to leave for district meeting when we got another call at 9am from President saying the husband of the couple has diabetes and had gotten very ill and would not be able to work in the office.  We need  to come ASAP.  I said......hey, I think the Lord is rattling my chain.  But he assured me this was for sure.  
We did have the opportunity to have a good Mexican lunch with Elders Hansen & Stradling, and Sisters McDonald and Hess.  I can't express how much we have come to love these kids.  We have worked hard with them in Pikeville and Crossville and we were just now seeing the returns from our hard work.  They are devoted and strong and so much fun.  It has been so much fun to tease Elder Hansen, who says his family teases him and so he knows he is loved.  I can hardly bare to leave them. 

This was all complicated by the fact that it was time for the Bledsoe Co., (Pikeville) fair.  Once again we had a booth there where we handed a survey for people to fill out and distribute literature.  This was the first time that I was really hot.  85 degrees and 75% humidity.  But it was only for a few hours. 
So we started packing.  But, nothing is easy. This is a picture of Elder Hansen who was as sick as a dog. As we packed he laid on our couch and moaned and slept.  He had a virus. In order for his companion to go out and attend to the appointments they had, Hansen needed to stay with us.  I felt so bad for him, but all he needed was sleep. When they get sick you know they are still kids who are away from home and feeling lousy. I can hear Elder Hansen say "Just shoot me!"
But he lived through it.

So we loaded up the car again.  But how is it that in 2 short months you can obtain so much more that it doesn't fit in the car?  We had to call for help from the Assistants to the President who drove down from Nashville in their truck to haul back out extra.  

Below is Elder Fiore who thought he looked like a cowboy in Elder Dunn's hat.  Well, maybe he is because he rode to the rescue.  

So we said goodbye to Pikeville.  We did go by and said goodbye to some of the most colorful people I have ever met in my life.  As we started out it started to pour rain.  Therefore, we made an executive decision not to go by and see the family with 11 dogs....there was no way we would get out without more than our share of mud.  We went and saw William Sapp, who is still building his cabin where he will be safe from terrorists.  Some of the other people we had to just call on the telephone.  I sure hope we are able to get back to see them again.  We had so many unfinished stories.

This is our new home.....for about 2 weeks, until the Johnson's go home and vacate their apartment.  We live in the back and under the Mission Home in a small apartment there.  You can see the door we enter through on the right hand picture.  It is great...except we do have Desi and Lucy beds (twin beds).  But we can work that out.  We have begun to learn our new responsibilities and are blown away by them.  A lot of learning in a very short time.  I know we can do it because we will be led and guided by the Spirit of the Lord.  The 50% of this partnership that was not so excited to leave Pikeville has re-negotiated his contract with me.  On Saturdays we will be travelling up and down mountains in search of adventure.  

Until next time........

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