Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 55 -- Fall has come to Tennessee

Mom and Dad,
This week was pretty good. We did a lot of service! And the week blew by!
We went to the jail and met with Ryan. He is doing pretty well. He got a Book of Mormon in the jail finally.  He is reading it and trying to make changes in his life. He is a cool dude. He got thumped pretty good though. It made the news I guess. They are trying to get permission for me to go see him in person and give him a blessing. But I don’t think the warden guy likes Ryan all that much. I met with him and he seemed like a grumpy dude. I don’t know I guess you have to be somewhat mean or aggressive to work in jail.
Diana is doing pretty good as well. On of the coolest things to see as a missionary is ward members visiting with recent converts on their own.  I think two different ladies in the ward went to go visit her. Then someone in the ward had invited Diana to the Elder's Quorum social on Saturday night and took her there. I am glad she is continually progressing in the gospel. Her husband Dan has skin cancer and it is hard for Diana. But she is a trooper she is hanging in there.
 The Blair's..... I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! They seriously have like adopted us out here. They are so nice! They have been asking lots of questions lately, which is really good. We spent a lot of time with them this week! They are in the presidency for a community center. They had a Halloween hootenanny and they had asked us to help them make a haunted maze in a huge trailer and run the party. It was so fun! They really opened up this week and have learned a lot about the church.  They really had some twisted views about the church that they had heard, but now they know the truth.  Mr. Blair reminds me a lot of dad.  He even buzz's his hair and has a goatee. Mr. Blair treats me like I am his "Mormon" son.  Hahaha!! We went to their church this week and he sat next to me. Last night we went to their evening church and went over to their house for the rest of the evening. They really opened up and want us to stay forever.   They said that they want to call President McKee and ask if we could stay here for the rest of our missions. Honestly I wouldn't mind staying here for a while longer. I really do believe though that if we keep spending time with them and answering their questions, not pushing anything on them, they will join the church one day. It's going to be tough because Mrs. Blair has a HUGE Baptist background.  Four uncles and 1 brother are preachers of their own churches.  They have been going to the same southern country Baptist church for 30 years now.   We have gained a strong relationship with them, and they definitely feel the spirit when we visit them. I will send pictures of the party and you can see them.
 We also helped out a member train his dog, Brother Benitez.  It was pretty sketchy. We wore this huge arm bite proof thing and let the dog chase us and bite it.   It's pretty funny to watch. But that was a random thing we did this week.
 OH! We ate at this lady's trailer this weekend...... It was soooo hard to eat. They are hoarders; have like 50 dogs, chickens, and ducks everywhere.  And... it is infested with roaches... We took the sister missionaries with us cause we didn’t want to go in alone.  The two sister missionaries CRIED during breakfast when we were there!   The lady kept saying that the roaches were harmless and to just ignore them! It was so bad. They were crawling all around my plate and on the wall next to me. I thought I was back in Kentucky for a second... I am so grateful for the place I grew up.   I just feel so sad for those ladies... Bless their hearts.
Tell Brother Simpson I said hi and thank him for all that he taught me. And tell him that I still remember him telling us that the first vision is amazing and how strong it can bring the spirit in. Grandpa emailed me this week. Well he forwarded a bunch of stuff.  I am trying to do better at writing letters back. That's a goal for me this week. Well I love you so much! I hope you have a great week! I miss y’all so much! But I LOVE MY MISSION! Take care.
 Love Elder Vaughn Dee Perkins

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