First off, awesome scripture we found this morning: John 8:31-32. The truth shall make you free.
We had the fall festival last Saturday and I took lots of awesome pictures of the ward... sadly, my card reader isn't working today. So I'll have to share them later. But basically, it was a miracle. The ward was all decked out in cowboy boots and plaid shirts, laughing, loving, and cheering each other on through the games made available. Watermelon eating contest... pie eating contest... cow patty fling (yes, they were real cow pies) that the primary kids got to throw (with a glove)... I got hit once. Good thing I'm used to stuff like that. There was a tug-o-war, puddin' plop (the crowd favorite!), and a relay. I did not participate but I did get to help run it and make sure everyone got a part in it. Before this thing happened we were sharing it with everyone we could. One P-day we walked out of our apartment and these 3 girls were walking home from school. We strike up a conversation and find out they fell in love with the Sisters that were here last summer (one of them being Sister Browning) and wanted to come to the festival. To be honest I had forgot about it until they walked into the church, dressed up, looking for a familiar face. These girls are 11. Oh my goodness, it was a miracle. They loved it. One came to church yesterday and the other will come next week. One wants to start taking the discussions and told us she has been wanting to go to church for a while, just never knew what to do because her family isn't religious at all. She's so cool!! And she likes to play the game Ninja. Brownie points.
Church was a miracle and a train wreck... in a good way. I think I wrote home about an unknown that turned into a part member family and we were teaching the kids... well, the Dad or the member works on Sundays, but the wife brought the 3 kids to church. We called the night before and they said they were coming. Woo! We sat down for sacrament and they aren't to be seen. They close the doors to pass the sacrament... still nothing. I was getting so sad... I said a silent prayer... then after sacrament they walk in the doors. Sister T turns to me with wide eyes and whispers, "Sister Moore! They're here!" Oh my goodness... my gratitude to Heavenly Father was immeasurable. However, the rest of sacrament meeting was 2 high councilmen rebuking us for how to run our scouting program and it went over time, the primary was practicing for a program so the kids just sat and listened to the other kids singing songs and the mechanics that the leaders used, and our gospel principles class to which the mom joined us for was on The Final Judgment. Um... not really ideal. However, they said they want to come back. The mom wants to get her son in scouts and one of the girls found a friend at church from school so she wants to come back. And... the mom shared with us that her LA husband was thinking about coming back to church. (!!!!). Heavenly Father does not cease to perform miracles. And the fact that I get to see this front and center is one of the biggest blessings. The gospel is true.
Transfers came and went. Sister Tafradzhieva and I are still here in Odessa, with which I'm completely okay with. They are a part of my extended family. I just love the people in the ward and those in the boundaries that have not heard the gospel yet. I just click and everyone looks familiar!! And we all know what that means. One of the zone leaders went home to southern Utah so that was sad. But we got a new one... from Utah. The district had an area open up so we are bigger this transfer. Woo! Plus, 2 brand new missionaries are in the district. I'm way excited to see them grow. Seriously... I never want to take off my badge. I still have 18 months left... right? Someone needed a blessing and so the zone leaders were driving through our area and offered. We had to ask a member that lived nearby if we could use their home and they did. So awesome of them. Afterwards it was Sister T, myself, the Elders, and this sister just talking. It was bizarre to see 2 Elders in the home of someone like that. Memories came flooding back to me of when the Elders would be in the home of the Claridge's teaching me or in the home of my parents' teaching Mom. I loved it. It was beautiful. I guess I'm so used to me being the missionary and not seeing the Elders in members' homes... just at meetings.
It was SO awesome to hear from Mom and Dad, Henry, Will, & Derek. Thank you all SO much for everything you do for me, and to build God's kingdom. Keep sending me things... I love hearing about how you are growing and changing. :) You all inspire me every day.
Things are grand here. The weather is cooling off... I get to nap today... haha. I'm always so tired. Life of a missionary I guess. If there's anything you all need let me know. I'm really good at using my resources. ;) And truly, if anyone gets a chance, please send my companion, Sister Tafradzhieva, a letter. It seriously would give her so much light, just like you all give to me every day. Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all very much and am grateful for you in my life. God speed! Shall we not go on in so great a cause?