They should have made the main character in Inside Out a missionary. Because that is exactly what it feels like. This week has been one for the memories. It has been full of laughs and tears and basically almost every emotion I have ever felt in my life, all magnified. It is WONDERFUL!
Also, before I forget, EVERYONE (Seriously, everyone, like especially Marya and Laura and Lu and Lori and Norma and EVERYONE at work and EVERYONE who reads this) should read Elder Holland’s talk from conference. Or watch it, that’s okay too! Seriously. Just watch/read it. It was AMAZING. It made me cry (what’s new?) and I could feel the Spirit so strongly when I listened to Elder Holland testify of the importance of mothers and women. I LOVED it! Seriously the BEST talk for me in a while. Just read it and know that God is you Father and LOVES YOU and be content. Okay?
Anyway, this week has been wonderful! I am now in Florida, in the Fleming Island area. And it’s actually not been too hot/humid, and feels and looks quite a bit like home! My companion is awesome! Her name is Sister Dixon, and turns out she knows one of my dear friends from school! Her entire family is super close to the Grundvig family (Dalan’s family), a family which I absolutely love! So that is super cool!
We have been whitewashed into this area (So we are both new to the ward), and the ward is AMAZING. They haven’t had Sisters for a while, so everyone is so excited to meet us and work with us! I love it! The members truly are so important to missionary work!
Our Ward Mission Leader? He’s the best! I love his family! The “Ws” are converts, and they already are becoming like second parents to me. They are the kind of people who don’t just tell us to ask them for help if we need anything. They are the angels that call us to ask if we have dinner to ask if they can feed us. We had dinner with them two nights in a row! I LOVE these people. My heart is already so full of love for all of the people of this ward, and I am so thankful for their kindness and love that they have shown us.
We don’t have any previous investigators from our area right now, since there haven’t been any Sisters for a few months, but we are working on finding some. We actually may potentially have two from this past week (I am more sure about one of them).
And I had my first southern experience this week. We had what they call a “Low Country Boil.” Which is basically boiling crawdads, shrimp, potatoes, corn, and onions in a pot together, and then dumping them onto the table. And yes, with my horror of eating shrimp, did I worry about it, until they all laughed and also said they had a vegetarian pot as well. I almost had to eat them, but they were super kind and laughed, and said that not a lot of people touch it. And then Brother “F” brought out a tray of corndogs “For the kids and Sister Tryon” haha it was very sweet. Seriously, Southern hospitality is so alive, and I love it! Everyone wants to feed us! And everyone is so wanting to help. This truly is a wonderful area!
Brother “F” and some the kids
He showed us how to rip the body apart, get at the flesh and…
“If you’re really Southern, you can suck the heads for the fats and brain juices” hahaha…
yeah… no thanks… I’m good…
Corn dogs are good…
I was less enthused about them, and ate a corn dog instead
I’m so glad I’m NOT in a place where that would be offensive!
Sister Dixon was braver than I was and actually tried it!
Also, speaking of Southern hospitality, we are in the Bible belt. There is a street called “Catholic Corner” because there is a different Catholic church on every corner. There are so many Baptist and Catholic and Methodist churches EVERYWHERE and people love their Bibles and I LOVE IT!!!
I love that everyone has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ! It makes it so much easier to talk to them about Him and Heavenly Father! I love that people have that devotion to God! It’s wonderful to see!
I’ve only had one person truly try to Bible bash with me, and that was in the airport, and my companion and I kindly declined his loud invitation and told him that we sought only to represent Jesus Christ and to teach our beliefs.
That’s also one thing I love about teaching everyone is that we seek only to add to others’ beliefs about Jesus Christ, not to destroy everything they know. We want to help others come closer to Christ and to strengthen that relationship! We want them (As was said in Conference by someone whose name is currently slipping my mind) to be converted unto Christ as opposed to being converted to the Church. We do believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the most correct church in helping people to do that, but we ultimately want people to be fully converted to Christ and His gospel! Ahhhhh I love this work!
If there is one thing that I have really grown in testimony about this week is of prophets. God loves us, and speaks to us today through prophets. These men are divinely appointed of God, and hold His power and authority to act in His name for the benefit of His children!
Everywhere I turn on my mission, I am finding people who need me; Who speak French, or who have children with disabilities, or who simply need to hear about my personal struggles with the gospel and with life in general. I know that I have been called of God to teach these people. I know that they need me here, in Florida, in this ward, right now. They need ALL of me. I know that the people who are here are being prepared for me and by me for others as well. I know that they need to hear my specific message and take on the gospel.
So what have we to fear? Why fear inviting people to come unto Christ? Why fear rejections? “Fear not, for the Lord is on our side! We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few when compared with the opposite host in view; but an unseen power will aid ME and YOU in the glorious cause of truth!” I really love that verse this week! We truly have nothing to fear. We can do it. We can be strong! God will help us in all of our endeavors!
I love you all! I love getting your letters and emails! I love the support! Speaking of which, my new address is available through my mom. For safety reasons, it is better not to post in on a public blog.
I seriously love all of you! And I miss you! But I DO love this work! It is not about me, but about Christ and God’s children. We can do it!
Sister Michelle Rose Tryon
P.S. While I’m training, I can only check and send emails on P-Day (Monday) and I can only write letters on P-Day as well, so I’m sorry if I’m not writing letters home!
P.P.S. Mom, that package was exactly what I needed! I loved all the greenie notes and actually, since we were whitewashed, some of the stuff was our breakfast/lunch because we had NO food in our apartment! So thank you! Hugs to all of the family! Especially Jared, Rachel, Matt, Chris, Koda, Daddy, Emma, Sister and Brother Calvert, Sisters Elison and Rowley, Lori, the Burnhams, the Eversoles, just WOW hug EVERYONE for me, okay?
Okay (: I love you all!