Thursday, August 21, 2014

**His Work**His Way**By His Power**

Hey Y'all!!
This week has been miraculous. That's the only way that I can put it. It started out with an amazingly inspired zone conference in Kingsport. Our President has given our mission a new theme: 
**His Work**His Way**By His Power**
I absolutely love it. In only a few words is shows where our focus should be:
-We aren't serving our missions for ourselves, but for God
-We can only accomplish the work we are doing by having the spirit with us
-The changes that happen in these peoples' lives only come through Heavenly Father's love

Zone Conference left us with feelings of determination. I wish I had time to write more!

We saw Travis and Katie early on in the week. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it helps us understand and apply Christ's atonement personally to us. We ended the lesson with a commitment invitation to come to church. Travis said, "I don't make promises I don't keep... and I promise that we'll be there." We were so anxious to see if they would show up on Sunday.

We received a referral from a member that lives in the Kingsport ward. We were a little bit nervous about contacting it because Bobby lives in some ghetto apartments, but when we knocked on the door there we found a humble and God-loving man. We taught the restoration and invited him to join us for church on Sunday.

I don't know if I've talked about Andrew yet, he is awesome. He was referred by Graham, our assistant ward mission leader. Graham is from England and joined the church when we came here and met his wife. He was baptized but went inactive and struggled with drinking and smoking. Through the ARP program he was able to free himself from his addictions through the power of Jesus Christ. Now he's a missionary and sharing the gospel with his co-workers, like Andrew. Andrew has committed to be baptized on September 13th. We are so excited!

On Sunday we had a great meeting with the ward council as we came prepared with our new-found skills from zone conference. The needs of our investigators were addressed with willingness and we felt the spirit as we discussed the rescue list. We left the meeting with feelings of inspiration. Travis, Katie, and Bobby all came to church! We were so enthused and we were even more excited as ward members were reaching out to them and helping them feel loved. 

We had so many successes this week but there were many feelings of discouragement as well. When we called Don to make an appointment with him during our weekly planning sessions he told us that he wanted to take a semi-permanent break from our weekly meetings. I felt like my heart was breaking, but I knew that it was what needed to happen. Don was running circles as we tried to teach him the things we know are true. He needs to learn them on his own through experience. We won't lose contact with him though! Don is not out of our lives forever!

The big race at the Bristol Speed way is this week! Hopefully we survive driving through all of the traffic! Haha! I hope all of y'all have an amazing week! I love you all so much!


Sister Andrea Kate Merrell

PS Sometimes when we have to wait 15 minutes for the Ronquillos to come home we drive down the street and have hipster photoshoots. Enjoy!

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