Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer in the South!

July 25, 2016

Hey Family,

Looks like y'all had a pretty eventful week. This past week has been so hot, as soon as we step outside we are just soaked with sweat. It has been pretty gross. 

This week has been a hard one. We had a lot of appointments set up but when we got there to see them, they didn't answer. That bummed us out a little bit. We tracted a bunch too and like I said, it has been dang hot. Also it has stunk too because I got sick on Tuesday and I couldn't really get better. Pretty sure it is just a cold and being outside all the time, but I am drinking lots of water and trying to stay in the shade. 

Oh so we got to go to St. Vincent’s on Tuesday and it was going to be the last time, but I was able to figure a way so that we can still do our personal studies and do service. So we called President later that night and told him the idea and he said that this week will be the trail run and to let him know how it goes. We have also been doing our scripture study class but nobody has really come the last couple weeks because of summer. So that has kind of stunk. 

We got to see Latoria with Sister Turley and it was a really great visit. She is waiting to get into her house and so her and her 5 kids are living in a hotel room. And it has just been really stressful for her and we just focused a lot on how much God loves her. The spirit was there and we could tell that this was something that she really needed. 

We had a pioneer activity and we have been inviting so many people to the activity. SO we have been focusing on that and when we got to the activity nobody came. We were pretty disappointing but was happy for those that came. And after we got home, I was really in a ice cream, sugar mood but we didn't really have any. So I was walking around and said, "I want sugar, but it's bad for me". It was pretty funny and Sister May fell to the floor dying laughing. 

Sunday was a really good day. All of the missionaries got the opportunity to speak and it was a very good sacrament meeting. I was the last to speak so that it either a good thing or a bad thing because I can either have a lot of time to talk or like no time. But I had a good amount of time. I was going to talk about my ancestor but I just had a feeling to talk about dad and how he was a modern day pioneer and just tied it all in of me being on my mission. It went very well and I was proud of it. After sacrament, I asked the elder's for a blessing cause I haven't been feeling good and just going through a lot. And the spirit was for sure there for the blessing. things were mentioned that the elders didnt know about and things that are in my patriarchal blessing. It was so cool to hear all that was mentioned on all the blessings that spoken of. It was just pretty cool!!!

After church, the elders were going up to Cleveland and they were willing to give us the car to use it, which we were pretty grateful for. So we had a feeling to go and see Courtney. She was home and was able to visit with her. She hasn't read the Book of Mormon yet but she has been able to watch videos on lds.org which we were happy about. But we got to get the Book of Mormon app on her phone so that she can listen to it and after we got it installed, her son grabbed the phone and started to listen to it. It was pretty cool to see that and how interested he was in it. We got to talk with her about the Restoration and she understood everything and really loved the pamphlet. It was a really great lesson and we are going to see her on Tuesday. 

After Courtney, we went and stopped by Sherry Valerie's house and she had just gotten home from work. The visit was going really good and we were able to see how she is doing. She joined another church and told us a little more of why she joined the church. We are still going to visit her and let her know that we love her. 

Sorry that this week in short. I love y'all and am excited to see y'all in a couple weeks. 

Sister McKenna O’Connor

My new district! (Missing one elder)

I love Greenville!

P Day Fun!

Service at St. Vincents...my favorite!

Meetings, Road Trips and Interviews!!

July 18, 2016

Hey Family,

Sounds like y'all have had a busy week and have been working on the lawn. I am excited to see how it looks. It has been an eventful week with driving all over places and having interviews with President. 

We had a pretty fun p-day! We got to play some Phase 10 and it was pretty hilarious, also I won which made me happy even though I don't know how, haha! After we played some games we headed out with Sister Turley to go see Latoria, but she had told us that she wasn't available so we decided to go and try people in Leland. We tried a handful of less-actives but none of them were home so Sister Turley drove us to where Bro Turley works. We got to see his cotton fields and it was pretty cool to see what cotton fields looked like and hopefully I can find some before coming home. We were able to stop by the Spranggins and visit with them and talk about family history. It was a good conversation and Sister Spranggins loves family history. We were sad that we didn't really get to see anyone but that’s okay. Also we found out that Kermit the Frog was created in Leland which is pretty awesome. 

Sister Herron was able to go out with us this week and I love her and her willingness to come out with us. We were going to try Francine Gray but she had a doctor’s appt. but we got to help her out in her lawn and spend time with her. We also got to spend time at St. Vincent’s which that is one of my favorite parts of the week and being able to talk with all those that work there is so much fun!! Then when we got home, we made some brownies for Debbie because her nephew just passed away unexpectedly and we thought that these brownies would brighten her day. Then we got to go over and give them to her and she was very grateful for them. She is such a sweet lady and does so much for us and is just great!!  

We got to go down to Clinton this week for ZTM and that is always fun to see other missionaries. During the meeting, we talked about the importance on prayer and fasting and how it helps us a lot in our missionary work. It was a really great meeting and was able to learn a lot. After, we got to go on exchanges with the STL's which it is funny because they are in a trio. Sister Frandsen, Harrison and Mozingo (Sister Frandsen is going home 3 weeks early so they in a trio till then). Wednesday evening, Sister May, Mozingo and I went to try some potentials and then we tracted for a little bit which it went pretty good. Then on Thursday, I got to go out with Sister Harrison and we had a good day with trying to visit people and did some tracting. One guy slammed the door in our face which was pretty nice, but we got to talk with one guy and he was pretty open and kind. Hopefully the sisters can try him again. After we met the other sisters at Dickey's BBQ and grabbed some lunch, which was pretty good. Then Sister May and I drove over to pick the elders up in Brandon.
So we had a fun adventure going back to Greenville. The GPS was taking us towards Canton, which is in a totally different direction then the way we needed to go. So we then made our way through Yazoo City and I have no idea where i am. Then the GPS took us on a dirt road though some fields and it was just crazy. But we were just laughing cause that's all we could do and just trying to lighten the mood. Finally, we were able to make it back to Greenville after a 3 hour road trip. We got back in time to drop the elders off at their apt and then drive to the church for the Relief Society Activity. The theme of the activity was honey bees and there was a great turn out. Latoria was able to come with her daughter which we were pretty happy about. The activity went very well and as we were driving home, there was a really bad storm and when we got home, the power was out again. We used our flashlights to get a few things done and it was starting to get hot in the apt. Then after about an hour and a half while we were laying down, the power came back on and that made us happy.
We got to have FHE at Sister Washington's and she had some of her grandkids come over for it. One of the girls had said that she had a Book of Mormon and after FHE we felt the prompting to give her our card and to just give us a call if she needed anything. 

We had a really long day Saturday. We were going to go to the farmer's market to give out some cards, but when we got there, there was no body there. So we just decided because we were in the Elder’s area, that we would just try to find some less-active members. So we drove around and the Elders area is mostly ghetto and so when we would pull up to a house, we didn't get out because it just didn’t feel right. And then the GPS was being lame again and taking us to all of these weird places. Then we went over to Chara's house to have BBQ and to celebrate her birthday. We had a fun time and the food was really good. We had hamburgers, hotdogs and some ribs. 

So I was supposed to speak on Sunday, but they switched it so that I would speak the next Sunday on the 24th. So it's nice that I have an extra week to prepare my talk. Church went normal, we had some people from the stake there to speak and none of our investigators showed up. After church we had interviews with President and he showed up late. He then told us that his GPS took him on a dirt road and to an old broken down bridge. He now understands what we go through, haha!!  So I was the first to have interviews with him and it went very well. He asked how I was doing and just checking on me. He has seen that I have changed a lot and my confidence has grown. It was a very great lesson.
But then everything changed when we all got in the car and was informed of some changes that needed to happen. President said that he doesn't want us having dinner with the other missionaries at the Turley's unless an investigator is there and doesn't want us eating at the time we are eating at. I was pretty upset about that because the Turley's are really the only members that feed us and it’s a time that we can just be ourselves and it has been really hard. Also, he doesn't want us to do service at St. Vincent's anymore because it interferes with our personal study time which makes me really sad because I love St. Vincent's so much and we are doing so much there. St. Vincent's makes up our service hours each week and now our service will be low or none at all. So I am just trying to relax and figure everything out. I just feel like all the fun and good about the area is getting taken away. 

Love and miss y'all!!! See ya in 30 days.

Sister McKenna O'Connor
 Road Trip to Zone Conference

Fun with the Turleys

Cool Water Tower

Always love seeing my friends Sister Pitt and Sister Kendall at Zone Conferences.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Transfers, Walking and Prayers Heard!!!

July 11, 2016

Hey Family,

Everything has been going good her in the Delta. We had a pretty busy week with transfers and getting a new companion. We got to drive down to Clinton for transfers on Tuesday because Sister Durtschi and Elder Shreenan left and our car was completely full of luggage. It was really nice to get to Clinton and to see all of these missionaries that I haven't seen for a while. So we got to find out who we got and my new companion is Sister May. She has been out for about 4 and a half months and her last area was in Ocean Springs, which is where I was before Greenville. So that has been pretty fun with talking about Ocean Springs and all of the people there. And Elder Weaver got Elder Thorley, he is from Arizona and has been out for 4 and a half months. They are both really good missionaries and they will do great work in Greenville. 

We got to go out with a bunch of members this past week and it was really nice. We went out with Sister Herron and saw Naomi Bussie and Lisa. Naomi is such a sweet lady and we talked with her about Mosiah 5:7, which talks about how we are children of God and how God loves us so much. We then decided to sing "I am a Child of God" and there is so much power in those words. With Lisa, we talked about how Christ is the light in our lives and we challenged her to read a verse a day from the Book of Mormon and she will feel the Light of Christ in her life. Then Sister Herron was willing to feed us and she is just a great lady and love spending time with her. 

We also got to go out with Sister Dean and had really good visits. We got to catch Francine Gray at her house and it has been a while since we have seen her. She has been working at McD's and hasn't been able to get off Sundays. But she is looking for a new job to work for the school, so we are praying that she gets it. Then we got to see Sherry Valerie and it was a really great visit and Sister Dean was really happy to catch her. We read from Moroni 7:48 and I shared just how important it is to "pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart" and how Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from us. And she started crying and we could all feel the spirit there. We could just feel this love in the room. I always love talking with Sherry and the sweet spirit that see has.
After, we had Sister Dean drop us off in an area where we were going to try some former investigators. We went to try Courtney but she was sleeping so we will have to catch her another time. After trying the former's, we decided to just tract the street. A lot of the doors we knocked, no body answered but one guy answered. His name is Darrell and we got to talk with him about the Book of Mormon and he seems pretty interested and we are going to try and see him this week. After walking around for a couple hours, Sister Turley picked us up and we went and tried a referral that had requested a bible. Her name is Latoria and she is kind of shy. We gave her the bible and then we got to introduce the Book of Mormon and she was willing to read it. We also invited her to church and she said that she wouldn't promise anything, so we hope that she comes.

We got to help Sister Herron again with some service and we got to met her Sister. We helped move her freezer and the food in it. While we were planning for what to share with them, I felt impressed to grab some of my picture quotes and to give it to them. We found some that talks about God's love for us and asking to remember when we felt God's love. It was really cool to share it with them and to hear about how they know that God loves them. It was very cool. 

 So Saturday, we went tracting in the morning and no one answered the door and it was dang hot outside. Finally we made it home and had some lunch, then the Elder Weaver called us to do stewardship calls. They went pretty good and we were about to go out to try potentials but felt like we needed to call Courtney. So we called her and asked when would be a good time to come see her and she asked what we were doing right now, and so we told her that we can come over right now. So we started walking cause we don't have the car but the thing is is that she lives at the very top of our area, so it's going to take us a good minute to get there. Also we could see that a storm was coming and we were just hoping that we didn't get rained on. But as we stared walking, the storm came but the only thing that it did was that it blocked the sun and made it pretty cool. We were so thankful and it made it easier to walk to Courtney's. 

After about an hour, we finally made it and we got to visit with Courtney. She hadn't read from the Book of Mormon yet but told us that her son had been reading from it. Then she asked us what makes us different so we talked a little more about where the Book of Mormon came from and about the restoration and she was understanding everything. Then we just talked about life and what our beliefs in. it was a really good conversation and was really happy that we could catch her. We are seeing her this week and hope it goes well. 

Then we started walking back and it was still pretty shaded. We then made our way over to Sister Washington's to try to find people. After a couple house's we decided to go to introduce Sister May to her. She was so happy to see us and we had a great time talking with her. She is just the sweetest lady. As we were talking, we started to hear thunder so we started to head out. So as we were walking back, we were going to try a less-active but then a huge crack of thunder went off so we decided to head straight back to the apartment. We were just praying asking Heavenly Father to not let it rain till we get home, then it was starting to sprinkle a little bit. But then as soon as we walked into our door, it started pouring and we were so thankful. 

So on Sunday, we had a bunch of less-active members come to church that we were really happy about. It was a really great day and had some really good discussions. In gospel principals we talked about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and it was a really great discussion and then in Relief Society we talked about Temples and the importance temples are in are lives. It just all went very well. Then we got home and took a mini nap. Then we headed out to go try more people and another storm came in. We got pretty wet and we had forgotten to write the address down so I had to just remember where less-active members. We were able to catch one lady and we got to talk with her and it went really good. She hasn't been to church for a while but all we can do is love them and let them know that they are loved. Then we made our way to the Turley's to have dinner with them. We invited Ariel to come but she wasn't able to make it which was pretty sad but maybe another time.

Yea so this week has been pretty busy and great. i am excited to see what happens this transfer and all the miracles that God has in-store for me. I hope y'all have a great week and know that I love y'all so much!!!
Sister McKenna O'Connor

Old District

Sister May and I in a car full of luggage! Last transfer!!!

Photoshoot, Arkansas, and Birthday!!

July 4, 2016

Hey Family,

This week was a pretty fun week. Durtschi and I decided to have a lot of fun because it is the last week of the transfer and probably the last week of us being companions. 

So on Monday, the Elders from Greenwood came down and we played some Apples to Apples and then we played Nerf Wars which was a lot of fun!! Then after we got to go visit Sherry and we had a really good visit with her. While we were talking with her, she had told us that she had decided to go to another church and my heart just sank inside. We are a little disappointed because she didn't really give are church a chance but we told her that we still love her and visit with her still. The best thing that we can do for her is to show her that we love her and are always here for her. 

We got to go out with Brooklyne and try to find some less-active members and we were driving all over the place. We figured out that some of the people don't live here anymore and when we were driving around, we ended up by Sister Herron's house. So we felt prompted to go visit her. She was really happy when we knocked on her door and had us come in. We just got to talk with her and we could tell that she really enjoyed it. She doesn't really get visitors, which is pretty hard on her. But I love when we get to be with her because she is just a sweet lady and loves us so much and we love her. After Brooklyne dropped us off at our house and went over to Debbie's. We got to clean her house and we always love helping her out. When we finished cleaning, we got to talk with her about prayer and was able to share videos with her about prayer. She really enjoyed watching them and we could feel the spirit. 

Wednesday, we went and helped out at St. Vincent's and I always love to help out there. Then we got to travel to Greenwood for a meeting. I had the chance to give the lesson and I talked about our missionary work and we should focus on the good things we have done as missionaries. I have been doing this a lot lately and it had really helped me out. I realize that even though I make mistakes, I have done a lot of good and that makes everything worth it. After the meeting, we headed back to Greenville to make it back in time for our scripture study class. So we got everything ready, but nobody made it to the class but we understand a little bit because of summer. 

We had a pretty fun day on Thursday. We got to go around Greenville and take some pictures. We were having so much fun just taking pictures and relaxing for a little bit. Then we got to go out with Sister Solomon and to go visit people in Lake Village, Arkansas. I was so excited to get to go out of Mississippi just for a little bit. We tried seeing a couple of people and the last person we tried was home. Susan has been pretty sick and it's hard for her to make it to church. We got to talk with her and she is such a sweet lady and I could see that she is in pain with the health problems but she is keeping it strong. We could see that she uplifted her spirit and so thankful that we could see her. After, we drove back to Greenville and we made it back in time to make it over to the Turley's for Elder Shreenan's birthday party. We got to have pizza and ice cream cake and we had soooo much fun. We had a lot of laughs and was just great time to be with each other.

We got to see Ora this week and she is such a sweet lady. Her floors got pretty damaged during the flood so we are going to see if we can help her out with that. We also got to go to Sister Washington's to have FHE, and we always love going over there. She has a great knowledge of the gospel and we read over Matt 10: 31-32. And it talks about how Heavenly Father knows and each and every single one of us. Sister Washington pointed out that is because He created us and He loves us so much!  It was a really good discussion and we always feel the love from Sister Washington. Clara had us over for a FHE and she also feed us pizza. This family is a lot of fun and we are trying to get them to come to church regularly. But they are coming a long way so far which is good. 

So we got the news for transfers and Sister Durtschi is leaving and Elder Shreenan. I will be sad that she is leaving but excited to see who I get. Also the Greenwood elders are leaving and they are putting Sisters in, so there will be 4 sisters and 2 elders in the district which will be weird. But I can't believe that I'm on my last transfer and in 6 weeks I will be back in Utah. Time does go by fast and I will be taking it one day at a time and just enjoy the mission.
Love and miss y'all!!!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor