It appears that I was so excited about the goats last week that I entirely forgot about my year mark. How weird. I have been out for over a year now. It really doesn't feel like that. I have enjoyed it fantastically and look forward to one more awesome year.
Speaking of memories, this is my companion from the MTC, Elder Melville from Utah. I can still clearly remember the first time I met him last October 7 at about 2:00 PM MST. I was in the computer classroom on the fifth floor of the large building on the south side of the MTC. He walked in and we were introduced. It was a really cool moment for me. I realized then that I was actually on a mission and I had my very own companion to be with all the time. (Much later it dawned on me just how much "all the time" is and it kind of freaked me out. Although I am used to it by now. It will be really weird to go home and be alone again. Ewww.) Unfortunately, Elder Melville had to go home our second week there and never made it out to Tennessee. That is until now. One year later he has made it back out on his mission and is right here with us. His picture was taken at zone conference last week. It was super cool to see him again and he is so happy to be able to serve a mission.
Here are the rest of zone conference pictures:
This last week was fantastic. One really cool miracle lead us to a couple who are engaged and preparing for their marriage. They had heard of the church before and asked us the question "Don't you guys believe in sealing families?" It was absolutely wonderful. We testified of the truth of eternal families and the joy of being linked through the generations. They loved it and really felt the spirit and asked how it could be possible for their own family. We taught them the message of the restoration. As we explained that the priesthood keys held by Jesus Christ and His apostles of old were given to Joseph smith, they saw the wondrous joy. The power to bind families together really is upon the earth today. By the atonement and authority of Jesus Christ, we are able to overcome sin and death to live together with Him once again. I know that this is true. This is His church and His missionary work. I am so grateful to be part of it and very blessed to see His power changing the lives of those I serve. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
PS. At least every single week of the summer -- and sometimes multiple times a day -- I have found a new bug or spider that I have never before seen in my life. I keep thinking that Tennessee will eventually run out of new bugs and after a whole year I would have seen them all. No such luck.