04 March 2013
Benjamin Erastus Rich, one of the most successful missionaries of the Church, served a two-year mission to Great Britain from 1881 to 1883. He also served as president of the Southern States Mission from 1898 to 1902 and again from 1903 to 19-3, and as president of the Eastern State Mission from 1908 to 1914. He authored numerous booklets, tracts, and pamphlets which received wide distribution throughout the Church and the world. After completing his missionary service in Great Britain, Elder Rich returned to Utah with 70 immigrating saints in his charge. President Joseph F. Smith said of him, “His character stood our bright and clear in defense of truth. He was fearless of the world and opposition. He was a stalwart defender of the faith, a friend of mankind, faithful to duty and capable to perform it.”
Goodness Gravy! Hey y'all! (As well as my Spanish accent I am also working on my Southern....)
So my first area is Manchester, Tennessee. When I met with my mission president President McKee last Monday night the first thing he told me after I prayed was "Sister Rich, the Lord has revealed to me the area where you are supposed to serve." My heart dropped. I wasn't expecting him to know that so soon! When he started talking my eyes filled with tears as I realized this was where I was supposed to be. I'll admit that before the MTC I felt like I was kind of walking in darkness not really understanding what I was getting myself into on a mission.... then I absolutely LOVED the MTC, but it was something that I knew would be a temporary place.... but when President started talking to me and told me that he already knew where I would be serving I was blown away with the spirit. I think it was a warm welcoming to Heavenly Father that this is where I am supposed to be. When I talked to you on the phone last week I told you that I was suprisingly pretty calm considering that I was headed to my mission. That feeling continued the whole day and when I got off of the plane and headed out to baggage claim I was welcomed by the classy Nashville airport and a man sitting and playing Christian songs on the guitar softly. It was perfect and proved to me that I really was in the music capitol of the country.
Well, like I told you my first area is Manchester, Tennessee. You should look it up online because it is famous for Bonnaroo---the modern day Woodstock. Bonnaroo will be in June, so I doubt that I will still be here by then, but I heard that they usually like to take the missionaries out because it gets pretty rowdy. Anyways, Manchester has about 17,000 people in it and the members here have been super welcoming to us. There are 4 sets of missionaries (a senior couple, english elders, english sisters, and us spanish sisters) serving under the Tullahoma ward. We are covering three areas and my mission president has a vision that we can eventually create a spanish branch here in Manchester and another english ward here in Manchester. I have faith that it can happen, but it will take a lot of work. My companion and I are doing a lot of less active work as well as the english elders who are serving here in Manchester. We haven't had a lot of opportunities to use our Spanish yet. This is actually the first time in several years that there have been elders here in Manchester and they have NEVER had Spanish missionaries here before so we definitely have a lot on our plates. We have a completely new area book! We haven't had too many opportunites to use our Spanish yet, but I definitely hope that changes. Funny story though, we have tracted out TWO families that speak Mezteca (sp?)--- a dialect from the Mountains of Mexico? We don't think that that is a coincidence... hopefully we can find a way to share the gospel with them.
I don't have much time, but I am making a list of all the funny experiences that I have had out here in Manchester. I am also making a list of all the "milagritos" or tender mercies that we are experiencing. I hope I can write them all next week. :) I hope you enjoy all the pictures and sorry I don't have more to say about here for now.
Something I would love for yall to do is PLEASE sincerely share the gospel at home. Please send some referrals in or invite others to church. Something that my mission president said is that for every good referral we give to another area we will receive back in greater or of equal quality. I beleive that is the same for what you do as a family back home. I feel like I will be blessed for your missionary efforts.
Pray for better weather for us! The weather has been a bit of a downer for the work. But really, it is beautiful here! I can't wait for things to start blossoming!
Thank you for all of your love and support
Posted by Kristyn Leigh at 7:20 PM