Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pawpaws and Rain

This is the mushy fruit pawpaws

Family and friends!
I love Athens so much. I'd be down to stay my whole mission! Idk if it's just a southeastern Ohio fall thing, but like 7pm-10 am are starting to always be FOGGY. Like, we can't see anything on the other side of our parking lot foggy. It's pretty cool, I wonder how long it'll last. It's also been starting to cool off a lot. we have to wear tights and jackets to stay cozy. I'm terrified for winter everyone says it's supposed to be brutal this year. 

I just realized I haven't talked a ton about what Athens is like. Let me tell you. So the city Athens is basically a college campus and the random neighborhoods and stores and woods that surround it. There are so many streets going every direction it's pretty nuts. I miss the Utah grid system haha. The students in Athens are so random. Imagine the super hippy earthy vegan people and make that everyone. There's the occasional super artsy or super nerdy people. Then of course the sorority and fraternity members! Haha it's a blast and a half. The locals are all like the students, just grown ups. And everyone has like 10 dogs and cats. We live in The Plains, a pretty small town about 10 minutes from Athens. There's basically nothing but woods between us and Athens. The Plains has 2 stop lights in the whole town, both on the only busy street in town, which is actually more of a highway that also leads to Athens. The Plains has a few random neighborhoods with decent sized houses and the rest are old falling apart houses or mobile homes. Very not what I'm used to haha. The people here are about like Athens, just more hillbilly hippy than straight woods hippy. We occasionally go to Chauncy, Buchtel, and Nelsonville. They're all major druggy hick towns. Haha the people there even say it. It's a blast. So basically we have all the random types of Appalachian people you could think of... Yay, I love it!!

Okay wahoo now for the events of the week!!
M. is obeying and living the word of wisdom. He kind of had a tough time last Sunday, but he started keeping his goals on Monday then by Tuesday he was not smoking any cigarettes. He has been using nicotine patches but took them off yesterday and wasn't even feeling the urge to smoke very much. We call him every night to check on his progress! We applaud him for his efforts and remind him of the blessings of keeping the commandments. We teach him regularly and have members at all of his lessons, it's extra powerful and he makes buddies! He has a very strong Baptist background and is having a kind of hard time adjusting to the calmness of our church.... He's used to the fire and brimstone type of preachers haha. He said General conference was kinda dry and lukewarm.... Lol but he says that he will adjust. He has had some concerns brought up throughout the week, but we have been able to direct him to God and the scriptures to help. He has been thinking a lot about his baptism on October 15 and is looking forward to it!! He says he's a little bit nervous and jittery but he thinks he's also excited. We know that we are so excited for him and that he will be ready by that date. We have a few more lessons to teach, but we will get them in! We love our backwoods redneck investigator!

We had an awesome zone training meeting! We are studying faith this month and focusing on diligent faith. We have been using the line from the women's session "fourth floor last door" for everything. We went less active hunting on Friday. There are a ton of less active members in our area book, so we wanted to find them and try to remind them of the love and joy they felt when they used to attend church. It was kinda cold and rainy. Of all the places we went, either nobody answered, the less active said they don't want to be called members of the church, or they moved and new people moved in and wouldn't let us say a thing. We were walking up a steep street to the last lady on our list for the evening. We found the house and found out she had moved. The girl that moved in is awesome. We got to teach her then and have a return appointment for next week. We're thankful we stuck it out and made it to the "fourth floor, last door."
There's this strange fruit that only grows in the southeastern Ohio area. It's called a pawpaw. You can see from the picture, the outside looks like a potato and the inside looks like mush. It is mush. It tastes kinda like a banana/mango but super tart and bitter and just not good. I recommend only trying pawpaws to say you've tried pawpaws haha. 

Here is a picture of our church building! We spent a lot of time here this week because of conference. We watched all the sessions in here! We had another investigator come to conference! He is a way awesome OU student. He recently moved here from China and has almost no knowledge of God. We are truly humbled to be able to teach him more about our loving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. He loved the talk by President Nelson on joy! 

That's all for this week! I hope everyone is doing well at home! Congrats to Justin and Rachel for having their baby Lucy Grace Barnes... I'm an aunt! Thanks for the love and support. I feel the power of your prayers and pray for you every day! Love you all. 
Sister Barnes

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