Sunday, February 2, 2014

I'm not even sure where to start

So a lot has been going on down here in Southern Pike County. 
It seems like a lot of my time has been consumed by getting back in the swim of things. I was gone for three weeks- one up north visiting family and in laws and two weeks in Myanmar for the Special International Convention!

So a little rundown before I get to the good stuff. We had our special assembly day in November. For all of my friends on the opposite schedule, you are in for a treat. The theme is 'God's Word Exerts Power.' What wonderful reminders that Jehovah's word has power and can help us. What a great program!

In December we had our CO visit..... And we got a new elder appointed! What a blessing for our congregation.  We need lots of help (a little side note on that later). My dad was able to come down and spend most of the week with us for our visit.  How nice to have him in service with me everyday.  For our visit we got to have a substitute, Zach and Malissa Allen from Wytheville Va. They were super fun to be around! They were only supposed to be with us for two days but wound up staying for 5 days! The area they are from is much more suburban.... They'd never been to hillbilly central. So we even took Malissa to a 'beer joint.' She wanted wine and let me just say the selection was pretty awful....some sort of malt wine...yuck. You don't quite trust a name like mad dog! 
The drive-thru wind at the beer joint.
One day's service group during the C/O's visit.  My dad even was there!
Gatsby promptly let Dad know who's couch he was on.

So at the end of December we crammed in our pioneer meeting amidst some nasty weather and my impending venture up north. How sweet it was to have our pioneer meeting! We still have 12 pioneers and now 4 of our 5 elders are pioneers. We try to stay busy in the preaching work. 

My time up north was nice, got to spend time with my family and Mike's family some. We even got to go to Brooklyn Bethel to see the Bible Tour and the Archive tour.  Never go right on Christmas weekend! It was packed out! I don't think Bethel even expected that many people. And to top it off we got to eat at a Thai restaurant.... my personal favorite! 
At the Archive Tour
At the Thai Kitchen on Montague St in Brooklyn. (excellent recommendation from a Bethelite!)
Back home in Maryland, my closest girlfriends and family threw a small personal bridal shower for me.  Thanks girls! I know some of you read this ;) It was so good to see them all and spend some time with them.  Thank you for taking time out of all your busy schedules for me!
Our silly face picture...Don't think my Mommom quite understood the concept
By the way.... the cake was wonderful!
We had one last little party... our ugly sweater/bon voyage party before Joanna and I went to Myanmar!

One last little bit about Pike County, as I hinted. ;) This week everybody should've had a letter read about seldom worked territory. You guessed it, Pike County is on the list. Also on the list is Mingo County, Wv and Buchanan County, Va. We have territory in all three counties. But as an interesting fact, Pike county is the largest county in Kentucky...lots and lots of land. We'll, if you checked out the list you may have noticed that Pike county is divided into northern and southern sections. I reside in southern Pike county. According to the letter from the branch, only about 26% of Southern Pike County territories were completed last year and 30% of Northern Pike County territories were completed. What a shocker that was to me. It's one thing to know its seldom worked but to know exactly how little was shocking. And we work hard to try to reach people. But like I said, there's quite a bit of land, not a big population, but loads of land. And down here in the mountains there is no short cuts, straight shots etc. It's not really a stretch to say we don't have more than half mile of straightaway roads here. 

This is a road map of the main roads in Pike County...curvier than they might look!

So if anybody feels adventurous, come on down and check it out! We'll organize a softball game, go hiking and swimming. We like to have fun too! And don't worry, it's been snowing a lot here and really cold too..... But that will be out of the way least it better be before my wedding next month!

 next post.....Myanmar!!!!