Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cold Nose, Frozen Toes, and Bitten Ankles

 What a great looking group of missionaries that arrived in Atlanta, Georgia on November 19th.

My area is Downtown Atlanta and there are some sketchy areas.  But I know if Sister Jarman and I use our common sense we’ll be fine.  I failed to mention how we were getting around Atlanta due to lack of time.  The three of us got around thanks to Lawrence and Glozell:  our car and GPS.  But Sister Bird and Sister Walton in our district have the car as of today because Sister Bird is the district leader.

Today was my first encounter with MARTA.  We were supposed to have interviews with President Harding today, but nothing happened. He canceled them and we don’t know why.  Our schedule opened up and we weren’t prepared with gloves or scarves.  So Sister Jarman and I were freezing.  But we survived. 

Sister Jarman is amazing!  She’s literally one of the sweetest, most caring people I’ve met on my mission so far.  She’s from Utah and she wants to be a dental hygienist.   It’s perfect because she cooks and I clean the dishes afterward.  She’s a very good trainer and communicates her feelings and testimony very eloquently.  It’s crazy to think I’ve only known her for a week.  Sister Freitas left for Temple Square this morning and I miss her already.

I did inherit quite a few of Sister Freitas things which I’m grateful for--including a towel and finally have a desk of my own instead of the dinner table.  Yay!

I’ve been invited over for dinner twice, and that was Monday and Tuesday.  Monday we were served a delicious dinner of chicken, potatoes, beans, rolls, and pumpkin pie.  They have a dog and she LOVES to chew on your shoes and bite your bare ankles underneath the table.  It wasn’t a lovely experience.

We had dinner with another family on Tuesday.  He’s the assistant ward mission leader.  We had Italian and they treated us to Dairy Queen for chocolate dipped ice cream cones.  They have a little girl and she’s the brunette version of Kayla, only older.  She’s the cutest little thing!

So considering there are seven sets of missionaries, we don’t attend ward council.  This ward is just getting on board with helping the missionaries.  They want to help, but they don’t know how.  A lot of members aren’t aware of what we’re doing when it comes to visiting the less actives and shrinking their visiting and home teaching lists.  The ones that are aware appreciate the hard work we’re doing and give us referrals in return.  So we’re really in the planning stage of missionary work.  Beforehand, the missionaries here would be baptizing so many people but the ward didn’t know how to help the converts so they’d go inactive.  The game plan is to reactive those we can, transfer records for those who moved, and then really focusing on referrals.

Numbers really aren’t everything.  I knew that before I left, but I really know it now.  We have key indicators that our planner has and some days we don’t reach our goal.  But I honestly believe this ward is special. We may not have reached our Key Indicators, but we have been able to accomplish a lot when it comes to the ward member list, so I don’t mind.

I love you very much and I’m so happy that I’m out on a mission.  I know I need to overcome my fear of being shy and rejected.  But I know that admitting it is one of the steps to conquer it.  I am the Lord’s mouthpiece and I’ll say whatever He wants me to say.  

Sister Emily Sudweeks

P.S. I went to the Georgia aquarium on my first P-day and that’s how I touched a shark.  Kinda forgot to explain that.  Oops!  J

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