Monday, January 13, 2014

Tornado Warnings, Snowstorms, Earthquakes, oh my!


Man, is it Monday already? Really? Well, that week just raced on by as usual.

I forgot to mention- it was snowing on Monday! It was 6 degrees when we left for the library! Can you say freeze warning? Sister J. and I tried to make our own bubble solution because Walmart was lame and I couldn't find their bubbles. We tried to blow bubbles using our spatulas with the little holes in them to see if they'd freeze. Turns out, the bubble solution just wanted to freeze on the spatulas themselves. Oh well!

On Tuesday it was so cold, but we still were able to go to the temple and zone training! The Atlanta Temple is so beautiful, but we forgot to take pictures in front of it! I'm so sad, but at least we'll be able to go again in six weeks and take pictures then. Hopefully, when it's not below freezing.

So we're continuing on teaching M. We saw her at least three times last week. She's progressing very quickly when in reality we've only met her nine days ago. We saw her reading the beginning of Mosiah during Sacrament meeting yesterday. If she's really read 140+ pages in nine days, she's going to be baptized in no time! She was a former Jehovah's Witness, and she's such a challenge- a good challenge. Her past beliefs are completely different than ours so we have to use a lot of scriptures to back everything up. She never even dreamed of a pre-existence, or God having a body of flesh and bone, Adam and Eve's story is different, and so is the Resurrection. I love it! 

On Wednesday we went on exchanges and we saw P. again, one of the less actives we saw in December. She's had a lot of bad toothaches, and she has a blood clot in her brain stem so her surgery keeps on getting pushed back. She has so much ambition because we wanted her to set some goals from then on out. She wants to read 1-2 chapters of the Book of Mormon each day, go to church every week, and be a great Mom for her two boys. She tried her hardest to go to church yesterday, but couldn't for some reason. But we're continuing to pray for her so she can get the strength while being in all of that pain. She's supposed to get her wisdom teeth out along with some others and she's nervous about being put under.

Wednesday night, during the end of the freeze warning- we noticed that the fountain in our apartment complex had frozen over. 

So what did we do? WALK ON WATER! 

All four of us sisters took pictures with the ice, tried to crack the ice and break pieces off, and holding the ice which caused us to numb our hands for the next few minutes or so. But it was so much fun! The next morning you could tell that we demolished the ice in the fountain and we laughed.

We're continuing on teaching L. - we taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity (oh that was fun). We even asked her what makes her want to get baptized into this church, and she went on and on and on. It felt good as a missionary to hear how her testimony has grown. She even mentioned on how before the missionaries knocked on her door, something was missing although she didn't know it at the time. 

Sister J. and I went to the Addiction Recovery Program with two of our investigators the past two weeks, and can I say that this program is just so inspired, and so effective! You can go to ARP if you're angry, or addicted to certain emotions that just weigh you down, and it helps a ton. I just want to tell everyone to go to this program because you learn more about the Atonement, and you'll have a greater appreciation for it.

So, as we finished ARP Elder and Sister N. (the senior couple serving in our ward) wanted to take us home because it was around 7:45pm and already dark, but couldn't because they were taking others home. One of our investigators pleaded for us to call the sisters to have them pick us up, but they exclaimed that they'd pick us up at the station near our home. We started to walk to the train station but Elder N. stopped us, and prayed that we'd be safe and protected on our way home. We realized that this situation was serious because not one but two people had the promptings to make sure we'd be safe. We got to the train station and actually saw A., the bus driver of the gold mine bus a few weeks ago! We talked to him about the church beforehand, but only gave him a pass along card. He talked to us but he was going the opposite direction so we gave him a Restoration pamphlet and our contact information and went along our way, still paranoid and cautious. Situation after situation kept on occurring which caused us to be delayed when we were so anxious to get home. The other sister missionaries ended up not picking us up at the train station, and so we had to walk 4 blocks to get home, but we felt safe and continued. Two blocks in, we saw a car crashed on one of the medians. Apparently the car was trying to turn left, but completely missed and knocked over a sign, with their air bags deployed and everything. Sister J. and I believe that if all of those delays hadn't happened, we would have been hit by that car because it had just happened minutes before and the police officer had just arrived there. Talk about Heavenly Father looking after all of his missionaries, right?!

We tried to visit a less active in Bankhead, a place where sister missionaries aren't allowed to go without a priesthood holder past 5pm. Don't worry, we went during the afternoon. We got on a bus and noticed that this one lady was creepily staring at us. I told Sister J. and we decided it wasn't a good kind of stare. I hid behind this guy, and while I didn't know it at the time, Sister J. was staring back at her, for the ENTIRE bus ride! I didn't know if it was in my head, but I was getting a headache. Sister J. and I both thought that she was trying to curse us with some crazy voodoo. So we've therefore dubbed her as the creepy voodoo lady. 

Apparently on Saturday, there were tornado warnings because there was a HUGE rainstorm. There was lightning and thunder so loud, it actually woke me up around 4am in the morning. It was pouring rain and we didn't want to go outside at all. But we didn't even know there were tornado warnings until the day was over when a member told us! Shouldn't we be aware of any type of warnings besides freeze warnings? Then at night Sister J. was moving around a lot on the bunk bed, and I thought an earthquake was happening! So, the weather has been crazy this week! Talk about your natural disasters

We saw Sister B. again, and we found out one of her concerns about being baptized. She didn't understand the difference between her being baptized in the Baptist church, versus ours. So we had to discuss priesthood once again with various analogies. We also talked to her about prophets and the importance of them. We're thinking she doesn't have a strong testimony of the Restoration so we're going to have to re-teach that again, and get her to really pray and wait for an answer. Praying for specifics is so important! Brother B.’s back is recovering, but apparently it was bleeding Saturday night when it wasn't supposed to, so they were concerned that going to church would push it too much. He's only supposed to be sitting up for 20 minutes at a time, but since he has so much faith he pushes it way too much when he's sitting on the couch for an hour plus at a time when we visit. We don't think she's going to get baptized on the 18th, but we're hoping for the 25th!

On Sunday we were in Primary for singing and sharing time, and this 10 year old boy J. heard me sing. He kept saying that I had a really good voice, and then told Sister M. about it. He even exclaimed that I'm almost as good as Katy Perry, but not really. But it's okay! She's a professional, and I'm just a missionary! He was such a little flirt and tried to put his arm around the back of my chair, so I leaned forward to get something out of my purse. Then he told me he really liked my purse too. Oh, J... Then during the lesson they were talking about how life is like a road trip. It can be straight, but there's also curves along the way too. One of the little girls said, "I want to go to Brazil with Sister J.!' Then J. my ten year old friend said, "I want to go with Sister Sudweeks!" Kids say the darnest things.

After church, as we were leaving and walking to the train station, we saw a car flip a U-ie and stopped right where we were at the sidewalk. It was A. the bus driver! He wanted to talk to us and see if we wanted a ride to the train station! As much as we wanted to, we couldn't because it's not allowed. (Of course we didn't tell him that.) But Sister J. and I said that we'd meet him there. We weren't planning on getting on his bus, but we wanted his contact information so we called N. and D. (two other people we’re teaching) to see if we could go visit them, because they live on the bus route he drives. They never answered but he told us it'd be a pleasure if we accompanied him, so we did anyway. When it was just us on the bus, we gave him a Book of Mormon and taught him the history of it. So we're planning on teaching him again sometime this week. Totally awesome! 

Then we went home and worked on less active paperwork for almost 5 hours straight, with dinner as a break. 

Our backs were hurting so bad. Sister B. (one of the sister missionaries in our district) gave both of us back massages, and it was the most painful but effective massage I've ever gotten in my life. I can't believe how many knots I had in my back, and we're still not done with the paperwork. What we're doing is assigning every member to a missionary, and then dividing up the families by zip code. We want less active and active paperwork so we have as much information on each name as possible. Considering we have 49 pages of names, and 900 people in the ward, it's a really long process. We have to have all of this paperwork done by District Meeting Tuesday morning because that's when we're re-presenting the idea so we aren't the only ones trying to figure out why the less-actives aren't coming to church.

This week has been completely crazy, but I love every minute of it! It's sad to say, but I kinda wish P-day would just go away so we can just teach more people on Mondays, but I suppose we have to clean SOMETIME during the week! I love you all, and hope everyone is being a member missionary!

-Sister Sudweeks

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