Monday, January 27, 2014

You can call me Jedi Sudweeks! May the Force be with you!

Hey all! (Not, hey y'all!)

Once again the sick bug caught our companionship. Sister J has been sick all week so we attempted to be as productive as possible.

One of our goals this week was to see one 'other' investigator daily. They are the ones who aren't progressing, and we haven't seen in a long time. We had to decide whether we were going to continue working with them, or drop them. Let’s just say there was a lot of both going on. It made me really sad seeing people not wanting to come unto Christ and live their lives which I know could be much fuller of joy and peace.

To start off, we met with K. (an 'other'), and we had a pretty long conversation about the Fall of Adam. He truly believes that Eve used to lay eggs, and have them hatch and a baby pop out of them before they partook of the fruit. It was pretty interesting trying to clarify the Bible, and seeing where his beliefs came from. He knows Joseph Smith is a true prophet, but since he has to take care of his family members who aren’t healthy and lay in bed all day, he can't leave to go to church. When he leaves he has to pay someone, so that's the barrier we have with him. (Technically there is a lot of barriers that we have with a lot of investigators.)

We met with N., who I believe I've talked about before. She went to the Relief Society Quilting activity, which we went to, also. She's so proactive and wants to make friends because she just moved here a few months ago. She even said to someone, "Who knows, I might get converted!" We had stopped seeing her since the last time we went over there, she didn't want to talk about the church at all, just socialize. Well, after we heard that comment, we went over again and once again...we just socialized. We think that she'll be converted through the members, and not the missionaries. She wants to go to all of the activities, so we'll just keep on inviting her to those.

Wednesday night was absolutely amazing! We met with this homeless man named R., who is friends with one of the members in the ward. He told us his story and his perspective on life, and I feel like he taught me more than we taught him. Sister J and I wanted to invite him to be baptized so bad, because he's already read 3/4th of the Book of Mormon, and is just thirsting for even more. He made a comment about God. "If God can be patient with us, why can't we be patient with Him? God deals with imperfect people all day, every day. We constantly hit a brick wall over and over again, not learning the lesson. But He still loves us, and is patient with us. When we ask him in prayer for something, we get upset that He doesn't answer it right away. So, we must be patient with Him, it's only fair.”  He came to church on Sunday, and we'll be teaching him the Plan of Salvation on Wednesday. We gave him the pamphlet, and he was reading it as he was walking away. I am so excited to see him progress!

Another quote that I really love that's actually in the church building is something President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." I can really relate that to the mission I'm on. It's a sacrifice to be here, and it's hard being on a mission. But I know that this will be an investment in my later life. My testimony is stronger than it has ever been before. I've met amazing people that I've been able to influence for good, strengthen their beliefs, and show them the truth of the gospel. I think I would actually REGRET, not going on a mission, since it's now priceless to me. Although I've been sick and weak with sinus headaches and missed home this past week, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

The Book of Mormon Broadway musical is here in Atlanta, Georgia, and our district will be out in the front answering the questions of the people seeing the show. We don't know which companionships will be out front, but I really hope its Sister J and me! It'll be in town for six weeks, so I'm guessing we'll be trading off each night.

We met with N. and B., (another 'other') and we had this very, very long discussion on the Godhead. They believed that there was just 'one' instead of three. We were outside their car (where they live) for over and hour trying to explain that they're three separate people, pulling out pamphlets, scriptures, and analogies. It was a lot like K.’s discussion, but it all comes down to prayer—they need to pray to Heavenly Father and ask if what we're teaching them is true. He may not answer us right away, but He will eventually if we have a sincere heart and a desire to know the truth!

One of the things I've wanted to do this entire mission was to sing for our food. We had a dinner appointment with this couple who both served missions. Sister J has a Portuguese hymn book, so we sang "Nearer My God To Thee" in Portuguese. I think we sounded pretty good, and apparently we pronounced it correctly! Yay for that! After the dinner appointment, we walked to the train station. We had our gloves on, and we have to tap our MARTA card to get to the trains, and the doors will open. We had our cards inside our gloves, and we put our hand on the sensor to get the door to open. It felt like I was Jedi Sudweeks, using the force to open the door!

Another funny little tidbit was that it was really cold this week (the fountain froze over again)  I kinda, sorta attempted to walk across the fountain because I wanted to "walk on water." Last week we only stood on it. I somewhat achieved my goal (it's also on my bucket list so I HAD TO) but fell in at the very end. Heh, oops! 
I walked on water until--crack--the ice gave way!
We went over to Brother and Sister B’s home to clean their floors and carpets. Brother B. joked that we should open up a cleaning service because we cleaned so well. They fed us to thank us for our hard work.  We sang to them "How Great Thou Art" as our thank you for the delicious dinner.  Karma, their dog jumped on us and licked my mouth as I was singing (gag) but we managed to get through two verses. Brother B. said that we have amazing voices, and should try to get a recording contract since, "If you have a #1 hit song once, you're set for life!" He says that "we have the voice, the look, and if we can write songs that are relate-able, we'll be famous for sure.” If only that were easy! I learn more about Brother B. each time I go over there. I found out he was in a band, and he too wrote songs and sang, and he actually sang a few songs for us which were really good. He also wanted to be a race car driver, and so he did that!

Sister B. said she was going to come to church, and I really believed it this time, but unfortunately she got really sick early, early Sunday morning, and was unable to. She has her surgery on the 28th, and we're hoping she'll get baptized either on the 9th or 16th. We found out recently that she doesn't want to give up her coffee, and so we're going to watch the Restoration DVD with her, to hopefully strengthen her testimony of Joseph Smith.

I was really depressed that Sister B. couldn't come to Stake Conference on Sunday, and I realized I should feel this way (but not to the extreme) for every investigator that fails to come to church. Stake Conference on Saturday and Sunday was amazing, since it talked about how members should hasten the work of salvation. We should not be afraid to open our mouths, because it's the Lord's work. If we are helping to hasten the work, He will help us on what to say. We should have confidence in our own testimonies, they are ours, and we can choose to have them be strong or weak. He has asked us to do missionary work this entire time, and He's asking us to PLEASE share the truth that brings us so much happiness. We must share it with others, and if you haven't heard of this truth, be curious, and ask your LDS friends questions. I'd be happy to answer any that you have!  If missionaries ask any of you to come out on team ups, say yes. They probably have prayed that you'd be the right fellowshipper for their investigator (or they desperately need a team up!)  :)

-Sister Sudweeks

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