Monday, March 10, 2014

Jesus Take the Wheel!

Happy Monday!

Last Monday Sister J and I had the privilege of trying to go see a less active that we thought lived close-ish to our house. Our appointments always fall through on Mondays, but I hope not tonight since we're teaching C. (our bus contact) the Law of Chastity. Fun, fun, fun! We missed the bus, so we got directions from the other sisters and started to walk in the freezing wind. We quickly realized we weren't dressed for cold weather and walked about 6 miles total. I kept telling myself, "I feel like a real missionary!"

On Wednesday, we went to zone training, and we were able to go to the temple and it was great. We were almost late to the temple but we barely made it on time! I love how I've been praying this entire week, and I'm getting more realizations and having certain statements just 'click' in my mind. It's really nothing profound, but it's helping me more as a missionary, and how I've grown throughout my life and what I can do differently. 

Sister J. and I in front of the Atlanta, GA Temple.

I love going to the temple!

I wish I could tell you all that I learned in zone training, but right when it was about to start President Harding talked to Sister J, and she burst out in tears. I was predicting it this entire transfer- she got her visa. She's leaving on the 25th of March so I'm probably staying in Atlanta once again. We cried with each other, and had a hard time concentrating about being better planners. My Mom saw a picture of me on Facebook at the Zone Conference. You can't tell that I was crying, but with Sister J it's a bit more obvious.

Holding back the tears at our March 5, 2014 Zone Conference
I'm going to miss Sister J. much!  She's been an outstanding trainer!

I taught C. (our bus contact) with Sister B. about the Word of Wisdom Wednesday night since both of the sister companionships had to talk to the Relief Society President Sister R. about less actives. He knew we were going to talk about the Word of Wisdom, and so I prepared myself and bought him mints, and he gladly accepted them. He opened up to us about some sad stories that he or his friends have experienced in their lives.  He knows that he should change, although it's really hard. He accepted that he wants to be baptized on March 22nd, so we're thrilled! One last baptism before Sister J. leaves. I didn't know that it was standard for an investigator to be clean 2 weeks before his baptismal date, so I MAY have forgotten that detail! After I found out I texted him explaining what happened, and that we don't want to rush or push him to do something that he feels like he can't do. He replied and said that he thinks it's possible, and now he's been clean since last Saturday. [=

I was on exchanges with Sister W., and we taught K. (the man who takes care of his bedridden parents, adult daughter with health challenges and four grandchildren) with Elder and Sister N., (the Senior couple assigned to my ward) and Elder N. was AMAZING when he explained the priesthood and how we're the only church with the proper authority from God. I thought K. was never going to understand, but he did. I wrote down some scriptures so I can try to imitate it when we have other investigators struggling with the same thing. I asked him if he would also be baptized on March 22nd, but he said no. I was so irritated but I'm trying not to let it get to me because I know Sister J. has been teaching K. from the very beginning and she would love to see him baptized as well.

Sister W. and I were driving to see more less actives, and as we were turning left on a green arrow into an intersection, we saw a truck just coming straight towards us! I wanted to scream, but something told me not to. Sister W. was inspired to almost floor the pedal, to go straighter and then a hard left so we didn't run into the curb. I honestly thought that huge truck was going to hit the back of our car, t-boning us into a spin right in the middle of the intersection. We had to stop and park for a while to get our heart rates down, but thankfully we weren't hurt.

We saw Brother and Sister B. three times this week, and they bawled so much when we told them that Sis J. was leaving. We brought it up when we talked about Proverbs 3:5-6 and how we need to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. Sister J is absolutely terrified because she doesn't know Portuguese very well since she's been out for 9 months and hasn't had to use her Portuguese since leaving the MTC. We tried to bridge that to Sister B.’s baptism, but that didn't go very well. We feel like she doesn't have the desire to be baptized, and although she may know it's true, she doesn't want to act. I'm trying to keep my optimism but Sister J and I really can't do anything when it comes to someone's agency. We don't know what's going to happen, but we know that she won't be baptized on the 22nd either.

But R. (our soft-spoken homeless investigator) was baptized on Saturday! We had to call baptismal coordinators for our ward because of convert and member baptisms. We're still trying to fix all of the kinks in it working out since whoever filled the font did NOT do it right. The baptism started late because the baptismal coordinator's daughter was getting baptized with R. and they had the programs and also A. their daughter. The water was absolutely freezing so A. was crying when she went in because it was all the way up to her neck. Roy grimaced at the temperature when the prayer was being spoken, and all three of us, (Sister J., Sister E.[the member who referred him to us], and I) knew that they didn't say his full name! So he had to go down a SECOND time. Oh isn't he special?! He told us although it was freezing, he still felt warm after. R. was talking about how different he felt, but it was a good different. We had to race to make it to see Elder Quentin L Cook on time, so we didn't stay around after.

R on his Baptism Day--March 8, 2014
R. with some of his ward family.
For those who may have seen picture on Facebook of all the 270 missionaries in the Atlanta, GA mission, Sister J. and I are right in the middle. We're in the line of the only girls standing in front of the elders. I'm wearing my leopard print cardigan and Sis J is wearing her turquoise striped shirt. My mom emailed me the picture and I can barely see ourselves, but we're there! We had to stand there for over an hour before Elder Cook got there. We were able to shake his hand along with Elder Piper and Elder Parker. They talked to us on how to become better missionaries. They taught us that we should have lessons with our investigators based off the questions that they ask us, because that's what they need at that moment in time. When they asked us questions based off of scriptures, we should make them more pro-active in finding the answers for themselves. Then we'll have them teach it to us, and the spirit will testify to us as missionaries that what they're teaching us is true. They were talking about how missionaries are assigned to specific people, mission presidents, or a place that will influence their life in the future. Now I'm wondering why I was assigned here! Who knows?

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice....

C. came to church on Sunday, and he loved it. He said that priesthood was AWESOME and he's so glad he came. He does his research on-line by wikipedia-ing everything, so now we have to read all of these articles to tell him if they're true or not. Most of it is, but some small details are wrong. It's funny since when he said that he was clean all of Saturday, he asked what time his baptism was because he's invited his family to it already. Apparently his brother thought he was punking him, and his sister in law said that'd she'd be in class. He told us that their lack of faith in him is disturbing, but he's glad he has an awesome support group like us. People are very surprised on how much he's changed, and he has so quickly! I'm so proud of all of the positive changes he's made in his life so far.

One of the quotes that I've enjoyed this week is some that Brother B. told C. over the phone when he cancelled us earlier this week. "Don't look back into yesterday, think about what you'll do tomorrow." C. told us (he didn't know he was on speaker phone) that this is what he's been looking for all his life. I agree completely that we shouldn't ponder on what we did wrong yesterday, but to learn from it so we know how we can be better people tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a great week, and praying for missionary opportunities!

-Sister Sudweeks

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