Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Evil Flying Insects of Death While Tracking!

Happy Monday!

This week has been full of ups and downs of success, failure, with a splash of miracles here and there! As I read back on these e-mails, I don't have a desire to hide my weaknesses, struggles, and hard weeks. I'm not going to pretend to be strong every week when in reality no missionary is perfect, and I'm far from it. 

These past few weeks have been a struggle, Satan has influenced my thoughts more than I could ever imagine. I was able to turn to a priesthood blessing last Monday that was quite humbling. It talked about how our trials are given to us to help us grow, and it specifically said I was given these trials to become a better Mom, and church leader. All of us can use the Atonement in our lives when we have weaknesses, sickness, and disappointments. The blessing told me to study the Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ so I can better apply it to my life. I've been studying the Atonement in depth for this past week thanks to the book True to the Faith, Preach my Gospel, the scriptures, and many, many footnotes. I am so grateful that Easter is coming up so quickly, so I will be able to express my love and gratitude for the atoning sacrifice that Christ so willingly performed in our favor so we have the opportunity to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Like I said, it's been a rough week. We got rejected a lot on Tuesday. Door after door after door. It was so humbling, but I know that every effort is a gain, no matter what the outcome is. It made me realize that success truly is given to each and every missionary, no matter how obedient one may be. C.  was out with us Tuesday so he was able to lift our spirits with Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme doughnuts- we were walking all day, I say we deserved it! [=

Zone Training on Wednesday was pretty awesome. I caught President Harding juggling with three water bottles with my camera. My mission president is so cool, as well as his family. We were reminded to ask "Who Do You Know" to everyone, since if they actually accept the gospel, missionaries know right away who one of their fellow-shippers should be. President Harding promised us that if we had enough faith, we would find a family to teach.  
Our April Zone Conference.  Sister Harding urged us to smile while she took our pictures.  I listened and obeyed!

C. also came out with us after zone training, and took us out to pizza since Sister B. can't have gluten, and he said he knew a place where they had gluten free pizza. He had promised us this before he took us out on Tuesday. In the end he didn't look at the prices beforehand, and he spent a LOT of money on two gourmet pizzas.  Oops!  But he chose the place, not us, heh.  We went to go see some investigators, and after our appointment we didn't know where we should go.  Sister B. and I had different ideas so C prayed on what we should do.  Right as he started to pray I knew (along with everyone else) that we should go tracting near our last appointment.  C. said we should start from the back of the apartment complex.  Our first door we chose was because it had angels in the windowsill.  We knocked and it turned out to be one of the other sisters' former investigators from last June/July!  Her name is N. and she has a problem with high sugar levels.  She lost contact with the missionaries because she's always at the hospital trying to keep them down and she has a lot of allergic reactions to the medication they give her.  She's read about half the Book of Mormon and wants us to teach her again.  She has about four or five kids, and so we're going to be teaching her again.  It's so awesome because I know the spirit guided us to knock on her door.  To top it off for the night, C. went to work and he got a tip from a regular customer that was almost twice as much as he paid for the pizza.  Coincidence?  I think not!  =D  

Sister B and I after the Zone Conference
We've been tracting a lot recently, and can I say that God had such a sense of humor when he decided that he wanted me to go to Georgia? It has the 2nd highest levels of pollen in the United States (or something) and you get pollen on your clothes, shoes, and everything just by walking. My allergies have been killing me, and allergy medication is my best friend. Since there's pollen everywhere, you have to realize that there's bumblebees and hornets EVERYWHERE. Occasionally people are sitting outside and they're literally watching and laughing at us hesitantly creeping up to the doors trying to avoid flying creatures of death that want to attack us because of the bright colors that we're wearing. (Sister Bradford has also been wearing buns a lot recently so we joke that they want to land into her nest of hair.) It makes me so anxious because I've never been stung before and I don't know if I'm allergic. But I laugh at it every time I think about us knocking on a door, waiting a few moments and then running away because there are so many hornets! Why did God have to create hornets? They look so evil. Don't even get me started on my curly hair and humidity as another reason why it's so funny that I got sent to Georgia! =P

W. (one of our newer investigators who LOVES Family History)  worked on Family History with his fellowshipper Sister E., and he told her that he's been reading the Book of Mormon. I'm so happy that he's progressing, and that he even stayed for all three hours of church! Another miracle was that Elder and Sister N. had a stern talk to the B. family about them not coming to church since it's hindering the progress of Brother B., and so they were at church, too! They only stayed for sacrament, but it's a great start! T. (another investigator) dropped us right after we emailed last week, and I'm going to continue to pray for those that have stopped wanting to be taught. 

I've noticed a lot throughout this week that when our plans fall through, we're always led to those that need to hear our message. I've loved being able to just listen to those we're speaking to, having no idea what I'm going to say but not worry because I know those thoughts will pop up into my mind on what to say to them through the spirit. It's such a cool thing to witness because I can be confident that I'm really speaking through the spirit! Sister B. had a really cool analogy during companionship study earlier this week. When you're watching someone play an instrument such as the saxophone, you don't think to yourself, "That's such an amazing saxophone!" You think to yourself, "That's such am amazing saxophone player! He's really talented." I just think to myself that I really am privileged being an instrument in hastening God's work to all of His children that He loves so very much. Always remember that you are loved by me, and Him. I hope that all of you think about Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice this entire week, not just on Sunday.

-Sister Sudweeks

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