Monday, April 28, 2014

We Looked Like Drowned Rats!

Happy Monday!

Last Monday was just go, go, go!  Sister B. loved getting free Moe's nachos, and getting into the aquarium for free. We also saw N. (our angel in the windowsill contact) and her daughters X. and K. and taught them the Restoration. It was so cute because they were taking notes the entire time. We were able to commit them to be baptized, although the girls were going out of town so none of them came to church. But they've been praying about Joseph Smith and reading the Book of Mormon.

Even on P-day, we carry a Book of Mormon.  You never know who might be interested.

Sister B celebrating her birthday at the Georgia Aquarium
On Tuesday it was just AWFUL. Monday night I couldn't fall asleep because I was just so used to sleeping in the day because of being sick with the stomach flu for three days. I was up till 2:30 am going back and forth from my desk, to my bed in hopes that I'll fall asleep. I was so desperate and praying that I'd fall asleep but I couldn't. I wrote out my thoughts and did everything I could think of to fall asleep but it didn't work. I ended up getting less than four hours of sleep. I wanted to go back to my apartment so badly and sleep, but I had to decide for myself if I wanted to ignore God's will and do what I wanted to do. I prayed so much after District Meeting, since I tried to sleep during our lunch hour but that too failed. After much crying and praying I decided that I'll test the powers of heaven, and use the Atonement because I know that Christ has felt exactly the way I did. I was able to pray and gain strength because I knew that since I was doing God's work, He would have to give me the energy to make it throughout the rest of the day without rest. It was amazing on how I could see the difference after I prayed. We walked toward the train and it started to rain. The other sister missionaries ended up picking us up and we did a blitz and tracted the same neighborhood. It was perfect since I knew that all of these events had to happen so we could meet this wonderful A. family. We taught them briefly, and set up a return appointment for the next day, although I would be on companion exchanges. I was so excited to see the blessings from enduring restlessness, and that God really does know where each and every one of His children are. 

After a sleepless night and rainstorm, the sun came up and what a view of downtown Atlanta!
On Wednesday I went on exchanges up in Smyrna.  I have never left Atlanta before in the almost six months that I've been here! It was so weird to see nice buildings, and the differences were such a shock. It was cool since Sister McF. and I met a sweet couple who lived in Utah, went to BYU and SVU and aren't members. We got their number and they said that they'd have Sister McF. and her companion over for dinner sometime. It turns out that Sister B. knew the husband because she hung out with him, and the rest of the BYU Rugby team- which is why he decided to go to BYU in the first place. While I was gone, Sister B. didn't know how to get to places on MARTA, since I am the one who always followed the directions and looked to where we got off. They ended up missing our appointment with the A. family and a few others that we set up that day, and we haven't been able to get a hold of any of them since. It's so sad but I know that if God needs us to get in contact with them again, we will. 

Sister B. met three women-- C., D., and P. while they were lost on MARTA, and they are so ready! They accepted to pray about a baptismal date, and the next day we taught them most of the Restoration. They were so sincere, and asked questions that they really wanted the answers to. P. asked about what the Holy Ghost is because she notices others screaming and shaking and moving around when they feel the spirit. We were able to answer her question about how the Spirit is a still, small voice, and brought up Galatians 5:22-23 about how it feels peaceful, joyous, and other positive emotions.

We invited them to church and be baptized and they accepted May 17th for their date. D. has previously been meeting with the Jehovah Witnesses and committed to go to their church. But she told us that she really, really wants to go to ours!  She said that she'll go to ours next week. We invited all of them to come to the baptism on Saturday and C. said she was busy. That day we called them and asked if C. was coming because the other two don't have phones. She said she didn't know, so we told her to pray about what God wanted her to do and we'll call her back in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes later she told us that she didn't get an answer. Since we wanted to teach her the importance of the Book of Mormon, we told her (over the phone while I was driving) that it'll give her answers to everything. We told her to pray silently, and then pick a random page, verse, and read it. She ended up picking Mormon 2:8, which is all about carnage and war! We asked her if she got her answer, and C. said no. So we told her to keep on reading and Sister B. and I kept on praying she'd get an answer. She practically read the entire chapter out loud to us, pausing to ask if she should keep on going. At the end we asked what she learned from the chapter. She paused and said that we should always make an effort to do the things that God wants us to do. We asked what God wanted her to do today and she replied, "I'll be at the baptism." So she and P. with her adorable little boy were at the baptism! They enjoyed it, and P. was at church yesterday as well.

One of our ward members-- Brother M., was finally able to bring his fiancee to Georgia from Ghana. We call her S., and we began to teach her the lessons. The problem is, she speaks French and hardly speaks English. She understands a little bit, but we managed to get her a Book of Mormon in French later on in the week. She is so amazing, she prayed (in French) and thanked us for taking time out of our lives for proclaiming His work and gospel, and that she'll be able to read and understand the Book of Mormon. Now she can look at both of them side by side, and learn English while she reads. She made us the most delicious African food I've ever had in my life. I found it so fascinating to see how different our cultures are as we were talking to both of them and helping her get more comfortable with us. 

I've never eaten Ghanian food before.  This was delicious!
See Mom--My taste buds ARE growing up!
Sister B. ended up not coming to church, (and none of our other seven people that promised us to come to church too, we had nine set up!) but we had a really good lesson with her. I was praying during personal study that I'd gain revelation for our investigators, and I ended up reading page 113 in Preach my Gospel about the Book of Mormon. It talks about how we should care more about what God thinks about us than anyone else, and we should be baptized even if your family doesn't approve. I wanted to ask her to be baptized so bad but the spirit told me not to. 

K.'s family has continued to be sick,(he's the man who takes care of his elderly parents, daughter, and grandchildren)  but he's been watching BYUtv almost every day. He loves watching General Conference because he says that he feels like he's being talked to, not talked at. I really wish we could modify that rule that you have to be at church twice before someone can get baptized, since his testimony is growing each time he watches!

On Sunday C. (our recent convert) was out with us and we stopped at his work so we could print out the first two lesson pamphlets in French. The further we walked away from his work, the harder and louder the lightening and thunder hit us. We weren't prepared for rain at ALL. We got soaked to the bone and since we were on MARTA we couldn't just go home and we kept on going to each of our appointments and try to dry off. It was raining buckets and I was so distressed that we looked like wet rats getting drowned in the pouring rain. When we got home Sister B. was pretty dry, but my dress material wasn't drying at all! I've really learned this week to peservere through whatever God puts in front of our path, and He will bless us for enduring it well. While we were walking to our last appointment I was splashing in the puddles and twirling around in the rain since I figured that I'd hopefully never get into an experience quite like this again! It was great, and I'm glad that we didn't turn around and go home. Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8, always remember to endure things well!
Aren't we a sight?  I think we need to invest in waterproof mascara! 
-Sister Sudweeks

PS:  The field is white and ready to harvest! 

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