Monday, May 5, 2014

One More MARTA Story: Jesus Liked to Party?!?

Happy Monday!

So, I figured I'd just let everyone know in case some of you just skim my emails and read the good parts. I'm being transferred out of Atlanta and going to a new area Wednesday morning. I'm completely shocked since Sister Bradford has one more transfer left, and doesn't know a lot about the less actives, members, or the area. I was pondering it over this morning and I know that God trusts Sister Bradford that I'll be able to teach her everything I know today and tomorrow, and that I'm needed some place else although I really didn't think I was leaving until transfer six or seven. (I'm going in my fifth transfer.)

This week went by SO fast. We had a huge tornado warning when we woke up last week, and it was SO windy and just pouring rain. It was pretty crazy since apparently a lot of missionary parents were messaging the Atlanta Mission Facebook page making sure everyone was okay. I didn't see any tornadoes touch down, drat! I guess that is still on my bucket list. But a scary thing that happened that day was that Elder MacDonald-Smith got hit by a cop car on his bike. Thankfully, he didn't have to go to the emergency room or anything, and he looks fine. He's walking and doing everything that he would be doing otherwise.

We're still continuing teaching S., Brother M's wife/fiancee? She's being reading the pamphlets we've given her in French, and she's been asking Brother M. a lot of questions. She came to church yesterday again and she is such a sweet person! Since Brother M. works at night and sleeps during the daytime, she doesn't get to go out much. We ended up taking her out on MARTA with us, and showed her around town and went to the Centennial Olympic Park with her. I think she enjoyed it although we did miss our bus... Oops!
We ran into a few LDS Students as we were giving S. a tour of Atlanta.  She's the beautiful woman on the left.

I've been having some back problems recently for the past week, but it's been getting better. I've been worried since it gets worse every time that I wake up in the morning because I sleep on my side and nothing else. I went to the nurse for strengthening back stretches that I'm supposed to do every day. Lets hope they work!

W. is set for being baptized this Saturday, and he is so excited. He asked us to write down all of the commandments for him, including the Ten Commandments to make sure that he was following all of them. He passed his baptismal interview, and he's continuing on integrate himself into the ward. I was originally going to sing at his baptism with Sister Bradford, although I guess I'll be there in spirit.

K. FINALLY got his priesthood blessing from the Newman's, and it was literally one of the most powerful blessings I've heard in my life. The spirit was so strong, and I cried in the beginning since I knew Elder Newman was being a mouthpiece for God and it's exactly what K. needed to hear. It was amazing since he was warned that Satan wanted him on his side, and how he's going to whisper doubts into his head, and to have his friends discourage him about their different beliefs. He was told he needs to fast and pray to get his answer, and it said how he'd get his answer. K. was just beaming at the end of the blessing, and he has never been this close to being baptized before. I really just wish he didn't have to take care of his parents, and literally no one else in his family will let him take some time off so he can rest or go to church. 

We were taking out the trash for someone and this one lady randomly asked us if we could program her TV. We threw the trash into the dumpster (that was taller than us) and Sister Bradford missed and almost killed me with her trash. It was so funny because she screamed, "Get out of the way Sudsey!" (My new nickname) and my heart was beating so fast thinking I was going to get knocked out. We went into her apartment and fixed her TV as we taught her more about church. We didn't really get into much depth, but she randomly said to me, "Your face makes me want to go to church! Please see me again later on this week since I know you have to go. But I need to go to your church!" amongst other things. It was probably the most unique thing that someone has ever said to me here in Atlanta haha!

We continued to teach P. and D., and they are still set for being baptized this month. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. P. is going to be moving to Albany for school, but she expressed her desire to be baptized before she leaves. Unfortunately they accidentally slept in yesterday, so P. won't get baptized until the 17th, and D. the 24th. Sister Bradford and I met with them practically every day last week, and they are so committed to the gospel, it's so miraculous. 

Brother and Sister B. are still sick, and they've been going to the doctors. Sister B. is still reading her Book of Mormon, and read 3 Nephi 11 like we asked her to. She said, "I'm up to chapter 14." I'm somewhat, but not really surprised that she's been reading while being sick. She mentioned to us, "When I get baptized, I want a red foot." Sister Newman makes a big foot for each person that gets baptized because they're making a big step in their life. I know that she's progressing each and every day, we just need to be patient.

Zone Training was great, and so was the temple. It was so inspired since the prophet and apostles have been talking about how members need to become member missionaries, but I've been wondering HOW I can get members to become member missionaries? It doesn't happen overnight! So our training was mostly about how we can help members talk to more people, and to give them encouragement and advice on becoming missionaries themselves. I'm so sad since Sister Bradford and I didn't have time to get pictures together at the temple!

We met a crazy guy on MARTA the other day, who originally complimented Sister Bradford on her voice, she sings all the time. He started to talk to us about Jesus, and how we're representatives of Christ. He was shocked that we can't go to a party since he exclaimed Jesus went to parties. "Jesus went to a party and said, 'Keep the party going!' and turned water into wine." Oh boy... Misinterpretation of scriptures anyone?
This group is called "The Found Tribes of Israel."  They stand outside the MARTA Station at Five Points with their purple robes and candelabras and videotape people as they argue with them about what they believe..  Kinda awkward.         Oh...the memories! 
Overall, it has been an amazing experience serving the people in Atlanta. It's hard leaving a place where I called home, and all of the people that I've grown to love as I served them. I'm not entirely sure if I'll still be on MARTA if I'm still in the Atlanta area, but I'll miss telling crazy stories about people that I've met on there. I know God has a place for me where I can testify the gospel to others somewhere else in Georgia, and to help them become closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful that I'm on a mission and I still have a year left to change the lives of others for the better. Thanks for all of your support, and I can't wait to see where I'm going to go next! Lets cross our fingers that I'll be able to handle the food there. [=
Sister Sudweeks
P.S.  Faith is not faith until it's tried.   


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