Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Timber, CRASH!

Happy Monday!

Just so all of you know, I'm going to be having my P-day next week on Tuesday, instead of Monday because of Memorial Day.

Last Monday was just miraculous, I don't think I've ever had a better P-day! We taught W. with the Grisham's, and we talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation, and being baptized by proper priesthood
authority. He accepted to be baptized on May 31st, woot woot! The spirit was really strong in the room, and I know that he felt and recognized it. We had companionship exchanges on Tuesday so I
wasn't there for his next lesson. But after Tuesday we had set up a lesson on Friday, and he wasn't there! We went by on Saturday and Sunday to get in contact with him, but it's like he disappeared. It doesn't help that he doesn't have a phone so we were unable to get in contact with him. The Grisham's went over to pick him up, but he wasn't home and our post it note was still on his door.

Then after our appointment with W. we went by to try and see R. (who isn't very active in her Community of Christ church) but she wasn't there considering she does 24 hour shifts as a firefighter. But we met her oldest daughter H.. It was a bit awkward at the door because there was the Dad who we really didn't talk to much before, her uncle, and her. But we set up another time to see them, and they said yes. We walked to the car and H. ran after us. She asked us who we are, and what we do. It was so cool testifying to her about the Restoration because her eyes were just longing for knowledge. She was talking about how she wanted to get back to church, and to really know the truth. We gave her a Restoration pamphlet, and set up a time to see just her because she was going to be at school during the other appointment.

The companionship exchange was pretty early in the transfer, but the sister training leaders wanted to get to know me considering we're in the same ward. I really enjoyed being able to see the difference on how Sister Sullivan attempts door approaches versus what we do. Now I get to intertwine all of our ideas into one! It was cool because Sister Sullivan was talking to me about why she thinks President Harding sent me here to Fayetteville and took me out of Atlanta. She knows that I have the vision to baptize, considering there's a baptism every week in Atlanta in at least one of the companionships. I have the faith that we will baptize, and I have the attitude that it doesn't matter where we are, and we'll succeed because we're doing the Lord's Work. She begged me to keep the fire going, and to spread it to Fayetteville, so that's what I'm planning on doing!

On Wednesday we went to the Hope Center Memory Care for the elderly who have dementia. We played a card game with them with HUGE cards. We each gave them 7 huge cards spread out on the table. Sister Warner and I took turns picking a card out of a smaller deck that we had, and
called it out. If they had that card, they took it out of their pile, and flipped it over. Whoever got rid of their cards got to choose between two kinds of crackers. It was the cutest thing, because whenever someone got rid of a card they got so excited! One of the ladies kept on saying, "I told you I just came from Vegas!" over and over again. [=

We saw H later that day and she told us that she read the entire pamphlet, and she even had read the definitions in the back. She had questions about the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood and we were able to explain it to her. H. asked us what time church was, and wondered if her friend A. could come to church too. H.mentioned about how we have Books of Mormon, and if she could have one.  She was thrilled when we told her that she could have the copy she held in her hand. She is just golden! Sadly enough, she told us to come by on Friday, and no one was home. We came by on
Saturday, and told her Dad that she wanted to come to church since his wife and she were gone. But Sunday rolled around and she was nowhere to be found. We're feeling that we're not going to come by so often, so we don't creep the parents out or anything like that.

Zone training was on Thursday, and I was so excited to see the Newman's in the temple. I gave Sister Newman a big hug, and Elder Newman a huge handshake. :) He joked that Atlanta was crashing and
burning without me, but they think they'll manage. Sister Newman didn't believe that Sister B. was going to get baptized for a long time, but she mentioned that she thinks she's making little baby steps, and noticing that their week goes a lot better if they go to church, versus when they don't. During zone training I learned that discouragement is a form of pride. Who knew?! I thought of the
scripture in Alma 5 where it tells us to strip ourselves of pride, so we will be prepared to meet God. Now I'm going to try even harder not to get discouraged!

Sister Warner and I at the temple.  Aren't we color-coordinated? 

We were going through a lot of our potentials and former investigators this week and visiting the ones that have gone to church, or have accepted a baptismal date so they show some potential. We were able to make an appointment with S., who accepted a baptismal date last year. Her teaching record was VERY incomplete, and I now vow to always update the area book no matter how tired I am so the missionaries after me don't have to feel frustrated or not know completely what's been taught. We had Sister Davis out with us, and before we go into every appointment, we pray. I can't recall who prayed, but we prayed that we would be able to discern her needs and concerns, and that she
would be able to open up to us so we could best help her come closer to Him. It was astonishing because she told us her entire life story within the last 6 years, and it was just wonderful on how open she was with us. S. admitted to us that it's not good enough to just watch church from 10-10:30am on Sunday, she needs to do something more. Sister Davis told her to come to church, and that she would pick her up. She accepted, and we were just dumbfounded on how easy everything came together! Once again, S. had a family emergency Saturday night, and she was up really really late so she didn't come to church either. Dang adversary!

One of the cool miracles that happened this week is that we went over and saw Brother G.. He's inactive, but came to church on Easter. We read with him 2 Nephi 31, which is the doctrine of Christ. Sister Warner asked him, "What can you do better after reading this chapter?" He said in his own words that he wants to become more active in church. He's been inactive for over a decade! He was there looking sharp in his suit and we sat next to him. He only stayed for sacrament meeting, but he's making great progress! =D

On Saturday we went to the ward's service activity to help some of the members. I thought to myself after living here for 2 weeks that I want to live someplace similar to Georgia- with a lot of trees and a
big yard. But after having to rake up SO many leaves, and hauling branches so we could put them on a trailer to dump them somewhere else, it made me think otherwise. My shoulder blades and wrists hurt so bad although I didn't rake the same way to overuse certain muscles. But it looked SO good after we finished, and I really wished we had taken a before and after photo!

After we finished up with that house, we went to a member's neighbor who needed one of her trees to be cut down, and to take down her old old fence. The nails of the fence were pretty rusty, so I started to kick them out one by one. Oops! Kids really do look up to the missionaries and start imitating what we do! They joined along as the Bishop was cutting down the tree with a chainsaw. We didn't think that it was going to be very productive kicking the fence down, but the kids were determined, and they have so much more energy than us. According to Sister Warner I had a really determined look on my face to break the fence and my sore abs are proof haha! The Bishop yelled TIMBER! and the tree crashed on part of the fence that we needed to also take down. I don't think I've really seen a tree being cut down, but I felt the ground shake because it was a huge tree. The men cut up the tree into little and not so little pieces and we had to put it in a huge pile. That alone was a task itself! But it felt good helping the neighbor, Sc. out. We found out later that the night before she prayed asking that God's servants would come and help her with her yard. A few hours later, her neighbor (the member) came over and asked if we could help. She prayed for us at the end and the spirit was so strong. Sc. is very set in her beliefs, but we predict that it's going to take many little steps for her to be open with us.

One of my favorite quotes that I saw this week was, "Grace is when God gives us what we don't deserve. Mercy is when God doesn't give us what we deserve." I find so much love from God when I hear that quote, and we should always be appreciative for what God does for us!

-Sister Sudweeks

Sit, Karma, sit!  (OK, maybe not on my lap!

P.S. W. got baptized in Atlanta! P. hurt her ankle so her baptism has been
postponed till next week.  Here is a picture of Brother and Sister B. and their famous dog Karma!   

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