Monday, June 23, 2014

Eating Spider's at a Member's Home!

Happy Monday!

Both of our elders were transferred out last week, and Sisters Freeman and Sullivan made a cake for them. If you look at the picture you'll see Elder Weathers from my first district. :) Elder Taufa was
originally with Elder Bernard, but Elder Weathers and Bernard swapped leadership positions for one to two weeks. So Elder Bernard is back, and now we have a new district leader. I found out that my old district leader Elder Ercanbrack is now my zone leader! I was talking to him about a
referral, and then we talked about how Atlanta was doing. K. never got baptized because he didn't come to church. K! :( (To refresh your memory, K. is the one that took care of his elderly parents and grandchildren.)  Sister B. still isn't baptized, (she's the one that owns the very naughty dog Karma) but Atlanta is just booming with baptisms. It's great to hear that my first area is still going well. :)

We'll miss you Elders!
I ran out of time last week, but we also have an eleven year old boy, E. M. on date to be baptized for July 12th! It was originally July 5th, but his fellowshippers who have been AMAZING are going to be out of town, and they really want to make it special for him. They're going to buy him church clothes, do the programs, make the refreshments, and so on. The Campbell's have been picking him up for Family Home Evening, church, scouts, and just including him in everything. His Mom was investigating the church off and on for the past three years, but she doesn't want to let go of some of her habits but is excited for him to get baptized. E. has been coming to church for the past few months, and we've been teaching him for the past couple weeks. It's so great to see how member involvement makes such a huge difference when it comes to someone investigating the church.

It's been so hot here in Fayetteville, never been any cooler than 85 degrees. We enjoy doing service each week, and Sister Warner and I were joking that we would just wash members cars for service. We don't need them to talk to us, just let us accidentally spray each other with a hose as we're washing the car, no big deal. Haha, we'll see if we actually get desperate enough to do that.

We had an appointment with one of our potential investigators, but we ended up teaching her Mom, N. that's been visiting for a month. We've taught her twice already, but she wasn't there for her last
appointment, and she doesn't have a phone. She said that she would be baptized if she knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and we think she has good potential because she read the entire Restoration pamphlet before we expected her to. N. has a LOT of kids, grandkids, and great grand kids who haven't been exposed to religion at all. One of her sons is a member, so it's cool to see how everyone connects. She lives in Oregon so she'll probably continue investigating the church there once she goes home in July.  Journey came out with us for one of her lessons, and we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" at the end because N. loves her family so much. Journey said in the car, "Was that the Spirit, or do you always sound that good?" We laughed and we told her that we sing as a companionship every morning before we start companionship study.

We haven't gotten a hold of a lot of our amazing potentials, but we've gotten a lot more good potentials this week! Not so much actual investigators. We're going to start specifically praying for
investigators who will keep their appointments, read the Book of Mormon, and progress. I've noticed the investigators who don't read the Book of Mormon, don't progress, and those who do, do progress.
(It's not rocket scientist, but it helps me remember to stress the importance of it.)

I'm so excited because a less active member that we've been working with hasn't smoked in over three weeks! A's been using the e-cigarettes and the patch, and she came to church with her entire
family who are also members of the church. We've been working on their Mom, so hopefully she'll come back to church too. It's been amazing to see how much progress she has made since I've first arrived here. She wasn't smiley, huggy, or as open compared to now.

We had exchanges last week and I was with Sister Freeman in my area and it was just amazing! She and I have so much in common, and I know we'll be good friends after the mission even if we're never companions. We had a really good lesson with G., (she's the grandmother of S. another one of our investigators) and I'm ecstatic to say that she has great intentions. She can't read the Book of
Mormon easily because of her poor eyesight and cataracts, and G. asks every day if her Book of Mormon on CD has arrived yet. She has noticed that S. seems so much happier because of the church, and it even made her cry. S. wasn't there, she was at youth conference with all of the youth in the stake, and she absolutely loved it! S. brought her 'friend' J. to church, and more of their family
and friends have joined them too, such as F. and D.. D. lives with G. and S., but she doesn't listen to the lessons. F. lives in Jonesboro but we taught her last night as well as the rest of the crew. F. has read half of the Book of Mormon already, and wants to be baptized so we gave her to the Jonesboro sisters. We taught J. (the friend of S. to help you keep track!) as well and he asked for a Book of Mormon, and he wants to be baptized as well! But he lives in Griffin, and that brings the
whole circle to why I talked to Elder Ercanbrack- he's serving in Griffin. So they'll take good care of him. Since we were unable to teach S. this past week, we're pushing back her baptism to July 5th,
and hopefully G. will get baptized the same day she does.

We went over for a lesson at the Campbell's and she served us spiders! Okay, they are called "aranaitas" which means little spiders in Spanish. They were deep fried plantains that looked like little spiders and they were so good! I think I'll eat little spiders more often.

T. came to church, which was SUCH  a miracle! We only taught him once, and he asked interesting questions such as what do we do for people who are struggling emotionally, mentally, and if we provide any services for members. He's an all call therapist, and he's been to church before a few times. He decided to come to church yesterday, and sacrament meeting was all about family history. We held our breath because we weren't sure if he would be interested in that or not. Come to find out, family history is his PASSION, and he's so excited to come to the family history work lab on Wednesday nights.  T. has never stayed past the first hour, but I was able to convince him to
stay for Sunday School. We talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost, and he was even participating. Then our Ward Mission Leader whisked him off to Priesthood and T. seemed completely okay with that. After church, he said that he loved church and he was so happy that he stayed! He said that he'll be on call this Sunday for work, but we'll see him the week after. He's been church hopping for the past three years, and I think he's finally a lot more interested so I'm really excited to see where this takes him. Miracles!

We have a magnet on our fridge that says:
The Everyday Powers of Christ

C. Cleansing Power - Jesus has the power to cleanse and make us pure.
H. Healing Power- Jesus has the power to heal us physically, mentally,
emotionally, and spiritually.
R. Restoring Power- Jesus has the power to make right (At-One) all of
the wrongs of mortality.
I. Identifying Power- Jesus has the power to understand, empathize
with, and guide us.
S. Strengthening Power- Jesus has the power to give us strength beyond
our natural ability.
T. Transforming Power- Jesus has the power to change our very nature.

I hope everyone asks themselves daily, what can Christ do for you?

Have an amazing week!

-Sister Sudweeks

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