Monday, June 16, 2014

Got Locked Out! Keys and Phone in Car!

Happy Monday!

Well, last Monday wasn't too happy. I was going to go print out pictures of W. and S.'s baptism from Sister Bradford and I realized that my flashdrive wasn't  there.  (These were two baptisms in Atlanta that occurred after I was transferred.)  I searched the past week trying to find it, and even went to the library in hopes someone turned it in. No luck, so at least the first four months of my mission I don't have any pictures of besides the ones I sent home. I'm continually praying that I'll be able to find it, but I know that stuff falls out of my purse all the time. I don't zip it up all the way trying to be quick in getting out a pamphlet, Book of Mormon, or anything else like that to give to someone. I'm still going to pray that it turns up somewhere.

Sister Warner and I went back to the Hope Center--a Memory Care Facility--and we just sat with them out on the patio in rocking chairs enjoying the sunshine. We were telling a bunch of different stories and making them laugh. Sister Warner even started to dance and one of the ladies tried to dance too. But she fell back into her chair and she decided that was enough for one day! It's so sweet seeing them every time we come because they always ask if we're going to sing for them. I love going there, it just boosts my spirit and self confidence because they always tell us how young and beautiful we are haha! :)

S. wasn't at her house when we went for her appointment- I wish people would understand how important our message is and how everyone could benefit from it. If so, people would probably never miss a lesson!

I love how the spirit guides missionaries on what to say just perfectly. One of the things that we do in this mission is to leave the Savior's peace and blessings upon a family and home. We ask them if there's anything or anyone they want us to pray for in specific, and if not the spirit has to guide us on what to say. Most people include their family, or something similar. But when we knocked on P's door and he said he couldn't think of anything. I said the prayer and it was really amazing how I prayed that he'd be able to find his purpose in life, and that he would have his future be guided by our Heavenly Father. It came absolutely out of nowhere. After the prayer Sister Warner and I both knew that we were supposed to talk about the Plan of Salvation. We weren't able to get a return appointment with him, but we do have his number so whenever he's available we'll be able to meet with him. We shall see!

It was pretty entertaining, we were out tracting and we met a guy who was in the middle of dinner. We said that we'd come back and he offered us red beans and rice. We were just laughing because we've never been offered food before when someone is busy. We don't think he was interested at all, but that just shows you the Southern hospitality here in Georgia!

G. had back surgery, so we taught S. this week. (G. is the Grandmother the Elder's referred to us a couple of weeks ago and S. is  her granddaughter.)  We taught her more about the Book of Mormon, and taught her the importance of baptism. S. accepted to be baptized on the 28th of June, and G. and S. were at church yesterday even though G. is recovering. Miracles!
Sister Robinson, a member of my ward, was taking us to an appointment and she was telling us about how Lionsgate Studio moved here to Fayetteville, which produces the Hunger Game movies. It is so cool how so many movies and television shows are made in Georgia. Another reason why I want to come back and live here! Sister Robinson was an extra in Blind Side, an extra in Drop Dead Diva (yes Mom, one of our favorite shows!), and her daughter was in Vampire Diaries, and so on. I've really connected with that family, so we've decided that when I come back to visit I'll stay with them, and I'll be an extra in a movie since that's been one of the things on my bucket list.

As we got to the appointment, no one was there so we were going to call them. We found out that Sister Robinson brought the wrong set of keys with her, and she didn't know the code to get back into her husband's car! We had both left our phones in the car, so we knocked on G.'s door to see if she was home because she lives two houses away. (G. had to rescheduled her appointment because of zone training, but now she wants her husband to be involved in the discussions too, miracles!) No one answered, and we knocked on a few more doors with no one answering. We all prayed that she would remember what the code to the car was so we could get inside. It worked! Sister Robinson remarked that her hand was guided by the Spirit, and she can't recall what the code is anymore. Yay for tender mercies! We called our appointment and they weren't answering, sad!

We had zone training and it was a lot about how we should bring up families, and family history whenever we meet someone. A lot of people have a close relation to their families, and they'll have a desire to be together with their families forever. Before I got to this mission, they were doing certification and it ended before I got there. Well, it's started up again until October. Missionary Training Plan, aka Certification 2.0. It's pretty intense since we now have to get up at 6am instead of 6:30am (Goodbye a full 8 hours of sleep, which I never got anyway), and an extra hour in the morning to do certification, so we leave our apartment at 10:30am instead of 10. There's so much memorization involved, getting higher key indicators, reading talks, doing activities in Preach my Gospel, and so on and so on. It really overwhelmed me considering on how much memorization there is involved because that's been one of my weakest skills my entire life! Any ideas on how to memorize long passages? I've memorized a few short scriptures already, but I could always use more ideas! :)

One of the other cool things that I realized at zone training is that God TRULY speaks to his prophets, apostles, and mission presidents. They are inspired, and they are literally the mouthpiece of God. If President Harding is telling us to "Go faster, we need to reach more people so they can hear the restored gospel," it's like God is telling us that we need to go faster.  It was cool because I learned that I should pray for experiences that will strengthen my testimony, and the Savior knows what we need, when we need it. I love zone training!

Last week the other sisters came over and we made some hilarious videos and pictures. Sister Warner and Freeman put 'eyes' on their chins and laid down. We covered their nose and eyes with a shirt, and covered their body with a blue blanket so it looked like the sky. (If you're totally lost, don't worry I included pictures.) They role played and it was the funniest thing this entire week!

We work hard--and we play hard!

We met T. and L. briefly, and we talked about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon to gain a testimony of it, and the importance of church and baptism. They are out of town this week, so we'll be meeting again with them next week. T. has literally been taught everything, and even had a baptismal date. We think that since L. has been having problems in quitting smoking, she's been holding them back, and that's why they stopped meeting with the missionaries last year. We're praying and crossing our fingers that we'll be able to teach them what they need to know!

We were going to clean one of the less active's houses for service but she ended up feeling sick and didn't want to infect us. So instead we talked to her Primary aged kids. We asked them about 2 Nephi 32:3, and why they think it says "Feast upon the words of Christ".  J. said that it's so we could remember the Last Supper with Jesus. Then we also asked them about how we could support the priesthood. His sister J. proudly declared, "Give them snacks!" Kids say the cutest, darn-est things.

We were knocking on doors and we met a guy named M. We taught him the destination and route-  Our Heavenly Father wants to give us the greatest blessings in this life. We'll be able to receive a remission of our sins, have constant guidance in our life, and obtain eternal life. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end we'll be able to obtain all three of those. We were testifying and teaching so powerfully, M. told us that he felt the spirit so strongly, and he accepted to be baptized on July 5th when he comes to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is true. Unfortunately, he lives in Conley, Georgia, so we had to send him in as a referral for other missionaries. But it was so neat to see that people are really THAT prepared to hear the gospel, we just have to find them in our area! :)

J. (the very sweet lady who told us we should dust off our feet when people reject our word) has been busy with her four special needs children, but we dropped by in on her and she told us in her mind when she saw our car, "There are my girls!!" She gave us a huge hug and talked to us about how she carries five flashlights with her all of them ranging from dim to light. J. told us that the brightest one reminds her of us because we're out proclaiming the gospel, and we're letting our light shine to everyone that sees us. She always makes us feel good although we don't always get another appointment! :) But J. has told us to always call her to see if she's free.

Lastly, we were going to have another lesson with S. but she and her grandmother weren't home so we decided to tract their street. We didn't have much success until we knocked on the last door before having to go home to make it to curfew. We met N. (another N., just like Atlanta) who was previously taught by missionaries in Maryland over a year ago. She mentioned that there has never been missionaries in this neighborhood. N. was practically waiting for us to arrive! It was so exciting because her friend, C. that was visiting was curious about what we believed, too. We set up a time to see her this week, and we'll figure out when to meet with C. because she's moving to Fayetteville. The work of salvation is hastening! :) :)

I hope everyone had an amazing Father's Day, and I am once again so grateful for my Dad and how much he has done for me.

One of my favorite hymns is Savior, Redeemer of my Soul-

1. Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

2. Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.

3. O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

It really makes me feel full of gratitude and although I may never be able to pay back the debt, I can proclaim the gospel and try my best to align my will with our Heavenly Fathers. We are all striving to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I'm so privileged that I'm on a mission so I can focus on doing that for 18 months, along with inviting others to come unto Christ.
-Sister Sudweeks

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