Monday, July 28, 2014

Teaching a Vampire Diaries' Actor!

 Happy Monday!

This was SUCH an awesome week of finding twelve new investigators- two of them being a couple, and a huge family that has been previously taught by missionaries in Fayetteville. It's miraculous considering we've had a lot of appointments set up for this week with member involvement, but almost all fell through. On Saturday our entire day almost fell through, but we were really guided on where we were meant to go and who to see. I love it when I can look back and notice that we were led by the Spirit!

I'm so happy that I am staying with Sister Sullivan here in Fayetteville for at least one more transfer. Lucky transfer #7 woot woot! To top it off, we have been called to be Sister Training Leaders for our zone. That means we go to mission council every month, help teach during zone training, and go on exchanges with each of the sisters in the zone every transfer. I'm pretty excited since I've never been an STL before, and now it's my privilege to serve all of the sisters in this area. :)

We were able to go by and see everyone at the Hope Memory Center. We played Pakeno with them once again (it's like bingo but not) and one of the sons of an elderly woman was there, watching us interact with them and helping them see if they could put a token on their board. We always say good bye to each and every person individually since I've been able to build a friendship with each of them there. As I was saying goodbye to his Mom, he expressed how grateful he was for us to
come by and to share a smiling face with each of them. It really means a lot to them because they don't see so many young people anymore. I don't think I'll forget any of them, and I really wish I was allowed to take pictures with them (safety policy) so I could remember them for the rest of my life.

Another reason why we've been finding a lot is because we are so low on miles! Ahh!  Companionships in our mission haven't been careful on not going over miles, and it's costing our mission more money. So if any of us go over miles, our car gets taken away and we have to walk.
We've been pretty careful the past few days, so I'm praying that we stay under for the next few days. It was hard becoming the missionary who had the most knowledge of an area because I didn't drive so I'm not super knowledgeable of where people live, which results in us driving more than need be. Thankfully I'm learning quick so we can manage miles for the future.

We came to a 'golden' neighborhood three days this week, wanting to find that family who is ready to hear the gospel. We parked the car on a street and tracted multiple streets to save on miles. Sister
Sullivan and I found some pretty good potentials, and met two investigators. One of them is a Bishop for World Changers, and we have an appointment with him this Saturday. The last person we were talking to was pretty receptive so we kept on talking, ignoring the fact that it was starting to drizzle. By they time that we said goodbye, it was raining cats and dogs! Not again! We ran to our car three streets away and we were soaked by the time we got inside. It was hot and humid, so we weren't even able to dry off in the car. I'm so glad that we were going to a member's home next who let me use their hair straightener for my bangs haha. But the people that we met were worth it all!

Da and Dd (the twins of a recent convert) aren't considered investigators because they're only eight.  But we're still teaching them by letting them draw and see pictures of what we're teaching them.
They're very hyper but it's a blessing that Da is learning and he's retaining it all.

I'm so excited for this Friday. One of our member families is having a wedding this upcoming Saturday! We were originally planning on going to have a Journey lesson with them, but we asked the Mom how everything was going. She expressed to us that she's been praying that she figures out how she'll be able to decorate the reception since she's worried that it won't turn out the way she wants it to when they set up Friday night. We realized that setting up the reception is TOTALLY service, and so I get to be their artistic eye and to help them on what should go where. They were all so excited that I'd be able to help them out with decorating their reception, after all, I AM a wedding planner in training! So thrilled to help them out and to be an answer to their prayers!

As we were at a stop light, this lifted truck stopped right next to us blasting bagpipe music with their windows rolled down. We peered over to see who was in the driver's seat, and it was this burly macho man who was acting like everything was normal. We started laughing so hard because it was the funniest thing I've seen and heard in Fayetteville.

Sister Sullivan and I went back to that golden neighborhood and we knocked door after door after door. We found families, but none of them were interested in listening to us. We were tracting for a good while, until we decided that we better head back and go to our next destination. In the distance there were two guys walking toward us and we thought to ourselves it was them that God was putting into our paths. But then a girl walked out of her house to get the mail, and we complimented her on her cute sunglasses. She gasps and says, "Are you who I think you are?" We tell her that we're missionaries and she squeals, "I love you missionaries!" and proceeds to hug us. Come to find out
that she and her family were taught by two sisters in January. Dq is the daughter of a potential who is in our area book, but they moved a month ago. We've actually been playing phone tag with her Mom,
V. for the past four days which just shows me that God places us at the right place at the right time! If we had knocked on one more door, we would have missed her entirely.

We went back and met the entire family, and there's so many people who live in that house. V. met Elder McDonald-Smith on MARTA, and told him that she's read the Book of Mormon and everything, but she's Catholic. We've figured that the previous missionaries weren't entirely focused on teaching them, so it'll be interesting to see how set they'll be to learn from us this time around. But they have been so prepared because they've been to Salt Lake Temple Square so many times,
and V. loves how missionaries are good role models for her daughters. We came to find out that one of her sons, Jo., is an actor for Vampire Diaries. I KNEW he looked familiar, and I didn't know why! Haha small world!

We haven't been able to teach R. this week because work has been so hectic for him. A family was going to pick him and his daughter up for church but they weren't there, and they didn't answer their phone. We've been trying to call him but no answer. All of us are really confused because he was so sincere. Dang adversary making him busy so we can't teach him! :(

T. was able to come to church this Sunday, and the first thing that he said to us was, "If I ever became a member, I'd like you to know that I'm not changing into a white shirt and tie." We chucked to
ourselves, if you want to be baptized, we don't care that you're wearing a collared shirt and khakis!  T. was actually on call for work, but he came anyway which is a first for him. He committed to come to all three hours of church next week. His life is still pretty hectic so he's going to call us this week when we'll be able to have another lesson with him. T. told us that he considered being able to at least come to Sacrament Meeting a blessing. Happy day! He was downloading the LDS gospel app as he was leaving, so I'm really pumped seeing his progression.

R. arranged a musical number for all of the sister missionaries to perform yesterday. It was composed of In Humility Of Our Savior, and A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. She played the violin and one of
the piano teachers accompanied us. It is SUCH a beautiful song, and many people told us that it brought tears to their eyes. R. is the Laurel who always come out on team ups with us, and she is such a talented young woman. I wouldn't be surprised if she became a famous composer one day. :)

One of the things that I learned this week was all about sacrifice. If  we all think about it, we want to be able to gain everything that our Heavenly Father has in store for us. If we want something, we should be willing to sacrifice everything. Since Christ gave everything, it would be illogical not to require anything less. I'm trying my best to be able to sacrifice my will and heart to our Heavenly Father so I can become the missionary and person that he wants me to become.

What could you sacrifice to our Heavenly Father?

-Sister Sudweeks

P.S. Forgive us for our silly pictures. This is what we do to cool off after the humidity when we can't dive into our apartment community pool.
Now....THAT was  refreshing!

Sister Sullivan also got really excited about my Dad sending her maps of where he believes the Book of Mormon lands are located. Ifyou're curious or have questions, you should ask my Dad about it, I'm
sure he'd be happy to answer them! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Screaming Baptists!

Happy Monday!

What a week- I can't believe that July is almost halfway over and that transfers are next Wednesday, where did the time go?!

We were successful having a dinner and lesson with T. in the Felsted's home Monday evening. Although T. has been coming to church on and off for the past 3 years, he doesn't really remember any of what previous missionaries have taught him. Since his mother in law just passed away, we had a lesson that was really catered to his needs. We taught him a mixture of Plan of Salvation with the Restoration. We have many versions on how to teach Plan of Salvation, and now we have "T. Style" to make sure that they understand it all. Since he's a therapist I thought it was interesting that he doesn't really know what he believes about God. But he said that he'd read the Book of Mormon and pray about it so that's a good start. He didn't come to church for some reason, so we'll be getting a hold of him this week.

We had a dinner appointment with one of our families so we could teach them more about the Journey. The Journey is where we go to the members homes and teach them skills or tools to make them feel more comfortable about talking about the gospel in normal everyday conversations. We role play with them, play games where we bridge a normal object to a gospel principle, and so on. The goal is to have someone that they found invited to their home to have a lesson with us. Sister Th. told us that evening that out of all of the missionaries that have came to her home these past years, we're the ones who have been actually making a difference in her life and helping her progress. It made us melt because she has made SO much progress since we've started this with her! She's having one of her friends taking the lessons, and even admitted to us that talking about the gospel is fun. :)

It was disappointing because we had another lesson with M., and it didn't go how we expected. Sister Sullivan and I really haven't taught actual lessons together although we've role played them. We taught her the Restoration but she feels like that she got baptized already with the authority. Although she's open to learning more, she doesn't have a desire to change or act upon it. Sister Brown was pretty sad about it, and I don't think we're going to be teaching her again most likely. But M. did agree to visit our church sometime, and to continue to read the Book of Mormon a bit. When she was praying she got the answer that she needs to delve into more of the Bible and her religion because she's been slacking.

It's a small world because I was able to meet Sister Berryman when Sister Freeman and Sister Sullivan did companion exchanges with the sisters in Griffin. One of the elders that was in my MTC group is companions with Elder Jones, and he was dating her before their missions! Small world eh?! Elder Olsen told me that his companion's girlfriend got her mission call here and that I should look out for her, but I didn't think I'd meet her in her first transfer. :)
Sister Berryman and I. 
A few weeks ago we met a guy named R. at Walmart. We talked very briefly about how families can be together forever, and he gave us his phone number and address. Turns out that Sister Sullivan met his wife a while ago- she set up an appointment but she wasn't there, and later said she wasn't interested. This week we were able to have a lesson with him in a member's home and it went AMAZING. R. really opened up to us, and he was very honest with his sincere questions. He told us that he was trying to get closer to God and he accepted to be baptized! We gave him a baptismal calendar and R. remarked he'd put it on his fridge, and that if he doesn't come to church that he's super sick. We confirmed that he was coming to church on Saturday but he wasn't there. :(  It's a mystery on why he wasn't there, but we'll see if we can contact him.

One of the most important things about planning for a day is having backups in case an appointment falls through. Well, I met a woman named Chris T. Joseph Smith since she was a potential from Sister Sullivan. I didn't believe her when she told me her name, but her real name is Chris, middle name starts with a T, her maiden name is Joseph, and she married a Smith. Chris T. Joseph Smith! Some of the most important people in my life in just one name! She wasn't feeling well so we just asked how she was doing, and then went on our way. Coolest name ever.

We're teaching a lot of part member families this past week. We had seven lessons in a members home, and five of them came from three part member families. One of the recent converts have twin boys- Dt and Dd. Dd is three years behind developing mentally, so we're teaching them both, but we and the family are striving for him to be baptized in August as well. We teach them very simply, and we let them draw pictures of what we're talking about such as the Godhead and prophets. It's fun to teach them and they give us the biggest hugs as we come and leave.

Another family just moved in from New Jersey, and the Mom J., and the eight year old daughter N. got baptized in May. They have a four year old boy named Jn, and a twelve year old daughter named Ja. who hasn't been baptized yet. We're teaching them the new member lessons while also teaching Ja. as well. She's been taught everything and even had her baptismal interview, but decided not to four days before the baptism. She mentioned that she feels like she doesn't have enough faith, but we believe that Ja. told some of her friends that she was getting baptized, and they made fun of her so she didn't want to anymore. We're hoping the next time we see her this week we'll be able to get her on date and resolve her concerns.

So we've met a few interesting Baptists this week... One in particular stood out to me since I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father asked us to knock on his door solely because he knew it would make us CRACK UP. We knocked on his door- no answer. Rang his doorbell- no answer. We had a feeling to knock one more time- *pause* A shirtless guy who probably thinks "he's all that" going to the gym, opens the door and screams! He didn't hear us knock on the door and immediately closes the door almost all the way, but leaving it open just a crack so we could talk. He noticed that we are LDS so he wasn't interested, but it made our day. We were walking to our car and we were almost there as we looked back and saw him peer outside to see if we were still there, and then walked to his car. Funny funny! Then there were not so funny funny ones where they told us we were against Jesus, which happens to make no sense since it's "The Church of Jesus Christ" all righty then! :P

One of the girls that we have out for team ups a lot, just had her missionary farewell and Open House last night. She's leaving for the Philippines on Wednesday and I'm so excited to see all of the miracles that are going to happen as she's out in the field. She's super prepared, as a lot of missionaries are nowadays. I feel like these really are the last days, and that Heavenly Father is sending out the young ones to spiritual battle. It's been great to give her advice and answer her questions the past 2 1/2 months since I've been here in Fayetteville. In her farewell talk, she quoted 3rd Nephi 5:13,

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
We are ALL Disciples of Christ!
We are ALL disciples of Jesus Christ, and we have all been called to preach the gospel to everyone we meet. It's been amazing to see the progression of missionaries and members alike when it comes to missionary work. I know that this past week as I've been held accountable for planning most of the day since Sister Sullivan doesn't quite know the area yet, I've been learning to go with the flow. I used to hate it when things that I thought were set in stone didn't go through, and having to plan as the day went on. Now I'm not stressing out so much about what's on paper, versus on where our Heavenly Father wants us to go.

"God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and with His help where you are willing to go." - Jeffrey R. Holland

Hope everyone has an amazing week!

-Sister Sudweeks

Monday, July 14, 2014

Angry Birds: Missionary Edition!

Happy Monday!

What an amazing week! Sometimes the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days. ''

President Harding asked the Fayetteville sisters to swap companions for the next three weeks, (to the end of the transfer) so we can build up each of our areas, and to learn from one another, and give a new perspective for all of the potentials/investigators that we have so we can help them progress. I'm staying in my old area, and Sister Sullivan is my new companion. Our last names are so similar we keep calling ourselves Sudivan or Sulliweeks. It's like Sudford back in Atlanta haha! The ward is completely confused with this swap, but I know it's going to be benefiting so many lives so it's fun to have a new companion. :) Sister Warner and I are together on Wednesdays since Sister Sullivan and Freeman are sister training leaders and they go on exchanges on Wednesdays.

It was Sister Sullivan's birthday on P-day, so we were able to go to Broadway Diner to celebrate it along with some of the Laurels that go out with us and teach with us as well- so that was fun!
Happy Birthday Sister Sullivan!
I love these sister missionaries and Laurels!

I was asking around on where the sisters in the ward get their haircuts because I direly needed one super bad. One of the sisters was so excited because EVERYONE in the ward goes to this stylist and she said she'd pay for it as long as I would do what I was called to do- be a missionary! We were answering A.'s questions and talking about the Restoration as she cut my hair. A. accepted a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet, and she seemed pretty open about it since she's willing to read it. We're not sure where she lives, but there's a lot of sisters in the ward that will follow up about it.

I love it when the Spirit directs us exactly where we need to be. We were having a lesson with the Davis family, and we needed a team up for P.  Brother Davis was all in once he heard we needed a member with us. Unfortunately, P. wasn't home. But Brother Davis recalled meeting an investigator from a long time ago that lived near P. and wondered how she was doing. We got in our cars and drove around trying to find her. It ended up being E's (our 11 year old investigator) Mom, A! We didn't park in their apartment complex because we turned around a lot trying to figure out where it was (and I had to get out of the car several times and make sure we backed up safely) so we parked when we could once we saw Brother Davis standing in the parking lot (we were looking for his car, not him.) As we were walking toward him, we met a guy named S. who was working on his car. He's E's neighbor, who is actually a member of the church! He thought he was baptized as an infant because he doesn't member it, but he hasn't been active in a long time. His parents are active and live in a nearby town, but we don't have record of him in our ward. We met his fiance A. L., and she's met with missionaries before at S.'s parents house. They're moving in and hopefully we'll be teaching her after they get settled. If it wasn't for Brother Davis coming out with us, we wouldn't have met either of them!

We've been teaching V. ever since I've been here. She has an awesome story because Sister Warner and her previous companion was asking one of her neighbors "Who do you know that we could share this message with?" and they told them anyone on this street, except V., she'll eat you alive! Challenge accepted, am I right? They knock on her door, and she lets them right in! She is so intelligent, LOVES to serve others, and is fascinated in anthropology. We've been going by almost every week or every other week. Last week we brought the Smiths who are an elderly couple who also does Meals on Wheels every week like she does. Brother Smith had a stroke so he can't hear at all. V. brought up some of her concerns about prophets, and also had some realizations about the Book of Mormon--she shouldn't be reading it to study anthropology, but to study it spiritually because it is another Testament of Jesus Christ. Now she's decided to read it and pray about it. I have such high hopes for her, and I'm really excited to meet with her again this week!

We were able to have lunch with Sister Brown, and her neighbor M. who had one lesson with the missionaries before. M.'s Catholic, and goes to church in Atlanta. It was awesome because I was able to have a connection with her because I knew exactly where her church was. I took pictures of it because it's one of the most historic churches in Atlanta, and it's so beautiful. We drove past it every Sunday going to church. We had a really casual but powerful lesson about family history and temple work because it's what she's interested in. We're having lunch once again this Tuesday with her since M. said she wants to learn more. The power of member missionaries!

We went store contacting in Walmart in hopes of finding new investigators. Sister Sullivan and I actually met a group of friends that are going to be moving into our apartment complex by the end of the month! We also met this amazing girl named S.. Her Dad is a pastor, and we asked her if she's ever wondered why there are so many Christian denominations. We just talked to her and figured out her needs, and she even told us that she was trying her hardest not to cry after we prayed with her. Crying in Walmart, I wouldn't be a fan either. (That was my second choice of subject title options by the way.) She said she'd be baptized if she knew it was true, so we were able to give her a Book of Mormon, and we have an appointment with her this Thursday! We've met a lot of promising potentials this week, so hopefully it'll all go well this upcoming week.

It was pretty amusing... As we were walking in for a dinner appointment, a finch attacked Sister Sullivan in the face! Okay, exaggerating a bit much. A bird hit her on the side of the head, hit the door, and flew inside the house. We didn't know there was a nest next to the front door, and we're guessing she felt threatened because there was eggs in it. We originally thought that she was injured, and we all scrambled to try to catch the bird to put it outside. It was funny since the family had a lot of little kids and they were going CRAZY. The bird wasn't injured, just frazzled. :)

We were unable to get a hold of G. (the grandmother) and her family this week. We had an appointment with them and G. wasn't there so we couldn't come in. We've been calling and calling and she's never home. Thankfully I got their home phone so maybe we'll be able to catch her sometime this week. It's hard to stop by because they live out of our tracting area, so if they aren't home we waste miles that we could have used to go to one area, and see many other people. But we're still in contact with S. (her granddaughter), so I refuse to give up hope!

E. got baptized, and it was such a great day! The Relief Society room was packed, and the entire program included boys he goes to scouts with, the Campbell Family, and people we've brought to his lessons. His Mom, grandpa, brother T., and his brother's girlfriend S. all came to the baptism. They were all excited for it to happen, and I know that they were able to feel the spirit. After E. was baptized, he was just so happy. He's an 11 year old boy so he's really not going to tell the missionaries how he felt. But as we were socializing and having refreshments with everyone he was just running around with a smile on his face with all of the kids. I could barely catch him so I could have a picture with him! 
E. and Brother Campbell
Just a few of the people who love E!  What a happy day!

I was also so excited to see that S., A. (E.'s mom), and T. (his brother) went to church as well! A. stayed for all three hours, and I think the other two had work. We taught S. (the brother's girlfriend) a little bit more about what our message is, so hopefully we'll be able to have a lesson with her and A.. T. is a member of the church, but he's very inactive so I can see great potential for this family. Their future is as bright as our faith! :)

Another T. who is a great potential investigator, has been taking care of his mother in law because she got more and more sick so we were unable to meet with him after he came to church a few weeks ago. We've been texting him uplifting scriptures, and staying in contact with him. The funeral was not last Sunday, but the Sunday before so we've been giving him some time to himself. But tonight we're having dinner with him in a members home, and hopefully we'll be able to teach him the Plan of Salvation. I pray that he'll be able to go to the Family History Lab on Wednesday, and go to church this week because he won't be on call for his job this Sunday (if my memory is correct.)

We had zone conference this week (no temple sadly), and something stood out to me that Sister Harding (our mission president's wife) mentioned. She talked a lot about pioneers, and how they were just average people. But the thing is, they did extraordinary things! With the help of God, we too can do extraordinary things if we simply ask for the Lord's help, and the strength to go day by day on what he wants us to accomplish. My faith grew a lot just realizing that, and now I have no doubts that we all can achieve spectacular things in our lives.  I know that ALL OF YOU are just more than ordinary, so we ALL can achieve remarkable things in our lives!

This week has been just a change for the better versus the last month, and I'm so grateful for all of the prayers and support on my behalf. I'm truly grateful for each and every one of you, and I hope everyone has an amazing week!

-Sister Sudweeks

Monday, July 7, 2014


Happy Monday!

It's crazy to think that I've been out for eight months now. The next milestone I'll be halfway through the mission! It seems so surreal.

Last Monday we had FHE with a family and Brother G.. It was great for him to get out of the house, and to be in a home where he could feel the spirit. He is living with his (finance?) but it has gotten worse and worse the past couple of weeks. We're not allowed to go over there anymore which is why we had lunch at IHOP last week. She doesn't want him to go to church anymore so he's thinking that he may have to move- but he won't be in this ward anymore. It makes me really sad because he's such a good person trying to better his life by coming back to church.

We had SUCH a good lesson with P. on Tuesday! We couldn't get a team up to go out with us so we sat outside in the evening, while I was oblivious to the fact that mosquitoes were chowing down on my ankles. I don't think I've ever had a hard time trouble falling asleep due to the fact that I was so itchy it drove me crazy! Anyway, P. told us that he wants to change and gain a relationship with God- he's just waiting for the reason. He wants to be close to God, but his lifestyle prevents him from doing so. We were able to really teach to his needs whilst teaching the Restoration. He's not much of a reader, but he said that he'll read the Book of Mormon because he's curious. We're not entirely sure how old P. is, but it's a very good chance that we may have to give him to the YSA elders, which I'm really bummed about. He said he'd be baptized if he knew that the church was true!

G. (the grandmother) and her granddaughters S. and her sisters went out of town for the 4th without letting us know, so we still haven't seen them since we invited all of them to be baptized. They didn't go to church the week before yesterday because something happened to their Mom so they had to go check up on her. We really hope that they'll start progressing this week!

I was able to read the last article of the July Ensign, and it really gave me an amazing new perspective that I had lost sight of within the last month. Don't focus on the waves of life- set sight on the shore or you'll never make it. I had been just looking down focusing on not drowning in whatever wave Heavenly Father has been throwing at me, but I should be looking up and toward the shore. It was a great reminder to always have an eternal perspective in life and in all things.

We met with T. and J., (the Spiritualist couple) and it was seriously the weirdest lesson I've ever had in my life, if you could even call it that. I should have known something was fishy when they greeted us with "heaven" at the door instead of hello. T. requested that we would wear the halos as we talked about heaven, and even got a picture of us wearing them so he could put it on Facebook. They talked about themselves and how wearing halos will become a trend just like other fashion fads, and how they don't use negative words like 'no', 'don't', and so on because that means we're glorifying Satan, and that we need to have our brains on all the time. They started asking about our beliefs, and T. asked us if this kid's toy was God. I asked, 'Is that a trick question?" because I wanted to say, "no," but that word isn't allowed! They just have very strange beliefs, such as God is everything and so on. Along with their halo business, they have a recycling business where they make Christ, angelic, and other religious recycling bins, and they want to give our pastor one. In the end they prayed to the universe, and ended it with, "Heaven well!" Well, we may have found a family, but that's not necessarily a family that we'll go back and try to teach. At least we got a great story out of it?
Girl Put Your Halo On!

On Wednesday it was 107 degrees. 107!  I am so surprised that I didn't melt while tracting- or get burned while doing so! I'm getting a crazy watch tan that will make me want to wear a watch for the rest of my life haha!

We were able to see C. this week because his father W. invited us for to stop by and visit on 4th of July. We were originally going to try and teach W. about the Book of Mormon since he's gotten closer to the Okonkwo family, but the lesson with C. was just a miracle. We were able to reteach him the Restoration, and he understands the need for the priesthood in the church, and the need to be baptized again. He was asking us about how we become converted, and then he smiled saying how he's going to be the first one to convert in his family. He has many many businesses that keeps him really busy, but he's hoping that he'll be able to get more employees so can get get Sundays off for church. As he closed with a prayer, he thanked God and asked him to lead him to the direction of the faith that he was always meant to be in! :) We've been trying to make an appointment with him for months, so hopefully that will rekindle his fire of wanting to learn more, so he'll keep his appointments. He has so much potential!

We went to Hope Memory Center twice this week. Once was on 4th of July to help with their ice cream social and to play Pakeno with them. I think that it means as much to us, as it does to them whenever we come over. Then every first Sunday of the month our ward is responsible to do service in the morning. We read and explained some scriptures, and sang a few songs such as How Great Thou Art and I Know My Redeemer Lives. One of the woman that we absolutely love was just bawling as we were singing and talking about how God loves each and every one of us, and is watching out for us. We found out that her husband of 52 years had passed away and the funeral was on Saturday. Sister Warner had to give her a hug before we went on and it was so sad. The spirit was really strong as we sang each of the songs, and I had to force myself not to cry. We have never gotten any of them to give opening or closing prayers, but this time they did. They prayed for our families and loved ones, and it was the most sincere prayer I've ever heard in my life. We said goodbye to all of them.  As we were leaving, one of them gave me a hug and started to pray for my family and loved ones. She mentioned that God sent us to them, and how grateful she was for us. I have such great love for them! I really wish we were allowed to take pictures with them, but we're not allowed to because of the contract we had to sign to be allowed to volunteer there.

E. (our 11 year old investigator) is getting baptized this Saturday at 4pm! We were able to teach him tithing this week, and he even wanted to start paying tithing on what he already has made before becoming a member of the church. His entire family is trying to get off work to come, and it's going to be such a special experience for him thanks to the Campbell's. We were able to figure out the program yesterday, and chose Mormon Messages to show as he changes into his church clothes. E. is really excited, and I know that he's going to be such a good example to his family. We already have written permission from his Mom so it's going to be a great July 12th!

I've really struggled a lot this past month with adversity. It's always in our lives, but it really is how we react to it that makes the difference. Our Heavenly Father gives us our trials so we can learn from them, and to learn how to react as the Savior would. I was reading Adversity in True to the Faith, and it talks about being a Nephi, or being a Laman and Lemuel. Nephi would react, "What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?" I've noticed that I was more of a Laman and becoming bitter thinking, "Why me?" I looked back in my MTC study journal and there was a quote that said, "Why not me?" Trials are supposed to stretch us, and it may hurt in the beginning, as we look back we'll feel accomplished and good that we grew and overcame that trial. One of the Mormon Messages we watched was "The Will of God"
and it really hit me that our Heavenly Father is tearing us down to help us become who sees that we could become, and achieve the greatest potential possible. I know I can't change overnight but I feel like if I'm going through all of these trials, I need to have a positive attitude so it isn't as bad as it could be. I can use the Atonement in my life to be able to find relief from challenges, and to be comforted in sorrow. In our district we've been talking a lot about Luke 22:42-43 when Christ is in the Garden of Gethsemane.

"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."
We know in Mosiah 3:7 that he suffered SO much for us,

"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people."
Christ was going through so much pain to the point where he wanted this cup removed from him. But that comma in the middle of the verse means so much. We don't know how long it took Christ to say, "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." He could have just seen all of our faces, one by one that he was suffering for our afflictions, sorrows, trials, and sicknesses. He remembered that eternal perspective, and saw the great plan that our Heavenly Father has for each of us. He finally aligned his will with our Heavenly Father, and gave in. Then after he did that, an angel was able to strengthen him after all that he had done.
Now I can always remind myself of that situation, and have hope that I will receive strength after the hardest times of my life, all I have to do is align my will with His.

I hope everyone has something to think about, and had a great 4th of July! :)
-Sister Sudweeks

P.S.  For our last P-day we made sand creations.  The white color glows in the dark!

...and you can hear me ROAR!

We also bought some crazy shorts!  I tucked my maxi-dress into them.

OK...maybe this would be a candidate for "What Not to Wear!"

This is what the South should look like!  I LOVE it!