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!

No comments:

Post a Comment