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

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