Monday, August 11, 2014

Polygamy is NOT the Answer!

Happy Monday!

Sorry if this one is short, reporting as a STL (Sister Training Leader) on exchanges to President takes a lot longer than I thought it would!

This week was just full of miracles, and I know that so many of you are praying for Sister Sullivan and I to find solid investigators- because those prayers are being answered!

I never knew how heart pounding it would be to train during Zone Training. I didn't think it would be a huge deal but then I realized the President and Sister Harding would be there including the Assistants to the President. But we did well and one of the sisters who just arrived here in the mission told us that Sister Sullivan and I are like the dynamic duo. Woo! I actually know what I'm doing nine months into the mission! The temple was also just amazing!  For those who haven't gone recently, you should. :)

Sister Sullivan and I in front of one of my FAVORITE places in Georgia--the Temple

We had such an awesome lesson with M. and B. on Wednesday (Hump Day!) and it was the funniest thing. My email cannot do justice on what they told us because they have the cutest Southern accents. We finished the Restoration with them (repetitiveness is key) and they both want to be baptized. Sister Sullivan had a bad previous experience with teaching a couple that wasn't married yet so we brought out Law of Chastity right away. We've been focusing on families every since we met them, so it wasn't a huge leap. They both want to get married to each other, but M. is married to another woman but doesn't have the money to get the divorce, although his wife would agree to sign the papers. B. said, "I know that we're living in, what do you call it.. adultery." Then Mitch piped in, "And I know that if I went to Jesus he would tell me, 'You shouldn't be living in adultery.' and I would tell him, 'I didn't have the money to get the divorce.' and Jesus would tell me 'well you shouldn't have gotten with the other woman!' (Please please please envision this in the best southern accent you got. Even put it in a southern accent reader that you could find on Google somewhere.) They didn't justify what they were doing at all, so I'm glad they know that polygamy is not the answer haha! The divorce 'may' cost $82 so I'm pretty sure we'll be able to take care of it. They're not on date but I'm sure they will be soon!
Happy Hump Day!  Do you get the animal cookie camel symbolism?

Sister Sullivan and I celebrating my half way mark!

It's so sad because L. cancelled on us so we weren't able to teach her and her family. (This is the woman we tracted out last week that recently moved to Fayetteville and invited us to teach her entire family last Wednesday night.)   How sad!

I feel like missionaries are the last group of people to know about things. Apparently there's an Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leon? Say what? Well, we found out Wednesday because at least two elders got reassigned to our mission and got emergency SOSed out of there. One of them is staying in our ward and the other one went to the YSA ward in our building. Now we have two sets of elders and sisters in our ward and once again, our ward is as confused as ever. Elder Vernon and Anderson were once companions, but now they split and both have new companions. Gotta love confusing the ward! :)

It was pretty embarrassing, a family invited us in to their home so we could leave the Savior's Peace and Blessings upon their home since it was super hot. After the prayer we go into our spiel about the Restoration and they bluntly told us that they've met with missionaries before. They gave us some ice water and we continued to talk. Sister Sullivan grabs to get one of our cards and she spilled her ice water all over the floor! Oops! They were totally okay with it since they mentioned to us a lot worse stuff has been dropped on their floor. Then once we left Sister Sullivan told me that I mixed up the daughters names and what they wanted us to pray for. Oops again! It's the thought that counts, right?

A couple weeks ago we met this woman named T., and she accepted to be baptized right there on the porch, but didn't set a baqptismal date. She cancelled our return appointment the next day, but we had the feeling to go over there on Saturday and we ended up meeting her Mom Le., and her daughter Ta. We taught them the Restoration as they fed us fried chicken, biscuits, and corn. (My first time having fried chicken and biscuits in Georgia, shocking.) They all accepted to be baptized on September 6th, and they are so excited about it! We gave T. a Book of Mormon when we first met her and she held it so lovingly in her arms as she and Ta. were at church yesterday. She was so grateful to be there, and she even calls us and the church members 'family' every time she would introduce herself. She is so humble and grateful that we invited her to church. Unfortunately, they're living in a bad area of Fayetteville so they can never leave the house unoccupied, which is why Le didn't come. We later found out why she cancelled that first appointment was because her Mom was in a car accident that totaled her car!

I had my first exchange with Sister Hendricks down in Locust Grove. We got completely drenched because I found out my umbrella has holes in it, or the rain gave it holes because it was so violent. She has only been out for 3 months, and we were able to find her three investigators, and some solid potentials. One of them is a family, and the Mom said that she would be baptized if she knew that the church was true. Sister Hendricks later told me that she's never set so many return appointments in one day. I thought bless her heart because we only found three investigators, and we were finding all day. I have felt inadequate when it came to being an STL because I feel like I always need to learn more and more, but I realized that I have gone through a lot of experience in the past nine months that other sisters can benefit from. The feelings of inadequacy isn't completely gone, but it's a start! We have another exchange this Wednesday in Thomaston (the deepest south of the mission), and on Friday we're going on a blitz (all four of us are there and we go out and find) in Griffin because they're whitewashing the area (that means they both are new and they have to start fresh) so that'll be fun! Sister Stephens is in Griffin, and she too was in my MTC district
This is a mailbox we saw in Locust Grove!  Love it!

R. is now in rehab to help heal his knee, and his baptismal date has been pushed back to September 13th because he didn't realize he had to go to church two times before he got baptized. So it'll be next transfer when that happens, drats! Oh well, all that matters is that he does get baptized. :) His family has been MIA since his daughter B. started school last Thursday, we haven't been able to connect with them since so that's been a bummer. But whenever we're visiting him (every day at 1pm) we always meet more friends and family of his which is great because we get to talk about the gospel with all of them. ;)

V. P. is doing well, but I don't know exactly how the last lesson went because it was when I was in Locust Grove. She's still reading the Book of Mormon but she hasn't prayed about it. (Last week I reported that she had gotten to the point where Laban was killed.) We still feel like she's afraid of change, but I don't blame her- 70+ years of being a Methodist, and she already has a feeling that the Mormons are true? I'd be nervous too!

It was the coolest thing because we taught a lesson to Bi. and Bo. They are both brothers who are very different. Bi. was once an elder in the Jehovahs Witness, and Bo. has a little knowledge with religion.  Bi. has been constantly searching for the truth, and knows a LOT about our beliefs. We literally talked about every single lesson in that first lesson, although we were trying to focus on the Restoration. Bi. has so many questions, and it's truly because he wants to know the answers to them all. I've realized that I really need to start studying my Bible a whole lot more if we start consistently teaching them on Saturday! It's so funny because Bo. is hard of hearing and the first time we talked on the phone he thought our name was Patricia. Every time we call him he says "Hey Patricia!" and even when we were there. I was able to correct him and tell him I'm Sister Sudweeks, but he didn't look at Sister Sullivan's nametag so he said, "Goodbye Patricia!" Oy.

One of my favorite quotes that I love that I heard this week is, "Treat everyone you meet like they're going through the worst day of their life." I'm going to try to apply that to my own life, and to see what little things I can do to brighten someone else's day.

Have an amazing week!

-Sister Sudweeks

P.S.  Now this is what I call a nasty temperature.  (Try saying THAT with a Southern accent!)

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