Wednesday, December 10, 2014

If Only They Were High on Life...

Happy Monday!

Man, this week 'packed a wallop!" (Name that movie, first winner gets a Christmas postcard from us.)

So much happened this week, and I'm so excited for the rest of this transfer! The next few transfers in Covington are going to ROCK.
We live by alpacas so I HAD to take a picture!
So unfortunately Ro. cancelled on Monday, and we haven't seen her since. Her husband is back in town (they're separated) and he doesn't like 'lessons' as she told us. We're thinking he's probably feeding her anti so we're worried about that. We're hoping she'll be able to come to the Christmas party this Friday with Ka.

We now teach Ca., Ap., and Da. every Tuesday and Wednesday (or until Ap.'s schedule changes) but we didn't teach Da. until Thursday because she was going to be in the Christmas Parade at the Square on Saturday. But on Tuesday we only taught Ap., and she opened up to us about some of her concerns, and we were able to resolve them, and read 2nd Nephi 31 with her. It's so amazing to see how much she's changed since we first met her. She's just so grateful for us, and the prayers she gives are so sincere. Ap. cries because she feels the spirit so easily, and I know that she's been able to gain a testimony of what we teach her.

It was pretty cool since Sister Stewart was prompted to drive to Sister Belleville's house a different way where we were going to do service. We passed a car on the side of the road that needed help. We looked at each other and I had to turn around to see what they needed. We met Ro. and Vi., and they ran out of gas so we called Sister Belleville because she has a lot of knowledge about cars, too. We ended up talking about the Restoration while we were waiting, and they considered coming to church because it's closer to them. We got their number and we gave them a pamphlet, and they were on their way to pick up their son from school. It was so sad because we thought they genuinely seemed interested, but they gave us a wrong number. Sad! We're trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their phone got turned off or something- we'll call again later.

Later on Wednesday we taught Ca. and Ap. the Word of Wisdom with Sister Belleville after we completed our service, and they committed to follow it. We get to follow up with them about that tomorrow, and we're pretty confident that it won't be an issue for them. :)

We were so excited, since Sister Trust surprised us with a live Christmas Tree! She gave us ornaments and everything, and now I can say that my first live tree was on the mission! She's the sweetest woman ever, and she and her husband are the couple we have the Cottage Meetings at, if we ever get an investigator there! We're crossing our fingers for this week. Sister Trust made us brownie waffles for dessert and they were SO good. Yes, put brownie batter in a waffle maker, it's super good. Find it on Pinterest haha! She came with us to teach Da. later on that evening, and Da. doesn't get a lot of sleep because she's in ROTC. But she's amazing because after she was reading the blessings from keeping the Word of Wisdom she perked up and proclaimed, "I can keep this!" We were able to testify to her about how she'll be able to have the strength and energy through praying with faith.
My First "Live" Christmas Tree  

It's a true missionary Christmas Tree--Notice the Pass-along Cards!
We also saw Ci. with Sister Trust! (She's the sweet woman who is susceptible to pneumonia.) She hasn't been reading unfortunately, but we were able to get the gospel library on her tablet so hopefully that will help. She has decked out Christmas decorations just as she had Halloween decorations. Ci. was also in the parade, so we were going to go to it so we could pass out "He is the Gift" cards. Did y'all see it on YouTube yesterday? :) Best 2:47 minute long video ever! Such a tearjerker, we've been passing them out since Thanksgiving. She told us to call her so we can see her again this week. When the weather got cold she was worried about us and made sure that we had warm coats. Ci. is so sweet!
So although I've been out for 13 months (AHH!) I have never actually taught someone that was high before, much less four of them at the same time. It was an interesting scenario because Sister Turberville met a less active who wants to come back to church, and she wants us to teach her son and daughter. We popped in on them without warning, and Sister Turberville asked if we could teach all of them the Plan of Salvation, knowing that all four of the guys including the son, were high. The daughter L., wasn't, so we taught all five of them at the table. It was kind of an eye opening experience because I remember asking them what they thought their purpose in life was, and none of them could give me an answer. All of them were 16 years old or older and some have already graduated college.  They asked so many questions about it. They really trusted us with their questions that they've been wondering about for a minute. At the end Sister Turberville asked if we could come back, and all of them said yes. All of them either took a Restoration pamphlet, Book of Mormon, or downloaded the gospel library app onto their phones. D. and L. already had a Book of Mormon (the kids.) I loved teaching them because it was promised to me that I would be able to teach others about their purpose, and to help them understand the Plan of Salvation. 

We were really sad because we thought the parade that Ci. and Da. were in started at 11am, not 10am. (We heard wrong) so we ended up trying to chase the parade down so we could try to find Ci. and Da. since we promised, but failed. We ended up walking a LONG time, but hey, we burned off the Thanksgiving calories! :D Silver lining!
We were so disappointed! We missed the Christmas parade despite huffing and puffing trying to catch up!
Covington Square all decked out for Christmas.  This is where part of the parade took place.

Sad side note, we're thinking La.'s wife doesn't like us (or Satan got to them), so he called us right after we confirmed with him for the second time, saying thanks but no thanks. :( I guess they just weren't ready yet for the fullness of the gospel!

Remember Phillip the Lizard?  Well, meet Phillip the Scorpion!

Of course, he's dead. I almost accidentally stepped on him barefoot when I was doing laundry in the garage.. Nasty!

Best part of Sunday? Ca., Ap., and Da. came to church! Ap.l might be getting a better job because one of our members knows there's job openings where he works, so we're excited! We asked Ap. if she's been praying about baptism, and Ap. told us that she thinks it's stepping in the right direction. We invited her to pray about the 20th or the 27th, so we'll also follow up with them about that tomorrow too. :) The Church is true!

It was awesome because we also taught Car. and Sab., someone we met on Tuesday. It was hilarious since when we first met them they asked if we were with the Harmony Baptist Church, "No" Jehovah's Witness? "No" Well, then who are you? "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Ohh MORMONS! Come right on in!" We found out 20 years ago they took the discussions in Atlanta, but lost contact when they moved. They haven't seen us since! We did the cup lesson with them since they don't remember anything about the Restoration. It was so cute because we were also teaching Sa.'s two youngest kids who are 6 and 7, and they were so engaged in the lesson. They both said that they'd be baptized if they knew it was true, and how they want to really start reading the Book of Mormon again. Sa. wants us to teach them again when her older daughter is home, and she asked us to pray for her husband. Apparently "a lot of the churches want him, but he's hard." Us: "Even if we bring cookies?" "Oh yes!" The spirit was so strong during that lesson, and her husband An. came in halfway to grab something off the table, and leave. But when we were about to say the closing prayer, he came in and asked if he could join us. After the prayer I gave him a Restoration pamphlet because I was prompted to, so I hope he reads it. We're teaching them again this week :)

We only taught D. on Sunday because L. was studying, (these are the kids in the group that were high earlier) and we were able to teach him the Restoration. It was great because he has a great desire to change for the better, and he was mostly sober. He told us how eye opening this all was, and how he's learning so much. He wants to go back to college and play basketball, and clean up his life. We were really able to focus on the Atonement and how through the Atonement we can be healed and cleansed through Jesus Christ. When we were just talking about baptism, he told us that he wanted to. We're teaching him again on Wednesday and we're pretty excited. :) He almost came to the Christmas devotional with us, but he decided to spend time with his sister. We're hoping that he shares what he learned with her, so they'll be able to be baptized together. I can most definitely see D. being a good example to all of his friends.

I'm so grateful for the gospel, and for the additional enlightenment it gives to us. Never take it for granted!

-Sister Sudweeks
P.S.  We discovered that we don't actually have to go OUTSIDE to unload the trunk of our car.  So convenient on cold days!  :)  Unfortunately, Sister Stewart got her hair stuck again!  Last week in the car door, this week in the trunk of the car. 

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