This week was just a crazy week, and I didn't realize how little time I had left to write this email! Darn submitting my BYU application to take up so much of my time! Oh well, all is good. :)
So many of our appointments fell through because of everyone getting sick, such as J. who had the red hornet come into his house as he slammed the door in our face (kinda).
|Sister Sudweeks' third area and she found her third street sign celebrating her mission!|
We had another lesson with Ro. on Monday with Sister Turberville, and we thought it was going well until she fell asleep on us at the very end because she's been waking up at 3:15 for the past few weeks in preparation for Thanksgiving. We taught her and Ka. the Restoration with the cups, and we thought she was understanding it until Sister Turberville mentioned to us that she most likely thinks we're just a Protestant church. We're not entirely sure what to teach her considering this is the 3rd time the sisters have taught her the Restoration, and she's even watched the Restoration DVD.
So some of the members told us that the Missouri protesting is continuing on, and there was a huge protest in Atlanta. There was actually a small group of teenagers protesting on a street corner as we were heading towards the Church. We had no idea what they were protesting for until the day after a member told us. Hopefully nothing else happens here in Covington!
We were able to get in contact with Ca., Ap., and Da., and we had a marvelous lesson with them on the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week with Sister Belleville. The spirit was so strong because Ap. and Sister Belleville have had similar backgrounds and they were able to relate with one another. Ap. mentioned that she knew that the things we were teaching were true (like the Book of Mormon) because of how she feels whenever we are there. She also committed for baptism on December 13th, and we were so excited! We taught Car. to pray, and it was one of the sweetest prayers I've heard here in Covington. He gave a prayer of thanks about how much God has done in his life, how he's grateful he was able to meet us, and go to church amongst other things. But since Ap. was working Saturday night at 7pm, to 7am Sunday morning, she was too tired to come to church, so we have to push their baptismal date back because we're figuring all of them want to be baptized together as a family.
Thanksgiving was just amazing because we found La. who's 26 before we had Thanksgiving dinner at 1:30. We originally prayed with her Mom, and then she saw Lauren peering to see who was at the door, so she shoved La. outside and closed the door. It was pretty funny, but I'm so glad she did! La. was intrigued about what we believe, and she even thought we split from the Jehovah's Witnesses. We talked to her for a good thirty minutes to clear up some of the anti she has heard from the past. She's visiting home for Thanksgiving, but she said she'd call us after she read the Restoration pamphlet with any questions that she had. After dinner she did, and we were so excited! We ended up teaching her and her friend Mel. on Friday, but originally she wanted to take us out to dinner at a restaurant of her choice. It was pretty intense Friday night because we found out she was Southern Baptist, and she has a lot of hangups since she's really well versed when it comes to the Bible.
Saturday morning they invited us over for eggs and bacon for breakfast, so La., Mel., and us just talked about our testimonies, and we answered a lot of questions that they had. I'm really grateful we didn't Bible bash this time, but there was a lot of questions they had that I couldn't completely answer. Their definition of grace is different from ours, and they asked all of these hard questions I've been asked previously, but usually my companion would always answer them for me. Sister Stewart told me after that I did really well, but I know that it was the spirit completely guiding me on what to say to them. Mel. seemed very open about reading the Book of Mormon because if there's more out there, she doesn't want to be ignorant. We found out later that La. actually works for the church she goes to, and so we're thinking there's a lesser chance that she'll read it, but I gave her my copy of, "Our Search For Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard because it explain the Church simply and clearly. Both of them don't live in our mission boundaries, so we're got their addresses and we'll send missionaries to them.
Thanksgiving dinner was amazing, and it was fun to see the difference between a West coast Thanksgiving dinner, and a Southern Thanksgiving dinner. I got to have an eggnog toast (not entirely sure if I like eggnog or not), sweet baked potatoes, corn casserole, turkey of course, Yorkshire Pudding, red hot applesauce (so good, I'm bringing that recipe home), sweet potato souffle, pumpkin creme and pecan pie, amongst other things! We had dinner with the Traina's, so we literally just had to go upstairs. We found out from Sister Traina that when we had a tornado warning last Sunday (not yesterday) the Traina's turned on the news, and it was tracking where the tornado was going to hit. They found out that it was heading straight towards our street and it was moving fast! Right before it hit, a cold gust of wind hit the tornado, so it broke it up and it was gone. Sister Traina replied that it's a great protection to have missionaries live in your basement! We didn't think much of the tornado warning and where it would hit last Sunday. We had to stop tracting and we went to a member's home when we got the text alert, but it's crazy that it almost hit our home!
Thanksgiving night we wanted to go store contacting to see if we could find new investigators, and Walmart was SO packed! I've never seen it so busy before, and we retreated because everyone was on a mission to get great sales! Haha, so we went tracting instead and met N., who knows Sister Traina as well! She and her deceased husband took the missionary discussions 45 years ago. N. told us she's a nice Catholic girl, but she told us that we could come back. My testimony of night tracting grew exceedingly. If an older woman can let us in at 9:15pm at night, anyone can!
|Sister Sudweeks broke down and bought what she calls an ugly Christmas sweater.|
On Sunday we had a fast with our zone family to find families that we could teach in December, and I must say, Heavenly Father delivered! We found some really amazing people that we're going to be able to teach this Saturday, and next Saturday that live in the same neighborhood. One of them was La., where we had to pant all the way up the driveway hill, and he agreed to pray with us and for his dinner. Apparently his family hasn't gone to church in a while because their work schedules are so hectic, but they try to 'have church' in the home, and include their daughter. We talked to him about what it would mean to him if his family could be a together family, and if Christ's Church was back on the Earth once again. He exclaimed that it would mean a lot to him! We invited him to baptism, and he said that he would have to do more research and study, but it's something that he and his family would be interested in. We're so excited to teach his entire family on Sunday!
One of the things that I've realized as my role of being a trainer comes to an end this Wednesday is how Heavenly Father has been preparing me to go home in 3 transfers. Throughout the mission I've relied on my companions (who have been older month wise on the mission) to confirm the decisions or promptings to follow for the past 11 months. I didn't have to talk a whole lot, or rely completely on the spirit because I relied on them, relying on the spirit. As senior companion and as a trainer, I've been able to completely rely on the Spirit, and sometimes I don't even realize I'm trusting in Heavenly Father. It's cool since although it's really draining to initiate conversations, talk during most of the lessons, it's teaching me that in the real world I can only rely on myself, and the Spirit in the future. I'm grateful that I'm having this year and a half to learn how the spirit speaks to me. Especially to continue to completely rely on God's Timing 24/7, and not when it's convenient to do the Lord's Will.