Monday, January 5, 2015

"You Have Beautiful Eyes..."

Happy Monday! 

So last Monday some of the members in our ward treated us to get pedicures on P-day, and it was Sister Stewart and I's very first pedicure! I almost fell asleep while doing so, and we all laughed at each other when we got ticklish as they were pampering our feet (especially Sister Stewart, she's ticklish to the max.) We had dinner with them, and we taught their step kids the Restoration with cups, because they were visiting from Alabama for Christmas. It was a wonderful lesson, and they want to continue to read the Book of Mormon when they go back to their Mom's.
Got a haircut and she straightened it for me. I look like Hannah Montana wooo!
Exchanges were on Tuesday with the STLs, and Sister Stewart stayed in Covington and taught Ca. and Da. It was so funny because she told them that I was in Stockbridge, and they freaked out thinking that I got transferred. They were so upset until she told them it was only for a day. They perked up and wanted to call and prank Ap. their mom that I left. She too was upset, and got really mad at them when they told her that it was only for a day. Sister Stewart taught Ca. more about missionary work, and temples. He's excited to go to the temple (as well as Da.) and we're going to set a day for them to go with some of the ward members. When he heard about missionary work he told Da. that she needs to become a sister and be a missionary! As Ca. learned about temple marriage, he talked about how he can have his girlfriend take the missionary discussions. We have two new member missionaries ready to go here in Covington! :D

We stopped by and saw the Wesley family, who is a recent convert family of earlier last year. We met one of the Mom's friends as we were reviewing the first lesson with them. As we were teaching we asked what a prophet was, and Ch. told us that we're considered prophets in her eyes. I've been called a preacher, minister, and pastor before, but never a prophet! Sister Wesley is excited to go out with us and teach, we went to see An. yesterday and she was thrilled to come out with us. I love having recent converts teach with us!

Another lesson that Sister Stewart went to while we were on exchanges was to teach Sister Wesley's Mom, K. The lesson went really well, and it was full of the spirit as they talked about Joseph Smith restoring the fullness of the gospel. K. is really excited for us to come back this week and teach her family. There are always people coming in and out of that house, so we're praying that we'll be able to teach them all! Sister Stewart taught K.'s niece and nephew as well, and K. has already been to church with her daughter. 

So I got a little taste of Atlanta again this week when we had numerous teenage guys hitting on us as we were out street contacting. I had this prompting to go to a street near K.'s one day, and we met a guy named Tr. who was driving a golf cart. We were making a few calls before we were going to get out, and he walks up to us to see if we need any help. Thinking quick on our feet (because we weren't going to tell him we were going to knock on doors) we asked if he knew where K. lived. He started to lean over the partially opened window, and immediately POPPED my personal bubble for the remainder of the conversation. He asked us if we were nuns, and how old we were. He mentioned that he was 21 too, and that if we were dating, I could be his girlfriend. Awkward. So I started to talk about the Restoration, and I thought he was listening until he interrupted me mid sentence and told me, 'You have beautiful eyes.." I looked at him, said thanks, and continued to talk about Joseph Smith. Long story short, we gave him a Restoration pamphlet WITHOUT our phone number, and set a return appointment with him for the next day, instead of going to his house and teaching him on his driveway right there. We went to K.'s house and he followed us in his golf cart to make sure we were okay. K.'s family told us that they knew who we were talking about when we described Tr., and told us that he's not completely all there so it makes sense about his behavior. We didn't feel like it was a good idea to go to the appointment that day, so we gave him to the elders to teach to find out his true intentions.

It's been a while since we've been able to teach Af. due to sickness, and the holidays. One of our goals that we wanted to do this week was figure out which investigators had promise in progressing, and who wasn't really interested in learning more about the gospel. We weren't entirely sure what to do with Af. because she loves the Book of Mormon, but only believes that Jesus Christ was a prophet. We went over to Sister Blauser's home because that's where we always have the lessons, and she suggested that we watched the Restoration DVD with her. We though it was a brilliant idea because she believes that the Book of Mormon to be true, so we were able to testify that if the Book of Mormon is true, that means Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that everything we say is true. The spirit was strong in that lesson, and as we were reading the last two paragraphs of the introduction of the Book of Mormon she was contemplating what it was saying. It's probably been awhile since the first sister missionaries read the introduction with her! It was great because Af. didn't object to anything that we said, but took it all in. We went over time so she offered to say the closing prayer in her own language. She then explained to us what she prayed for. She prayed that if this was true, that her heart would be opened and softened, and that she'd gain a knowledge for herself. As we were walking out of the house Sister Blauser made eye contact with us and we were both shocked on what happened. We can't wait to see what happens next!

We were teaching Ca. the last lesson before his baptism, and his sister V. asked us questions about the church. We taught her and her boyfriend along with the entire family on Christmas morning, and we're going to be teaching them tonight! Her boyfriend Sh. talked about how they wanted to get back into church, and get married in the church, so they're thinking about getting married by the Bishop. They came to the baptism on Saturday, and Ap. was supposed to drive them to church on Sunday, but Ap. got home late from Atlanta so it didn't happen. It's exciting because V. was actually our waitress at Waffle House, and if she wasn't working that night, Ca. would have never had been there to stick around waiting for V.

So Ca. was baptized on Saturday, and it was pretty bad because right when Ca. stepped into the freezing cold water (the church's water heater doesn't work well in the wintertime) he yelled something that he probably shouldn't have, and everyone started to laugh. Well, everyone knows what his last mistake was before he got baptized! It was a great baptism, and the elders and ward mission leader took the initiative to buy him a white shirt, and gave him two ties so he could wear them to church. :) The picture of the baptism wasn't great because my camera was on the wrong setting
Ca and his family right before his baptism.
He had great family support!
One of my favorite quotes that I've heard this week was "Become a scholar of the scriptures- not to tear someone down, but to lift someone up." I remember when I was very early in the mission I wanted to know the perfect scriptures to make sure I had an answer for every objection that's given to us here in the Bible belt. But thankfully long ago I learned that scriptures are truly to lift others, not to tear someone down. We all believe in the same Jesus Christ, and that's one of the best similarities one could have with each other.

-Sister Sudweeks

P.S. Sorry the second picture is pretty dang old, it was from last year... Companions start to look similar after a while huh? Our last picture of 2014!

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