Monday, February 16, 2015

Gangsters: Dead or Alive?

Happy Monday!

As it is President's Day, Sister Stewart and I were really worried that our library we go to would be closed since it's a college library, and it's been closed before. So we called them this morning, and the guy that always helps us with our visitor passes answers, "Georgia Perimeter College, yes we're open." I laughed, and thanked him because that was our question. When we call, the caller ID says LDS Missions, so he knew it was us making sure it was open. :)

Just like times before, we were having dinner with Sister Trust (shout out to her family, she's amazing!) and we decided to stop by and see Mi. again with her, because she was home the Monday we got her on baptismal date. We taught Mi. the Plan of Salvation, and I loved that she was so trusting, and willing to ask questions about things she's been previously taught from church relating to the Plan of Salvation. She had questions such as "we wouldn't remember or recognize anyone after this life," and Mi. was happy to hear that it wasn't true because she didn't like that idea. We were supposed to see her on Valentine's Day, but she had a family party go over, and our schedules didn't match up with each other so we haven't seen her since. She's no longer on date because we haven't been able to teach her enough, but she will be soon enough! :)

It was so sad because I got the stomach flu on Tuesday after District Meeting, and it was so fun because all of us missionaries brought each other Valentine's. The Conyer's Sisters gave us bracelets that say, 'My ♥ Belongs to Jesus.' How cool is that?! Wearing that everyday for the rest of my life! So anyway, we had to cancel all of our appointments on Tuesday, and I slept all day on Tuesday practically, (along with doing more paperwork).

We haven't been able to get a hold of Sh. and her family this week unfortunately. We're thinking they went out of town because of winter break, so we're going to pop in on them since she hasn't been replying to our texts or calls. Update: Just as I was typing she texted us, and Sh. still has a cold! Yay, she doesn't hate us! :P

We have been helping getting both of the apartments ready as the Lamph's finally left for home. They went to Savannah and Charleston before they headed for home last week, and while they were gone we took out the old carpet and we were cutting carpet squares, and tiling the bathroom. I feel so handy now that I'm learning to do all of these things with Sister Belleville. :) The Payne's are moving into the Lamph's apartment (the Payne's house got caught on fire a few months ago) and we're moving into the apartment that they were living in. So it's going to be a swaparoo moving on Friday! 

If you need my new address, please email my Mom! 

V. and Sha. are still doing well, and still waiting to see if they're moving to Atlanta. They haven't been reading the Book of Mormon recently, so we went over the introduction with them, and it created a new spark for them to read again. As it was winter break, a lot of members around them were out of town, so it was really difficult getting Da. (V.'s recently baptized sister) a ride to church. We were trying to find one that morning, and we're so grateful that a member said yes! We couldn't find V. and Sha. a ride, and we're bummed because they really wanted to go. But thankfully we found one for them this week! :)

The Stake Missionary meeting that we had on Thursday was absolutely outstanding! The shift of missionary work in this stake is going to be so pivotal now. Instead of the missionaries worrying about making appointments with investigators and being there, finding them a ride to church, activities, and so on.... they have redefined on what a 'fellowshipper' is, and it's up to their fellowshipper so we can focus more on teaching other people, and setting up more appointments, than freaking out who's going to pick them up, and which member will come with us. Brother Avery, our ward mission leader (along with the rest of them) has been asked to pray about who their fellowshipper should be, so they will accept their calling because it's been inspired by God. We're continuing on seeing the members weekly, and more members are getting on board so it's been monumental I'd say!

So J. is friend's with Brother Avery's son, Marlin. She was curious to see what he believed, so she invited herself to church, and she came for the 3rd time yesterday. Her parents gave her approval to take the lessons from us, and we were able to teach her yesterday in the Avery's home. She has already done research about our church on reputable sites, and when we asked her who Joseph Smith was, J. told us, "He was one of the prophets of God that led the people in righteousness in the 1800's." or something like that. Sister Stewart and I were so shocked that she already had started gaining a testimony of Joseph Smith we couldn't remember what J. said exactly. :D She understood the restoration pretty well as we explained it to her. We taught her more about the authority, and explained the significance between Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and how they go hand and hand. She has already been prayerfully reading and is on 1st Nephi 7. She accepted to be baptized on March 14th, and we invited her parents to join us on the discussion, so we'll see what happens with that family this Sunday! :) There are so many out there prepared! 

As we were driving, we heard police sirens and saw two police cars speeding behind us. I was trying to slow down and pull over, I saw in front of us two parked police cars to the left of us. The police officers outside of the cars had loaded guns creeping across the street toward the sidewalk to the right. I realized quickly that where I was about to pull over, was where the police officers were walking toward so I quickly sped up. The officers behind me parked, and as we drove on by we saw a bunch of gangsters underneath the highway bridge on the ground face down. We weren't entirely sure if they were dead or not, so I guess y'all can be the judge! It reminded me of Atlanta when I saw a dead guy in the street a mile or two away from the church. It seems like God is preparing Sister Stewart to go to Atlanta! ;)
Downtown Atlanta--My first area!  And maybe Sister Stewart's second area?!
I'd appreciate prayers as I drive to the temple tomorrow- there's supposed to be a huge ice storm that hits Georgia and I'd rather not hit black ice and get into an accident.

I quote the famous Elder Lamph- "There is nothing quite as contagious as enthusiasm, except the opposite thereof." I love to relate that to missionary work, and how, "As your testimony is strengthened, your desire for the welfare of souls is increasing." If we have a strong testimony, a desire to share the gospel with enthusiasm, it will radiate and others will catch the fire of serving our fellowmen. :) 

I hope all y'all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

-Sister Sudweeks

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