So this week was crazy, and I'm flabbergasted that I'm already writing y'all this week because it just seems like yesterday I got punched by Sister Stewart in the arm. :)
As always when someone leaves, we were saying goodbye to many people on Tuesday. My heart hurt for the first four days of the week- Sunday to Wednesday. We were able to see Af. and read Mosiah 15 with her, which was a perfect chapter to read because it talked all about Christ and His Atonement. She thought that we were going to finish the Plan of Salvation with all of the pictures, but we forgot to bring them. In the end we started to talk more about the spirit world, and Af. told us that in her religion, she doesn't know what happens between death and the resurrection. We got to a point where I asked if she thought it could be true. Af. thought it was possible, and so we invited her to pray to God for an answer on whether it's true or not. I was surprised when she told us that receiving an answer from God was a brand new concept to her, and she asked how she'd know. I whipped out Galatians 5:22-23 so fast, and it was a wonderful discussion on how we feel when we get answers to prayers. It really surprised me that since I'm the third set of sister missionaries that have taught Af., I never knew that she didn't know how to pray to get an answer! She came to church again last week, but mostly stayed in the nursery with her three year old son S., so she didn't learn about prayer in Gospel Principles, which would have been perfect for her!
We saw Va. and Sha. multiple times this week so we could say goodbye, introduce her to my new companion, Sister Buhler, and then to finish teaching them about tithing and fasting. When they said goodbye to Sister Stewart, Sha. was rocking back and forth (somewhat jokingly) in a corner, and Va. started to fake cry. It made my heart hurt so bad! I made the mistake of telling them that I was leaving in April, bad idea bad idea!
Staying up late to pack, and getting up early to leave for transfers was hard, and there was actually a huge snow warning for the entire state of Georgia practically! Sister Stewart and I had to write in each others notebooks (I've had mine since the beginning of the mission) and I call her Spongebob, and she calls me Patrick. (Don't even ask, there's too many inside jokes and reasons behind it.) If you look closely at the Valentine's we gave each other, that's where it all started basically. I miss my Spongebob!
|I miss Spongebob, I mean Sister Stewart!|
Anyway, we went to transfers and I saw a bunch of old friends, and it was so weird seeing SO many of the sisters and elders that I served with in Atlanta go home, but I guess that makes sense.. I now have my last companion, Sister Buhler! She's been serving for 10 months, and we actually knew of each other when I was serving in Fayetteville. When I saw her in zone trainings and she was testifying as a greenie, I was amazed on how much power she had in her words. We were sitting right behind each other when our names were called. It was pretty cool that God chose us to be companions. because when I saw her back in Fayetteville, I told myself that I wanted to get to know her more, and here we are sitting next to each other as companions in the library! :) She's from Utah, but was living in Mexico when she came out on her mission. Sister Buhler is expecting "Bible Miracle Status" miracles, so it'll be exciting to see what happens these last 5 1/2 weeks!
|...and my first picture with Sister Buhler!|
We saw Va. and Sha., and the miracle that started off this transfer is that Va. and Sha. were finally able to come to church this Sunday! Sha. has to find a job really badly, or he's getting kicked out, and has nowhere else to go. So Sister Buhler and I taught them about tithing, fasting, and fast offerings. Sha. committed to fast from his phone and other things because of his type II diabetes, he can't fast from food. Va. fasted for the both of them, and they both paid fast offerings even though they aren't members. We committed them to pay tithing when they're members, but we all fasted that they would be able to get married and get a job in the next 6 weeks.
Another thing that Sister Buhler and I were fasting for was for Jo.'s parents. We were supposed to see her before Mutual but due to the snow warning it was cancelled, and we couldn't see her all this week except church. Apparently her parents aren't very open to the fact of her becoming a member, but they're allowing her to come to church. We talked about how she could fast yesterday, and invited her to study the index under fasting. She most definitely did as she texted us randomly about how she really liked Omni 1:26. :) We're not entirely sure if she's going to be baptized on Pi Day, but it's not looking likely. We're just hoping for this month on the 28th, and that we'll be able to all sit down together and have her parents voice their concerns. They've read the Restoration pamphlet, but we don't know what else they're going to bring up when we meet with them hopefully Wednesday.
Two weeks ago when I was on exchanges with Sister Iverson, we met this one woman named Ja. She didn't know a whole lot about the church, except what's she heard about us on the news. It was cool as I was able to learn how to express to those of other faiths that we don't take away anything that they believe, but we just want to give them additional enlightenment. Sister Iverson gave an example that when Ash Wednesday occurred last month, she saw someone who had a cross on their forehead in ashes. Instead of looking it up on the internet on what it meant or asking someone, she went straight to the source. The person she asked was appreciative because they then were able to explain what they believe, and that they weren't going to receive false doctrine. Just like how if you wanted to learn how to grow your hair, you wouldn't go to a plumber. So Ja. laughed and accepted a Restoration pamphlet so she'll learn what we believe right from the source. We came back a week later (and with a new companion) and she read the pamphlet, and later on in the discussion, she asked us how she could obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon, because she's never seen it at the bookstore. We gave her a copy and explained what the Book of Mormon was, and she was pretty curious on what it was about. We still don't have a return appointment with her, but considering we've told her that we're going to come by every Saturday, because we see a member every Saturday that lives 3 houses away from her. I'm excited to see where it goes!
One of my favorite quotes that I heard this week was, "If you stop mothers (and fathers) you stop generations." -Sister Traina
It made me want to have a sturdy foundation in Christ due to the fact that the Second Coming is happening SOON. I know that this life is going to get harder, but as we look toward our Heavenly Father and the Savior, we'll be able to overcome ANYTHING.