Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Drug Dealer, A Sticky Note, and a Part-Member Family

Happy Monday!

I was at dinner with the Hanson's yesterday, and it was the first time I was able to say that I was going home 'next week'. My stomach practically dropped to the floor, and it's really weird thinking that next week I'll be in California, say what?! This is my last full week in Georgia, and I'm slightly panicking, but only slightly. :P

We enjoyed banana splits at a member's home.
This week was wonderful as a trio, minus the fact that I got both of my sweet companions sick as well. Whoops! I got to chill with one of the Conyer's members and sleep at her apartment on Wednesday while my companions were tearing it up on Conyers and getting 10 lessons with members all in one day. Shoot dang, being in a trio is awesome because we're so effective! :)
On Tuesday we got a referral from the elders for a woman named Fl. who lives right by the church. It's so funny because I've tracted so much of that street, and I deemed it unfruitful because I never got a potential there in my entire time in being in Covington. She went to stake conference two weeks ago, and she absolutely loved it because she felt at home, and felt comfortable being there since we are modest. I've been so grateful to be studying the Bible recently because I was able to pull out multiple scriptures that explained how prophets were called, and about the Great Apostasy in greater depth. Such as Numbers 12:6-8 to explain that prophets are called by visions or dreams, being spoken to mouth to month. I especially love reading Acts and Ephesians because it's so clear to me that Christ established his church, and he didn't want it to end. Fl. had a lot of interesting beliefs that will be cleared up once she reads the Book of Mormon so certain doctrine won't be interpreted in different ways. Fl. was taking notes with all of the scripture references that I was using, which is so precious because I haven't had that happen to me in a LONG time. She accepted to be baptized on April 11th (really hard because that was the first baptismal date we extended which is after I'm home), and she said yes. But she's going into knee surgery on the 4th so we're not entirely sure if she'll be healed by then, it's more like the 18th.

Sadly enough, we were planning for Va. and Sha.s wedding and baptism, but it's not going to go through because they just don't have enough money to afford a wedding right now. It made me sad because I really felt that I was sent to Covington for this family to live the gospel 'as a family'. I wasn't entirely sure if this was Satan trying to dissuade them from going through with the wedding, but then again I'm not sure if this is God's Timing or not. But we're still going to continue to teach them, and to help Sha. get another job so they're not so tight on finances. It was fun because we were able to review the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and we played Jeopardy, which is probably one of the funnest things to do as a missionary with a few investigators. :) They get so competitive haha!

We were able to go to C.'s baptism on Friday in Covington. She doesn't even live in this mission. We got special permission to baptize her in our ward because she was a member referral, and she's been so integrated into this ward. After the baptism I told her how I  remembered the first time I met her, and she replied that she remembers meeting me too. C. explained to me that because of me welcoming her right when she came in, she felt so welcome, with warm fuzzies all over, which made her start liking this church in the first place. That gave me warm fuzzies all over, and now we're back to where we began! She's such a strong member, and I love her for who she is. :)
This is C, who was baptized in Covington last Friday and a member of our ward--Brother Faulkner
So in Conyers we had a total of four baptisms for the entire ward. Jo. and Ma. was baptized, and so was a woman named Sa.. Sa. left a sticky note on the church door asking to learn more about the church, and the zone leaders baptized her less than 3 weeks later, which is insane! Talk about golden investigator. Then D. was also baptized, and he's a former drug dealer who decided to change his life around when he heard more about the gospel. Isn't it great what the restored gospel can do to a person? The baptism went amazing, and the spirit was just so strong. I love how Jo. and Ma. completed their family so they can be sealed as a forever family by Elder Zwick in just 10 months! It makes me giggle that we helped Jo. and Ma. have a desire to be baptized by relating the gospel to Pokemon. By being baptized and confirmed a member of the church, they get to evolve and level up as a person. :) Who says you can't relate the gospel to anything?
Ma and Jo on their baptism day.
The entire family are now members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  Elder Zwick said he would seal them in the temple in ten months.  That will be another red letter day! 

Ma. and Jo.'s Mom works at a bakery, so she made this just for the baptism. :) The  Doctrine of Christ -- whoop whoop!
Sister Buhler and I went to part of sacrament meeting in Conyers with Sister Ramirez so we could hear the confirmations, and then we jetted over to our own ward so we could be there for my last "real Sunday".... -cough---  Fl. was told incorrect directions on how to get there, so she was late to church as well as Ri.'s family in Conyers. Both of them landed up at the wrong church and we had to redirect them to where our church was. I'm so glad Fl. once again loved church, and the Primary sang Gethsamane in Sacrament Meeting. After it was over she wanted to know if they sung every week. :) It was absolutely precious! Fl. was planning on coming to the Cottage Meeting to talk more about the Godhead because she loves the Trinity, but she had to be in August at 6am this morning to make sure she was ready for her pre-op so she was unable to attend. But we're seeing her this Wednesday to see how she's doing. Ri.'s family didn't stay for long because they promised others that they would go to their church as well. Church hoppers :( Hopefully we're see them this week too.

I'm so excited for today's P-Day because Ci. bought us gift certificates to get a pedicure for all of us, how sweet is she?! She took us out to lunch again last week, and we're going to have Japanese food on Friday for lunch because we're now allowed to be in Conyers haha. She still doesn't really talk much about the gospel, but I'm really hoping I'll be able to bear my testimony to her before I leave, and that will help her progress in the gospel.

I enjoyed being able to go to General Women's Broadcast last Saturday after the baptism. It was comforting to know that we as sisters were all watching the same broadcast at the very same time, although in different time zones. :) I enjoyed the story where the grandma didn't know how many grandkids she had, because she's considered a grandma to everyone. Our circle of influence and love should exceed more than our immediate family and friends.

Love y'all!

-Sister Sudweeks

P.S.   Sister Ramirez now has a goat named after her as well! Alex! :) Except he's a boy, but minor detail :P


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