I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know it may have been hard being in England, but you'll look back and remember it as a memorable Thanksgiving! I am excited to share a Thanksgiving the Knight way in England... in a couple years from now :) My Thanksgiving was wonderful! We volunteered at a soup kitchen that was about 30 minutes outside of our area. We were so excited when we got permission from Sister Wolfert to go. We went with the Mckenna family who has a daughter out on a mission right now in Rome, Italy. I absolutely adore the Mckenna family. They are crazy and hilarious. Sister Mckenna had her parents from Texas over and her brother from London, so it was really fun to talk to him about England. At the first half of our volunteer time, we were in charge of parking cars. We had a good time being goofballs and waving cars around the parking lot with our hips. Sis Mckenna taught us how to play hopscotch and Sis George and I were sore from hopping around on one foot in skirts. Too much fun.
We ate Thanksgiving lunch at the Soup Kitchen and I had so many wonderful opportunities to talk to people who were struggling and could totally use the light of the gospel in their lives. There was a single mother in particular that I grew to love in the space of 30 minutes who was sitting alone in a corner. She had actually looked into the church before but she didn't ever come to church because she found out that us mormons don't drink coffee. I gave her the Word of Wisdom lesson in 1 minute and promised that she would have a wonderful spiritual experience if she would just go to church. Here's to hoping!! We went back over to the Mckenna's house afterwards and played a wonderful game of Quelf. That made me super excited because we used to go over to Jakes house all the time in high school to play Quelf. It is a game where you basically do things to make you look stupid and for some reason I kept getting the cards that required me to do things that would be restricted in a skirt.
After our time with the Mckenna's, we went to President Galt's home (the one who used to be our old bishop and his wife is a ward missionary who sends you pictures from her phone from time to time). They had their daughter and her family in from Florida and Theresa and her family over. I don't remember whether or not I told you about Theresa but a few weeks ago she just randomly stopped into church looking for help. She is the Elder's investigator but we were able to clear up some of her questions for her. She is still really weirded out by baptisms for the dead and she thinks that the bishop's storehouse food is cursed so she won't eat it. Some of the things I hear about people's views on mormons on a daily basis are just skewed. I was really super excited because Sister Galt's daughter from Florida brought her two yorkies and I got to play with them. Everyone in Georgia has a dog but I haven't came across anyone with a yorkie yet so I was happy. By the way, did you bring Lucy back home with you? We then went to the Olson's home and she is the seminary teacher for our stake. Bro Olson updates us with stuff on the Aggies and we had a good time hanging out with them for the rest of the evening.
Not too much happened this week, really. We were taken out for dinner to an Italian resteraunt on Tuesday with two empty nesters and Sister Fullwood took us to Red Lobster on Wednesday evening for dinner. We were supposed to have dinner with our ward mission leader, Bro Pickett on Wednesday evening but his wife had her baby. I ordered a platter of Lobster and Snow Crab and Sister Fullwood taught me how to break open the shell and get messy with my food. We had a blast and I got to hold a real live lobster. Hey, you're gonna get foreign foods in the states too! ;) Sweet Sister Fullwood then took us on a mini shopping spree for cold weather accessories because it was FREEZING on Wednesday. She insisted because her only daughter doesn't live at home anymore and she misses being able to spoil her, hey I can't complain! ;)
We did service for Sister Watkins on Friday and we helped her make-over her guest bedroom. She is having an old sister missionary and her dad come for a week and she wanted to make it look good. We then made a 3D skeleton cake for the Elders for their dinner with the Watkins. Since transfers were Wednesday, Elder Hales from Utah is new to Suwanee and Elder Howell left to the real country of North Georgia, Fort Yargo. They borrowed our car to go to an appointment and sure enough when they returned the car; the seat backs were backwards and pushed all the way forward, the emergency break and the window wipers were on, and the bike rack was upside down. Goodness, the Elders in this mission are huge flirts!
We didn't end up meeting with Michael and Britney this week but we had a really good lesson with Ben last night and he came to all 3 hours of church!! Casey is having a really hard time right now so she didn't end up coming to church or to the lesson. We went over the baptismal interview questions with Ben and he really opened up about his feelings. He is feeling angry about everything in his life and he said that Casey is blaming God for taking her mom away. There whole situation breaks my heart and it broke my heart even more to hear Ben finally open up on how his wife committed suicide.. lets just say, you really don't want to know. Brother Adams talked Ben through his frustrations and we were able to clear up a few things that Ben had a hard time with. We watched President Monson's April 2012 General Conference Talk on how Obedience Brings Blessings and you could definitely tell that the spirit was there. I shared Mosiah 24 on how Alma's people were being persecuted for praying. Even though they went through some difficult trials, they continued to pray and the Lord eased the burdens that were put upon their backs. He continued to be with them as they faced their afflictions and they were strengthened because of it.
Well the lesson went really well because we committed Ben to a date! He is on date for January 4th and this time he was really enthusiastic about it! He was especially happy when we told him that if he was baptized before Casey, then he could baptize her after he received the priesthood. I think that's probably how the situation will turn out but we will keep praying for Casey to be ready as well. We really know Ben is progressing because Ben opened up how he doesn't think they should blame God for the death of his wife. He told us that it was the adversary working against her and that is the only reason it led to her death. I hope he convince Casey of this because I know that will bring her comfort.
I was really impressed on the places we picked to go tracting in this week. Everyone in the neighborhoods we picked were SO nice. There was not one person that accepted our message but one lady gave us water, another lady gave us huge hugs and wanted to know our whole life stories, practically everyone sincerely thanked us for what we were doing. There was one guy who opened the door and said "It's the Mormons! I've been waiting for you guys to come back, come on in!" His name was Todd and apparently he had been meeting with the missionaries for a few years. He was on business trip in Utah and had picked up a Book of Mormon in a Marriott hotel in Salt Lake City. He definitely had different beliefs but surprisingly, he just wanted to sit and have a discussion. He asked us insane questions like "If everyone has a chance to make it into heaven, then why is there so many different religions on earth?" All I can tell you was that our answers were definitely inspired because we walked out of his home trying to remember what we had said to him. I still can't even remember. It amazes how the Spirit prompts missionaries exactly what to say to benefit the needs of those who we are talking to.
Okay so the big miracle of the week... Not this last Friday but the Friday before, we were planning for our week and we were really struggling on our lessons with investigators. We don't have as many now because we aren't teaching Kiaundra or Richard anymore and we were trying to figure out where we could find people to teach. We decided that we should pray specifically for a family to teach. We went waaayy on specifics because we prayed for a mom, a dad, one son and one daughter. I'm not gonna lie, I was rolling my eyes a little bit and wondering if Heavenly Father really could help us achieve this goal, but I decided to have faith... because why not? In my life, I've never really had specific answers to my prayers answered but I prayed and prayed for this family and did all I could to be as obedient as possible and work as hard as I could.
I did feel a little-bit pile-ish this week because we had so many appointments with members and less actives. On Saturday we went to go visit a less active family, the Carlisles. When we got out of our lesson, we decided that we better go visit a less active man, Bro Wilson who lived in the same neighborhood. Sister George and her trainer Sister Carrigan had tried to visit him a few times before but he was never home. When we walked up to the door, a man came out with his dog before we could knock. He seemed really enthusiastic to have a visitor at the house and he introduced himself as Wess. We asked him if Reed Wilson was there and we learned that he had moved a few months ago. We decided to share the message with him and we gave him an invite to the Christmas devotional at the church and he mentioned for his wife Julie to come out. They were really interested and said that they had been looking for a church to go to ever since they moved here. Julie expressed that she really wanted to stop smoking and so we told her about the Chruch's 7 day program guarenteed. Julie then got really excited and said, "When can we start meeting with you guys?" She told us about her 7 year old daughter and her 4 year old son and then it clicked, THIS IS THE FAMILY WE'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR!! A straight shot answer from Heavenly Father himself, and I knew it. This family is so prepared and that just strengthened my faith that Heavenly Father CAN answer specific prayers. We are crossing our fingers and praying that this family truly is sincere and we will be able to teach them!
Just like Uchtdorf said in his last conference talk, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Heavenly Father first has to test our patience and our faith to see if we act on what we have been commanded to do or what we are struggling with etc. If we do act and have that sincere desire to draw closer to him, he will make weak things strong unto us and bless our lives tremendously. There is without a doubt that I KNOW that this church is true. If you don't know if this church is true, find it out for yourself! I think sometimes that it is hard for us to remember that we have to be patient with Heavenly Father and know that everything is working out on his time. He tests our patience because then our humility can grow and our faith increases.