Monday, February 17, 2014

Jan. 27, 2014

My Dearest Family!

This week was an interesting week with all sorts of the highest highs and the lowest of lows. I don't know what it is, but everyone and their dog is canceling their scheduled appointments on us. I feel really bad because Sister Watkins and Sister Galt have been stood up with us at leason six times each, no lie. Because we didn't have a lot of people to teach.. lots and lots of tracting it was! It also snowed this week so we had to endure the week outside in the bitter cold pretty much every single day. I guess Heavenly Father is trying to teach me patience and perseverance, idk. Sister Heyland lost her voice in the middle of the week and she is still getting over it and so I have been in the lead with the teaching and talking and everything. Man, being the leader wears you out ;) Even though we didn't have many opportunities to have lessons, we saw a lot of miracles from our long hours of treacherous tracting. 

Thursday we had an appointment with a former investigator named Sam. We got to her place and her daughter came out and told us she was sick and sleeping. So we decided to tract the apartment complex. It was kind of a small complex and we did the first half of the place and Sister Heyland wanted to leave. She gets really antsy when she feels like we aren't using our time very effectively, but I had a strong feeling that we needed to stay and keep going. The first door we knocked in the second half of the complex, the lady told us to open the door and come in. He name was Ruth and she was laying sick on the couch with her grand-daughter. She recognized what church we were from and told us about her experience with going to a mormon church once in Alabama and said she loved it! We taught her the first lesson and she was very receptive, so hopefully that turns into something! 

Friday we had a lesson with a former's brother at his house. His name is Boy and he is Sister Ketchem's neighbor, so she came with us. Sister Ketchum and Boy were both Phillipino so a lot of the time they were speaking to each other in Tagalog and it was kind of awkward. We tried to slide in the Restoration but every time we would try, Sister Ketchum would shut us down and tell us that Boy was not ready for this kind of commitment in our church yet. She did share her conversion story with him though, which is one of the best conversion stories ever, and that brought the spirit. Its so important to have the members at the lessons but sometimes its frustrating, because they think that missionaries are too bold or shouldn't be teaching what we are teaching, but we have the authority to discern what to teach each individual! We are supposed to be bold but loving, in order to help people keep their commitments and testify with the spirit. Boy is going to read his Catholic Bible first before he dives into the Book of Mormon, but at least we planted a seed, right? 

We may or may not have gotten kicked out of the Walmart parking lot on Saturday. It was probably our third or fourth time trying to contact in the parking lot and it was really busy on Saturday so we figured it would be successful. After a little over an hour of contacting, these two Walmart managers walked out and were stalking behind us for at least five or six different contacts. Sister Heyland noticed that they were behind us and told us to bolt for the car because we didn't want to get kicked out. Unfortunately they caught up to us and told us to show them our soliciting licenses. I may have kicked in a little sass and was about to show them my minister's certificate, but Sister Heyland said that we thought we were allowed to, that we were sorry, and we left. Too bad Walmart contacting only lasted for so long. I love Walmart contacting. Its super awkwardly fun! 

Saturday night was the adult session of Stake Conference and President Wolfert told us to be there because the theme was "Hastening the Work." It was awesome and much needed. The members of our ward are so willing to help us out by feeding us or going on team ups and what not, but when it comes to refferals, they could use some improving. President gave a talk and basically threw down on the stake that we should be teaching in members homes every single night in order to fulfill our purpose here as missionaries. Sister Watkins shared her conversion story too and she was super nervous, but did so well! If you've never heard it, you need to call her and ask her about it. After the adult conference, the Billiter family told us that they had a family for us to teach this next week and this random lady came up to us and gave us this referral in our apartment complex. Yeah yeah yeah! 

Sunday morning was regional stake conference and it was broadcasted from the Orlando, Florida stake center. They said it was being shown to 48 stake centers throughout Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, and I guess it didn't really occur to me that there are that many mormons in the south! We heard an amazing talk by Russell M. Nelson about renewing our covenants weekly and recommiting to do better and try harder each week. He talked about not running faster than we have strength to, but remaining to live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and following those promptings with more precision and diligence. He also spoke of how we need to be more precise and specific in our prayers when praying for missionary opportunities. It was exactly what I needed to hear and I received so much inspiration during that talk. Sister Heyland and I went home for lunch and decided that we were going to pray specifically to have someone baptized on February 15th, the Saturday before transfers. Sister Heyland won't let me leave Suwanee without us having a baptism together, so we are going to work our butts off! 

We were pretty pumped to go out and tract Sunday afternoon. We both had an awesome personal and companionship study that morning as well as great spiritual enrichment from stake conference. I was on fire and I just wanted to to sing out loud "We are All Enlisted" from door to door. After about an hour we tracted into this lady named Barbra who was SO PREPARED. All week long I had prayed that I would specifically be able to recognize right up front that a person was elect and ready to hear the gospel. She almost didn't let us in because she told us that her 22 year old autistic son was running around fully naked... but then she got him under control. #awkward ha. We kind of gave her an intro to the first lesson and she explained that she was just about to dig further into her religion, but this was a sign from God. I threw a soft baptismal invite after commiting her to read the Book of Mormon and she said yesss!!! AHHHH!!! I think that after we teach her a little bit more about baptism and give her the rest of the first lesson, we will pick a date for her. #dowork

We had an appointment with Clara scheduled on Sunday but her boss made her stay at work late. We decided that we are going to be super bold with people this week and every single day we are going to commit at least one person to baptism. Tonight we are planning on Kathy and Wednesday we are planning on Ed... so i have no idea who in the world we are going to invite the rest of the days, but I have the faith that the Lord will give us opportunities if it goes according to his will of course. 

"And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it speaketh of Jesus and persuadeth them to believe in him, and endure to the end." -2 Nephi 33:4. 

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