Wow! It sounds like it was quite the big week for both of us! It was definitely a week I'll remember for the rest of my life. Fall is definitely approaching Georgia, although it is coming in very subtle you can tell its not a sauna anymore. Before my mission I dont think I'd ever say "Yay summer is over until now haha" because its cooling down which is definitely a blessing. I'll talk about the hurricane later on in my letter, but it worked out and was not as bad as many people thought it would be and yes it was a crazy time to make sure everyone in the zone was safe and ready for what may come.
I'm so glad that y'all had a great week it sounds like!
But WOW what a memorable week it was...
On Monday, we have an investigator who is soo ready to be baptized, but her parents wont allow her to. She is so ready that she is going to seminary and for her personal progress project she is going to various churches talking about our church to them. We were invited to go over to her house for dinner with her parents and we were very careful to talk about beliefs or the church at the dinner because we didn't want to give a forceful impression. Both of the parents changed their attitudes from being reserved and cautious to wanting to understand why we believe things without us initiating it . It was a great visit and relationships were made!
On Tuesday, we had District meeting on the Savannah river for Elder Beckman's last district meeting before he went home. There is something special about being in nature talking about God and his plan for us. Elder Cayton gave a great training on flags and he taught us about how flags distinguish a group of people and it shows what they stand for. He asked a question of what flag to we wave and are we proud to wave it and what does your flag stand for? After district meeting, we went to a Japanese sushi buffet and I learned how to use chopsticks, its a life skill. We went on exchanges and I was with Elder Cayton. Our first appointment had quite the situation. We had an appointment with a single lady that we tracted into last week, and we cant go into anyone's home without a man present. We didn't have any elders or priest age young men who could come with us. But I was thinking about what to do and Sister Cooper lived really close and she has a son that lives with her. So we first went to Sister Coopers home and asked her if Josh would be able to come out with us and found out he was under the weather and so we asked Sister Cooper if we could maybe bring the lady over to Sister Coopers home. Sister Cooper was delighted and she even cam with us to invite her to her home and from the first moment they met they were a friends! Zina and Sister Cooper hit it off and they have the same personality, like the same things, and have similar health frustrations. We had a great lesson about the restoration. Zina has studied in the Islamic faith for years and it was hard for her to grasp the concept of prophets and how Joesph Smith was the prophet who restored Christ's church back on the earth. But this whole experience was one where I could see Gods hand in the work and I was glad to have acted on impressions and set up the lesson in the way it was set up. We had English class which is always a good time:)
On Wednesday,we had a "normal day" nothing crazy happened, but we found some new less actives that we are excited to work with and provided some service for an investigator. The highlight of the day was helping Brother Criswell's friends move. His friends are from Assyria and they spoke Arabic. The son spoke fairly good English, but he had to leave to prep the home for when we moved them into it. This whole experience was a testament to the gift of tongues. I absolutely have no knowledge of Arabic and neither did Elder Weston, but we somehow knew what they were talking about and they couldn't understand what we were talking about. We helped them move there furniture and Brother Criswell knowing Arabic showed up and was able to talk to them. The mom had such a deep love for her family and we grew very close and we couldn't even communicate with words it was just by the spirit in the room. Brother Criswell talked to us about Christians in the middle east and how they trace their church back to the original 12 apostles which is very interesting! We are going to be in contact this next week and we are excited to teach them more, of course with the help of Brother Criswell:)
Thursday was a crazy day... we drove to Aiken,SC and went on exchanges with Elder Snow and Elder Olaso. Elder Olaso and I met some people with some interesting views on life. We tracted into a pastor who asked us about our belief on why we think Christ and Lucifer are brothers. To be honest this is a question that alot of pastors I've met on my mission have asked. We explained that we are all children of God and that Christ is only begotten of the father, but he is a child of God and Lucifer was created by God or else he wouldn't exist. God wouldnt have created Lucifer if there wasn't a purpose for him and we know that there needs to be opposition in all things. Lucifer and a third of the hosts of Heaven were that opposition. Without the temptation to partake of the fruit, Adam and Eve would still be in the garden and we wouldn't be here. God is ultimately in control and he knows all things. But it was a good visit. We met another lady who believed that Jesus Christ did everything for us and so we don't have to do anything here on earth. She said we don't have progress in this life or learn because Christ has done everything so we don't have to work here on earth. While she was talking I was just like then what is the point of coming to earth then?? Why did God give us a body just to "exist"? Going through trials and opposition is one of the purposes in this life. To go through a little pain to feel what comfort and peace feels like. Rely on God to get us through our trials because we know he wont give us a trial we cant handle. Through time, patience in Gods timing things will work out the way that God intended for them to work out. Learning how to align our will with Gods will is very hard to do, but you'll develop a love for God as you do the small,simple acts of faith and when you love God more than yourself then whatever Gods asks of you, you'll accept. We left her with our testimonies and set up another time to come back. We were getting calls from the AP's and President Grayson all day and with Elder Weston in Aiken it was just me to make decisions and let the zone know about the hurricane. At the end of the day, I sent over 900 texts, made over 45 calls about how to prep for the storm while doing missionary work. I'm not sharing that to show off or anything, but it was just an impressive amount of texts that I was blown away and had to share it haha. We had dinner with the Rivera family and prepped for the storm.
On Friday, we had an amazing day and one I'll always remember. We woke up with a storm brewing outside. Because of the storm we decided it wasnt safe to exchange back so Elder Olaso and I went on a 2 day exchange. Clouds were all over and it rained and rained and rained. It wasn't that windy, but we got informed that the hurricane slowed down when it hit the land in Florida. So when it came to us it was just a tropical storm. We werent allowed to leave our apartment til and it just rained and rained. We put out pots and a big pot filled to the brim. I was honestly expecting a heavier rain and the flooding really wasn't that bad either for some reason. although we heard that Florida got the worst of it. It rained for a total of 8 hours.We had such a busy night... We first had dinner at the Rockwood's family. They have two kids and they have lived in Colorado for a time and loved it... Somewhat made me miss home but it was good haha:) After dinner we had to drop the other elders off at another dinner while we went to go have a lesson with Dan Ngyuen. The lesson was about the Word of Wisdom. It was a great lesson talking about how to keep our bodies like a temple and at the end of the lesson we followed up to her about asking God about a baptismal date. Dan is one of the most ready people I've ever taught and she just didn't feel worthy to be baptized because she didn't know everything. We ensured her that we knew she was but she needed the confirming power of the Holy Ghost. I felt that she needed a little bit more time and I promised her that if you study the scriptures and pray that you'll find out that you are worthy to be baptized. We left and went to go answer questions that an investigator had and she ended up dropping us because she doesn't believe God has a body of flesh and she just wasn't listening. We ended up leaving and picked the other elders up to take them home. Dan called us and she expressed the event that just happened. They were doing their usual nightly scripture study ans they planned to read in 2 Nephi, Dan randomly flipped to Alma 7 and the chapter heading talking about prophesies of Christ caught her eye and they read it. She said she felt this overwhelming warmth in her heart and she knew that that was her answer to be baptized.She had such a confirming power of the Holy Ghost that she knew it was right and she said she wanted to be baptized in a week!!!! I'm sooooo excited and she is soooo ready and I'm so happy I acted on a simple prompting to ask her if she wanted to know more about the church! Its been a joy teaching her.
On Saturday, we drove early in the morning to exchange back and we got back together with Elder Weston. I told him the news and we both were sooo excited!! We had frisbee and we both had some pretty awesome catches on the wet grass and it was fun:) We had transfer calls that night and found out that I'm staying here with Elder Weston for another transfer!! I'm sooo excited:)))
bearing testimonies and feeling the spirit. I was able to pass the sacrament for the first time in like 8 months and I took that for granted doing it soo often as a teenager, but now when you do it you notice how important the act your doing is. Your helping people remember their baptismal covenants. It's something I wish I would've paid more attention to growing up. We said bye to Elder Beckman and Elder Woolley . They will be missed! Had a German noodle dinner with the Tippett family. I love the Tippetts!, we had a great fast
This week was amazing and I know the church is true and the small and simple things may be hard to do sometimes but those are thing the that make the BIG difference in the long run.
I Love Y'all!!!
|District Meeting at the Savannah River!|