This Week Was AWESOME
This week was like the windows of heaven shattered and all of its goodness came pouring out.
This.. my friends.. by brethren and sisteren....
was a good week.
Monday on the way to emailing, I was not paying attention and all of the sudden out the window we saw a young woman sitting on the curb at a small church.
We passed her, and I knew we needed to turn around.
We went back and spoke with her. Her name is Kaycee, her husband died within the year leaving her with a little boy, they have no car and their house was taken from them because they don't have much money. We talked to her for a while, and testified that God has a plan for her, that He loves her, and that her trials are not a punishment. When I said that particular thing, she started to cry and told us she is losing her faith.
We taught a little bit about how much God loves us to give us weaknesses and allow trials to happen to us. Her ride pulled up, she thanked and hugged us.
Now, there were a couple of hurdles that we had to get through to be able to accomplish God's will in helping this particular daughter of His.
1. The fact that we passed her and had to turn around. The adversary was like
"it's prep day, too late you passed her."
Then 2. the fact that in the white handbook it tells us not to minister at or near churches of another faith (which is next to impossible here in the South) so the adversary says
"You'd be breaking your rules by talking to her in that churches parking lot."
Then strike three, is the way she looked. Missing teeth, she was skin and bones, scabs, bruises.
The adversary says "She can't even pay attention to you, she's probably high as a kite and if she's not, she's definitely addicted to a lot of drugs. She's dirty, homeless, and doesn't want to talk to you."
I learned something.
As we push down the hurdles of opposition, the reassurance of faith is manifest, and if we follow that, miracles occur. If we listen to a voice a little more quiet, but much more potent, we will hear the truth.
And God says through His spirit
"Turn around. You are expected to devote ALL your time and attention to serving me in this Labor of Love among my children."
"Yes, she happens to be on a church parking lot, but she needs peace directly from me at this time and everything will work out just fine."
"She has had a tough life, she might be weak, but by the weak and the simple things, I can bring to pass great things. I love all of my children equally, and I can see her potential. She needs to know I haven't given up on her and that I never will."
Well we left, and realized we had no idea where we were, that we had never seen that church before, and even though we have driven to our church a million times, somehow Sister Jamison driving took a wrong road that ended up being exactly where we needed to be and both of us were just distracted enough to stay on course and just aware enough to notice Kaycee.
He knows. He notices.
I had the privilege of going on exchanges with Sister Probst this week and she gave me some good wisdom. We were talking about how it's so cool that we learn how to communicate and live with such drastically different people as we change companions in the mission.
"People are always like, you get to pick your husband. Yeah, you get to pick your husband so you'll like him, but you don't get to pick your kids. What if they're exact replicas of your least favorite companion?" -Sister Probst.
lol Communication is so key.
I am very lucky that Sister Jamison is a very incredible communicator, she is so patient, and one of the purest, most Christ centered of people I know. <3
I saw some incredible miracles the next few days.
Sister Probst and I stopped by Wanda's, and we taught her the restoration. She loved it. She picked it up SO fast and would repeat what we had taught in her own words asking questions if she didn't understand.
We read Nephi chapter one with her and she shared insights she had and what it had taught her. She taught me so much and I have read that chapter more than just about any other chapter of scripture ever.
She asked us if she needed to be baptized again. (most everyone down here has been baptized/saved already)
So we taught about the priesthood authority to baptize, it took some explaining but the laying on of hands after for the gift of the Holy Ghost is what really got to her and made the most sense. She came to the conclusion on her own that her preacher is a teacher and a certificate by man means nothing compared to the power of God given directly connected literally to men.
We talked about the line of authority~how it directly connects to Jesus Christ down to our very own fathers.
She needed to hear about the Holy Ghost before she accepted to be baptized. It taught me that one doesn't go without the other.
Baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost by the authority or permission from God to do so, which prepares us to be worthy to receive a member of the Godhead, The Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, never to leave us again if we are faithful. That we may ALWAYS have His spirit to be with us.
Now, Willie had invited us to a bible study at the Church Of God In Christ a week or so ago, so of course Sister Probst and I went to learn more.
OH MY GOODNESS
-added it to one of the places I WILL take my family when we come back to visit the mission.
The preacher/pastor only read a few verses then he PREACHED
Willie walked up to the drums and played some percussion, one lady had a tambourine, we all yelled amen and shouted praises and sang "I GOT JESUS ON MY MIND"
It was so fun. Like so much fun. And such a unique experience.
Sister Probst is black, everyone in the "bible study" was black, so let's just say I now know what it's like to be the minority ;)
hahaha I was the only white girl in there.
It was not however, the most reverent of places and the Spirit did not manifest anything to me..
I'm not even just saying that. I know I have mentioned how I have felt the Spirit in other religious settings other than that of my own due to truth being taught, and peaceful situations...
but I did find peace in fellowship and learning more, culturing myself and feeling more part of the people of Crestview.
So I have to dedicate the next few paragraphs to a very special person in my existence who reads my blog, and keeps all sister missionaries who walk through her door SANE.
The woman, the myth, the legend.
Huge shout out. I might have mentioned some of this so bear with my forgetfulness.
but my heart is so full.
Ashley called us and told us to meet her at the church. Lo and behold, she bought us a ton of groceries for Christmas.
She couldn't have known, but it being the end of the month our funds were low and we were not going to be able to get a lot of groceries...she answered our prayers.
fast forward and on Christmas Eve day she took us to get sushi even though she doesn't even like sushi she knows we do and then that night she dropped off Martinelli and fireworks to kick off the new year.
I seriously can't put into words how much she strengthens us and helps us.
She is so strong herself! She has been working towards the temple, and recently decided to quit drinking coffee. (I have her permission to share all of this)
She shared with us that she has been praying for help to quit drinking coffee, and right around that prayer, her two year old son knocked over her coffee pot and it broke on the kitchen floor.
She decided right then and there to stop. Sister Jamison and I decided to quit something with her for moral support and for our own Word of Wisdom weaknesses.
We stopped eating treats.
Candy, cookies, chocolate, we are done. It's been a week today people.
Now ya'll are going to think I'm legit nutso.... but my body is having withddrawls.
Like no joke... I have had headaches, pains, my body hurts, and I'm tired.
Apparently after week two you start to feel tons of energy and loose weight.
HOLDING OUT FOR THAT MOMENT because woah... it's scary how addicted everyone is to sugar especially after the holidays.. yikes.
Anyway it's been hard-cravings are real, but we are doing it because we love Ashley and we love AGENCY and we love Lorraine who is also overcoming her addiction to make it to the temple.
She has gone from two packs a day, to two cigarettes a day, and she went a whole day without any cigarettes last week WOOOOO we are so pumped for her progress and so is God.
But back to Ashleys story..
She has been praying to know about whether or not she should continue on the path to the temple personally.
She was at the gas station, and a sweet old man was there. He started talking to her and asked her about her faith and asked her about the TEMPLE when she told him she was Mormon.
He told her when he was young he lived by a Latter-day Saint temple and he used to go up to the doors because he wanted to go inside so bad, but he couldn't because he wasn't a member and he was too young. He gave her a granola bar that says "Jesus loves you" gave her a hug and was on his way.
So cool. Miracles. Miracles. Miracles.
She was so excited she rushed to our apartment to tell us about it and we were out and about, but she told us later and we were practically crying.
God is so incredibly good.
Okay Quan. Remember the kid that I played basketball with and taught the restoration?
Well we haven't been able to meet with him since because every time we went he was gone.
Weekly planning last week I just kept thinking we should go see him. AND SO WE DID
We started the plan of salvation, he basically taught us all about Adam and Eve and his understanding of the bible is on POINT.
The rest of the time we talked about the priesthood power and he agreed to be baptized. He asked us where he could find someone with that power, and if he could meet someone like that.
So two days later we brought Weston and Luther to the lesson to finish the plan of salvation which was really special because his mom passed away a year or so ago, so it meant a lot to him. Luther and Weston bore powerful testimonies of the priesthood, and the atonement.
They are all about the same age, like to do the same things, and clicked really well. Quan now has a scheduled baptismal date and we couldn't be more happy for him.
Pray for Quan 2k17
Something I have been introduced to in Florida
If that's not the saddest thing you've read today...
Yesterday we had a huge new years feast with the Steeles we ate black eyed peas, greens, and pork chops. I had no idea but apparently that's what everyone is supposed to eat on New Years day for good luck.
It was DELICIOUS
Okay... now for the pinnacle point of my weekly email.
Actually.... I'm going to save this one for another time... Long story short we are about to teach a lady who potentially murdered her husband....
What even is this life we live.. :)
Yesterday we played a musical number in church, Come Thou Fount, I played the piano and Sister Jamison played the violin. IT WAS AWESOME.
Someone apparently told Mary Jones I got transferred, and sweet thing, she said
"I'm ready to die now. They can't do this! Why didn't she tell me goodbye?!"
Well our ward mission leader assured her that I have not been transferred and she was so happy she yelled and told him all about how we were friends in the Spirit World and
"Sister Saunders and I are kindred spirits"
She called us and I assured her I would never leave without saying goodbye to her.
Bless her heart. I LOVE CRESTUCKY
I love Sister Jones so much. Mom be ready, she said she wants your number because she wants to call you. She's the sweetest old lady in the world.
The Elders spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday and our ward mission leader, Brother Tew, told them they get bonus points if they could say the word elephant or scallions in their talk. So of course Elder Sanders gets up after our musical number and says
"Wow. The sisters are really,
I wish I could play like that."
HAHAHA everyone was shocked at first then they laughed completely in the dark and concerned because we just got called elephants....
KYMMBER ( SISITER C aka my first companion) IS MARRIED what the weird.
So happy for you Kymmber J
I absolutely love this life. I love being a missionary and I love the Lord.
My mom reminds me that I may have not told ya'll about who Wanda is? Well she is a super awesome lady that requested a Book of Mormon online so we dropped it off and shared with her briefly the message. Then we couldn't meet with her because much like Quan, she was always gone. So after we finally met with her again... what I mentioned up there ^^^^ in this email happened.
Update on the girl under the tree... We went back to our appointment with her and she wasn't there, so we assume it was probably her uncle that pulled up and saw us talking to her. He probably didn't let her go back :(
Pray for Lodes
I love you all please have a beautiful week <3
MAKE IT A GOOD ONE