Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 12: Investigators Come to Church!

Every time I come to the computer it feels like the scene from “101 Dalmations” where Cruella-de-Vil looks crazy driving that car!  You can imagine me typing on the computer, having so much I want to tell you but never having enough time!  It doesn't help that there is a timer counting down at the top of the screen!  So I am sorry that all of my letters are probably so scattered.  

The family that we have been teaching for the past couple of weeks came to church.  It was so exciting!  I don't know if it is just this area, or the time of year I arrived here, but we have had a hard time getting people to come to church. It was so great to see our investigators at church! They told us that they probably wouldn't be able to make it so we were so excited when they walked in.  They were watching two of their friend's kids and so it was fun being able to try and keep all of the kids entertained!  It reminded me of home!  They could only stay for sacrament meeting, but it was so fun seeing them there.  We have become so close to them over the past couple of weeks.  When we go over, the middle daughter always says, "You feel just like my older sisters!"  They really do feel like family!  The girls love to braid my hair and tell us all about how their day went.  I can already see how much joy the gospel has brought into their lives, and they have helped build my testimony so much!  Haha, one of the speakers at church was quoting that "Cool Kids" song over the pulpit... he was talking the lyrics and it was a little weird, but I love those people who try to spice things up.

Another miracle this week was that J got to go do baptisms at the temple! He was baptized the week before I got here and, along with the elders, we’ve been helping him progress towards going to the temple.  He is so funny- after getting baptized he was so stubborn, and he really didn't want to go to the temple.  But as we kept explaining more about it, his heart softened and the ward took a temple trip on Saturday and he loved it! He has been so amazing in fulfilling his calling, and he is such an awesome member. He gets to church an hour before it starts and loves to socialize with people!  A couple of Sundays ago he said, "Sister Hunter, are you having a bad hair day?"  HAHA, I was actually, and he is the only one bold enough to point it out.  In my defense it was raining and super humid! He gave us his famous deer chili.... I was pretty hesitant to try it because I had never eaten deer, but it actually tasted really good!  

We had a neat experience when we went to FHE for YSA.  We found out they were going to a field to play Ultimate Frisbee so we decided that it might be better to visit some of our investigators. As we were driving away we all felt like we should go back.  As we turned around and drove back, we noticed a lady crying and so we went over and talked with her.  She told us that she had just gotten the news that her cancer had returned - we were able to pray with her and try our best to comfort her during that hard time.  It is amazing to see how the Spirit can work through us to help other people.  I feel so lucky that I get to be a small part of the Lord's work!  Another thing that was cool- we met this guy working at the grocery store and invited him to FHE, and he and his friend actually came - that never happens!  I think they had a lot of fun too.

The weather has cooled down a little this past week.  When we go running in the morning it is so nice to have it feel almost cold! As we leave and come home from our apartment we get a lot of encouragement from our neighbors.  They will often say, "I appreciate so much what you are doing!"  or, "Keep up the good work!"  It's kind of ironic because they totally support us, they just don't want to listen to us!  Well the work is moving forward down here and I am so grateful for all of the prayers and support from home!  Love you! 


Sister Hunter 

 Zone Sisters P-day Picnic!

 Impressing a young member with my football skills

 Love these sweet investigators!

 Thanks for the new outfit, Mom!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 11: When it Rains, it Pours!

It has been raining on and off all week. When it rains, it POURS here!  We have been teaching the cutest family - a mom with three daughters, and they are so open and ready for the gospel!  The daughters are so sweet- we’ve challenged them to read the Book of Mormon everyday, and we will give them a prize at the end of the week if they do, and they have loved it!  They take notes in the margins of the pages. I was reading the oldest daughters and she wrote in one of the margins, "When I read this I feel happy and confident.”  After I read that I thought to myself, “That is really what the gospel is all about - JOY!” Heavenly Father wants us all to be happy and He has given us every tool to feel joy!  It was hilarious- we were halfway through one of our lessons when the nine year old looked up at me and out of the blue said, "I want to be sacrificed!" Haha, I was so stunned and confused, and then her older sister said "Don't you mean baptized?" and she said, "Oh yeah! Baptized!"  We all shared a good laugh over that!  They are such amazing girls and it has been so wonderful to see their small testimonies grow. 

Missionary work is full of ups and downs, so many happy times and a lot of disappointment, but one thing I know is that God is watching out for all of His missionaries everywhere because this is such an important work!  Love you guys!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 10: New Companion


It has been so fun getting to know Sister Taylor this week!  She is the newest member of the trio.  She's from Tooele and has been on her mission for 3 months.  She is a great addition to the trio and I am excited to be able to be serving with her. I feel so bad, for some reason I always want to call her Sister Smith (I have no clue why, she just looks like a Sister Smith!!) I even wrote "Smith" on the progress record for ward council, it was so embarrassing! 

Anyway, this week I have been studying and learning a lot about patience!  We taught a few members that lesson with a story in the Ensign, and after teaching it a few times it clicked in my head that probably the person who needed this lesson the most was me!  Christ is the ultimate example of patience and everything I go through is so minimal compared to what He went through.  It gives me so much comfort to know that He is there to bear me up when I am feeling weak and to make up for all of my shortcomings.  

This week we were able to meet a lot of really awesome people. We met a lady who was going through a really hard time with her marriage, and we were able to share scriptures that gave her comfort and she loved reading out of the Book of Mormon!  It is really amazing to see that when we follow the promptings of the Spirit where we can be guided!  She looked at us and said, "What possessed you to come here today?  This is exactly what I needed."  It is amazing to see that Heavenly Father guides our path to help those in need.  

I love seeing the small, tender mercies that I am blessed with each day!  Yesterday we decided that we were going to go tracting, and because I get so nervous at doors I really didn't want to do it. The first guy that answered the door (he wasn't interested or anything) was like, " I really admire the work that you are all doing, keep up the good work!"  Just that small statement made my day so much better!  

When we were walking back to our apartment one of our neighbors yelled over "Hey!  It’s not Charlie's Angels, but God's Angles!!"  Little things like that can make my day!  

Sorry it was so short this week, but I loved reading both of your emails Mom and Dad!  I love you guys!  I'll send pictures of Sister Taylor next week. 

 This fountain is right in front of the library where we email!

 Exchanges with Sister Magokpa! 

Last day with Sister Butts! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 9: Small Miracles

OKAY- so update on transfers- they are on Wednesday, and they called us this morning and let us know that Sister Butts is getting transferred and Sister Perry and I are staying in this area and getting another companion!  So we will still be in a trio- There are pro's and con's to being in a trio but I think it will be good!  It is awesome that we get to go on splits with members while the other two go tracting, and it is fun to be in a group of three. Sometimes though I think it’s a little intimidating for investigators when all three of us show up. 

 Alpine Days looked like it was so much fun!  Tell Kelsi that I am amazed by her quilt!  I can't believe Brooklyn is already home from her mission- time flies! It was so fun to look through the ward newsletter and read about all the missionaries in our ward! I was thinking the other day that I am the only person on both sides of our family out of the cousins that went on an English speaking mission. I guess besides Paul who went to Ireland and Kirk who went to Pittsburg. Anyway that was a super random thought, but I am proud of all of our cousins out there serving!  

This week was a week full of small miracles!  It is amazing to see the change that can come through reading the Book of Mormon.  One of our investigators (she is seriously the sweetest girl) is our age and whenever we teach her it feels like we are just talking to a friend!  She has started reading a couple chapters of the Book of Mormon everyday, and as we were talking to her about how she is feeling about the church and the B.O.M her response was "You just feel it right here" as she put her hand to her heart, "and there is no way that it is not true when you feel that way while you are reading it."  She told us how strongly she felt the Spirit during sacrament meeting and being able to teach her and get to know her has been such a blessing!  Teaching her has strengthened my testimony so much.  

We were able to attend two baptisms this week. One was for a lady that some of the elders in our zone taught and when she got up and bore her testimony at the end she said, "I felt like a pie that had 1/3 cut out, and as the elders were teaching me I slowly began to feel that missing piece fill in."  It is amazing to see how the gospel can fill those missing pieces in peoples lives.  (I thought people only said that kind of stuff in Preach My Gospel or scripted videos- but that WAS REAL!)  The other baptism was a couple that has a daughter who is a member and they finally decided to be baptized.  They are so old!  The closest thing that I can compare it to so ya'll can have a visual is imagine Bertha Adams getting baptized.  The Elder had to be SO gentle with them, so gentle!  It felt like the whole room was holding their breath as they went under and came back up. I have never been to a baptism quite like that.  It was sweet to see their smiling faces the entire time!  

We went on exchanges this week for a day, and I went to the Sharpsburg area with Sister Makgopa .  She is from South Africa, and it was such a neat experience being with her for a day!  We were able to help out a lot with the baptism and I was able to drive which was kinda cool!  

I can't believe that I am already finished with my first transfer!  It feels like I just got here, but at the same time it feels like I have been here for YEARS, haha, time on a mission is seriously the weirdest thing.  I have learned so much this first transfer and wouldn't change the experiences I had for the world!  I am so grateful for this opportunity to be out here and I feel so lucky to be able to meet so many amazing people.  

Tell Ty that I will be rooting him on from afar when he starts school!  Tell Scott that I say Hi. Hope he is doing well!  Love you all and thanks so much for the support! Until next week!  

Sister Hunter

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Week 8: Atlanta Temple Trip

On Tuesday we went to the Atlanta Temple, and it was such an amazing experience!  I loved being in the temple with so many missionaries! (Mom and Dad I know you love the details about temples- I would say that this one is SMALL, it is a little smaller than the Draper temple, and the decor of it is very simple, and so beautiful!  I can't wait to go with both of you some day!)

There has been such a focus on the Book of Mormon in our mission, and it is amazing to see the miracles that can come from reading the Book of Mormon!  We visit an elderly couple every week and she has never been very active in the church and has never understood the importance of the Book of Mormon. Yesterday we went over and she said "I am going to read the Book of Mormon until I understand it!  Even if that means I have to read it 3 times!"  It was a miracle to see her have the desire to read it!  She got the Book of Mormon on the kindle so her husband can read it too- the font is massive! It’s like 5 words on a page, haha. 

We attended two baptisms this week, one from the White Water Ward for an 8 year old boy whose family is all members, and then another baptism that my companions both taught  while they were switching off every week. His younger brother who got baptized a month ago was able to baptize him and it was so amazing to see them so happy!  

We had some neat experiences finding investigators this week. We  ran into two guys that were landscaping an apartment complex that we were walking through.  One of them had met with missionaries for about a year and the other guy said, "I want to come visit your church!"  He accepted a Book of Mormon and they were so nice.  We asked them to watch a Mormon Message and then text us and tell us what they thought of it (we ask a lot of the people we meet to do that), and they actually texted us!  That never happens!  We also talked to a girl that had met sisters before and had them over to do service, and we are going to see her this week!  I am still working on getting over that fear of going up and talking to random people about the church. I never know how they are going to react but I won’t know unless I try, and you never know who is ready to hear the gospel!     

One thing I love seeing is when the members get so excited about missionary work!  It SO true that the best way for missionary work to go forward is through the help of the members!  The members in both wards are so amazing and I love getting to help and support them.

I can't believe transfers are already next week!  Time flies.  I love you!

Sister Hunter 

 Taking a short cut on the golf path

 Movie night watching "The District"

 Peach picking in Peach Tree City

 President and Sister Foote - love them!

 Great day at the Atlanta Temple