Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 22: Georgia, the Buckle of the Bible Belt!

I can't believe another week has gone by - time seriously flies!  Things are going well here in Whitewater.  The weather is getting colder, and the rain keeps pouring down!  We have had to be super strategic with our car share.  One of the highlights of the week was teaching a referral from the Peach Tree City sisters.  He was introduced to the missionaries in 2012 and is SUPER busy with work so he hasn't met with them in a long time.  When he came to meet with us he had his Book of Mormon in hand and was telling us how even though he hasn't read it all the way through he knows that it must be from God. It was so cool! He is super genuine and we are excited to keep teaching him! 

We have a new ward missionary who moved in recently and is going to be so awesome!  Our other two sister ward missionaries aren't really active... so it’s going to be so nice to have an involved ward missionary!  She taught a lesson with us to Isaura and her girls and her testimony was so powerful, it was awesome!  We taught a lesson to a member of the ward who is originally from Japan and married to a man from Alaska.  Her brother only speaks Japanese and he is here for the next couple months.  They want us to teach him to help prepare him to go on a mission!  He hasn't been active for a long time, and she had to translate everything we said. In my head I was thinking, "This is seriously probably one of the reasons I took Japanese in high school and now I am here and I’ve blown it!"  All I could say was, "Hi, my name is sister Hunter,” and even then he didn't really understand me! His brother-in-law gave me a gospel vocabulary book, so now I really have to brush up on my Japanese!

On Saturday we had a really cool lesson.  We have been visiting this older lady whenever we were in the area and she has said, "I'm always going to be Baptist, but you can keep dropping by because it may be Jesus trying to tell me something!"  It has been cool to see how her heart has slowly softened over time, and a few weeks ago she said, "The more you girls keep coming by, the more I want to read out of the Book of Mormon."  This last visit, as we were talking about the plan of salvation and baptism, it was so wonderful to see her change of heart.  She promised us that she would read this week, and she said she would pray about it and if she got an answer, she said she would be baptized! 

We went finding and knocked on the door of a lady who seemed super nice. She called her husband over and they both seemed really kind, until they started talking and began slamming everything we believe… but with the biggest smiles... it was so weird!  I felt like I was being chastised by the male, Baptist version of Professor Umbridge!  There are quite a few preachers who teach a bunch of anti, and they must have gotten their false information from one of them.  They gave us a book to read, and after we left, Sister Barrett and I were trying to make ourselves laugh at the situation.  Looking back, even though it was annoying, it was pretty funny.  I just bore him my simple testimony and told him that I knew everything we teach is true, not because I grew up in the church, but because I prayed to receive my answer.  That same night I burned my tongue on a piece of fried chicken, and I haven't been able to taste much since!

Yesterday we got asked at the last minute to teach Relief Society and it was on “Feed my Sheep” from the Ezra Taft Benson manual.  I think the underlying theme for everything we do in the gospel, from bringing new people into the gospel and reaching out to less active members, is love.  Seeing people as the Savior sees them, and doing everything in our power to help them feel loved was the main focus of the lesson.  I love this quote from President Monson, "We have the responsibility to look at our friends, our associates, our neighbors this way.  Again, we have the responsibility to see individuals not as they are but rather as they can become.  I would plead with you to think of them in this way."  Everyone has so much potential and it takes the pure love of Christ to notice that potential and help others reach it.  It was a great lesson because the sisters participated so much!  They are awesome.  I am sort of losing my voice because of a cold, so I sounded like Voldemort while I was teaching, but luckily I didn't have to talk too much!

Love you all!  Thank you so much for the support and prayers!  I couldn't do this without them!  

Love, Sister Hunter 

Saying goodbye to the minivan!

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