Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 36: Highlights

Highlights of the week:

*Teaching Shannon and Xander about the gospel!  This has been one of the biggest highlights of my whole mission!  They are so amazing and so prepared.  They came to church on Sunday and a member gave Shannon a blessing because she has been feeling so overwhelmed.  Hearing her explain how strongly she felt the Spirit during the blessing was amazing.  I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help them find joy in the gospel! 

*Going to the temple as a Zone!  The temple is my favorite place.  We have really awesome missionaries in our zone and it is so fun to see them from time to time!  

 *A funny story- we had a lesson with a less active member and she is really hard of hearing, like almost deaf.  Sister Kelly was saying the opening prayer and she meant to pray for the ringing in her ears to go away, but she prayed that her hearing would come back.  I don't know why I thought it was so funny but I lost it.... in the middle of the prayer like a total loser!  Haha , then Sister Kelly started laughing and the member we were with started laughing.  Somehow Sister Kelly managed to finish the prayer.  The funniest part was that the sweet, elderly sister didn’t hear or notice our outburst at all as she sat in her chair with her eyes closed and her arms folded!  

*A baptism of an 8 year old boy in the ward that we know quite well!  His family is so great and it was fun to be there at the baptism to see how excited they all were.  It is always so awesome to see the joy that people feel when they are baptized!  

*Being companions with Sister Kelly!  She is wonderful and we laugh through the hard days of missionary work.

Love you guys!  Sister Hunter


Week 35: A Week in the Life of a Missionary

Okay!  Here we go- this week we had some awesome lessons, really good laughs, and a lot of quality biking time!  I never know how to format these letters so maybe this week I will do highlights of each day.

Monday: We ate with a family at a cute little pizza place, and had FHE with another member family!  We go over to this family every Monday night and practice teaching the lessons with them and they are a huge help.  They give us great advice on how to improve our teaching skills.

Tuesday:  We had district meeting and then we spent most of the day in Senoia.  We visited a less active member and as we were going to get lunch we stopped and talked to this girl.  We laughed when she asked if we were nuns!  We explained what we do as missionaries and then we set up a time to come back and visit her.  We visited her on Friday and taught her the first lesson and it went well!  She has such a desire to learn!  We taught another lesson to an investigator that has moved out of our area, but we have permission to start teaching her again!  It was great, and she also helped us practice the lessons and it was a huge help!  We then made dinner for Judy (the one whose husband passed away a while ago.)  We made Alfredo Pasta and cut up apples and oranges and then ate it on this SUPER nice china.... such an informal meal in a formal setting -haha!  But it was so fun to sit and talk and laugh with her!  

Wednesday: We taught a lesson to our new investigator and his mom.  We did the object lesson with the apostasy cups and he is really excited to get on a schedule of reading the Book of Mormon each day. It has been such a great experience teaching him!  We biked all day  too, so it was a good thing the weather was nice.

Thursday:  We did community service at a Catholic clothing organization.  We love going to serve there- everyone is so sweet and we run into a lot of people we know! 

Friday: We taught the girl we found on Tuesday and visited a few people close by!  All of our appointments cancelled that day, so we spent time finding, and we were able to help out our investigator, C, by helping make dinner and cleaning her house!  We had a Family Night with a family from the ward and had the kids helps us teach parts of the lesson.  

Saturday:  We sang at a Retirement Community with a YW from the ward and the elders in our district.  We were talking to the residents, and one lady was telling us how her birthday was on the fifteenth, and I was like, "That is so cool you were born the day after Valentines day!"  I was talking really loud and close to her because she was pretty hard of hearing.  She looked confused and said really loud, "Do I go to the bathroom??"  Sister Kelly died laughing and I was trying really hard to hold it together, haha!  We had fun and I love the spirit that music brings!  We went out to lunch, and we also did service for another member by helping her make cakes for her sons wedding!  We experimented with the decorating and lets just say I am glad that I don't want to be a cake decorator because I am horrible at it!  We taught her the Word of Wisdom that night- we are practicing teaching with a lot of members.  Sister Kelly and I both had a laughing attack and it took us a solid 5 minutes to pull ourselves together! Good thing she is so awesome and was laughing alongside us!  

Sunday: All of our appointments we had set cancelled because of the Super Bowl... but we biked over and dropped by a member family who said, "Sisters, come in and eat with us!" It was a mini miracle that we needed right then!  

It was a great week and I am so grateful for Sister Kelly as a companion.  I love learning from every companion and love the strengths that they all have that they have shared with me.  I am so grateful that I get to be a missionary!  Love you guys!  Have a great week!  
Sister Hunter 


Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 34: First Week of the New Transfer

This has been a great week full of crazy experiences and wonderful miracles!  My new companion is Sister Kelly from Idaho!  She went to BYUI for 2 years before going on a mission, so who knows, maybe we passed each other in the halls at BYUI.  We have a similar sense of humor so we get along great!   We had a funny thing that happened right out of the gate.  We were tracting and Sis. Kelly was really nervous to talk at the door, so we role played a bunch and decided that she would take the next door.  Of course out of all the houses we knocked on that day she had to talk to a Baptist preacher.  I was dying!  He didn't let us talk to him or pray with him, but he prayed for us.... haha!  Earlier that day, we dropped by one of our investigators who has 21 kids (seriously, 21 kids!) She wasn't home, but one of her older sons, Revelation, was there.  We were talking to him about the Book of Mormon when his phone went off, and he said, "Hold on a sec, my prophet is calling".  We thought that was kind of weird, and then he put him on speaker and it sounded like a rapper or a slam poet quoting scripture super fast. I looked over at our team-up and asked, "Is he speaking English?"   All of a sudden Revelation yells into the phone, "It shall come to pass, it shall come to pass, it shall come to pass.”  We all look at each other like, 'what the heck it going on.’ It was funny, creepy, and super weird all at the same time.  It didn’t help that we were sitting in a room FULL of porcelain dolls that his mom makes.  Many of them were in strange praying positions and a lot of the dolls didn’t have hair.  I’m laughing even writing this, but if you can picture two missionaries and a member from the ward sitting in a room full of hairless porcelain dolls with Snoop Dog reading out of the Book of Mormon then you’ve got a pretty accurate depiction.  

Then we tracted into this guy who’s a hard core Baptist and had taken an anti Mormon class and was hounding us with questions. He whipped out his Bible, and Sister Kelly looked like a deer in the headlights!  I have become SO much less sensitive to people being rude to me since coming on my mission.  After being out here I honestly think there are very few things people could say that would offend me.  Mom’s advice, "Kill them with kindness," is honestly the best way to handle it! 

Onto the more important things of the week!  We had an awesome Sunday!  Charisse and her two oldest kids came to church again this week!! Charisse has such an awesome light about her, and it was so great to have her at church again.  We felt so bad, though, because her second oldest son was sick and throwing up in the bathroom during Primary.  She took him home, and later that night she texted and said they had to take him to the hospital and he has appendicitis!  The ward has been super awesome about helping out- hopefully everything will be okay.  Our new investigator and his Mom and Dad came to church too! His dad is a recent convert who lives in Florida, and he and his Mom live here.  The ward really reached out to them and made them feel welcome which we were so grateful for!  The dad is going to baptize him.  We just need to go through the lessons with him.  His mom sat in on the lesson as well and she had a lot of really great questions so we are really excited for the opportunity to teach both of them!  It is such a miracle how the whole thing worked out and we are really grateful to be apart of it! 

We also helped a less active member move into our apartment complex yesterday!  It was fun because there are three member families that live in our complex, and we just knocked on their door and a lot of them came out to help!  We are so sore today though- we moved all their stuff onto the second floor for an hour in the afternoon and an hour right before we went in for the night, and we were also on bikes all day!  Our Relief Society president took us to an appointment that was too far for biking.  We left our bikes at her house and she picked us back up after our appointment.  She and her husband love to road bike and they rode back to our apartment with us.  We were like a merry little biking party – it was so fun!  

Sister Kelly is so awesome- she really wants to get the lessons down.  When we’re on our bikes we use our time to role play and practice the lessons. I am excited for the many wonderful things that are going to happen this transfer!  Thank you for all the prayers from home!  Have a great week!

Love, Sister Hunter

 My new companion - Sister Kelly!

 I'm going to miss Sister Barrett!


Week 33: Last Week of the Transfer!

I can't believe it’s the last week of the transfer!! We got a call from the AP's on Saturday night telling us that Sister Barrett is getting transferred and I’m staying in Whitewater for another transfer!! We thought for sure it would be the other way around because I have been here for so long, but nope I am staying!  I am so grateful though, because there are so many things that happened this week that make me so excited for this upcoming transfer!! 

Okay, first of all this has nothing to do with anything, but last Sunday Sister Barrett and I tracted into this guy that is IDENTICAL to Shawn Spencer.  I was freaking out because that is my favorite show of all time.  We talked for like 30 minutes and he was one of those "I think it is so amazing what you are doing, and I think more churches should do what you do, but I am never going to change my religion" kind of guy.   When we were leaving we told him how identical he was to that actor- James something or other- and he looked him up on his phone and put his face right next to the picture and it was scary how much they looked alike!!

We had Zone Training on Tuesday, and Sister Barrett and I were asked to give a training on being happy!  There was an awesome quote that our Relief Society president gave us from the talk by Jeffery R Holland called "The Tongue of Angels" and the quote says, “We should honor the Savior’s declaration to be of good cheer. Indeed, it seems to me that we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself.”  That made me really think, because one of Satan's greatest tools is to make us feel bad about ourselves or sad about certain situations that we are in, but the message and the light of the gospel has the power to drown out all of that darkness and sadness.  So the moral of the story- happiness is a choice that we can make every morning when we wake up, and when we make that choice we will help those around us feel joy too!

Tuesday was stressful because we were running behind like 15 minutes all day, and we had a full day of booked appointments.  A sister in our ward invited us to come over and do service by helping her cook meals for people in the ward.  It was just what we needed after such a stressful day!   We dropped the meals off to the different families, and that was a lot of fun too!  

On Saturday we had an awesome FHE with one of our investigator families.  We talked about building a good foundation and how when we pray, read our scriptures, and go to church we are built on a strong foundation that can't be blown over.  I love teaching kids, because they get so excited about things and they just light up when they are participating and talking about the gospel!  They all came to church the next day!! We were SO excited when they walked through the doors!  It was ward conference so it was a little weird, but for the most part it was still great!   The four year old little girl sat in between Sister Barrett and I, and she has so much energy.  I've been around a lot of kids in my lifetime and she has the most energy out of any child I have ever seen!  Haha!  Sister Barrett and I were trying to keep her distracted and quiet the whole time, she was writing all over my study journal, flipped through every pamphlet I had, took my hair out and started "braiding it" took, my name tag off and was playing with it- it was NUTS!  Just then the stake president gave a little shout out to the missionaries and was like, "Where are you sisters??"  We sheepishly raised our hands looking like a hot mess in the back of the chapel, good times!  The kids loved church though, so hopefully we will be seeing them more regularly in the future.

Later that day we ate at the Allen’s.  We went over to their neighbor who they are really good friends with, and she invited us right in and we talked with her for quite awhile. We talked to her about our missions and also that the Allen’s son is going on a mission.  We asked if she would be willing to come over to the Allen’s and let their son practice teaching the lessons and get her feedback.  She was more than willing to do that!   Later that night the Bishop called us to say that the 9 year old son of a recent convert from Florida who lives here with his mom wants to get baptized.  He just needs to go though the lessons!  We are super excited to start teaching him!  So many awesome miracles happened yesterday!  

Another miracle is that it snowed this week!  It didn't stick, but it was really cold for two days of the week and on one of the days we had to ride bikes so that was exciting/horribly cold.  Oh, and one last miracle!  We were driving around with a member (she texted us to see if we wanted a ride because we had the bikes that day - so awesome!) and as we were driving back we took a left hand turn onto a busy street at a one way stop, and everything was fine- then like 5 minutes after we left that exact spot a massive car accident took place and like 7 ambulances had to come.  I don't know very many details, but I know it was not good!  I know that the Lord is watching over and protecting me, and I know that all the prayers that are said on my behalf have helped keep me safe!  So THANK YOU!  

There was a broadcast this week to all the 75,000 missionaries in the world!  It was cool to think of all my friends and family on missions sitting and watching the same thing at the same time!  Yay for missions!  I am so grateful for the opportunity to stay here in this area, and I’m anxious to see what this next transfer holds!  

Love you all! Have a great week! 

 Exchanges with the FAY Sisters!

It snowed!