Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Week 55: A Week From Heaven!

This past week was so amazing!  Catherine, Cinque, and Quecin were baptized!  A lady in our ward was their school teacher and said the opening prayer, and instantly the Spirit was so strong.  She had one of the boys in her class last year and he was struggling a bit.  She felt prompted to put his name on the temple prayer roll and less than a week later missionaries knocked on their door!  Seeing their faces when they came out of the font was probably one of the happiest moments of my life, their little smiles just melt my heart.  We stood on the side of the font and helped dry off Catherine as she came out of the water and she had tears running down her cheeks.  I felt the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of the gospel and the joy it can bring into people's lives.  It was the hottest day of the year so far.  The thermometer read 112 degrees in our car, and the humidity was crazy.  Let’s just say we were sweating all day, and the AC in the church kept shutting off.  Plus the hot water in the font made it feel like a sauna, but nonetheless, it was a great day!  The next day they were confirmed and it was incredible to see the outpouring of love from the ward members. 

Our stake has firesides called "Why I Believe" and converts to the church speak about their conversion stories.  We had one of these firesides last night and it was amazing to hear so many recent converts who were so prepared for the gospel.  It made me even more excited to be a missionary!  

We had a really great lesson this week with a former investigator who we found in our area book.  We took a member with us and they connected so well.  They both suffer from chronic pain and they were able to relate on a level that we could never have related to.  She was able to testify of how the gospel has blessed her since she's joined the church.  It’s great to see how missionary work is so much more effective when the members are involved.  We taught the restoration, and when Sister Thompson quoted the first vision, the Spirit was so strong.  As she looked at the picture she had the biggest smile on her face- the gospel is so true! 

We had a lesson with a couple of pastors at their church this week…very interesting!  Before my mission that would have scared the daylights out of me, but it has been so cool to see that we are truly set apart to preach the gospel.  There is no other way that we would be able to teach the people we do!  
Love you!  Sister Hunter

 So excited for this sweet family!

Week 54: A Visit From Elder Cardon

I wanted to take a second and write out some thoughts I have been having about the Holy Ghost.  We had Elder Cardon of the Seventy and his wife come and speak to us on Thursday, and he focused a lot on the Holy Ghost.  I have learned so many things on my mission, especially about how the Holy Ghost communicates with me.   I realize that the Holy Ghost's role isn't just to lead and guide, but also to comfort.  How is the Holy Ghost supposed to comfort me if I am always in my comfort zone?  This experience of serving a mission has definitely put me out of my comfort zone, which has given me the opportunity to feel the comforter – definitely a blessing in my life! 

We had a lesson with an investigator that we found on exchange in PTC last transfer.  When we knocked on his door and he wasn’t home and then we found him at his parent’s house, we knew it wasn’t a coincidence and that we were supposed to teach him!  He is the best to teach because he has so many questions. He asked us all kinds of things about the church and he kept saying, "That really makes sense!" (That’s what I love about the gospel- it makes sense!)   We left him with a Book of Mormon and an invitation to come to church, and he did!! It was so cool to see him participate in Gospel Principles.  We talked about the Holy Ghost, and he made a comment about how he felt the Holy Ghost when we were teaching him, and how his wife, who isn't religious at all, texted him the next day on his way to work saying something like, "I am praying that you make it there safely."  He said, "I truly believe that the Spirit lingered in our house after the sisters left and that is why she felt prompted to text me.”

Things are going great here!  I couldn't have asked for a better companion, and we have seen the miracles that come from working hard and being obedient.  I am so grateful for the people Heavenly Father has put in my path that have so positively influenced my life.  Love you guys!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Week 53: New Week, New Transfer

Sis. Call packed her things and we visited members and investigators to say goodbye.  It was bittersweet for sure!   On Wednesday we went to transfer meeting and there were so many missionaries there. Two-thirds of the missionaries were involved in the transfer!   My new companion is Sister Thompson and she is amazing!  Even though I’m the one training, I feel like I’m learning so much from her!  She is super hard working and we are already amazing friends!  We got right to work and headed to our first appointment.  When we got out of the car a guy that was walking by said, "Hey! I've wanted to come to your church! Can you come by sometime and teach me?" I couldn’t have planned a better first encounter for Sister Thompson than that! I love training because I get to experience the excitement of just arriving on a mission all over again.

We have had a week full of miracles!  So many people we have talked to are ready and open.  We pulled over and started finding at an apartment complex, and we knocked on about four doors and no one was answering.  We started to walk away, and I just had the feeling we should turn back.  Just as we turned around, a guy walked around the corner and we started talking to him.  We prayed with him and told him about the Book of Mormon and read Alma 7:11-12.  After bearing our testimonies of the atonement he said, "This is so crazy, I just came outside to get some fresh air and then you guys showed up!"  He said his best friend from middle school was Mormon and he was super willing to learn! We had multiple experiences like that this week, and it was a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father wants to guide us by the Spirit, we just have to be obedient!  This week was one of those weeks that make all the hard days worth it, so hopefully we will see some progress with these amazing people in the coming weeks!!

It has been so fun to see Sis. Thompson experience the South for the first time.  I feel like I’m so used to it by now that I don't even notice the funny things people say and do.   We have had a blast laughing together and working together!  One last super cool miracle, we taught a recent convert this past week who literally lives in a house that is in the parking lot of a Baptist church. After she got baptized a bunch of people tried to pull her away from the church, and she went through a rough phase where she didn't know what to do. These last few weeks have been so amazing for her!  We went over and studied Mosiah 5 with her on her porch and after every verse she would smile and whisper, "amen!" or "hallelujah!” and she just has the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon!  She makes me want to be a better missionary and a better person.  She came out with us to teach a few days later, and the appointments we had fell through. We felt really bad, but she turned to us and said, "We are not going to give up!  The missionaries didn't give up on me, there were weeks when I wouldn't answer my door, and they never gave up.  Look at me now!"  Like I said- coolest person ever!  She gives me so much hope that I am making a difference in people's lives, however big or small!  Well, I hope things are going great back home.  Hope ya'll have a good week, just pray that we don't melt down here in Georgia!  

  My new companion, Sister Thompson!



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Week 52: Fireflies and Christmas Music

We have had a really great week!  Teaching Catherine and her family and seeing their excitement for baptism has been a highlight!  They are the cutest, and it has been so fun to see the gospel change their lives.  We love them so much!  They came to church on Sunday and it was so fun to see all their smiling faces when we walked into the chapel!  The little girl sat right in between the two of us and we were laughing afterwards because she was coughing a bunch and then she thought it would be so funny to lick my hands!  Good thing I have the immune system of steel because I definitely don’t have time to get sick.  Thank goodness for hand sanitizer!

We also had the opportunity to teach a referral we got from a member in Delaware.  Her friend lives here and is going through so many trials that I couldn't even imagine having to go through.  When we showed up at her door, she was in tears.  She couldn't believe that we had come to visit her, and even though she is going through so much we have seen her get stronger and stronger each day.  We have been able to teach her a couple of lessons, and a recent convert lives down the street from her and came with us to one of the lessons.  It was so cool to hear her powerful testimony!  She was reading her a scripture from Mormon 7 about how those who believe in the Bible will believe in the Book of Mormon- and so she was like, "So you will believe in the Book of Mormon!"  It was awesome how bold she was!  She hasn't been to church in awhile and when she invited our investigator she said. "I haven't been in awhile, but I think it will be good for both of our souls if we go to church." Yes! Yes it will.   

I was thinking my letters probably aren't the most exciting, and so I thought I would give you more details about the area, the people, and everyday life here.

Sister Call and I have a big area so we spend quite a bit of time driving and making calls.  When we aren't making calls we are listening to the David Archuleta Christmas album.  We drive a bright red car and it is so new that is starts with a button!  Every night when we pull into our apartment complex there are always a bunch of fireflies out and it is the best being able to see them flicker all over the place at the end of our day!  We LOVE the people we get to teach.  On the way to get to our church from our apartment we pass seven other churches.  By the end of the day we are so sweaty from all the heat and humidity, my hair usually ends up in a pony tail or a bun, but lets be real I never do my hair anyway!   There are going to be a lot of changes this week and I am excited for the many miracles that this next transfer will bring! 
I love my companion so much and I am going to miss her, but good things await her in Idaho.  Sister Hunter