Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 66: Annette, Connie, Bob, & Al!

This week has been great! We taught the restoration to Annette, a lady that we tracted into a couple of weeks ago. She is an older lady who attends the Atlanta Bible College.  As we were teaching she was really able to feel the Spirit, and I think she was surprised that everything we read out of the Book of Mormon aligned with what she believed.  The Book of Mormon truly is amazing.

We also taught another lady named Connie, and this was one of the most amazing lessons I have been able to be apart of! She has been to so many churches over her lifetime and was expressing to us that she had never felt anything at any of them.  Then towards the end of our lesson she said, "I feel something in my heart right now that I have never felt before." It was so cool to explain to her how the Spirit works.  We are SO excited to keep teaching her! 

Bob is still doing great!  He always has a smile on his face and is working on his family history. We hope to go to the temple here soon with him. I was able to go out teaching with Ryleigh this week! I feel like the two of us have a crazy connection, and it has been amazing to be back in the same ward with her!  Her twitch has started to come back, and mine was pretty bad this week, so during one of our lessons we were both jerking and I just had to smile because no one knows what in the world is going on with the two of us! I felt really anxious towards the beginning of the week, but it has been better these last few days.  We went to this huge activity in Hampton on Saturday called COPS (Come Out and Play Saturday).  Hampton is such a small town and we were able to see and talk to lots of people we knew there.  It was awesome! They were playing music for part of it and it was all Christian rock, rap, and hip hop – haha, I’m definitely living in the Bible Belt.  There were other local churches there with booths too! 

That cute old lady whose daughter is a member had a birthday on Saturday.  She is the cutest human alive, and I’ll have to take a picture of her to send home. Probably the coolest miracle of the week was meeting Al.  We tracted into him and he was really excited to come to church right away. He came with some members the next day and it was amazing! After the meeting we were talking to him and he was telling us how a lot of what was said he specifically thought was for him.  He was said, "So how do you become a missionary? I think I would really like that." We were so shocked! We explained how he has to get baptized and then go through the temple, and he told us he is going to pray about it.  I've never had someone want to progress in the gospel as quickly.  We are so excited to keep teaching him! I love you both, and I am so grateful for your constant love and prayers!  It means more to me than you will ever know! Hope you have a great week!  

 We had a challenge as a district to see who can get a group selfie first, and we asked these kids playing street ball if we could take a selfie with them. They totally all got in a group and took it with us! 

 Sister B and I hit our month marks on the same day, so we took pictures in honor of that! That was after a LONG day of finding in the hot sun- aka greasy faces.  

Pretty sunset in front of our duplex.  


Week 65: My New Trainee, Sister B!

This week has been all over the place, but wonderful!! Hopefully everyone at home is doing well!  I guess this week I will give you a rundown of each day. 

Tuesday: This was Sister Finisie's last day in the area, and she was really sad to be leaving.  Luckily we had time to go around and say goodbye to some of the members she was close to!  It’s hard to leave an area after you become so close with people, and it’s definitely tough to say goodbye.  We were able to teach two sisters that we go to see every Tuesday when we’re down by the church.  A member in our area, Sister Martin, came over to say goodbye Tuesday night.  She had a fun, little lesson for us and a bunch of treats!  She is probably my favorite member in Griffin. She goes out with us all the time and has such a love for missionary work!  Pretty much I want to be like her when I get older! 

Wednesday: We went to transfers and I picked up Sister Bjazevich (her last name is so hard to pronounce, we all just call her Sister B), and she is amazing!  She is from the Tri-Cities in Washington and is super prepared and excited for missionary work!  I don't know what it is, but I feel like every time I get a new missionary to train we find the most amazing people! That day we found a lady who was super interested in what we had to say, and after we finished sharing with her more about the Restoration she asked if her kids could sit in the next time and ten of their friends... we were so excited!  Hopefully we will be able to meet with her this week! 

Thursday: We met with Bob and he is doing so well.  He was telling us that since he has been baptized he has had so much more energy to do things, and he seems to be glowing!  Haha, sounds so cheesy but it’s true.  We went out with two members that day and were able to visit with a lot of people, so that was nice!

Friday: We went “finding” and found a trailer park where tons of people were really open, and we got a few return appointments!  We had dinner with a member whose mom just moved in with her recently.  She comes to church but has been pretty closed to the idea of changing from her Baptist roots, but at dinner she was like, "I'm thinking of changing to the Mormon religion!"  She is so cute and so old, and she's got some memory issues going on so we’ll see if we can figure out how to teach her.  

Saturday:  We taught an investigator with Sister Martin at the park. It would take hours to explain this man’s background.  He has been up and down with the church for years and both the elders and the two of us are currently teaching him.  We did make some progress during that lesson, though, so that was good! We attended a funeral for a less active member of the ward and that was interesting.   

Sunday: Bob got the Aaronic Priesthood!! We went out with Sister Martin ( I told you she is amazing!)  to see people in Griffin and that was great! 

Monday: Did LOTS of “finding”, and we were able to meet some really amazing people! If anything comes of it I will keep you updated in the coming weeks!! 

We've had a great week and I am looking forward to this transfer with Sister B.  Thanks for all the love and support- love you!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 64: An Amazing Week in Good Ole' Griffin!

Bob was baptized this week!!! YAY!! It was an amazing Saturday afternoon, and there was so much support from the ward.  He’s been “investigating” the church for 30 years, so a lot of missionaries that helped teach him came too! It was really cool to see all the members that he is close to participate in the program.  The best part was when he got up and bore his testimony! He was so nervous, but he did such an amazing job.  He talked a lot about faith and how it is a desire and not a perfect knowledge.  It is so true- we will never have a perfect knowledge while here on earth, but we HAVE to have faith to understand that Heavenly Father is in charge.  Bob is a great example, and he is an amazing strength to the ward.  I feel so lucky to be able to know him.  His daughter and her whole family were at the baptism.  They aren't active, and I think it was a really great experience for them. 

After the baptism we got to attend a Stake Relief Society Women's Conference where there were a couple of classes and dinner.  It was so fun to see people from the other wards I've served in, and of course seeing the other sister missionaries was awesome.  It was so fun to see Sister Russell and Sister Thompson!  Bob was confirmed on Sunday by Brother Edwards.  Brother Edwards is a member of our ward and the Spirit was so strong as he gave Bob a very beautiful and specific blessing. 

We found out Sister Finisie is getting transferred.  We were both semi-expecting it, but hoping we might stay together one more transfer.  I will be staying here in Griffin training another sister and sister Finisie will be an STL.  I'm a little nervous to be taking over the area, but I know that the Lord will help me!  Plus the members here are supportive and willing to come out and teach with us!  It has been such an awesome experience serving with Sister Finisie.  She is an amazing missionary, and I am so grateful that we got to spend a couple of weeks together!  Change is always a bit of a challenge, but at the Women’s Conference one of the teachers said, "Along with death and taxes, change is something you can always count on.”  It will be a great transfer I just know it! Hope y'all have a great week! Love you! 

Week 63: Miracles in Griffin

Okay! A lot of great things are happening here in the Griffin area!  It has been great to get to know the area better this week.  This area is one of a kind that’s for sure... there are a lot of really good, really humble people here.  In the actual town of Griffin (we live just north of there) there are a lot of projects and gangs, and there are people from all walks of life, and it’s been really eye opening and cool to be apart of!  A few miracles from this week:

    Sister Finisie and I had finished weekly planning earlier in the day and we both made it a goal to strive to trust Heavenly Father more, because at this point we are really striving to build up our teaching pool.  We went knocking on a few doors later that evening and we found the sweetest lady.  She was really excited to talk to us and have us pray for her.  She has recently quit a lot of substance's that she has been addicted to for a long time and is in the process of quitting smoking.  She was really receptive to the Spirit.  After we finished talking to her we said a prayer of gratitude that Heavenly Father would place someone like her in our path! Just like in 1 Nephi 1:20 "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all whom he hath chosen.”  I have seen that time and time again this week!

     We had a lesson with Bob who is getting baptized this Saturday.  We went through some of the interview questions with him and it was great.  In the past he has been super hesitant about sharing his testimony at his baptism, but as we talked to him about it this time, he is still nervous but really wants to do it!  His favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” He is acting in faith by getting baptized, and I know it is going to be so amazing for him.  It really is amazing to see the light of Christ grow within those we are teaching.  

     We had an amazing experience while teaching a man we found last week, and we were able to set a return appointment with him.  He is from Mexico and speaks very little English so we brought a member who served her mission in South America.  She did a great job of teaching and translating a simple version of the restoration, and even though I couldn't understand 90 percent of what was being said, the Spirit was so strong.  He was talking about the joy he feels when he sees beautiful things in nature like the ocean or the mountains, and he had his hand over his heart.  He compared that to what he was feeling as we were teaching him.  He said, “That is exactly what I feel right now.”  He said the closing prayer before we left and it was beautiful. I felt so grateful that Heavenly Father gives me opportunities to feel of the Spirit. I am so grateful that he cares so much about little Sister Hunter sitting in a trailer park in Hampton, Georgia, and that I am so important to Him, and that He knows me better than I even know myself.  God's love is real and each day I am serving my mission it is becoming more and more apparent to me! Sadly, Jacob, the one from Mexico, doesn't live here.  He goes back to Mexico tomorrow, but he wants missionaries to meet with him down there! Hope y'all have a great week! Love you!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 62: Goodbye Summergrove, Hello Griffin!

I arrived here in Griffin on Wednesday afternoon and it feels like I’ve been here a year!  Tuesday was spent saying goodbye to members and investigators.  A cool miracle- Catherine has a friend, Naiema, who we met a couple months back, and we both felt like we should really try and see if she wanted to take the lessons.  Things with Catherine have been so crazy lately that we haven't been able to get any of Naiema’s contact info.  Two Sundays ago a member who had been teaching overseas and had moved here to live with her daughter came to church.  We visited her on Tuesday, and as we got to talking we realized that her daughter is Naiema!! What a miracle!  Sister Russell and Sister Thompson will start teaching her the lessons ….without me sadly!
Now for Griffin, good old, crazy Griffin.  It is a huge area, and Sister Finisie and I live on the North end of the ward boundary, which puts us super far from everything and everyone.  I was pretty overwhelmed when I first arrived, but it is definitely growing on me, and I think I am going to like it better and better each week!  We cleaned a woman’s house the first day I got here.  She had a stroke recently and can't do much.  I have cleaned some pretty disgusting houses since being on my mission, but this one might just take the cake.  Sister Finisie and I were both gagging as we were cleaning and killing as many of the cockroaches as possible.

We were able to teach a mother and daughter about the Plan of Salvation, and it was really cool to see the light bulbs turn on as we explained the Godhead.  I love how the gospel makes so much sense.  There were quite a few investigators at church on Sunday, and two of the elders and I spoke.  We all talked on missionary work.  That’s a real shocker, I know!  Luckily, we all had a different take on it, so it turned out okay.  The members are super supportive here.  I think in the past they have struggled with member support, so there is a huge push for it right now, and we have had members come out and teach with us almost everyday since I’ve been here!  I know that Heavenly Father has called me here for a reason, and I am trusting that He knows what He is doing!  Sorry for the lack of pictures recently - when we come home at night we are so exhausted and it looks like I’ve washed my face in butter - but I promise I will do better!  I hope you have fun at Harry Potter World, and thanks so much for the updates on Alpine Days and all the fun adventures of the week!  I love you both!! 

Sister Finisie is from South America, and we were together at the MTC