Subject: Keep trying, keep believing, be happy, it will all work out :)
June 23, 2014
Well the transfer calls came today and me and Sister Castleton are officially staying together another transfer :) Which I was expecting and I am also really happy about it. I really love this ward and I'm not ready to leave yet or am finished what I need to do here. I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone by though. Everything just seems to be picking up speed and it is really weird. But life is going good here in Georgia :) President and Sister Wolfert go home this week and President and Sister Benion arrive on the 27th. I am going to miss the Wolferts a lot! It has been so great serving with them on my mission so far. I am curious on how the whole transition is going to go. But I'm sure that the Benion's are also great and it will be fine. :)
It sounds like the cattle drive/branding adventure was a success!! That is so awesome that it all turned out and that everyone made it back alive! Where did everyone else sleep at? And how many boys and leaders were able to go? And I'm so happy that Brooke is loving it up at the ranch! What a fun way to spend the summer :)
It was a crazy week. We had a lot going on, which is the best way to have things as a missionary, and I sure learned a lot. I got to go on exchanges with one of our STL's who is one of my really good friends. I really needed that. It was so nice to be able to talk with someone and we had a lot of fun together and even found a couple of new investigators :)
The next day we had an awesome lesson with Anna. It was our first "official" lesson with her, the other 2 we have just talked with her on her porch. She had been reading the Book of Mormon and was really enjoying it. We taught her the Restoration from the perspective of the Atonement. She has a lot going on in her life and she is just recently having God come back into the picture. The Spirit was there really strongly and she accepted the invitation to be baptized on July 12th! She already had some family commitments already yesterday so she wasn't able to make it to church but she is planning on this coming Sunday and she seems really excited about this decision. So we are really excited about having things move forward with her :)
That night we had a church tour with Mike and Julie Clay. I was talking to the member who told us to go and see him (Bro Beaton the bagpipe player :)) and he was like, "you got Mike Clay to come to the church?!" and was just like, "well done sisters!" Haha I love him! But it went really good! At the end of showing them around, we talked in the chapel for a little bit and he told us that he is reading the Book of Mormon again! That is huge! This is the ordained Baptist minister guy. We asked him what he thought about it and he just smiled and said, "I'll let you know." I was talking to Sis Castleton and we think it is going to be one of those things that as soon as that light bulb goes on then things are just going to explode with their family. They are going to be such great mormons :) I am really excited to see how things progress with them.
We also had an extreme makeover--Donna Jackson edition going on this week. All of her carpet and kitchen floor is gone and all of the staples are removed! It is going to look so nice and it smells a lot better having all of that nasty carpet out of there. It is just great to be helping her have this new start on life. She is very much in need of that :) Sister Castleton and I were the ones who removed all of it. Donna is thinking about asking the elders to help her install the flooring though. We will see. I have become pretty proficient in my career as a general contractor, maybe I will change my major to contruction...
A woman in our ward, Sister Spencer, came with us to teach Sam this week. It was a really great lesson! We talked a lot about courage and having the faith to talk to her dad. And she did! She asked him on Saturday if she could go to church on Sunday with her friends. He said no but it is a really big step that she asked him. We texted her on Sunday morning and she sent us the sweetest text. We told her how proud we and Heavenly Father was of her for trying and that it will all come together in His timing. She replied back that she will not let her faith give up and that she is going to keep praying and keep her faith that one day her dad will let her go to church on Sunday. She is a sweetheart :)
That night we had a lesson with Shawn Stevens. We were finally able to get a hold of her and she told us that the doctors found another tumor on her daughters heart. She is going in for surgery on July 11th and Shawn was having a really hard time. We asked her if she would like a blessing. She agreed and we set up a time the next night with Brother Collins again. He gave her a beautiful blessing and in it he talked about how she knows that this is true and that it is time to fully yoke herself up with the Savior, not halfway like she has been doing. The Spirit was so strong and as we were talking afterward she agreed to baptism but now the challenge is finding a date. She talked about the beginning of August but I really feel like it needs to be sooner than that. We told her to take it to Heavenly Father and to find out when she is ready. That was a hard night. I just don't know how to help her without pushing too hard or not enough and I just don't want to lose her. She means so much to me and I just really hope it all works out. It was one of those really humbling nights where I learn that things don't happen in my timing and to just turn it over to the Lord like I was telling Shawn to do. Thank you for your prayers for her. I know that they are helping.
Michael gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and it was so good! I felt just like a proud mom listening to him. We had dinner with them on Saturday night and he cooked for us and it was amazing! I just love their family!
I do know that everything all comes together in the Lord's timing. I love President Hinckley's quote of "Keep trying, keep believing, be happy, it will all work out." It is so true. This is His church things really do all come together somehow. I know that this is where I need to be and I am so grateful to be serving the Lord here. I love all of you so much and I am so grateful for each of you. Have a great week!
PS I had my first Georgia peach this morning and I am really sad to say that peaches in Utah are better... There is something really wrong with that picture.