Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baptism Miracles

                                               you know you're in the south when...

Hey y'all! 

It's been another great week here in Barnesville, Georgia.  I still don't feel really comfortable with my teaching, but I do try to chime in when I can, and I'm getting pretty good at teaching the restoration.  I think it will be a while before I'm really comfortable with my teaching skills, and it's never been something I could call a strength.  But hey, I know that He'll turn my weaknesses into strengths! I'm learning so much from Sis Watts!  She's really good at just talking to anyone, and also transitioning from just normal talk to the gospel, which is what I need help with. So I'm slowly learning (: She was a trainer just before I came, with a trainee who wanted to go home for a few reasons. She's from San Francisco, bay area.  She said she's really only had 3 baptisms she’s been in this area 9 months ago, so I'm just taking credit for all of her hard work haha. Well Mom, I've thought of you a lot as I've walked in to gross, smoky smelling houses, or disorganized rooms, or doing the dishes every day because my tongban just doesn't.  I'm glad I've been raised to be neat and clean, and I'm finally doing that without murmuring.

Now for the good stuff! We have three baptisms this week! First, Lucille.  She's so awesome! She's the cutest little 90 year old woman, and she's still going hard! She's so sassy, and she ate probably more than I did at our dinner appt at bishop's last Monday.  She is hard of hearing and a little blind, but I'd say she's doing pretty good! She comprehends really well too, so we're definitely glad for that.  We're having another dinner appt at bishop's tonight, and then she'll get baptized on Saturday by her son.  So sweet! Haha at church yesterday, she was talking with the oldest man in our ward, Bro Druce.  He said to her, "Lucille, when you get baptized we'll be the oldest man and the oldest woman in the ward!" all Lucille could say was, "What?" because she couldn't hear him. Hahah it was so funny. 
                     Lucille the night she accepted baptism! She thought she put on her white cardigan (:

Then there's West, who's been a stallion ever since I met him.  He was thinking about moving his baptism date to the 8th, but then was afraid he might pick up a cigarette so we're sticking with the 15th like it's always been, just so he can make sure. He's still doing great! He says that Joseph Smith is his role model! Every time we come and visit, he's just studying away with his BOM and the pamphlets we've given him.  And he's always so happy to see us or talk with us on the phone. Man, I wish everyone could be as diligent as he is! 
Last but not least is TIA!! It totally came out of nowhere! Tia is Jenny's daughter, and Jenny was recently baptized in August.  She's really great to come out with us on team-ups, and we love their family! So anyway, a week or so ago, we talked with Tia for the first time in a while.  She's almost been baptized twice, then both times she backed out at the last minute.  She said she doesn't want to give up beer and her piercings, but still wants to get baptized. okay.... so just give them up! haha. Oh, she's like 19, by the way.  So this week Jenny texted us after she got home from doing a team-up, and she said that Tia was just reading her BOM by herself and highlighting pretty much everything! Later that night, Tia texted us and asked if we could come over.  She NEVER does that.  So we went to see her, and she was so excited to tell us that she wants to get baptized! I really think this time is the real deal.  She came to church with us on Sunday, and she's been reading so much.  I guess people just have to change on their own time.
So this Saturday is gonna be a great one! 3 baptisms, plus two from the elders.  WHOO HOO!! This is a total miracle.
Speaking of miracles, I've been a wee bit zhongwen starved if y'all couldn't guess. I was talking about it to the Blockers, and one of the daughters has a friend from school from China! Her family owns a Chinese restaurant, so of course we had to check it out! At first, we met the mom, and she didn't seem too willing to talk, maybe just because she didn't really speak English.  She told us to come back later, where we met Yuli, the Blocker's friend! And she speaks great English so she was totally willing to talk with me! Well, in English.. But I told her I want to practice teaching in zhongwen, so hopefully she'll let me just teach! Er, I mean practice Chinese... wink wink. ;) It was so nice to hear someone speaking zhongwen again though! I really hope I can keep it up.  I did finish memorizing D&C 4 though! finally! Now I think I might start on the articles of faith and do a few scriptures.  I'm very excited to talk with Yuli again, and let’s see where that takes us! Also, I met our stake president, Pres Stebar, and he went to Taibei on his mission! He saw my name tag and started speaking zhongwen, and I just got so excited to talk with him.  Precious tender mercies from the Lord (:

                                   Helping the Blockers move :( At least we had some fun!
We've gotten so much free food this week! Haha we even made a list, because this is so not normal! 
OOH so Amy and Cory! That's the family that we went to when we got a flat tire and had to use their bathroom.  This is soo good.  So apparently Amy told Cory about us, and that it was just a miracle that we came.  I have no idea why  though. Okay I do, but yeah.  She said she was having a really hard day, and seeing us just made her day so much better.  Do we really stand out that much? Like for the better? I thought that was really cool.  But on the other hand, why do some people just hate us when they see us? Haha I have no idea.  Anyway, Amy even posted about it on facebook! She totally needs us to teach her! So here's the problem.  Cory is a truck driver and is only here every other weekend.  We can't see them until almost Thanksgiving :( I think we'll still check in on Amy though.  They just seemed so prepared! It's people like them that still give me hope :)
...for times like tracting.  We're getting a little low on solid investigators since a lot of them are getting baptized, so we did a little tracting this week.  That was interesting.  And probably the hardest thing I think I've done since I've been out.  Either no one was home, or they just opened the door and said "I'M NOT INTERESTED." One lady, I'm guessing she was somewhat interested in the church, because she was bashing the pearl of great price, and the celestial kingdom because it's 'another planet'.  She kindly stabbed my heart and said you girls need to do some more studying.  Oh, the things I could say to her.  But I didn't because  I am a representative of Christ.  I'm getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. I just feel so bad for her!  I hope one day she will have her heart softened and come to understand the true gospel. We kept praying that just someone would recognizes us as Christ's representatives, but everyone would just get so mad when they saw us.  Haha it also didn't help that they all had like 5 dogs barking when they opened the door. 

  The field is brown, already harvested?? Wish I could have seen a cotton field before the harvest!

      We looked down to see this dead squirrel thing greeting us as we were tracting.. FREAKY

That's why it was such a miracle to meet Briyannah. J We were walking away from Gordon college campus after a lesson, and this girl came right up to us to ask if we go to school there.  We got talking a bit, and she noticed my name tag and got so excited! She said her boyfriend is on a mission, and then we asked if she wanted to know what he was doing/teaching.  So we'll see her again next week! It was a total miracle that she recognized us, even if she didn’t recognize us as missionaries at first.  But randomly, she stopped us to talk.  It's so interesting to see how Heavenly Father answers our prayers in the most perfect timing.  His timing.
Another day while tracting, we found Kristy! Haha the rumors are true, tracting is not effective.  Kristy is the only person we found, but it was still a miracle! She's the cutest 25-year old mom with a little 2 year old baby.  We talked to her for a good hour on her porch (I'm gonna need a good rocking chair for my porch when I have a home) about Christ and stuff.  We introduced the Book of Mormon, and she'd never heard of it. Now that was a miracle.  She was super interested in it too, and her faith in Christ is already so strong! So I'm really excited to continue to meet with her.
Well, that's about it for this week! Oh, I had to sign another visa application, although the directions said to sign “both” copies and there was only one.. I have no idea what's going on.  Please just keep praying that I'll get my visa and can make it to Taiwan in reasonable time.  Don't get me wrong, I really do love Georgia, but I just want to get to Taiwan already! I almost don't feel like I'm on my real mission yet. It's hard to settle in when I have no idea when I'm going to leave, but I'm really trying to make the most of my time while I'm here.   

                                                  Chopsticks.. It's harder than it looks.

I had a cool thought while studying one day.  I was reading Matthew 25:40 inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  I thought of Mosiah 3:19 when ye are in the service of your god.. y’all know the rest.  But Matthew went on to say something like inasmuch as you don't do it unto your brethren, you don't do it unto me.  And same with the service.  Wait, maybe that was just my thought.  Anyway, I've never thought of it like that.  When we DON'T stop to do a quick act of service for someone, we DON'T give service to  God.  I'm trying to remember that when I brush away a thought to help someone out real quick, because I know that I would definitely stop for a minute to help out Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ.  I encourage y'all to step back and remember who you're really serving, and then act on that simple thought to serve someone.
It's so nice to hear from everyone, thank you all for your emails! While I'm still in the states, it would be nice to get a letter or two, although I totally understand that it may not be worth it to send mail to Taiwan.  It is just nice to know that someone's thinking of me when I get a package (:
Have a good week! I love you so much! Stay on the boat!

Sister Facer

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