Monday, March 30, 2015

Gotta Love Springtime

                                        Word on the skreet is that local honey works great for
                                     those springtime allergies.  The word is true, my friends!

                                                                    Secret Selfie...
 Dear everyone,
We truly did the Lord's work this week.  It was amazing! I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father was watching us up in heaven and was like, "Y'all are too cute.  Let's do MY work now." And so He humbled us and we did! Haha it's about as simple as that. We went on exchanges this week, which may have had something to do with it.  I got to go up to Peach Tree City and serve with Sister Echols again! That was a blast.  But the members up there are so amazing! They have at least 2 team ups every day, dinner with members every night, and every investigator has a few fellowshippers at church. I think that helped me really catch the vision of how important it is to work with, around, and through the members! So we went to town, humbled ourselves, and really worked hard to get the members out with us.  Literally every one of our key indicators moved forward.  Numbers totally don't mean anything, but it was just cool to see that we were definitely not doing the work alone. 

                                                              Sister Echols and me
During our comp inventory this week, Sister Call told me that she can tell that I really enjoy teaching.  WHAT..?? I remember a month or so before I came out, I had to teach my first lesson ever in Sunday School, and I just freaked out the day before.  I didn't know how in the world how to teach a lesson, let alone talk for an hour, and actually teach something to educated college kids who also might judge me.  It is amazing to see how much I've grown, and I actually enjoy teaching and I get so carried away in the lessons that I may even talk too much! Haha I'm working on that now, but there is just no way that this is not the Lord's work, and I can see now that He's molding me into who he wants me to be.  That's pretty cool (:

                    Exchanges this week!  Sis. Echols, Call Mahoney (from temple square), and me
                                                Sis. Call, Me, Sis. Echols and Mahoney
I finished the New Testament this week! A little after I got here I decided I can't be in the Bible belt, and not have read the Bible all the way through! I'm not sure why I started with the New Testament, but now I've got the Old Testament to look forward to.. yippee. 
Soo.... News time!! My passport came on Tuesday (it even has a great picture. Blessing!), and on Thursday the AP's came down so I could sign that, as well as some visa paperwork.  So I'm assuming it's en route and being processed at this moment! Fingers crossed (: 
Oh, p.s. we're moving this week! Here's our new address for anyone that would like to write:
102 Landing View
Barnesville, Georgia 30204
                                    I do language study while Sis. Call crochets me a glove. 
                                             It's a pretty good companionship we have...
                                           We taught ourselves how to crochet this week!
                           Sis. Call crocheted me an Easter basket!  I think it was an accident,
                                                        but hey, it turned out great!
                      Sis. Call and I have matching scars, mine's just a little farther along than hers...
There's a new initiative that the church just came out with, it's called Because He Lives.  It's similar to the one they did for Christmas, He is the Gift.  But everyone should watch it and share it on facebook or whatever! Besides, it's just a good Easter movie.
We didn't get to see too many of our 11 investigators on date, unfortunately.  We were able to meet with Montavious though, and he's doing awesome! Haha his big thing is sweet tea, but his faith is so strong, and he's going to do awesome this week.  
We stopped in on Jessica, and we had just the most humbling experience, and I truly felt like I was doing everything I could at that moment to be in place of the Savior.  On top of that, we offered to wash her dishes (that's the one thing she hates haha) and she was just chilling in the kitchen and decided to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, starting from the beginning.  She totally loved it! She had so many questions, and we were able to talk about it and answer all of them.  She loved that Christ actually came to the Americas, and it made so much sense to her! I'm excited to see how her testimony continues to grow!
On the other hand, Carlos is struggling! Every time he goes to read the BOM, he just gets a bad feeling, but he promised us this week that he would read just one chapter.  We're following up with him today, so keep him in your prayers! Well everyone really, but especially him! I just know he's going to be a bishop or something one day.  
We found these two girls on Gordon campus, Jadah and Jasmine.  They seemed pretty legit, and they even brought their friend Demeterious to our lesson! Unfortunately they didn't make it to church or the Women's broadcast, but I definitely want to do a lot more finding on campus.  These people are golden! 
The women's broadcast was just wonderful.  We went to Bishop Allred's (BEAUTIFUL) home, and there was a great turnout.  I got a tear to my eye every time a little Asian family came up! And I just felt at home whenever a black family popped up haha. I thought it was interesting how pretty much all they talked about was families.  Especially because we're hopefully teaching a lesbian couple this week! I'm not sure how that will go down, but we'll just be bold and lay out our Heavenly Father's plan for us.  What else is there to do?
I had the thought that maybe the reason I'm here is for my musical abilities.  I'm just waiting for some new family to walk in that can play the piano, and then my visa will come, and then it will be obvious that that's why I'm here.  But I'm still waiting, so who knows haha.  As me and Sister Call were comparing scars one day, my ACL scar came up of course, and I kind of reflected on that whole experience.  During that time, I was convince that I tore it so I wouldn't get recruited to play college soccer, so it would be easier to put my life on hold and go on a mission.  Whether or not that was the reason, I'm here.  I'm serving a mission, and I feel like it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.  I know that Christ's gospel in it's fulness has been restored on the earth, and I absolutely know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love this gospel, and I'm so grateful to be serving in Barnesville, Georgia!

Love, Sister Facer

Monday, March 23, 2015

Do You Know Why You're Here?

Wow, I can't believe another week has flown by! The weeks are getting faster and faster, but sometimes the days seem longer and longer. Nothing too exciting this week happened with all the investigators we have on date, unfortunately.  Haha I swear, we find these legit people, teach them the restoration, commit them to  a date, and then we lose all contact with them! But I won't let them get away that easily (:
                                                 Just killing time, waiting for the train
We got to teach Montavious last Monday in Shira's home, and he brought a surprise investigator! I don't remember if I wrote about this last week, but we met a guy named Ray, and when he first saw us he said, "y'all are the Mormons right?" Boy are we! You don't hear that every day (: Ray used to work with Montavious, and they were talking about how he liked meeting with us.  So it was way cool that Ray came with Montavious to the lesson, and we just answered a ton of his questions, and it was way good! Something President Harding always says is when you need to invite the Spirit in on the spot, to testify of Christ.  Ray didn't know what the spirit felt like, so I explained that the Holy Ghost testifies of Christ.  When I say, Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, the Spirit comes in and testifies to your heart that it's true.  And you could feel the spirit so strong! That was way cool (: He and Montavious will be a good little fellowship team for each other. 
                                    Sis. Mason took us out to dinner after our miracle night!
                                                     Here we are at the "Pig Palace"
One day, Sister Mason, the mission nurse, came out with us for the night.  That was pretty much a miracle night! None of our appointments were there, but we were led to so many miracles because of it. We even got in contact with Jackie again!!! We haven't been able to talk to her for like 3 months.  She was the one who got a Book of Mormon like 10 years ago, read it, and knows it's true! Oh man.  I love Jackie! Also, she had 4 family members pass away within the last month or so.  I swear, everyone we talk to dies, or knows someone that's passed away.  Didn't that happen when dad was the bishop? Maybe it's in our genes... But anyway, we got to teach her the restoration again, and she's still so solid (: 
We had zone conference this week, and we actually got to have an interview with President Harding! He doesn't do them very often, so it's definitely a special experience.  The moment I walked in, he started talking about my visa.  They're still working on it and doing everything they can to help it move quickly.  He promised me that it would come, and I have full faith in that.  He asked if I knew why I'm here, and I told him I have no idea! I'm still trying to figure that out.  Of course the Lord needs me here for some reason, but he also said that it might just be because he (President Harding) needs me here.  I never thought of that.  But I've been praying that I would know without a doubt to find out the reason I'm here. Stay tuned! He also promised that if we worked harder to get more lessons with a member present, and find around members, we would see many baptisms. Challenge accepted.
We had a little fiasco with Carlos the other day.  We called to check up on him the other day, and he was about to drop us! Then he had to go for a second, and we immediately prayed that his heart would be softened and he would want to actually read the Book of Mormon and come to church.  We called everyone we could think of and asked them to pray in faith for Carlos.  We just heard the zone leaders do that,  and they all prayed that a husband's heart would be softened, and their friends in Utah called him and said they have tickets to see general conference for them.  Anyway, we called Carlos back a little later, and we talked for like 40 minutes, trying to just say anything that might help.  He's been feeling scared, and definitely the powers of the adversary whenever he goes to read the Book of Mormon, and he promised us that he would just read one chapter.  It's a long story, but I found myself testifying to him that I was sent to Barnesville, Georgia to find him.  Woah.. That totally threw me off guard! I'm not sure if I just said that to make him feel like I'm not just 'doing my job' or if that was really the Spirit working through me that said it.  Either way, I've got some praying to do to find out if that's why I'm here.  
Whew. Okay, to lighten up the mood now.  We were tracting the other day (with a member, of course) and we get to probably the richest house in Barnesville.  The guy kindly rejects us as he's out on the porch with the door shut behind him, and another guy comes up to the door from the inside, knocks on it, and is like, "hey, can you call the fire department?" I think something is smoking" so nonchalantly.  Haha I don't know why it was so funny.  Probably 10 minutes later, we hear the siren casually driving down the street to their house.  Oh, Barnseville. We also got stopped by the train a few times, and when the train comes through, literally the whole town has to stop! Haha it's so funny.  You can try to drive around, but you might as well just wait for 10-20 minutes.
                                                When the train comes, the whole city stops
I also hit my first road kill on the way to church yesterday! Well,  I guess the proper term would be I made my first road kill.  But I'm grateful it happened because I was tired early in the morning and it was probably Heavenly Father showing me his sense of humor and making sure I was awake. So, thanks! Also, thanks to dad who once told me not to swerve when there's an animal in the road, and to just hit it. 
Okay, just a few more things! Sister Call and I have been reading "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" again because she hasn't read it.  It's so good! I'm so determined to be an awesome member missionary when I'm home.  I encourage all of yall to read it! It's fei chang hao!
Also, I heard a good quote at church yesterday.  Study as if you were going to teach what you read.  Seems legit.  I'm gonna do it. 
I hope y'all are doing wonderful! I know that this is the Lord's work because I've seen too many miracles for it not to be.  I'm so grateful to be a part of Christ's restored church, and I'm so thankful to be His servant! Love yall!!

Sister Facer
                            I should learn how to do graffiti and come up with cool gang names
                                                            like 'okeydoak'

Monday, March 16, 2015

Serving Like a Champion

                                                We thought that was a nice pile of sticks
                                       to pose in front of while country tracting, so we did
Hey y'all! 
This week was great.  Okay, it was pretty slow because Sister Call has been sick (she's great now) but it was still great! First of all, Happy Birthday yesterday Alicia! I hope it was a nice day (: This week has finally warmed up a ton and it's been way nice! But unfortunately for me, that just means a whole bunch of allergies. I bought some Zyrtec stuff though, so that's helped a bit. 
Ahh I totally had a chance to speak Spanish and I BLEW it!  So Sister Call couldn't get this jar open, and I couldn't either, and we were desperate! We went next door to some guys that were fixing up the vacant apartment, and I asked for help in English.  He's like, eh? Haha and the most I could muster up to say, puedes ayudarme? Victory! But then I couldn't think of how to say, “can we give you a card? “ So we just gave it to him and said gracias.  It was so sad, and I'm quite embarrassed.  But at least an English seed was planted in his sweet heart. Glory glory. 
               Country tracting... we ought to be on horses or something entertaining
                                                           Ain't she a cute one!
Oh boy, we got news this week! Well kind of.  We had to drive up to Peach Tree City so I could personally hand in passport papers.  I haven't heard anything back, but it was supposed to be a 24 hour turnaround so maybe they just haven't told me yet! But that was so nice to feel like something was actually happening. Part of the paperwork needed travel plans, so I received possible travel plans to Taiwan! That made my heart so happy (: So if everything goes speedy quick, I'll be leaving on April 13th! Haha I don't even care if I don't leave that day, it was just nice to know that I'll be in Taiwan eventually. 
We've been doing quite a bit of store contacting this week, in preparation for my possible trip to the airport.  While we were up north, Elder Danklef told us about Sister Echols (who I went to jr high with). She broke her arm riding her bike, and had to go home for surgery.  But while she was in the airport, she taught someone like all three lessons, and a less active family of 10 gathered around to listen! Apparently two of their kids are now on missions, and the guy she talked to was baptized.  I've been praying for a miracle during my travels! It's going to happen.  So we've been practicing store contacting to get a feel for doing that in the airport (:
We saw so many times where the Lord just led us to people, even though that meant He had to cancel all of our appointments a good few days.  One day, we knew we needed to see Tilwania but hadn't been able to get in contact with her for a while, so Sister Call said a prayer as I was driving over, and we caught her just before she was leaving! Another time, we went to go visit Jenny, but West was there! We also haven't seen him in a good minute so that was great.  And my favorite - We parked on the street to start tracting a bit, and right where we got out, there was an Asian woman with her 4-year old son.  Her name is Ikuyo, and at first she seemed kind of hesitant.  Sister Call offered to pray, and seriously the whole time she was praying, I was praying that the spirit would work through her and soften Ikuyo's heart..  and I prayed that she knows Chinese, or has some relation to Taiwan.  Haha well, one of those prayers were answered.  She's Japanese, dang it! But I'm still way excited to teach her!
Okay, funniest moment of the week.  We were teaching Jessica and Tiba the plan of salvation, and Jessica was telling us her depiction of God. It was hilarious! "So God is just chillin up on his throne, Jesus right beside him, probably wearing shorts and flip flops.  Oh, and definitely drinkin a sprite, I love sprite! Jesus has to love sprite. (somehow we were talking about how the countries all separated) So God decided he would have some fun and zap all the countries to separate them.  ZAP and then Jesus was like, hey pops, I want a turn! ZAP." hahah don't worry, we clarified a few things but it was just so funny! I love Jessica (: 
                                               Sis. Call--what a goof :)
                               Gluten free 'black bean brownies'.  Surprisingly they weren't bad!
Sorry I guess I haven't been too good at telling about our 'gators on date! We've got five right now! Montavious, Damien, Keegen, Tilwania, and Measha. 
Montavious is pretty legit.  We actually met someone who worked with him. When we walked up to him he's like "y'all are the Mormons!" apparently he talked to Montavious about how he's meeting with us and he only said good things! Hurray!
Damien is a member's stepson.  He's so funny but he's a little slower progressing.  He knows he needs to be baptized and come to church, but just doesn't act on that.  But we're working on it! He actually came to church yesterday!
Keegen is Jenny's 9 year old son, and he's awesome! He is so excited to be baptized, but his one thing is that he doesn't like coming to church because they don't color in primary.  Haha I think we'll make some arrangements for that one :)
Tilwania... OHHH TILWANIA!!! She's amazing!! We were definitely led to her by the Lord with a 'last house miracle'. She said she saw us tracting one day on the longest street in Barnesville! (Might I add that we got zero new investigators from that.. lame. but at least there was one sweet fruit that came of it!) She has 7 kids, and when we met her and ever since, she just smiles all the time! She LOVED us teaching about the restoration, and even asked about the DVD that her uncle has.  Her kids range from like 3 months to 11, so hopefully we'll be able to teach 2 or 3 of them!
We met Measha just the other day on her porch with her parents, but only she was there for the return appointment but she was way excited to read the Book of Mormon.  I hope we'll get to teach her more this week as well as her parents!
Well, I believe that's all for this week! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and fasting.  I think we're finally starting to see those being answered, and I'm so thankful for that! Have a blessed day!

Love, Sister Facer
                     Just had to capture some high school soccer memories in someone's garage

Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Your Airplane

Why, hello!
So much has happened this week, I have no idea where to begin.  Okay, so I guess the  news that everyone always asks about.. my visa! No luck this week.  I got a call from President Harding, and he said they possibly lost my passport on the way to the consulate, and we'll have to start everything over.  I'm so grateful for Elder Danklef in the office, and all the other senior missionaries who have been so helpful in getting this process moving though.  That's definitely been a blessing to have their help whenever needed. After hours on my knees, pouring out my thoughts in my journal, and talking to President, I just know that this is all up to the Lord.  His ways are higher than my ways, and like President Hughes once said, I just have to take my hands off the wheel and say, "it's your airplane." There is nothing else I can do except for hand it all over to Him, so that is what I will do. 
                                     Sister Mason, my companion at the doctor's for an hour!
                                                        AKA legit mission nurse
We had zone conference this past week, and that was definitely an appreciated break from work.  I even got to go on a field trip to the doctor's office for a physical to get my passport stuff started again.  Anyways, Elder Morris was there, and he was one of the elders who traveled over to Atlanta with me so we became pretty tight.  He just got his visa to go to Australia! His testimony of why he was delayed in Atlanta was definitely for me though.  Basically he said how he took ASL for 3 years in high school, and one day while he’s been here, they found this drunk lady, got a return appt, which led them to find Calvin, who's deaf.  He just knew that he was specifically supposed to find Calvin, and we are all here for a very specific reason.  Everyone says that, but it just touched me because he's in the same boat I'm in.  I am so determined to find my reason for being in Barnesville, Georgia of all places!
                                                  This is the best part of the wall 
Sis Call and me were playing around one evening doing "faith flips" in the Book of Mormon.  So we'd ask a random question, and open it up to find an answer.  Isn't that how it's supposed to be used? So she asked when my visa was going to come, and flipped open to Jacob 5:29.  Another tender mercy! It said something like 'wait a little longer, but it will come.'  I know we were just playing around, but it was just too perfect. It will come; just in His timing. 
We finally got to teach Tilwania this week! Last week we were going to see her when we lost the car keys, so that was a bummer.  But oohhhh she's so awesome! We just knocked on her door (she was a last door miracle) and she said she saw us tracting one day on the longest street in Barnesville.  (Might I add that we found NO ONE from that!) Well, all that work wasn't for nothing (: Anyway, she just couldn't stop smiling, and she was so excited to meet with us! We taught her the restoration, and she absolutely LOVED the story of the first vision! She was so excited to start reading the Book of Mormon, and read the pamphlet with her 7 KIDS.  Wow.  I'm so stoked to see her again. Sister Call mentioned something about families being together forever, and she was just like, "Wow, that's an answer to my prayers!" We testified, committed her to be baptized on April 4, and the rest is history. 
                                               Can't miss a door, you know?!
We also met with Sister Campbell this week, a less active that we've slowly been helping come back. We set a goal with her to get to the temple in 6 months from now! Then she actually came to church, and Tony Clark and his family (seriously the best convert story) all talked about temples in sacrament meeting! Tender mercy! I'm excited for her though, and we should be getting a senior missionary couple in the ward this week, so that will definitely help as well!
Haha so we were walking along the street one day, and these two black kids were like, "why is your skin so white?" What are you even supposed to say to that?! I just told them that I haven't been out in the sun much, and he seemed to be satisfied with that. 
Okay, just one more tender mercy.  We were following up with people yesterday, and I remembered a referral we got the other day from a potential investigator.  We were able to meet Salisia, who referred us to Brenda, who referred us to Anthony, who referred us to Clay.  Holy cow! That was so cool! By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  Later on we were tracting and literally had no idea where to go, so we decided to say a prayer and ask where we could best use our time.  We decided to go to a richer area and finish up where we had been from the day before.  Literally everyone on that street either didn't answer, or they "already had a church".  typical haha.  So Sister Call and I decided we were going to find someone whose mother had just passed away, hoping their heart would be a little softer.  A few houses down, we talked to a woman who wasn't interested, but we asked her who she knows that might be, and she said that their pastor lives just around the corner, and his wife's mother just passed away, and they're out of town at the funeral as we speak.  BAM-- tender mercy! So I guess what I'm saying is in all this craziness and stress with my visa and passport and everything,  Heavenly Father has definitely shown me that he is very aware of me, and He is still watching out for me.  I am so thankful for that knowledge.  No matter how alone we may feel, we are never truly alone.  Our father in heaven is very aware of us, and he just wants us to be happy.  God works in mysterious ways though, that's for sure.  I am so thankful for His hand in my life.  

Love, Sister Facer

                                                         Just chattin' with the locals