Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Loving Hotlanta

                                                      New companion, Sister Manzer
                                     Guess who goes to church across from the temple???  :)
                                                            Welcome to Atlanta!
It's been a while!
It feels like forever since I last wrote, even though it's just been two days more.  Before I forget, Happy Birthday tomorrow, Joseph!! And I'm way jealous of your NY trip.  You'll have to take me when you go again (: 
                                                           Good bye, little home
We've had an awesome week! As I said last week, I got transferred! It was so sad to say good bye to everyone, and I actually got to see everyone that I wanted to except for Bran and Marsha. So I'm now in the North Point YSA ward with Sister Manzer! We're right in Atlanta (: This place is crazy! Sister Manzer has been out 11 months, I think just one more transfer than me.  She's from St. George and played tennis, and she's an awesome missionary! She's been an STL before, so she's helped me out a ton! We get along great, and I'm excited to see what will happen this transfer! So Hotlanta... It's great. First of all, it's obviously way more fast paced than Barnesville, but I love it! You can go street contacting anywhere, anytime, and always find new people.
                                                        Happy Memorial Day
                                                  My good friend, Sister Caw
                      Good bye Benich's. (I've got a story written down to tell when I get home.
                                                                Keyword: Chili's)

                                                            Keegen, mah boy!!
                                  The last church on the Barnesville tour.  The dreaded JWs... :)
                                                      Barnesville District--Sister Call, me,
                            Sister and Elder Benich, Elders Herrera (DL), Eldridge, Head, and Compton. 
                                                    They don't always wear mustaches...

Unfortunately, I have like zero street contacting experience! But I'll just apply a little Ether 12:27, rinse, and repeat! I think I've been a little culture shocked, because Sis Manzer will go talk to someone and I can barely keep focused! My mind is still trying to take in all the different varieties of people, traffic, and buildings.  There's so many Asians here though! I'm so excited to actually get to use my zhongwen (: I've been studying 9 months for this! Strike!
                                                             West and Neosha
                                                   Geisha.  She will be baptized one day.
                                                            Ahh, Jenny Curl
                         The Stowe Family!  Kenny and Bridgett, Saronda, Jordan, and Kyle
Being in the YSA ward is a little weird.. I love it though! We get to go to FHE and institute and everything, and I love that.  The ward has little stereotypes of everyone like the bug guys (selling pest control for the summer), Georgia Tech, GSU, and Emery. Everyone knows where you belong.  It's not bad though, and everyone is so good with fellowshipping new people! I think it's a great ward.  We actually cover all the way to the top of the mission like Sandy Springs and Smyrna, down to Dunwoody, Atlanta, and Stone Mountain.  Don't get me wrong, I have no idea where any of those are.  Good thing I'm riding shotgun and we've got a GPS (: We also get a ton of dinner appointments! compared to my last area, we get fed almost every night! I love it!
Some investigators that we're working with right now... We have Ada, she's from Nigeria! She's on date for some time in June, but I'm not sure how legit that is.  She doesn't have a car so it's hard to get rides for her, but she loves coming to institute and stuff! Colo is Melanie's (a member) boyfriend, and he's from some island I've never heard of.  He's muslim, and it's cool to see the little bursts of light he gets when we teach! Derrick is awesome! I don't know too much about him, but he loves coming to church and making friends.  Jordan is also incredible.  And hard.  He's Baptist and a philosopher, so that's been quite interesting.  He met the sisters a few weeks ago, and they just gave him little pieces of the restoration, and he came to church and heard pieces of lesson 1 again and lesson 2. He has a million questions, and we finally got to teach him the full resto, which brought up more questions  and doubts.   He has to have everything make perfect sense, and has trouble trusting his 'feelings' to get an answer from the Holy Ghost.  Yesterday we were talking with him and somehow slipped in the Plan of Salvation and it answered a ton of his questions.  When we brought up the kingdoms of glory and temples, he just soaked it all in and had nothing to say.  I hope he won't let his philosophical mind get in the way.. But he's great!
 Dinner with the Albanes family! Adriana (YSA), Bellen, mom and dad.  Bellen went to temple square and knows Nichelle, Ellen, and Kirsten (: 

I've been thinking of how I'm going to apply my mission to when I get home and am a member missionary.. Especially seeing all these RM's be so awesome at it.  Even the bug guys occasionally will bring up the gospel while they're knocking doors.  But I realized I've seen mom do it all my life.  I remember sitting next to Clixie, Lexi, and who knows who else.  I don't even remember if they were new, less active, or what, but I appreciate your good example of always being someone that shows love to new people! 
                                          I don't drink or anything... Just read my BOM!!!

I was also reading in 1 Nephi again, since I just finished the BOM. In chapter 11 where the angel asks Nephi, "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" that made me really think hard.  Haha first of all because I didn't know what condescension meant. It's something like humbling yourself and going below what you normally would do.  I thought it was really cool to think about that.  The Savior descended below all things, even though he was the Son of God. He didn't have to do that. But he was so humble and loved us all so much that he had to do it. I love the gospel (: Every day I strengthen my testimony, and there is no way that I can deny the truthfulness of the restored gospel on the earth today. What a miracle.

Love, Sister Facer

Monday, May 18, 2015

God Was Willin, and the Creek Didn't Rise

                              This is Jessica.  She's moving to Decatur, but we'll be besties for life.  Maybe
                              I'll get transferred there and continue to teach her and baptize her (:

Hey y'all! 
This has been the most bipolar week ever! We got kicked out of an apartment complex, got all kinds of swearing text messages from a little stalker investigator, and had to postpone a baptism. And Roy dropped us :( well, more like his mom dropped us.  But we have to respect her wishes as well.  So many good things happened! 3 of our investigators got jobs, which we prayed for, and another one found out he doesn't have to be on dialysis, which we also prayed for.  Prayer totally works! I hope they see the connection of talking to the missionaries and receiving blessings (:
I just found out this morning that I'm being transferred on Wednesday and becoming a sister training leader! I'm so stoked for the challenge, and I know that Heavenly Father will help me out.  That will mean doing exchanges at least twice a week, which I'm a little nervous about, but I'll definitely get the hang of it. I'm going to miss Barnesville so much though! I've never known anywhere else, and I'll definitely miss the people here, the Stowe's, Keegen and the Curl's, Shira, Monty, Sister Campbell, Momma and Papa Benich, and the whole bunch. But I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me elsewhere (:   
We actually had 6 investigators come to church! Haha that was way stressful but so awesome! Chris and Tony Deal came, and Chris got called to be a scout leader.  I didn't know that was possible since he's not a member, but that will be great for him! That was also their first time coming to sacrament meeting, and Tony was so reverent.  Neosha A and her 3 kids came, and a lot of sisters were so awesome to step in and help with them.  She's got a 7 year old, an 18 month, and a 3 month baby! Thank goodness for relief society (: Michelle came with her less active fiance, but she had to leave after sacrament.  I hope she liked it! Melissa also came, and Sister Frierson (her future mother in law) was with her the whole time, so that was great.  Unfortunately she's got a screamy two year old, so I wonder how much she really got out of church.  Bishop Allred broke his hip a few weeks ago, and yesterday was his first week back, and he gave a great talk on the Sabbath day, callings, and attending your meetings.  Taylor, a new investigator, also came.  He’s quite clingy and we're not sure if his intent to be baptized is just to find a girlfriend in the church, so we're trying to be really careful with him and keep our distance, since he likes to call us about 4 times a day for a prayer.  We're doing our best with that one haha. Sister Campbell was planning on giving the Curl's a ride, and we were so excited! A less active bringing a less active/investigator family to church! Genius.  But, I guess God wasn't willing, and the creek rose.  She couldn't get her car started on Sunday morning.  Ah bless.  She finally made it about halfway through sacrament meeting, but I'm guessing she thought it was too late to try the Curl's.  Keegen was so excited to be baptized this Saturday, dang it!  We'll shoot for the next Saturday, if we can just get him to church. He's still so excited! We had an awesome Word of Wisdom lesson with Sister Campbell, and made a little plan to help her quit smoking.  By the end of a month, she'll be down to a half pack a day.  She used to smoke 4 packs a day! She's doing awesome!
We haven't been able to meet with the Stowe family again this week, but they've been reading the Book of Mormon! The kids even fight over who gets to read it! Haha they're so  awesome. Kenny just has a lot of health problems, so we've had to cancel appointments and they couldn't make it to church.
                      A Methodist Church, our 2nd biggest rival, after the First Baptist Church
We also didn't have the chance to teach Bran and Marsha, but they're so excited to learn more still! We read 1 Nephi 1 with them, and they just loved it.  I think their favorite part was 'as there have hitherto been.'  I'm so stoked to see what happens with them in the future! They've got amazing faith, and they love our phrase, "Sacrifice brings blessings". We're going to nail that into their heads so hard! 
This week, me and Sister Call have been studying way deep stuff! We had some cool chats about the celestial kingdom, charity, the atonement, life after death, and who knows what.  I've been reading true to the faith, and she's been reading Jesus the Christ.  The gospel is so cool! Haha as we find out more about life after death and stuff, I'm almost excited to die! Well, of course not, but we have nothing to fear about death. Also, Sister Call and I have been getting along really awesome the past few weeks, and I'm really going to miss her! I feel like we've finally figured out how to work well together, and how to teach together.  I definitely need to keep in touch with her and make sure she takes care of my home town (: She used to be quite shy, and it's been really cool to see her blossom and become really comfortable teaching and talking to everyone! 
Also, I'm reading through the Old testament, and I read in Leviticus 16:29, it mentions my birthday (: (seventh month, on the tenth day of the month…) that's all. There's nothing too exciting in there.
Things are going so good.  I can't believe that I'll be at 9 months this week! Man, has time flown by.  I'm loving every second of my mission, and I am so excited to be in a  new area and see what miracles will come with that.  We see the Lord's hand in our life daily, and it is truly amazing.  I love this gospel so much!

Love, Sister Facer
                                                           Proper Barnesville attire

Monday, May 11, 2015

He Gives Us What We Need

                                                 Happy Mother's Day, y'all (:
It was so good to see my family, and see how much all the kids are changing.  I'm sure Christmas will be here before we know it! Also, Happy cinco de mayo to everyone who cares.  Sadly, I don't think anyone in Georgia knew about it, but I celebrated it proudly and ate a burrito. 
                                                          Ole! Feliz cinco de mayo!
This week was another great one! We have so many progressing investigators right now, but we just can't get hardly anyone to come to church! Faithful Sister Campbell came, and she even stayed all three hours.  We just need to help her with the word of wisdom and she'll be awesome! 
                                              Found this little fella outside the church
We did some service for her with the Benich's this week, and that was way fun! We painted the trims all around her house while Elder Benich mowed all of her lawn and Sister Benich played with her granddaughter. We just painted and enjoyed her crazy stories (: 
                                                         Our first 100 degree day
                                    Yep, we have red dirt!  This is the back of our apartment
The primary kids sang a song for Mother's day, and I played the piano for them.  Sister Call and I even got a flower at the end of sacrament meeting :) I guess I'm somehow qualifying as an official mother now… We got to give the lesson in the gospel principles class, and it was totally last minute, but it went great! It's cool that I've finally reached the point that I don't freak out about giving lessons in church anymore.  Just keep talking and ask questions, and they'll think you're doing great. Oh, and probably teach with the spirit, too.
                                                 We're starting a church scavenger hunt.
                                         This is probably the biggest baptist church around.
                                                                 Good intentions.
We had awesome lessons this week with four of our investigators.  One is struggling a bit committing to another date since he's had a few before.  We just went back to the basics and taught him the restoration using our cups object lesson, and he asked a ton of deeper questions, which was great.  We feel that he's making progress again.  
                                                Just a little nature walk last p-day 
We taught our little investigator the 10 commandments, and even added hand signs so he could remember them all. He's so excited to be baptized, but the only thing holding him back is getting to church!  Every week it's another excuse, but we're not giving up! 
                                                The one not-ghetto place in Barnesville 
Another investigator is.. haha. Well, she's quite the talker.  We were there for like two hours, and we only got through about two points of the first lesson.  She said it herself, her brain chases squirrels. Of this I can testify.  She's awesome though! Her fiance has been less active on and off for like 20 years or so and is now just starting to come back.  She has even been reading a kids Book of Mormon with her kids at night.  She's great! 
                                                             Pet goat?  I like it!
We taught another amazing investigator, a member's less active son's fiance.  She has been so prepared! We taught the POS (plan of salvation) to her, and she loved it all.  She even wants to start doing family history so she can take some names to the temple! She loves the Book of Mormon, and was ready to be baptized since before we even met her.
                                                     Our handywoman masterpiece
I think it was on Saturday when we had the worst luck! We taught one lesson in the morning where they weren't even interested, and then throughout the day appointment after appointment cancelled on us or they weren't there.  We were tracting in an apartment complex, and we got kicked out haha.  It was the worst! 
                                                 7 months later, I feel truly welcomed.
We had one appointment left of the day, and we went not knowing what to expect because there were probably 10 people present when we had originally met the family.  Well, we went to their house, and there was Mary, the mom, and a pastor.  I think that meeting may have been more for us than for him, and it was quite humbling.  It's always weird when other people preach at you, but you just kind of take it and try to be loving.  But this guy was so loving and genuine; I couldn't help but think that this was to humble us and to encourage us.  He didn't bash or anything, but he encouraged us to stay strong in the faith and keep spreading the gospel.  He'd even read the Book of Mormon before and knows about Joseph Smith, and said he knows it's all true... he just doesn't see a reason to act on it. 
                                                My first real alley--not too creepy.
 It wasn't a waste of our time though. The Lord always knows what we need, and he was watching out for us all throughout the day.  The tender mercies of the Lord are truly over all those whom he hath chosen, BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH, to make them mighty unto the power of deliverance. This is true, my friends.

Love, Sister Facer