Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So many miracles...

Wow this week has been awesome!!! Yes I saw Ashley! She surprised me and I was sooo happy!! I love seeing familiar faces :) Also I saw Sister Shwartz at our Visitors Center Training meeting on Friday. Yayy Georgia people!  I love you all sooo much! So to answer your questions:

My Companions are awesome! It's crazy because we are all like on different ends of the spectrum. Sister Anderson leaves at the end of this transfer, Sister Shirtz just hit her year mark, and then there's me - super duper fresh little greeny haha but I love it!  I am learning so much, and I do admit that sometimes I do feel like I am just treading water and barely keeping my head above the surface, but it's all good :) I honestly haven't felt stressed or anything negative like that. It's an adventure and I have loved every minute of it! I am also learning from my companions what type of missionary I want to be. It really is all about attitude and how much you are willing to put in. I think it has been an easier transition for me because I came out here wanting to change. I want to leave behind the old me and just become a better person. I love serving a mission! I have learned so many lessons that I will be able to apply for the rest of my life. So funny thing about one of my companions... she sleep talks. literally full on conversations at like 2 am. One night she jumped out of bed around 12:30, turned on the light and then yelled good morning! I wanted to kill her haha then she apologized and went back to bed. Another night she thought it was time to wake up so she began to kneel down by the side of the bed (she sleeps on the top bunk and I am on the lower bunk). Needless to say there was a huge crashing sound and my companion had landed on her knees on the floor! Luckily she wasn't hurt, but Sister Anderson and I were freaking out haha It was soo funny! 

Visitors Center: I love the visitors center. LOVE. I was called to this mission because of the Visitors Center. I have seen so many miracles there! The spirit is so amazing there and I am just totally comfortable walking up to people and talking to them. It's weird, but I like it. I have met so many amazing people and learned so much from all who come in. 

Sundays: This is probably the craziest day of the week. 5 wards people. 5! Yesterday we only went to 2 of the wards since we still have a visitors center shift on Sundays. We went to one ward council at 7:30 then we had church at 8:30. The less active member we have been meeting with came! I love her! Her name is Virginia and she's had a rough life do to some past choices she made, but she is trying to make things right. We started meeting with her friend Lucy and had invited her to church as well. We were bummed when Lucy didn't come to church. But anyways, after that ward we had ysa ward council and a meeting with the ysa mission leader. I love ysa!! Seriously so much fun! Then we went back to our apartment for a little break and then went to the ysa ward. So great! I felt like I was back in Georgia! I just kept imagining all of our singles ward people there and it made me miss Eugenie! I am so glad that we got to go to singles ward together for a little while :) SO THEN, Sunday started getting kind of interesting. We were fasting with one of our less actives and we got a text from him saying he forgot to fast. ah! How can people expect to change/see progress if they don't put in the work? So that kind of stunk. Then we called Robert- our baptism this saturday and just felt like we needed to go to his house and talk with his parents before we went to our dinner appointment. So we are talking to his parents and it turns out that they are not as supportive about Robert taking the lessons as we thought they were. They don't want him to get baptized. nooo!! So sad. This boy has one of the strongest testimonies for a 16 year old boy. He just finished reading the Book of Mormon and he just wants to get baptized so badly! Last time we met with him he said he wants to serve a mission! I was seriously discouraged. Kinda devastated really. So we leave and go to our dinner appointment at this less active Tongan family. They were awesome! It was kinda awkward though because the family wasn't eating... they just sat around and watched us eat...Don't ever do that! haha So anyways we are all talking and we have our nice little spiritual thought and then the dad tells us this story about his neighbor. He said that he looks out his window every Sunday morning and sees his neighbor already dressed for church and knocking on the other neighbors doors. One day he asked his neighbor what he was doing and the neighbor told him that he was simply inviting people to come to church with him. He told him he does it every week because it his responsibility to invite. It doesn't matter if they say yes or no, what matters is that he extends the invitation. For some reason that story really touched my heart and I was just filled with so much peace! My job is to invite. People have their agency so they can do what they want with it. I know that God sees our efforts and he knows the intents of our hearts. As long as I am striving to do my very best I know that I will be a successful missionary in the eyes of God. So I put the Robert, Gregg, and Lucy problems behind me and went to my shift at the Visitors Center just full of hope and excitement. I saw miracles at the visitors center. It all started with a little girl named Claire. She came in yesterday with her dad, so I talked to them and got to know them a little bit and then played the Christis for them. Claire is a severely disabled girl with the biggest heart and sweetest smile. She is adopted from Korea and has had to deal with a lot of hard things in her short life. Well anyways we talk some more and they decide they want to watch a movie. Because I have not seen like any of the movies we have at the VC I was allowed to sit in and watch it with them. Afterwards Claire was a little upset because there were some violent scenes in the movie and death and she just didn't like it. Her dad then told me that Claire is very sensitive. He told me about an experience they had the last time they went to the easter pageant. During the scene where the guards were beating Jesus Christ Claire was balling. She then told her dad at the end of the play that she wanted to go talk to one of the soldiers. She then told the soldier, "I don't want you to hurt my friends". As her dad told me this story he began to cry. I can't even believe I am so blessed to have all of these amazing people come into my life. Claire loves people the way that Jesus loves them. I want to learn that lesson from her. I was so touched that this sweet little girl who has had anything but a fair life has so much love and compassion for other people. She feels what they feel. I was just blown away. So this all happened while I was at what we call "front greet"- front desk/greeting area. Then I was moved over to back greet. So right next to back greet is this thing called God's plan for the family. These 3 teenagers came in about 3o minutes into my shift and asked if I could take them through it. I was the only one at the desk so I had to go find someone to fill my spot and as I was walking by them I heard the guy talking. He said that he felt like a sinner being there and that he didn't belong. He had tattoos, smelt strongly of cigarette smoke, and for some reason kind of reminded me of baby Adam Coffey! hahaha i think it's cus they are the same age or something. Anyways, so I find someone and I begin the tour. I tried to focus the whole presentation on the fact that God loves us all no matter what. He wants everyone to experience happiness in this life. So anyways we get to the end of the movie thing and I am just praying that Heavenly Father will help me to know what to say. I honestly don't remember what I said, but I know that I bore my testimony about... everything? I know they were not my words, that is for sure. I do know that I talked about the Book of Mormon and showed a picture of you guys :) We all have these nifty covers on the Book of Mormons that we received from the VC- mine has Sister Hamstead engraved on it:)- anyways everybody puts a pic of their family in the back. So ya, you guys are always with me at the visitors center. yay! So we finish and I invite them to take some pass along cards, etc with them on the way out. We are then all talking and having a great gospel discussion when I all of the sudden get the impression to ask Logan if he wants to meet with missionaries. So I asked him just like that. And he said yes! YYYAAAYYY!!! Unfortunately he is not in my area, but I got his info and sent a message to the missionaries in his area. soo cool!! Oh! also we met with this girl Tracy earlier this week and I invited her to get baptized! She said yes! Unfortunately she is not in our area either! dangit! Oh well. Anyways this week has been amazing. I am learning so much! I cannot even begin to describe to you how much I love being a missionary. I just love it. 

Wooowwwww so much is happening over there! Eugenie!!!!!!!!! Write me. Abby I am sending you a letter today! This is your ultimatum. write me back! I love you all soo muchhh!!!! I am so lucky to have you all as my family! 
Talk to you next week!! 
Sister Hamstead