Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Investigators...I LOVE them soooo much!! (July 22)

Dear family,

Hello! You know I look forward to this day when I get to tell you all the AMAZING miracles and experiences I am having out here, but I also really dread it too because it takes SOOOO long. haha! So I hope you really enjoy them and actually read them. So to respond to some of your questions last week. The ipads are awesome! But you know me, super not into technology so it is hard for me to really fully commit to using the ipad and iphone full time. We are supposed to do all of our planning and scheduling on those devices and
With Sis. Pickett  - having gone through
the "grab bag"
honestly for me it is just so much easier to do it on paper and have it right in front of me. So basically it all comes down to the fact that I am lazy haha Sister Pickett and I have committed this week to use them 100% so we will see how it goes!

I can't actually remember any of the other questions you asked, so moving on...
I saw the Lawson's this week!!!! It is so crazy seeing people from home! All things and people from Atlanta just seem like a far off dream like a once upon a time sort of thing! haha So it was really sweet seeing them :)

So the miracles of this week have been amazingly plentiful and humbling. I don't know why we are being so blessed, but hey I'll take it! jk no... I know that Heavenly Father is blessing us and specifically blessing the Gable Ward for all of the hard work they are doing. They have like a 50% less active rate and we know and strongly feel that as they have been working on strengthening the members, their brothers and sisters, that Heavenly Father's trust in them has grown and so now He is blessing them with prepared people. We are just sooo busy all the time. I love it!! But not just busy, because I have definitely learned the difference between being busy and actually being productive. Anyone can fill up their day with different activities and what not, but if they aren't spending their time on things that really matter then what good does that do? People can waste their  lives away being so busy and at the end of the day what have they really accomplished? Nothing. All they get is a giant head ache. So anyways, it feels good knowing that we are using the Lord's time wisely and seeing progress in the work :)

So. Now let me think of where to start. Our investigators... I LOVE them sooo much!!! I really genuinely love all these people it's just amazing!! Just thinking about them makes me smile :) Oh boy it is really funny working with YSA's though! One of the fellow-shippers always feels the need to update us on the dating drama.  I am so glad I am a missionary and don't have to deal with all of that! But, it's all good because our investigator is progressing so amazingly well and he is super excited about his baptism on the 5th of August! We watched the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration video with him last night and afterwards we talked about how he felt during it. He had said he was concerned before because he hadn't received that confirmation that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. We calmly assured him that it would come as he continued to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and specifically ask God to know that Joseph Smith was called to be the Prophet of the restoration. So last night he said at the beginning of the movie he just said a little prayer to know if Joseph Smith truly was a Prophet and at the end he said he believes he has received his answer. He said he just felt the spirit so strongly and he knows that Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet. I am so grateful for the truthfulness of this gospel. We can all rely on the promise that those who truly desire to know that these things are true, will receive their answer by the poser of the Holy Ghost. I have seen that time and time again on my mission. I love knowing that I can trust in the Lord and know that He will answer the honest and sincere prayers of these sweet investigators. It's just amazing :) That was all about our investigator James btw... now onto Jeff!

Jeff is just the sweetest little thing! he is 22 and has had a super rough life!! Talk about everything going wrong, I mean this poor guy has seen it all. Now of course he recognizes that a lot of these bad things happened to him due to the poor choices he has made. Growing up he didn't believe in God and had no source of direction for his life so he didn't really feel that his choices really mattered. It wasn't until he really hit rock bottom that he acknowledged the need for a change. He came to home evening Monday night which was awesome and he really hit it off with some of the members- love our ward! Oh and James also went too! We then met with him again on Wednesday and we taught him the restoration. Talk about a strong spirit. At the end of the lesson we invited Jeff to pray. He had never prayed before in his life so he was pretty nervous, but he did it. Wow it was just so sincere and heart felt! He started crying. I was just so grateful to be able to witness how Heavenly Father reaches out to His children. That's what we as missionaries are all about, getting them in connection with God so that they can feel His love and receive the answers they are looking for. It doesn't do us or them any good to just tell them everything we know or to answer all of the many questions they might have- we need to trust that God will answer those questions for them. I know He will and He does!

Let me think what else I should tell you about.... Sunday of course was a day of miracles as always! We had planned a lesson with Jeff an hour before church. He got there a little early and our member for the lesson was running late, so we decided to take Jeff around the building on a little tour. When we got to the chapel there was just such a strong and still spirit. I can't even describe how amazing that moment was to be there with Jeff as he entered the chapel for the first time :) So we had our lesson and Jeff and the members we invited really hit it off!! Jeff said the closing prayer and in it he thanked Heavenly Father for giving him these new friends. Well we got to sacrament meeting late cus our lesson went a little over, But it was good because James was already there so we went and sat by him. One investigator with all of his fellow-shippers on one side and the other with all of his friends and fellow-shippers on the other :) It was so great! You can just feel the spirit of the ward growing as they welcome in these new members and investigators. The mission spirit is really taking off! Members keep coming up to us and saying, "Wow I can't believe things are actually happening!". Unfortunately we had to leave right after sacrament meeting (which went like 20 minutes over!!) because we had our shift at the vc! So we left Jeff and James with the members and ran to the vc. Well actually we ran to the car and then drove haha we are blessed. We ended up being like 10 minutes late woops! Some members came in while we were still on shift and told us that there was another investigator at church named Erik! They told us they were bringing him to the visitors center that night to watch the Joseph Smith movie! Yay! It was amazing and Erik is so great! Look at all these blessings! Unfortunately Erik lives in Tempe  but Sister Pickett and I are going to teach him over the phone and at the VC :) exciting!

Well family, just know that all is well in Mesa. Oh! There was a monsoon this week!! Sooo cool!!! The sky turned a purpley pink and then everything just got flooded with all the rain! I will send pics.

Love you all!! Have a great week!!!!
Sister Hamstead

Any time I get to share my love for the gospel with a complete stranger - that is a miracle (July 15)

Wow. Here I am again writing you all about another amazing week here in Mesa Arizona. I
Saying good bye to
 Hermana Schwartz
normally plan out things I want to highlight from the seek, but I didn't have time so my thoughts will probably be a little scattered. First I just want to say that I am soooo blessed. You're probably getting tire of hearing that, but I just can't believe how wonderful and amazing my mission has been so far. It truly has been a gift from Heavenly Father. I am sad because Hermana Schwartz goes home tomorrow!! Take good care of her and go to her homecoming talk!! I will miss my little Georgia peach soo much! She has been an amazing example for me and has really helped all of the sisters in the vc to catch the vision of the work that can be done here. I know there is so much potential to do good here at the visitors center.

I will tell you one of my vc miracles of the week. So Saturdays are always extremely busy because there are always about a million weddings going on - which is great though because we love to be busy! So anyways, Sister Pickett had just gone into the back on our lunch break when Hermana Valladares came and told us they needed us to give a tour. So we ruched out and met this sweet young couple named Karl and Stephanie. They were in town visiting from up north (northern Arizona) and their friends told them that they needed to come in and see the Visitors Center while they were here. They said that they felt a great spirit here and wanted to learn more of what our church was all about. So Sister Pickett and I took them first over to our new exhibit and we were planning on taking them to some other places too, but because we were so busy Sister Pickett got stuck taking another group through the exhibit- so I was on my own, but of course I wasn't really on my own. You can always rely on the spirit to be with you and to help you when you are doing missionary work :) As I was trying to decide where to take them next I felt that I needed to get to know them a little better so I asked them questions about their beliefs. They both expressed beautiful testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ and then I felt strongly impressed to take them over to the Book of Mormon display. I testified to them that as a fellow Christian I have come to know my Savior on an even more intimate level through reading The Book of Mormon. I testified to them that it truly was another witness of Jesus Christ. I invited them to read it and they said they would. Now this is when it starts to get really cool. We were walking around the display checking out all the different languages when we came to a kiosk that has a list of questions that you can select and then it answers them from scriptures in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I invited them to select a question that stood out to them and they selected "What does God's plan mean for me?". At the end of the little presentation thing I asked them what their thoughts were. Their answers kind of surprised me. They said they didn't know God had a plan for them and they thought it was comforting to know that this life isn't the end of it. That was like music to my ears :) I took them over to the family proclamation display and we read about how we are all sons and daughters of God and that we lived with Him before this life. It was amazing to see the spirit work on them. Their hearts were softened and they kept asking more and more questions and responded each time with "wow that's good to know" or "I've always wondered about that". I testified to them that these precious truths have been restored to us today in their fullness and that they are only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I then invited them to more fully follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. The spirit was so strong and you could just see the sincerity in their eyes as they said they would. I LOVE being a missionary. I then got their information and told them I would be sending their local missionaries to come and teach them more and help prepare them to make the covenant of baptism. AMAZING. I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father allows me to witness His work in action. How cool is it that I get to see these kinds of miracles every day?! Not all miracles are as big and amazing as that, but they are still miracles none the less. I feel like any time I get to share my love for the gospel with a complete stranger- that is a miracle :)

So James. James! He is so awesome!! We had 2 lessons with him this week and I am so proud of Sister Pickett she invited him to be baptized in the first lesson on August 3rd :) Way to go Sister Pickett!! I just can't believe how much Heavenly Father is blessing us lately. We have so many awesome investigators and more just keep coming! The thing that I think is amazing about James and his situation is that the ward has just adopted him right in. They love him! We got a text from one member saying thank you for letting him be a part & introducing him to James. He said that he has already become one of his best friends :) so precious! I absolutely LOVE my area. I would be ok if I stayed here for the rest of my mission haha but that most likely will not happen. I just love working with YSA's! We were having some struggles with it at first and so I talked to President Jenkins about it (he was a stake President of a singles stake for 5 years. dang.) he said one main thing is to just focus on their strengths and build on those. Commitment is the main thing we have been struggling with. That is one thing I want to be sure that I make a part of my nature. I want to be a commitment keeper. I want people to know that they can count on me and that when I say I am going to do something I really mean it and I will do it the very best that I can. I never realized how important that is. Anyways where was I... oh so that has been our big focus, just loving them and helping them build on their strengths. At first I really didn't know what that meant, but as I prayed about it I totally felt like Heavenly Father was giving us opportunities to really help build the ward.

Hermana Gomm's return home
That is something I have gained a huge testimony of. Prayer! You don't know what to do or how to do it? Pray! I was reading today in Helaman 5 talking about Nephi and Lehi and when they were in the prison yadda yadda yadda... well I love the part where the Nephite dissenter Aminadab tells the people, "you must repent and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ.". Interesting. We have to pray until we have faith. Pray until you get the answer. Don't just pray once and give up saying you tried, but really put your heart and soul into it. I have seen this so many times in my mission. I am just a simple and normal little person, yet I have been given this task and really this authority to go and teach these people. Wow. Sometimes I literally have NO idea what I am going to do or what I need to do to help the area grow, but as I have prayed I have received answers. We are seeing the blessings of hard work. I love it! It is just so amazing to see the ward catch onto the missionary spirit. You just feel the love growing among the members as their love for the Savior and the gospel grows. Anyways, I love you all soo much!! Oh did I tell you we got transfer news? Sister Pickett and I are staying another transfer! Woohoo!!! This is the longest I have ever been in an area before and I am Ssooooo happy :) 

Keep up the good work familia! I love you all sooo much!!!! Christopher keep up the good work prepping for your mission! Mom I am soo glad you had such a great time in Texas! Too bad you couldn't stay just a little longer to have been there for Hermana Gomm's homecoming! Hope all goes well with the house and all the craziness you guys are involved in.

You are all in my prayers! Love you!

Sister Hamstead

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Think about Abraham's Trial of Faith (July 8)

Hello!! Oh my goodness another amazing week has come and gone.I just feel like timing is just speeding by! Sometimes I just take a step back and think to myself, "How did I ever get so blessed?". I feel like my heart will explode it's just sooo full of love for all of these people. It's just amazing. I love all of these people soo much! It is amazing to see the Lord's work move forward and to see people's hearts changing. Nothing has brought me greater joy in my life than my mission :) We get transfer news this week and I REALLY REALLLYYYY don't want to get transferred!! But of course I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. It has been really cool though to see throughout my mission how the Lord has given me these "project" areas. Almost every area I have gone to has had zero work and no investigators, but with a lot of prayer and hard work the whole thing just completely turns around! It's so amazing to see!!

So I guess I should get on with this email and actually tell you what happened this week :) This week was yet again a week of miracles, but you know it may be possible that this week we have had the most miracles as of yet. I am just sooo grateful to see the Lord's hand in my life every day:)
So let's start at the beginning: Monday. We had a zone activity involving launching eggs. It was SUPER hot outside so we basically just ended up cooking eggs out on the parking lot haha the things missionaries do for fun :) Monday night was a really hard night. Probably one of the hardest nights I have had on my mission. I just felt discouraged and that it was my fault that the work wasn't progressing. That's an easy trap that satan can use on all of us to make us feel like we aren't good enough. It's easy to give in and believe that if some other missionary was there they would have more success. It was just really hard, but I prayed and went to bed, and then I woke up and it was a brand new day! You just have to pick yourself up when you feel down, don't allow yourself to dwell on those sad thoughts- move forward.
So Tuesday. Ah I loved Tuesday!! We had our first meeting with President and Sister Jenkins!! I love them sooooo much!! President Jenkins was a YSA stake President for 5 years so it was great talking with him and getting some of his advice :) It was just amazing to see how that mantle of leadership has been given to him. Also he kind of reminds me of uncle Jeff! Yayy family! But so back to the meeting, at the beginning one of the Elders gave a spiritual thought and the scripture he shared truly was an answer to my prayer for comfort and direction for my area. He shared D&C 112:10 aka my mission scripture! But then he went on and read verse 11 which for some reason I don't remember ever reading! Crazy because it's so good:
"I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all who love my name".
Wow I love that scripture. And I love that the verse before it tells us to first be humble and to trust in the Lord. I know that He will do as the scripture says and will lead us by the hand and give us answers to our prayers. We need to pray that we may be filled with this love like it says in Moroni 7:41. Having that mind set just gave me so much more hope. I know that the Lord knows my heart and my desires to do good- as He does all of yours as well :) He will lead you by the hand and give you answers to your prayers- I can promise you that!

Ok I need to move on now, so Wednesday. Wednesday was sooo fun! We had vc in the morning and then in the afternoon we went by a list of people that Bishop had given us on Monday. NOBODY WAS HOME. haha I mean it was the day before the 4th of July so I guess a lot of people were out of town. So one fun thing about serving in YSA is that you never ever have a dull day haha for dinner the Elders Quorum presidency signed up to feed us dinner and they took us to a restaurant called Organ Stop.
Finishing our dinner at Organ Stop
Craziest most random restaurant I have ever been to. If you ever make it out to Mesa you have to go haha! SO what it is is this big pizza place and there's this big stage and a giant organ that comes up from the ground and it like spins around while the guy is playing it! haha Also they had dancing cat puppets and the theme was Christmas in July. I felt like I was in Disney World! So that was dinner and it was fun. Then after we went out with one of our ward missionaries to go on visits before our lesson that night with our investigator, Isaac. And again NOBODY was home! But it was so fun just going out and talking to people on the streets. We got to do some service for some people and ya it was good. Then at 8 we went over and met up with Mark- our ward mission leader- at Isaac's house for our lesson. OH MY GOSH that lesson was amazing. The spirit was so strong as we taught Isaac the plan of Salvation. The whole time he just kept saying "Thank you!" and "You just answered my question!". It is just so amazing to teach these people who have been prepared by the Lord. Sister Pickett invited Isaac to be baptized and he said yes that he really wanted to :) My little baby greeny made me soo proud! She's a natural! But at the end we invited Isaac to say the closing prayer. He was still a little nervous about it so I offered to say a prayer first as an example. After he said an amazing beautiful prayer that just made me want to cry!! He said something like this, "Thank you so much for sending the sisters to me and for helping me to be home that day when they came by"... some other good stuff..."I really want to do this right this time, so please help me". Can you see why my heart is just sooo full?! I feel like Alma after he was reunited with the sons of Mosiah and he just like passes out because he is so happy. I'm almost there haha So to make Wednesday EVEN better when we were doing our nightly planning we got a call from Hermana Noble at the VC. She told us she had a referral for us!! Yayyyy!! So a guy and a girl went into the vc that night. The girl was a member and the guy was a co-worker that wanted to learn about the church. So Hermana Noble took them around and taught James (investigators name) the restoration. At the end she invited him to be baptized and he said he would love to!! Miracles happen. James just moved into the area 3 months ago and has since been searching for his purpose. Hermana Noble gave him a Book of Mormon to read and when we called him the next day he said he had already read the intro, the testimonies, and the first few chapters. Wow.Alright there is just sooo much more, but if I ever want to finish this email in time I gotta move on to Thursday haha.
Two Georgia Peaches
So Thursday: HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! We had district meeting and then VC. Holy cow the vc was DEAD. But it was nice to be able to sit and meditate. The spirit in the vc is just so strong. Being on temple grounds every day is just such a blessing! 
So before I move onto Friday I want to share a little something I learned in my personal study this day. I was reading in Romans and thinking a lot about faith. I was contemplating over the trials of this past transfer and how interesting it is that it's so easy to be full of faith and hope when things are going your way- when you can physically see the evidences of the Lord. But what about when things aren't going your way? What about when life gets hard and you feel like your prayers aren't being answered or that your efforts are being wasted? Well in Romans 4 Paul is teaching the people about this exact principle. He teaches them about Abraham and says starting in verse 18: 
"18 Who against hope believed in ahope, that he might become the father of many bnations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy cseed be.19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years aold, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He astaggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had apromised, he was able also to perform.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.".
Think about Abrahams trial of faith- that would be really hard to believe that the Lord was really going to pull through for you- especially when it gets down to the last minute, but I can promise you that as we "stagger not at the promise of God", but are strong in the faith that we truly can have that hope that everything will work out for our good. :)
Friday: Day of miracles. Again. Ok we met a lot of people on this day but I only have time to tell you about one. Her name is Shelby. We met Shelby when we were out with a member trying to contact former investigators. Shelby happened to live at the address of one- isn't that interesting how that works out... So we knocked on the door and immediately Shelby was just so warm and friendly. She invited us in and said she had lots of questions about our religion. We took some time to answer some of her questions and found out that she was an atheist. However, she said she was open and that she would like to believe there is a God. We testified to her that God not only exists, but He is so aware of us and is involved in all aspects of our lives. We testified to her of the Book of Mormon and that as she comes to read this book and prays about it that she will feel the love her Father in heaven has for her. At the end she said an amazing closing prayer. In her prayer she said that she had been lonely and discouraged, but since we had met with her she now had hope. She said also that she believes that God is there and that she wants to come to know Him better. I love this gospel. The thing about it is that it's for everyone- it solves every concern, answers every question, and calms every fear. All we have to do is tell people about it! Oh my gosh family there were sooo many more miracles this day that I wish I had time to tell you about, but we are going to skip Saturday and move onto Sunday.
Me with my babies at the VC

Sunday: Wow. We had vc in the morning and our first shift was the teaching center (online proselyting). Well we didn't have any investigators to call that early so we just left our lines open to take calls for the church and The first call I got I was pretty sure it was a prank. The guy comes on and says, "Hi Kelsey! I was just wondering, does your church have a rule against wearing blue shirts to church?"... what... I told him no and asked him why he asked that. He told me that he had gone to church today for his first time and nobody had talked to him- he assumed it was because he had worn a blue shirt. awwwww poor guy!!!! I felt sooo bad for him and tried to explain how the men typically wear white shirts yadda yadda, but I was more curious about how he had even managed to get to church, or had even thought to go to an LDS church in particular. So he told me his story. So first of all his name is Will and he lives in Louisiana. He grew up with little to no religion in his life and as he has gotten older he has found himself wondering what his purpose is. So one day he went on google and typed in what is my purpose. That led him to He read lots of the articles and testimonies and loved everything. He then got on chat and asked some missionaries where the nearest church building to him would be. They gave him the address and then sent him off on his own. Ughhhh no bueno. They didn't even get his contact info!! But that's ok. So I talked with him a bit more about his beliefs and asked him if he had ever read from The Book of Mormon. He said ya that he saw an add for it online and he had already downloaded the app on his phone. I then asked him if he was able to read any of it and he said he was on like chapter 3 or something. Then I asked him if he felt like he understood what the Book of Mormon was all about- thinking I could go over the intro with him and his response was oh yeah the introduction really cleared that up for me. Wow. So I asked him if he wanted to meet with missionaries and of course he said yes! I just feel so blessed to be able to see how Heavenly Father prepares His children. He loves all of us and He wants ALL of us to make it back to Him. The fact that I get to witness these miracles every day is just so humbling. So we finally got to go to all of church for the first time this whole transfer!! Our vc schedule has been crazy. But I just love church :) It was soo sweet because all of the members that went out with us this past week got up and shared their experiences with the ward. It's just amazing to see the faith of the members grow!! I love the Gable ward and I don't want to leave!! We got to meet James yesterday!! He is soo sweet!! He is a Texas boy and just sincerely wants to know the truth. It just warms my heart :) He went to church with his member friend, but next week he will go to Gable ward.

Anyways family I am just so blessed. My faith and trust in the Lord has definitely been tried this transfer, but I can say without a doubt that it has only made me stronger. I love this gospel, I know that it's true. I know that people can change. I know that this is the Lord's work. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. When times get tough I think of Him. I love Him and I want Him to know that I would do anything and everything for Him- as I would for all of you :)

I love you all sooo much! Sorry this email is forever long haha!
Sister Hamstead

YSA's, Cooling off and Observe and then Serve

Arizona Irrigation

Dearest family,
I love you all so much! But, first things first... that is not President Jenkins... hahahahahhahaha that is actually one of our senior couples serving at the visitors center :) The Jenkins are from Idaho. I will get a picture with them this week and will send it to you.

So, faith. What is faith? Faith is believing in things which are hoped for and not seen. Is it always easy to have faith? No. Why? Because we have trials. And what do these trials make us do? Humble ourselves and truly learn to TRUST God. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and allow yourself to let go- having that faith that God will catch you. I have been experiencing the biggest trials of my faith this past transfer. It has been really
hard! But it has brought me so much closer to the Lord. I trust Him, I really trust Him. We have gone through so many ups and downs in trying to build this YSA ward and help them in any way that we can. It has also been a huge task transitioning everything from our paper records onto the ipads. We have an extra hour of study everyday dedicated to this. So along with the 6 hours we spend in the vc and the other extra hour for 12 week training, you can imagine that it's kind of hard to get things accomplished. But, we went forward in faith trying to do absolutely everything in our power to lift, strengthen, and find. We have seen sooo many miracles this week!! 

But let me see where to start... First I want to talk about the VC. So on Monday night we were in the vc and Bishop Heywood from the Lazona ward (area 3 transfers back) came in with his family. I never got to thank him or say bye so it was soo good to see him and his family again! These relationships formed on the mission are just so priceless and precious! They thanked me for serving in their ward and then they went on to tell me just how the ward has really caught onto the mission spirit. They had 5 baptisms in their ward last month! Amazing! He thanked me for helping him to catch the vision and for being a part of helping the work move forward in their ward. I just wanted to cry I was so happy! I am just so grateful that I get to be a part of this! Even if my part is just a small tiny one, it has still blessed and influenced my life forever. Another Super cute thing from the VC this week. A little 4 year old girl named Autumn ran up to me and gave me a big hug. She then gave me a piece of paper with her testimony written on it and told me I could keep it. Her mom said she does that a lot- she'll just go up to random strangers and give them her testimony! Precious!! When I finally translated it, it said something like "This is my testimony. I love Jesus and I love the missionaries." and then she signed it. Sooo cute! I love serving at the Visitors Center :) I also really love working at the visitors center because there is air conditioning :) hahaha we are getting some record temperatures out here! But you know it really isn't that bad! I think all those summers down in San Antonio prepped me for it. I kinda like it! 

Holy cow there were soooooooo many weddings this weekend!! It was CRAZY. But it was cool cus I met some people from Georgia that came up for their sons wedding. They weren't members so it was really cool talking to them about the temple and what goes on inside. I told them to go check out the Atlanta temple so hopefully they will! Ok one more story from the vc and then onto the area. So this girl came in this week from Slovakia! Poor thing had had a really long day. She is here in Mesa selling books and going door to door. This day the high was between 115-117 and so needless to say she was kinda dead. She knocked on a members door and she told her
Temp in the car...
to come in and cool off. She later saw her sitting on the side of the road just completely beat and told her she was going to take her to go get ice cream. So after they went to Dairy Queen they walked across the street and came into the visitors center. It was so sweet to take them around the center and Elizabeth (girl from Slovakia) totally felt the spirit. She was just so overwhelmed by the love that she felt that she started to cry! She was just a sweet heart! We took her through the new exhibit we have which is all about service and following the example of Jesus Christ by helping those in need. I invited her to learn more about the church and I am going to keep in touch with her over email :) I just LOVE the visitors center! Some day you all will come here and see what I mean :)
Ok, so the Gable ward. Oh my goodness YSA. It is just soo different! But I love it! It is just really fun to get to teach and strengthen people my own age! But yeah so as I had been saying we had been struggling to find people. Our area is huge and a lot of the time when the elders and sisters find ysa's they don't give them the option to go to the singles ward... But that's ok! Heavenly Father has helped us to be in the right places at the right times. So one cool experience: We were driving down the road trying to contact former investigators when all the sudden we see this giant tv in the middle of the road! We decided to pull over and try to move it. Good thing Sister Pickett is strong haha jk But we got it over to the side walk and as we were walking back to the car I noticed this man painting his fence. I gave him an invitation to the exhibit and asked him if he had ever talked with missionaries before. He said yes but that it had been a few years ago. He then said that he would like for them to come back and talk with him again! So we got his info and testified to him of the restored gospel and how it will help him in his life. He wants spanish speaking missionaries so that his family can listen in too. So we're not going to be teaching him, but honestly I don't even care. I just love seeing how Heavenly Father uses all of us to find His children who are prepared to receive the gospel. And to think if we hadn't stopped to pick up that tv we never would have met him! Observe and then serve. So many miracles come from serving others! :) So that same day we were going through this apartment complex trying to contact more people when we ran into this guy named Malkom. I just knew we needed to go and talk to him the instant I saw him. So we went over and he told us about how his grandpa had just died. His grandpa was a very religious man and he said he wants to have God more in his life. Malkom is 19! We are sooo excited to teach him!! We had just a short brief lesson with him yesterday about the Book of Mormon and he is so excited to read it! So another miracle, Isaac! So Isaac was meeting with missionaries in another area, but then he moved into our area. We have been trying for a little while to get in touch with him- maybe I told you about that last week? We finally did get a chance to meet him last Sunday. Well we had a lesson with him this Sunday and it was amazing. He is searching for the truth and he was so excited about everything we talked about!  :D Then this morning we went over to the temple to do some service in the gardens. Sister Gordon (who is now companions with sister Remington!) came up to me and said she has a new investigator for us! This guy who had been a foster child in the area they are serving in just came back in town to visit. He told them that he felt prompted to go visit this family in the ward and they invited him to go to church with them. When he was at church he met the Sisters and he told them when he was younger he took the missionary lessons and he didn't know why he never got baptized because he knew it was all true!! Look at all these prepared people that Heavenly Father is blessing us with :) We have to trust Him and trust His timing. That has been a Huge lesson I have had to learn on my mission and I'm sure I'll continue to learn it over and over again throughout my life.

But anyways familia, know that I have so much hope and faith that all things will be made right because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I trust that He will pull through for us and that everything that is unfair will one day be made fair. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. Yesterday I was reading over the words to the hymn "I Stand all Amazed". That is a good one :) I do truly stand all amazed. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for everything He has done for me. This mission is 100% not about me, but at the same time He has made it completely about me. I am just so grateful and so blessed. Remember that everyday is a gift and that we truly are sooo blessed.

Saying goodbye to Hermana. Clark

Saying goodbye to Sis. Ellsworth

Have fun on your road trip! Be safe! WHAT I can't believe Abby has her permit!!! CRAZY!!! Man I feel like I'm getting old. I can't believe I'll be 22 soon! eew. haha I hope everything continues to go well with the house! How crazy would that be if you guys got chosen for that show!!! Keep me posted! I sent letters to you guys and to Eugenie so I hope you get them soon. Oh my goodness, so Sister Pickett's brother got his mission call and guess where he's going.... Atlanta North Mission!!!!!!! CRAZY SMALL WORLD!!! That's why we're companions :) He will get there in the end of November- December so keep an eye out for him! I love you all sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have an amazing week!!! and send me lots of pictures and updates!!!
Love, Sister Hamstead
ps- I still haven't gotten the package you sent me...