Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm on a Mission...I'm not supposed to see this many people from home (Aug 13)

Oh man. I don't even know how to do this week justice over email.... Soooo much has happened!!! Ugh it's almost overwhelming. But, I guess I'll just start and get as much of the good stuff into this email as I can :)

So last pday was definitely not the most relaxing... we had to get everything prepared for James baptism- including locating a font key and struggling to figure out how to fill it up haha! But we finally got it :) So we had told James to be there by 5:30 at the latest just so he could get ready in time and take pictures etc. Well time passes, and passes.... Turns out James and a bumch of guys from the ward had gone out harpoon fishing all day and then went back home and fell asleep. I was not very happy haha! 6:30 rolls around and James and the others FINALLY show up. It was a good thing too because there was a HUGE crowd waiting for them to get started. There were at least 60 people there! The baptism was amazing. The spirit was soooo strong! There was a really cool little tender mercy for Sister Pickett and myself as well. Sister Pickett was really nervous because this was the first baptism she has been a part of and she didn't know that we teach the restoration to the group while the people change. I tried to comfort her and make her less nervous, but it didn't really help that we hardly had any time to practice with all of the crazy things
going on. So we prayed. When it was our time to get up there the spirit just completely took over and we taught the best we ever have! President and Sister Jenkins had come to the baptism and afterwards they complimented us on our teaching style and our ability to teach in unity and with the spirit. We were just so humbled and truly grateful for the help of the spirit :) What a blessing it is to see the fruit of your labors. It was such a joyful experience to have been there with James through all of his struggles and different trials. That's what I love about being a missionary- you just come to love these people sooo much and your greatest desire is just to help them be happy. I know that true and eternal happiness comes only through diligently living and applying the gospel of Jesus Christ.I am soo grateful for my call!!

Christopher I just can't wait for you to join me out in the field! I love what it says in the call letter that greater joy and happiness awaits you... something like that- maybe you could send me a copy of my call letter? I would love to read over that again :). But it's so true! I love every aspect of this work and I know that you will too Christopher! And of course so will you Abby and David- & Eugenie and Jerel when they're old as well as mommy & papa :)

Ok let me think of what else happened this last week... We got to go to the temple on Tuesday. I LOVE going to the temple. I hope that all of you get to go to the temple regularly. Abby, David, and Christopher should go more to do baptisms. I know that a strong spirit comes into your heart as you regularly attend the temple. We get to go about every 6 weeks and when we start getting up to week 4 or 5 I just feel myself longing for that spirit. Go to the temple!

So I saw Kenny. This is just too weird! I'm on a mission I'm not supposed to be seeing this many people from home! haha Maybe they should have sent my to another country ;) haha jk I love seeing people from home. But don't keep sending people to see me haha It was fun to see him at my ward though- especially because it was the Sunday that James got confirmed! Exciting! 

So Jeff, his baptism had to get pushed back to the 31st of this month because he is still working on quitting smoking. He is such a trooper though! He would totally be baptized today if it weren't for his addiction, but he has faith and he's working on it. Remember to keep praying for him! He had some prayers answered this week which was pretty cool! He was praying that more people would be placed in his life that would help him to make these hard changes. Person #1 was a member of the church moved into his house! He has a bunch of roommates that smoke and just aren't the best influence so when he found out this new guy was a member he was just soo happy! person #2 Heather! Jeff got a girlfriend, and we totally approve of her! She is a great girl and actually quit smoking a few years ago. Also as an added incentive she told him he can't meet her mom until he stops smoking haha! Gotta love working with ysa's! It was really cool though when Jeff told us about her, he told us that in order to date him she had to support his decision to be baptized into this church. He told her that this was a big part of his life and if she didn't accept that then they might as well not be together. Go Jeff! Well of course that was music to our ears and made us very interested in meeting Heather. So we told Jeff to invite her to the lesson that night. It was so great! and now we're teaching Heather too! Miracle!

We have been receiving soo many referrals lately! Such a blessing! Oh also we are now allowed to tract in our mission, but it is still strongly discouraged. But so Sister Pickett and I tried it the other day, but nobody was home :/ darn! 

So we had another miracle this Sunday when one of our members- actually the one that Kenny knows, who I guess I met before up at BYUI! CRAZY!-brought a nonmember friend to church! We went and introduced ourselves to him and talked with him a little bit about our church. It was soo great and now we are meeting with him tomorrow! Invite your friends to church! 

Ok, Monday. So the reason we are having our pday today is because yesterday half the mission went to a conference thing where Elder Carden from the 70 came and spoke to us/trained us. It was amazing!! I learned soo much about the Holy Ghost and his purpose/ role in our conversion. He used the example of Peter in showing  the times when Peter did not have the gift of the Holy Ghost and when he did. So cool! He talked about the new direction that missionary work is taking and how our role is NOT just to strengthen nonmembers and less actives, but active members as well- EVERYONE. We strive to strengthen everyone's faith in Jesus Christ, so let the missionaries come in and teach you guys. We all need to be strengthened. President Jenkins spoke to us as well and I loved what he said. He talked a lot about Heavenly Father and the importance of why we teach that to people first. It reminded me of some of the conversations I have had with Papa in the past. He also talked with us about the importance of remembering who we are. We are literally sons and daughters of God and if we REALLY grasped that and understood what we are capable of then this world truly would be a better place. We would have no desire to rebel or stray because we would be fully aware of the purpose of this life and the importance of the choices we make. It was just an absolutely amazing meeting! 

So a visitors Center story and then I'll wrap this thing up:
Last night I got a call at around 8:30 from this boy named Larry. He was calling in to order a Book of Mormon. I placed his order and asked him if he was a member of the church. He said no, but that he was looking to get closer to God. I testified to him that the Book of Mormon will bring him closer to God and that it will help him know what to do to return back to him. He was such a sweet little boy! Well he wasn't that little, he was in high school... but as we talked he told me more about his life and some of the struggles he has had to deal with from a young age. No one in his immediate family believes in God, but his grandfather does. He told me how his grandpa has so much peace and happiness in his life and that he knows that is attributed to his faith. I was just so impressed by the faith of this boy! When we finished talking I asked him if he ever prays. He said yes and then we talked about the way that God has asked us to pray to Him: Addressing Him as Heavenly Father, saying the things that are in our hearts, questions, concerns, express graditude, etc., and then closing in the name of Jesus Christ amen. I invited Larry to say a prayer and at first he was a little hesitant because he had never prayed out loud before, but the spirit touched his heart and he began to pray. The spirit was soo strong! I love my role as a missionary. All that I do is teach people the basic fundamentals so that they can learn for themselves how to receive their answers through talking to God. All people, every individual here on this earth is a child of God. He loves them and He desires to have them back with Him one day. We know this and they don't. So what can we do about this? Pray for missionary opportunities- yes, but then we have to be willing and ready to open our mouths and make those opportunities turn into experiences. I am so grateful for this gospel. My gratitude and appreciation is what motivates me to share this happy message every day :) I hope you all feel the same way about this amazing gospel, and if you're not there yet, pray for it! I know that Heavenly Father loves us all so much- I feel His love and support every day. Know that I love all of you and pray for you daily! Keep up the good work with the house! Send me more pictures! I would love to see the progress. Hope you had a wonderful birthday David! I'm sooo glad you got the card I sent you :) Love you sooo much and I can't believe you're 13!!!weird. Good work with the conference! I can't believe it's already come and gone! Time just goes by soo quickly! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Sister Hamstead
XxxxOoxOooo- nacho libre style haha