Monday, September 23, 2013

There were a few little bumps in the road...(Aug 26)

So first of all, sorry for causing you all stress over my letter from last week. It was just a very humbling experience and I felt impressed to share it with you. I am grateful for my trials because it is through them that I learn how to come unto the Savior and apply His atonement in my life. Know that I am happy, more than happy, I am filled to the brim with joy! I LOVE MY MISSION!!! I can't even put a price on the value of it, but I know that it has changed my life forever :)

This week we got transfer news.... aaannnndddd...... I'm getting transferred. I was soooo sad!!!! I have loved this area SSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!! I know I felt that way about all my areas, but this one was special. It has truly been an amazing and miraculous summer serving in the Gable YSA ward. It is amazing to see the love that comes through serving others. This ward had NOTHING when we first got here. Sister Avila and I had spent all of our time working in the other ward, but when Sister Pickett and I finally had time to devote all our attention to just this one ward things just took off! We saw daily miracles and felt the guidance of the Lord in our work. So of course I cried at church on Sunday when I had to tell everyone bye. It just breaks my heart!! And oh my gosh the worst was saying bye to Jeff. He just looks at me with tears in his eyes and says, "You're leaving?". I wanted to die!! I was sooo sad! But I had faith and I do believe that the Lord has more in store for me. It is crazy to think that every transfer has just built one on top of the other- SOOOO AMAZING! So this morning when I came into the family history center
to email I found out that I am white washing a YSA ward!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!! This will be my 6th transfer working with YSA's :) I just LOVE it! Heavenly Father really knows us and knows what we need :D I was so worried that I wasn't going to know how to be in a family ward anymore haha But also cool news, Sister Gordon and I are going to be sister training leaders. Please pray for me that I will know how to help the sisters when I go on exchanges with them. I was so humbled and honored that President would ask me and that he would trust me to effectively help train the amazing sisters we have here in our mission. I am just so grateful and I feel so blessed!

So the last full week in Gable sure was eventful! We were in charge of the home evening this last Monday and so we went up to the mission office and the AP's took the ward on a tour. It was actually really cool! There were a few little bumps in the road with making it all happen, but at the end of the night it was an incredible experience and everyone left spiritually charged :) On Tuesday and Wednesday Melanie Cottom came to our VC and we did early morning training's from 7-9. Melanie is over all the VC's in the church so it was amazing getting to talk with her and hear all of her great ideas about how we can be more effective in the vc and in using the resources. I loved the way she taught. I never once felt like I was being reprimanded or anything, she just really taught with love! I want to master that. On Thursday I got to give a talk at district meeting on hope. I love giving talks because I feel like I learn sooo much! I truly have a testimony of the principle of hope. I know that faith and hope go hand in hand. If you don't have hope then your faith is hollow. What good does faith do if it doesn't motivate you to do good and to be an optimistic follower of Christ? That's more like closet faith. Live your faith daily! 

Oh my goodness sooo many visitors this week!!! Haha So Tuesday was really funny. I was in the back greet when Sister Coppel came around the corner with Sister Fabiano! It was soo fun to see them and to get caught up with them. We were standing there talking when who comes around the corner... Brother Coffey, Josh Coffey, and their cousin who I had met before as well! So it was like a huge swarm of Georgia people taking over the visitors center haha! Brother Coffey told me our stake is getting 3 sets of missionaries per ward!! Keep them busy! Get to know your neighbors and go about doing good. I know the Lord has placed more missionaries there for a reason. Peoples hearts are being softened and they are being prepared to receive the restored gospel :)

We had so many miracles this week!! But to narrow it down I will just talk about a few:
- Isaac: So Isaac. We had kinda lost touch with Isaac for a little bit, but we had felt inspired to call him this week and he answered! He said that he had been at another training in California but that he would be back in like 2 days. He then asked if we could meet with him like the day after. So we went and wow it was amazing! We were so worried that he would have really digressed in his progression, but it was totally the opposite!! He has been reading from The Book of Mormon and he said he knows it's true!! He told us that he has been telling all of his friends and family that he is looking into becoming a mormon. Wow Heavenly Father really loves and watches over his children. We invited Isaac once again to be baptized and he said he would. We extended the date of September the 14th and he said that he will pray about it. I just love seeing how I really do NOTHING. My job is just to open my mouth and say the things that I know to be true and then the Holy Ghost will testify to their hearts that these things which we are teaching them are true. I am not a teacher, I am a facilitator of the spirit. How amazing! 

-Malkom: So I don't know if you guys remember who Malkom is but he was an investigator we had met in an apartment complex. He was really open and interested in learning more. We had left him with a Book of Mormon and really only got to meet with him like once more because of his crazy schedule. Well we decided to stop by the other night and just see if he was home. He answered the door and said, "I was wondering when you guys were going to come around again!" It was awesome to see that Heavenly Father had been working on Malkom as well. Malkom also had been reading from the Book of Mormon and has had many spiritual experiences as he has read it. I love the Book of Mormon! I know that it is true and that people can feel the spirit as they read it. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this week and have started it again for the 3rd time since I came out in the field. I just want to keep reading that book over and over again throughout my life. I just get so much out of it! It was so sweet talking with James about his scripture reading and hearing how the Book of Mormon has played a role in his daily life as well. I just think of you mom and how you love the scriptures and how you would hold them close to you. I want everyone to experience the joy that comes through reading and praying about that book. It has answered the questions of my soul and has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father. The coolest thing is that it's not always the words that I read, but the impressions that come to my mind as I read. I ALWAYS feel the spirit when I read it. Read the Book of Mormon daily and the Holy Ghost will be with you and will guide you, I can promise you that :) 

Man so much more happened this week, but I am getting tired of typing haha I love you all soo much! Thank you for all of your love and support! I feel your prayers and know that Heavenly Father is watching our for all of us. Please keep Jeff in your prayers. Quitting smoking is so hard! I have never had to deal with trying to help someone overcome addiction, but man it is hard!! I am so grateful for the standards that are taught in the restored gospel. I know that they have kept me safe and have helped me to avoid the traps of the adversary. Oh also on Sunday Sister Pickett and I were assigned to give talks. I really do love giving talks! I got to speak on the gift of the Holy Ghost. I was assigned to go last so of course I had like 2 minutes. The choir had just sung "Lead kindly light" and had really brought the spirit in. I was grateful for that #1 because that is one of my favorite hymns and #2 because I knew I was going to not be giving the talk I had prepared so I REALLY needed the spirit. Of course the Lord pulled through for me and helped me out :) I was grateful for the opportunity to leave Gable ward with my testimony of the restored gospel. Oh also Josh Coffey was at my ward that Sunday! haha

You know one thing I have really learned on my mission is that God has a plan- not just that great big one that we all know about, but he has plans for us all daily. It is just so crazy to see that when our plans don't work out it is ALWAYS because God has another plan. So when things don't go your way, trust that God has a plan and that everything will work out- maybe not in the time that you would like, but in the Lord's timing. That goes back to the faith and hope. Trust! I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that He will lead and guide us :)

I love you all sooo much!!!

Sister Hamstead

ps. which brown house parable are you referring too?
pps- We got to go to an amazing lamb of God concert last night with Jeff. It was SOOOO great!! Then as we were leaving I ran into Ashley Sant in the parking lot haha :)
ppps- Wow soo glad things are going well with the house!! You guys are amazing! Just keep trucking along! Thanks for sending me the pictures! Man I love home projects too so enjoy it for me!