Monday, February 10, 2014

The biggest, most beautiful temple I have ever seen! (January 27)

Dear family,

I can't even begin to describe to you the sweet kindness and tender mercies I have received from The Lord this week. Man the week before last week was tough, but this past week was so sweet. It was nice having Monday night off from the vc and having time to visit people. It has taken a while, but we are really starting to bond with the people in this area now :) There has been such an excitement in the air with the Gilbert temple open house! We have gone around to several homes and shared messages about the temple & how we can all prepare to go.

At the Gilbert Temple
On Tuesday we had an awesome miracle! One of our former investigators named Myra called us up and said that her, her mom, and their friend all really wanted to go to the open house that morning! So we scrambled to find a member that could come with us on such short notice. Sister call from one of our wards said she would love to come with us all! It was so great having her there cus her husband designed all the water features outside the temple so she was able to give us all the insider scoop :) wow the Gilbert
Gilbert, Arizona Temple
temple is the biggest most beautiful temple I have ever seen!!!!! I think I found the temple I want to get married in haha! We had such a sweet experience as we were walking up one of the giant stair cases. Carole, Myra's mom, commented that she just feels so good in the temple- she described it as a warm fuzzy feeling. It was a special moment for me to be able to point out to her that what she was feeling was the spirit. She said that must be it :) then that night we went to the vc and I had a super cool experience when I met a man named Willy. He had come down to Arizona from Michigan a few months before so that he can help his aunt who was sick. For some reason his trip extended from two weeks to two months. He wasn't sure why he had stayed but he was here for Christmas time and so his aunt told him about the Christmas lights at the temple. He came in and he felt the spirit so strongly that he decided right then that he wanted to learn about the church. However, a funny twist to the story is that he didn't talk to any of the sister missionaries inside the visitor center. Or even outside! I don't know how he managed to go through the grounds and the visitors center without being approached by a single missionary!! But Willy was determined to learn about the church, so he contacted a distant relative living back in Michigan who is a member. He asked her if she could get the missionaries to him out here in Arizona and she did. When I met Willie that night he had just had his first real discussion with the missionaries a few nights before, and he had brought his son into the visitors center with him that night to learn more about the church as well. I asked Willy if he was considering being baptized, and he told me most definitely! It was such a neat experience to see how heavenly father truly prepares people. He is so involved in our lives and he is aware of all the minor details. Even though he really didn't get approach that first night when he was at the visitor center is so cool to see that Heavenly Father still guided him to the true restored gospel. Miracle! I got his info and will be keeping in touch with him over the phone. His son was also really interested too!

Then on Wednesday and Thursday we got to go on exchanges with our  sister training leaders. I love exchanges, and it was really fun to go out of the area. I got to go back to the stake I was in when I served with sister Remington so that was really fun. I just love being a missionary and having the opportunity to share the gospel with everyone!! It's the best thing I have ever done :)

From Thursday morning we had district meeting and I got to give a talk on a topic of my choosing. It was funny cus I was talking to sister T saying I have no idea what to talk about and the all the sudden it came to me and I knew I needed to speak about personal testimony. I was kinda nervous when my time came because I had soooooooooo much prepared and I wasn't sure what all really needed to be said. So I said a little prayer and wow just like that it all just flowed and came together. Ya know I have really grown to love public speaking / doing presentations. Maybe I will do something like that for my career in public health. But anyways I'm grateful for the spirit and the ability it has to take my words and make them touch the hearts of the people.

Oh man so this past week and this upcoming week the temple is closed cus of cleaning/renovations and man it has been SLOW. Like I'm so bored I can't even read the ensign type of bored- hey don't judge that's exciting stuff for sister missionaries haha! But I am sooooo grateful for the beautiful family of sister missionaries that Heavenly Father has allowed me to serve with. What a blessing they all are to me! Sometimes I feel like I am in a sorority lol but it's the best! 

This mission is so incredibly perfect- I would say for me, but that doesn't matter cus the mission isn't about me... But at the same time it is! What an experience.

Ok anyways, so even though vc has been slow, we have still seen so many miracles! Friday morning was such an exciting day to be on shift at the Vc. Sister T and I were able to give three tours to groups with nonmembers. In two of the groups nonmembers accepted to have missionaries come teach them. In the other group the  nonmember accepted to read the book of Mormon and he said that he would be coming back. Wow miracles have not ceased!!! There is nothing more Exhilarating than being able to share your testimony with others. I love my calling at the visitors center and I feel so at home taking people around there and teaching them with the resources. I do hope you all can come here some day. It is such a special place. We also had our first prep meeting with the Cameron's on Friday morning. I love them. They are so precious!

So one of The greatest miracles of this week was when I received an email from Michael Morton  telling me that he would be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood on Sunday. I asked Pres. Jenkins if I could go and he said yes! So after church and after correlations and lots of other stuff sister T & I drove out to east Mesa for his ordination. It was just so peaceful being able to go out and drive in the beautiful desert and being able to see the places where I had served before. 8 o'clock we returned home to eat a little bit of dinner and to do language study for sister t. This past week is just full of so many wonderful blessings and I truly felt the love of The Lord. I know that heavenly father cares about us and he will take care of us.

I just love it out here! It was such a sacred experience being there when Michael received the Melchizedek priesthood. The feeling & the spirit that was there was so strong. I will never forget that moment. After that we ran to pick up our dinner and went to two other appointments and a fireside. Finally at 

I love you all soooo much!! Thank you for all your love and support! Christopher I can't wait to see you on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!! What a blessing :) I will definitely be wearin water proof! Haha

Love you all,
Sister Hamstead

Ps please keep Tanya in your prayers she is going through a lot right now, but I feel at peace knowing that  Heavenly Father is aware of her and her situation