Random story: Have I told you that I got the hiccups.. about 1.5 months ago.. and they haven't left yet? They aren't super frequent.. Only about 3-4 times an hour on average. But they are ridiculous and soo lame. Sometimes it sounds like a huge almost gasp.. and they are really loud. So loud.. We were tracting one day this week and someone happened to be in their yard, I hiccupped then heard "Yikes! That one hurt, do you need some water?" haha Yes, that really happened.. All I can say is #southernhospitality
Sister Nielsen and I have had a wonderful week here in Johns Creek (&Webb Bridge and Dacula). I have learned a lot this week! I really love the opportunity to go on exchanges and learn from and help the Sisters in Roswell and Lilburn. I learn so much from them and its fun to get to know them all. It is kind of a bummer to never see Sister Nielsen, but we're just making sure we have a bunch of fun the few days we actually are around each other. We experienced many miracles this week, and for that I am truly thankful and humbled that the Lord is trusting us with these miracles. I'd like to share a couple of them with y'all! So away we go!
One of our members introduced us to her friend Shelby, who visited her in BYU-Idaho and unofficially took the first lesson there by a few returned missionary roommates. Shelby loved the spirit she felt at BYU-I and has loved church the 2 times she has attended our meetings. Honestly teaching her reminds me of my wonderful roommate Emily Sellars, and the great experience it was to be there with her when the missionaries taught her. :) Shelby is great! She has some of the strongest faith I have ever seen and great questions. Shelby has accepted the invitation to be baptized and says "As soon as I know its true, I want to be baptized. I mean, why wouldn't I?" She is already praying about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She really is amazing and so fun!
Another miracle happened at church yesterday when a member of our congregation brought a young man into our gospel principles class. We talked with him after class (not knowing anything about him) and I felt impressed to not just introduce myself as "Sister Hamilton" but as a missionary and representative for Jesus Christ. Davis responded by saying "My name is Davis, and I've always wanted to be a missionary!" How cool is that!! Sister Nielsen and I sat down and talked to him about what brought him to church. He told us that he was simply walking past the church building and decided to come in. He doesn't know anything about Mormons or what we believe but he said he felt so good in the building and lately has been wondering about "how to be saved." He said he heard Sacrament meeting from the foyer and downloaded the Book of Mormon on his phone. We told him that missionaries teach people how to come closer to Christ and feel His spirit. Davis asked us when we could start teaching him! Truly my heart is full of gratitude and thanks!
Saturday was Timothy's birthday. Timothy is Sister Johnson's special-needs son, who turned 34. Woot woot!! :) We got a phone call from Sister Johnson needed our help in the morning because she had too many groceries she couldn't carry and wanted everything to be perfect for his birthday. We then had breakfast with them after our studies. I did it.. I had official southern GRITS. Not my fav.. but the smile on Timothy and Sis Johnson were well worth it! :) Timothy opened his presents and then went to his room. He came back as Sis Johnson was telling us about the party she was doing that night and wanted our help getting ward members there, he gave her the biggest hug and kiss and said "I love you mom!" Honestly it was just the sweetest thing. She gives all for him and he loves her so much. We came by that night with a bunch of ward members including the Bishop and He gave me a huge hug and thanked me for helping with his party. It doesn't get much better than that. Knowing you really made a difference.
If there is one thing I know it's that God loves every singe one of His children. He loves them more than we know. And some of my most cherished memories and thankful moments are when I have felt an overwhelming love for His children. Its real. Pres. Uchtdorf describes the love of God as "not a greeting card love" and I love that. The love of God is real, its something you can feel and its something that empowers and enables individuals to rise to their infinite potential. I feel it each time I think of Connor and how much he changed my life working with him, along with the students I taught at the Jr. High/Middle School. I feel it every time I think of my wonderful family. I feel it often as I talk to people on the street and when I ask "Heavenly Father, do you love them?" before someone comes to the door. If you haven't felt that love for someone or for yourself in a long time, all you have to do is ask. The peace and love will fill your heart with joy. I know it will. And it will change your life forever.
I love you all! Please have a great week, and enjoy the sunshine wherever you are! Because it seems that GA only gets rain.. I'm not a huge fan.. But its ALL GOOD!! :)
Sister Julie Hamilton