Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Miracles do happen!

Well Hey There!! 

Is a little blurry.. why? Oh that's because a HORSE just attempted to LICK my face. HAHA

I've had pretty much a great week here in Dahlonega, Coal Mountain, Cumming, Gainesville, and Tucker! We've traveled all over the place this week! Busy busy busy. I hit my 9 months.. very bitter sweet. I mean.. Yay! 

I'll start today with how I got to meet Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his sweet wife along with Elder and Sister Soares on Saturday. That was an amazing meeting! Elder Oaks agreed to take pictures with both missions and then shook all of our hands (poor guy, there were a lot of us!) It was really neat to see his sense of humor and hear the messages he and Elder Soares had for us. They gave us lots of reminders of how to be better missionaries but one thing I really liked was the phrase "The messenger must match the message." And Elder Oaks said "Now is the time to step up and do a little better." So that's what I'm going to try to do, is just step it up and be a little bit better in my missionary efforts. Its never easy to step it up, but I think the coolest part is looking back and seeing that you are no longer the person you used to be. We also learned that the missionary efforts in the United States have doubled since last October. That's cool huh! Gives you something to think about. :)
Is Sister Mitton and I after our meeting with Elder Oaks! :) I really hope to be in the same stake as her someday! Mom, do you happen to have a picture of the two of us at our baptisms? I think it would be fun to put it next to one of us on our mission just to see. :) 

Remember how I said we had a ton of ward support basically out of no where last week? Its starting to spread like a WILDFIRE! It is SO exciting! Sister Alder sometimes gets down on the fact that we don't have a ton of set teaching appointments but this week I heard her say "Well I just don't know when we can fit that in. We are SO busy!" I of course took that opportunity to say "Wait.. we're what??" :) She then got so excited and said "Oh my! We're busy! This is so exciting!" And it seems to just keep going.. I am certain that the "best is yet to come" as far as the Lords plans with this part of His vineyard go. :)I can just feel it in my heart that He has so many wonderful blessings and growth planned for the Coal Mountain congregation. I can honestly say this experience has has been one of the best learning experiences during my time as a missionary. I am just so excited to keep working hard and watching as the Lord works miracles. 

Now let me give you a list of some of the highlights of the week:
  • We have been teaching this family in our ward the missionary lessons, their son is 19 and hasn't been to church in over a year and a half. The first lesson he was not interested.. but each lesson he has become more and more involved.. And we got a text from his mom this morning that said "[my son] wants to know when you are coming back to teach us! :) And he said mom if I go on a mission, I bet I'd go foreign! He hasn't talked about anything regarding church in almost two years!" Pretty amazing miracle if you ask me! :) 
  • A family asked us to do service for their neighbor who needed help with some landscaping. So of course we went and did service and to our great surprise Mary, the woman who we are helping with landscaping, Facebooked about us! And told all of her friends that Dawn's churches sister missionaries are some of the nicest girls she's ever met and its a blessing in her life to have us come help her. Isn't that wonderful :)
  • The Johnson's had us over to start teaching them the missionary lessons and they invited their long time friend Barbara to join. Barbara is so kind and I just love her! She lost her son in an accident about a year ago. We decided to teach the Plan of Salvation, God's plan for our families and happiness on this earth, and it was an amazing lesson. She kept telling us about how she felt 2 years ago when she went through the Atlanta Temple during the Open House and at the end of the lesson she said "Can I come back each week when they teach these lessons? I really need this in my life." She also asked us if we could come to her home and talk with her daughter who is really struggling and just bring the peace we brought to the Johnson's to her home. We of course gave her the biggest hug and promised her we would be there! 
  • Mom, here's proof of the torn post card.. But on happy note, do you like my shirt? :)
  • We already have a minimum of 2 teaching appointments scheduled for each day this week.. WHATT??? Am I still in Georgia? Can this really be happening? :) 
Okay I know I've taken up a lot of your time but I have two more things I want to share with you. 

1. On Saturday Sister Blackett (my old companion, who is now serving in Johns Creek) came up to me and said "Sister Hamilton! I have to tell you something! Davis know's the Book of Mormon is true!" do you all remember Davis? Probably not.. He's someone that showed up at church one day and we taught him until his mom told him no. I told him that even though we couldn't still meet and teach him that he could read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it was true and that God would answer his prayer. Sister Blackett said they got a text from him a few days ago that read "Sister Hamilton! I did what you told me to.. and you were right! I've been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and I know its true. And my mom said if it means this much to me that I can come back to church!" They're teaching him now and said will let me know how things go :) It just made me so happy I can't even explain it! 

2. I email/write someone I taught and worked with in Johns Creek who hadn't been to church in awhile. She just means the world to me, and I wanted to share a part of it with you.. She said "And, I thought of you the day that I explained to the lady who is helping me pack that the reason my front bedroom closet was a “pantry” was because I am Mormon and we store food. I thought that you would be proud of me for telling her I was Mormon, because it has been a really long time since I have told anybody I was Mormon." Like many things that happen to me as a missionary, a huge smile became glued to my face. I know that what the Doctrine and Covenants is true where is says " And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen." This time of my life is absolutely the time I hold of most worth. It means everything to me. I love the people here, and I absolutely love the Lord for allowing me to have this opportunity.

I know that we can bring souls to Christ in all stages of our lives, and that we don't have to only have a missionary name tag to do so. President Monson says,"" I know that there are many who need our help, and helping some of them is what has brought me the absolutely MOST joy as a missionary. You might have someone you feel like you need to reach out to, but don't know how to help.. I'm certain the best thing we can do is show them real, and I do mean REAL Christ-like love. It's amazing what a sense of belonging and a heart filled once more with love can do. 

I know God loves His children, and I love you!
Sister Hamilton

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