Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baby Jesus always plays Quarterback

Georgian Snowmen!! 
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Can you believe its already Christmas? That just seems crazy to me! Want to know what else is crazy? Oh the fact that I have been a missionary for 11 months, today. YIKES! How on earth has the time gone so fast? What an amazing year to spend in the South. :)

I love Christmas! And all the fun Christmas traditions/festivities that we get to be a part of as missionaries. Its pretty wonderful if you ask me :) 

Let me start by explaining the title of this email. We were at a members home and she was showing us all of the nativities she has in her home, and I noticed one of them was not set up like a normal nativity.. so I asked "So.. whats the deal with this one?" To which she responded "Oh.. The kids and my wonderful husband always turn this nativity into a football play because everyone is kneeling..(rolls eyes)" And out of the other room we hear the 15 yr old boy yell "YUP! And Baby Jesus always plays Quarterback!" I couldn't help but laugh as I told her not to worry because it was something I was sure my brothers would do too :) 

Its been a pretty good week, kind of a blur to be honest.. Its just been so busy! Here's a little rundown of the week, mostly of things I have learned! 

Monday: P-Day, and two FHE's with families in the ward that I LOVE! Poor Sister Pabst, every house we leave I always say "YUP! They're my favorite" She just laughs and says "You sure have a lot of favorites!" Its true.. I just love the people here so much I can't help but have all of them be my favorites! 

TuesdayDistrict meeting, and Exchange with Sister George in Suwanee! I had so much fun with Sister George, as always :) This is my 3rd time going on a 24hr exchange with her. Woot woot! While we were there we did service for this wonderful woman named Marni, who is awesome. Her daughter remembered me and ran up to me and said "Mom! Sister Hamilton is back!" It definitely made me feel good considering she has only met me twice :)

We shared a message with Marni and her kids using Alma 7:10-12 and the M&M poem mom sent me. I must say, the most joy that comes to missionaries is when they watch the words of scripture touch peoples hearts. We read about how the Savior went through everything in this life so that He could know how to "succor" His people. We taught how to succor means to run to and give aid or support. The Savior felt everything we have felt so He doesn't have to wait. He doesn't have to guess how we are feeling, He can run to us and help us. As we taught this Marni seemed to literally light up, especially as she looked at us and said "So that's why He did it. He did it to help us, to love us. He did it all for us. That is beautiful" It is beautiful. And that is what the Christmas season is about, not simply the miraculous birth of the Son of God, but the life He lived because of His birth. 

Wednesday: Sister George and I walked around the park for a couple of hours enjoying the sunshine trying to talk to people, it wasn't super successful HOWEVER! We found a preaching podium with benches at a park.. haha only in Georgia!

We taught the Bergs again this week. We taught them about the Priesthood, and I learned something new :) So the Priesthood is the power of God given to man to act in God's name to bring about the Salvation of souls. In other words, its a really great gift! Often times we think of the priesthood only with blessing the sacrament, giving blessings, baptizing, etc. But as we were teaching it on Wednesday it just clicked for me.. Its so much more than that. We can have the Priesthood in our lives each day, specifically as we feel of the Holy Ghost. The Gift of the Holy Spirit, or the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, is given through the Priesthood following baptism. So each day that we feel the Spirit, its because of the Priesthood. Therefore, the Priesthood or blessings of it are in our lives much more than I think I ever gave credit.. Kind of cool huh? I'm sure its something you already knew.. but it was just a thought that came to me as we were teaching it so I thought I'd share it.

Thursday: Christmas Party!!! The entire mission got together for a Christmas Party with President and Sister Wolfert. It was SOO fun to see my friends/past companions. Seriously it was wonderful! We had lunch and a talent show and then each got a present. President and Sister Wolfert gave us these really cool journals with the mission logo on it. Perfect timing because I'm almost finished with one! 

All the missionaries that came out with me at the mission Christmas party, I can't believe we've been out for 11 months! 
Friday: On exchange again, but this time with Sister Stott (my second time with her). Our dinner appointment cancelled because the family got the flu so we had extra time to tract :) We were tracting in a neighborhood that really stuck out to me on the map the night before. As we got there I told Sister Stott "Okay! Are you ready to see some miracles? Because I know they are here." And believe me when I say, I know the miracles are everywhere but sometimes I find myself praying "Heavenly Father, I just promised this Sister we'd see miracles.. Please don't make me look like a fool." :) But the cool thing about miracles is they come by our faith, so if we are confident enough to say I know they are here, the Lord will open our eyes so that we can see them. 

Sisters in the Zone :)
So let me tell you about the miracle of tracting on Friday. This man opened the door, we talked for a bit and then to our surprise he says "We just started the Sabbath, it would mean so much to us to have you come into our home and share a message about Christ with us!" So in we went and taught a family :) We shared our testimonies of the Savior, taught about Prophets and scripture, and how the Lord asks us to "Follow thou me." As Chris was talking he was mentioning how the world has enough doctrine, what the world needs is to better understand the way of how to follow Christ. For some reason the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox came to me and I told him how Brad Wilcox says, "We aren't earning heaven, we're learning heaven." Chris and Kim LOVED that! In fact I think he repeated it about 5 times and each time the spirit came stronger and stronger. What I loved was afterward he said "That's it, that's what I'm going to teach to my congregation tomorrow." (Oh ya, did I mention he's the assistant pastor?) We then introduced the Book of Mormon and shared our favorite scriptures out of it. Kim said "I believe in prophets, so I believe all the words you just read, can we keep that book?" and Chris said "This is a masterpiece, all the scriptures you read to me seemed to touch my heart. I think I'd like to share that one tomorrow with my congregation as well. Thank you Sisters, you have truly blessed our home, and we assure you, you will always be received when you come here." So.. I asked them if they wanted to take these "set of lessons" we teach to people... :) And they said they would love to because they felt a great spirit when we were there and they know it came from God. WHAT A MIRACLE!! :) 

Basically.. we just helped a pastor plan his sermon.. no big deal. :) Oh wait.. it is a big deal! :) just kidding.. but seriously :) hahaha!

Saturday: Lots of tracting.. we stopped by Bethanne, a woman we are teaching to wish her a Merry Christmas. She told us "You sisters have a gift.. Every time you speak you make me think about the path I am on and make me think about if its the right one or not. Truly you have been a light to me this Christmas season." That woman is a amazing. I really hope we can help her see the purpose in coming to church soon. :)

We saw a woman in our ward Marla and her little girls. Marla saw that my bangs were shorter.. I told her I had cut them then she said "Oh, well here! I have some scissors can you cut Syndey's too? (Her 2 yr old) YIKES! haha Definitely prayed pretty hard to have a steady hand. I am happy to report little Sidney looks adorable :)

Sunday: We sang in the Choir :) My new favorite hymn thing is "In Silence We Wait." Look it up, its seriously BEAUTIFUL! We tried really hard to invite everyone to church and a bunch of people we are teaching said they'd come.. but didn't. Such is life as a missionary. But As we were singing in the Choir I got so excited when I got to see Meliah bring in her 2 daughters :) She came to church! And another miracle is she stayed for Sunday School and Relief Society (something she hasn't done ever.) It was a tender mercy that's for sure. 

Well.. I'd say that's just about all folks! But I still have a few funnies in me to share so.. here we go! 
  • A man answered the door and said "Listen up! Have y'all ever thought about becoming Catholic?" before we could even say who we were haha
  • We had this great convo with these teens about missionary work then their mom showed up and killed that convo.. To which her kids responded "Mom.. be nice. These are missionaries just like you were last month." Can't say it put her in a happy mood, but I thought it was cool! haha
  • A man with tattoos everywhere, who recently joined the church in Suwanee, had a shirt that said "Fishers of Men: You catch 'em & God cleans 'em" I loved it! Way to go Brother Walkins! :)
  • Oh and not so funny.. but amazing.. ya it was in the 70's this week. WOOT WOOT! :)
Well, that's all I have time for, and who knows if y'all actually read it all! :) 

Most importantly, I hope y'all have a Merry Christmas! I'm not sure I've ever been so excited about the Christmas season! Thank you for sending me so much love this Holiday Season! I love you all!

Sister Hamilton

P.S. My dear family.. I'LL SEE YOU SOON!!! WOOOT WOOOOT!!!!! :)

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