Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"iPod? iPad? Try iPray. Heavenly Father is listening!"

Hello Everyone! 

My oh my! Once again I'm totally clueless of what to share with y'all. Truthfully what happened was I got online all ready to go, but then saw a couple of emails from BYU-Idaho about Student Teaching. And things are so completely different I don't even know where to begin to get it done.. and truthfully I don't want to think about it. So that's neat.. Its not fun when everyone always reminds you that your time as a missionary is running short. Did you know there are only 2 Sisters in the entire mission that have been out longer than myself and the Sisters that came in with me? Ya.. that's just wrong..

So about the week.. I'd say let me start with the highlights and then go on from there, but there are so many highlights that would take up forever to tell you about all of them.. so I'm sorry as I try to play "funny, funnier, funniest" and "good, better, best," :) 

Let me start with Saturday, by far the best day of the week. Closely followed by Sunday.Saturday we went out knocking doors in the morning trying to talk to as many people as we could before we left for our meeting with Elder Q. Cook. We met a nice old man and he said we could come back (story to be continued later..) I loved that he said "Wait Mormons! Ya I've heard about y'all.. everyone says y'all are weird." So of course I responded, "Well, if you let us back you can find out for yourself!" :) Sometimes I wonder how many times our Heavenly Father looks down at me, smiles, and says while shaking His head "Oh that Sister Hamilton, bless her heart." :) Surely.. its often.

Sister Dunn and I at Elder Cook
Our meeting with Elder Cook was AMAZING. I'm not sure I have ever had so many prayers answered in one setting. It was remarkable! I've been praying and studying for weeks and weeks to know how to help the members of our congregation want to/know how to be involved in missionary work. I just want to be more involved with working with them.. So when Elder Cook said "Tell the members that the success is in the invitation regardless of outcome." I felt like he was speaking directly to me. So, when Bishop turned some time over to me in ward counsel Sunday morning, I said exactly that. I was amazed at how strongly the Spirit came, and was touched that the Bishop came to me afterward and said "I've been wondering that for months.. how we know we're being successful. Teach this to the ward, and teach them what to invite others to do." Do you hear that? That's what I call even more of an answer to my prayers! By golly we are in business! Back to Elder Cook.. It was nice to be able to shake his hand and hear him joke a bit. But the most powerful part was when he shared his testimony with us and blessed us. Blessings I needed. I'm so thankful for the Apostles, I know they lead the church according to the will of God and when we follow them, we are extremely blessed. 

Elder Pieper accompanied Elder Cook, which was cool because I met him a few months ago while serving in the Coal Mountain Ward. I loved hearing him speak not only because he taught me to be a better teacher, but because of the love I felt as he spoke about his daughter. He said it was his first time addressing a group of missionaries since his daughter left on her mission in December. He basically got giddy as he talked about her and then said "Can I read you some of her letter?" He read her explaining the home and person she was teaching and then she said something which I absolutely loved so I'll share it with you. "Thank you black name tag for giving me license to have intimate experiences with complete strangers." I feel the exact same way! There is no other explanation for how quickly I love the people here.. That saying is just perfect. 

Saturday night I was able to attend the officially titled "Dixon Dunk" title coined by the one and only Sister Dixon! It was so amazing to be there to see the baptism. I love that family so much. They really are just wonderful! Abby remembered me telling her the story of Roc and Coco's baptism of Coco telling me in her broken English "I went down, I came up, I feel good" so as soon as she was dressed and the closing prayer was said she ran to me and said exactly that, then gave me the biggest hug I could ever ask for. I loved it! :) The Dixon family is just wonderful, and it as been one of the greatest blessings of my life to watch them gain a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Blair and I were talking after the baptism and I just want to echo something he said to me.. He said "This is why we are here.. I've been waiting my entire mission to help a family like this come into the gospel." To his words I'll add my own.. and I will be thankful for them for the rest of my life. 

Us driving to Elder Cook
On Sunday we got a text 30 min before church asking us to teach.. Here's the thing.. you don't tell a new missionary 30 minutes before to teach a lesson on something that's not a PMG lesson.. haha. So I ended up teaching Sunday School. And of course the day I teach our class is PACKED. like.. we had 30 people, we usually have 10? But I think it went well? haha one can only hope! Also, the Dixons were confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again words can't explain how amazing it was to be there for that! Then after church we took Amber, a young single adult in the ward, and went to see the man from the day before. You know, the one who said we were weird.. haha So we taught him and the lesson was really awesome! We taught the restoration and he kept saying things like "Woah.. this is all new.." "I'm a bit confused because its all new.. and its a little strange.. but I feel so good.. and I like it." Before we left I asked him if we could start calling him Brother Wood, sense we are all apart of God's family. He laughed and agreed. :) So if you could keep Brother Wood in your prayers that would be great! We are going back to teach him this week :) 

the Baptism :)
We taught Carrie again last night. She was proud to report that she had done her "homework." I'm not sure I like the fact that she is youtubing things about mormons as well as looking at mormon.org. She had quite the list of crazy things she'd heard, so that was fun. But, she did do something that was really sweet, she said "I read that Mormons like to share their testimony.. will you share yours with me?" I can honestly say that is the first time that someone who isn't a member has ASKED me to share my testimony.. I almost didn't know what to say! :) The lesson went well and we are going back to see her this week again as well.

Also, Wendy and John are doing great! We taught them this week and read 3Nephi11. We would stop every few verses and talk about things and what not and Wendy at one point said "Okay that's it.. I have GOT to start reading this book more often.. Do y'all feel it?!" It was so cute! And almost anytime she had a question John would say "Well hunny.. the sisters taught us that.. blah blah blah." And answer it for us! They're awesome :) We're hoping to start teaching the two sons this week and getting them involved in scouts and what not. 

Here's some funny/crazy things from the rest of the week:
  • I have pet more chickens in the past week than I  have in my entire life.. and I do say "pet".. like a dog.. I guess that's a thing? 
  • Someone we're teaching called us to ask us to help them cut their dogs fur.. I mean I guess I can be a pet groomer for service? haha
  • I went on exchange with Sister Moon, it was so fun! :) 
  • I literally started dancing and jumping I was so excited when I got out of dinner last night at 7:40 and it was still perfectly sunny. Spring is here.. Yay sunshine and later days! :)
  • Did you know Graney hospital (sp?) in Atlanta has 2 ORs.. 2 ER's.. etc.. Why? From times of segregation.. A member of the congregation is one of the hospital managers and he was telling us about it. so crazy! 
  • "iPod? iPad? Try iPray. Heavenly Father is listening!" -- A church sign I passed on the way to the stake center to email :)
  • Taught a young man on the street.. interesting fellow.. he had a question about the plan of salvation so we answered it :) As we talked about resurrection he said "Any chance I can come back good lookin'?" I just about died laughing! 
  • Sister Harris.. err.. Jordanne came out for the Dixon'

    s baptism, and it was SO fun to see her!! I miss that silly girl. 
So yup! Life is good!! :) I love you all and hope you're having a great week! I am so thankful to be here in Georgia. I love the people here more than words can ever express or describe. I know this is Gods work, and I am so thankful to be engaged it in on a full-time basis. He loves each and every one of us. No doubt about it! 

Sister Hamilton

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