Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I knew it! I knew I belonged here in the South!

Hello Everyone! (Mom, please feel free to shorten this if you would like, I completely understsand)

Wow.. I'm at a complete loss of words. Can I just say, Heavenly Father loves me so much! :) One of my companions, Sister Dunn, and I used to joke about being Heavenly Father's "favorite" because we felt so blessed all the time.. and I just feel so overwhelmed with the amount of blessings lately. I don't even know what to do! No really.. I don't know what to do.. haha

Let me tell you about Student Teaching first, because its obviously on my mind and I've been told by President Wolfert to not let it distract me too much.. haha

Taken Tuesday night after all my interviews. With my two different tags on. One of the members daughter saw me in my student teaching tag and said "No offense Sister Hamilton.. but I like the black one better." haha 
Tuesday was the day I did all 5 of my interviews for student teaching, wow! What a crazy day! Sister Smith went with Sister Porter and her companion for the day and I had members be my companion. I did the first 4 interviews at the Masons home and the last 1 at the Hailstones (funny story I'll tell ya about later). I was so surprised at how natural it felt to be in an interview setting, I wasn't nervous at all. Thank you for all your prayers, I really know they made a difference. I was almost speechless after each interview as I could see that words had filled my mouth and things came to my memory that I had forgotten I even learned in the first place! The Lord sure does bless His missionaries! 

One lesson I learned/relearned with this experience is to trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6). I had two interviews  basically at the same time, because one I had been wait-listed for came through. As I was waiting.. 1:00 came and went (the interview start time) and I started to feel a bit stressed knowing that I had a different interview starting at 1:15 and if the principal didn't show up.. I'd miss it. I just kept saying a prayer that it would all work out.. 1:05..1:10.. Then Brother Magleby (a BYU-I professor, who I was interviewing with at 1:15) popped up on my screen and said "I felt like I needed to get here early and sense your principal isn't here yet, do you think we can just do our interview a few minutes early?" Our interview went great and I learned about an amazing opportunity that I didn't even realize I was interviewing for :) by the time it finished the other principals got there and I was able to interview for 3 different schools. 
The Everitts :)

Sister Smith was suppose to come get me so that we could go out and do some tracting before my last interview, but the sisters wouldn't answer the phone.. Sister Mason had to leave and I couldn't be left a lone.. Again, I started to feel a tiny bit of stress but then remembered, Trust in the Lord.. Sister Hailstone rushed over to get me I went with her to pick up her middle school carpool.. As we were waiting I looked at the clock and despite her encouragement (forced I'm sure) I had the thought.. There is no way I'm going to make it on time. Then a different thought came to me "I've taken care of you this long, haven't you learned to trust me." I was almost surprised as I then told Sister Hailstone "I'm not worried, if its a school the Lord wants me to consider He'll make it happen. And if not well, then I wasn't supposed to be there anyways." Someone from the District got there early.. I got a phone call, but still wasn't at a house.. But we got there right when my interview was supposed to start. And the interview went FANTASTIC! He found out I was a missionary and teased me saying "You go home soon, are you trunky? You can be honest!" I just laughed and assured him I wasn't, to which he said "I know, you're a great worker. So finish serving the Lord strong, then come back and work in my school district." Again, trust the Lord. 

I learned that lesson again today when I logged on and found that the Lord continues to bless me so much. To my amazement I have received an offer from every school district that I interviewed for and even received a couple offers in the same district. I guess now its a matter of choice. Funny how the last time I interviewed (before my mission) I didn't receive an offer from any of the schools. In every interview I was able to use things I've learned about teaching from being a missionary to help me answer questions and explain my philosophy of education. The Lord blesses His missionaries, that I KNOW. i also know I needed to be a missionary for way more reasons than I've ever realized or understand. And I also know that I will never regret this choice. 

You're also probably all wondering why I have the email titled what it is. Well that's because I decided to go on my family history and find out where in Georgia I had an ancestor from.. Well as it turns out I have MANY ancestors from this great state, as well as a ton from North Carolina and Tennessee! :) Some of those Georgians lived in Cobb County (I've lived there!) and Bartow County (right next door!) I'm currently living 4 miles from Cobb and 10 miles from Bartow. Ya.. Try to tell me I don't belong here.. oh wait.. I do! I even found out there is a high chance I'm related to a guy in this congregation I'm serving in. When I asked him about a Nancy Henderson from this place that came from blah blah blah.. He pretty much dropped dead. And said "Um.. Sister.. The chances that we are related are much greater than the chances we are not. I need you to call me as soon as you have more information." haha I then got to enjoy watching him and the Fagre's fight over which of their sons gets to marry me because now I'm a real southerner.. WHAT! Where am I?! Oh wait.. I'm home! Can't you hear them singing on the other side? haha Funny, don't ya think?
The Halls! :) 

Well now that this email is officially way to long.. let me give you a quick update on how life is going as far as missionary work. 

  • Sister Spencer and Annie are doing amazing. We are moving their baptismal date as we try to help her overcome some addictions, but oh my goodness that woman has more faith than anyone I've seen! She cried as she told us yesterday "I know this is God's church, because you can see God through the children and Annie cries if we can't go to church.. That means the pure spirit of Christ is there. I just need to get stronger so I can quit these habits. I need to do this so our family can be with God." We see her every day and I just feel like each time we are walking in to give a family member a big hug and smile to tell her she's doing great and can keep going! Please pray for them :)
  • Sister Beltran from the Spanish congregation has come out with us to a few teaching appointments and we taught her one of the lessons for practice. It was so fun! I love them. Like she's our new best friend in the ward.. slash she's not in our ward so she's officially my favorite from the spanish congregation :) haha They had us over for dinner last night and her daughter, after warming up to us and not being so shy, said "Can I tell you a secret? I like you better than the Elders." haha Out of the mouth of babes :)
  • Sister Everitt is doing AMAZING! like really, wow! She told us this week that she's been doing Family History work and said "I saw that someone started doing the temple work for my ancestors.. and I thought, no they don't! If anyones going to do it.. I am" She then asked us to help her get ready to go to the temple again. Her granddaughter has asked us to start teaching her more specifically so that she can prepare to be baptized and all 3 of the rest of the kids are loving church and youth night. Seriously, the best miracle ever!! :) 
  • I love the Southern phrases.. At dinner at the Halls Brother Hall prayed for the missionaries.. and called us the "bread and butter of the church" so adorable!
  • Um.. had a crazy encounter with a pitbull.. It was going cray-cray and wanted us dead.. no joke.. Thankfully it was tied to the tree.. But its never a good sign to hear the owner say "Um.. I'd back up if I were you becasue he's not nice and he's so angry I'm even nervous to get too close.. so maybe you can come back a different day.." Uh.. ya.. I'd rather not die. 
  • Met some great people this week, one said "I've got to visit y'alls church, I just feel the love! Give me a hug!" haha
Well.. I could go on and on but I'm sure your eyes are already burning and I need to go accept and decline some student teaching offers.. Happy Birthday Jordan!! 
Oh! And P.S. I got my stitches out today, everything is fine and no more worries. :) 
I love you all and hope you have a great week!!! 

Sister Hamilton
Pic 1: Taken Tuesday night after all my interviews. With my two different tags on. One of the members daughter saw me in my student teaching tag and said "No offense Sister Hamilton.. but I like the black one better." haha 
Pic 2: The Everitts :)
Pic 3: The Halls! :) 

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