Thursday, May 29, 2014

"The will of God will never take you where His grace will not protect you."

Hey Everyone!! 

Me and Bishop Hailstone and his daughter (before I left Allatoona)
I hope you all are having a fantastic Memorial Day!! I'm super jealous of all y'all who are at Gualala this weekend. Hermana Garcia Valle and I have this beautiful green belt/ nature trail right outside our apartment that we go running at each morning. Its so fun and this week I've been imagining Lindsey and I running our 12 miles at Gualala to train for our half-marathon. :) 

We've been really blessed this week, I'm so happy!  I LOVE these people so much. :) And I think its hilarious that none of them think I don't speak Spanish.. So inevitably in every dinner when I'm mostly quiet they ask Hermana Garcia "Does she speak Spanish?" I then respond saying how I don't speak well, that I've only been Spanish speaking for about a week.. etc. And then their jaws drop. Its comical! I follow the conversation really well but still can't seem to speak. But its okay! It's only been a week and a half. At least they love my smile and that I'm always happy... So I'm a mute with a cute smile.. I'll take it! haha

We are still teaching Crystal, I LOVE that woman. She is such a doll. We taught her and her 3 kids this week about prayer and then took turns helping the two little boys saying prayers and such. It was so cute! Crystal was telling us about all the peace that she feels when we come and how when she's stressed she's started reading el Libro de Mormon and loves it. I am so amazed at the miracles that can come into our lives from studying the Book of Mormon on a regular basis. The blessings are real.. try it! :) We are teaching them again tomorrow night and I'm super excited! 

Hermana Garcia and I are trying hard to find people to teach... its a process :) What's hard is we go tracting and talk to like 15 people who speak English and only 3 who speak Spanish.. So clearly we don't know which parts of town to go to yet, but we'll get the hang of it soon. We're visiting a lot of members, who are just amazing. I am so thankful for the Spirit that is in their homes and for their kindness. It doesn't matter if they haven't met us before they immediately just put their arms around us and make us apart of their family. Also, the little children are OBSESSED with us because we're the first sisters to EVER be around them. It's so fun to always be the first set of sisters :) Also, they think because "I'm American" that I don't like/can't handle spicy food.. I try not to be insulted.. Like when this Guatemalan families college age son goes "Oh.. you'll probably need an extra glass of water, because I mean, you are American." What? I think not! haha I do think its working in my favor though because they like you more if you enjoy their food, and they think I won't like it but I end up loving ALL of it. Therefore I make friends.. you follow? 

"Hi from Megan!" <-- Sister Mitton and I are serving right around each other these days. Its pretty comical, and super fun! :) 

Anyways, we're working on trying to figure out what we want our purpose to be here in the Branch, its tiny.. Like TINY. We probably have about 30 people that come to church on Sunday. Its just a cute little family. We're focusing a lot on helping families who haven't been to church in a long time to come back and trying to update the directory.. I mean as much as I'd love to roadtrip to Califorinia... We probably should have their info moved to CA :) We taught Relief Society yesterday, and by we I mean Hermana Garcia taught Relief Society. Haha. I helped her plan the lesson and then said "Good luck!!" I played prelude for Sacrament, can you say roughskies? But its such a treat for them to have someone play the piano live that I can't not at least try for them, you know? 

 our picnic outside to do our 3 hr planning session for the week :)
Here's a little bullet point list of some cool things that happened this week:
  • We told this teenage girl Alondra to watch a mormon message and then text us to tell us what she thinks (something we do a lot.. but no one has EVER texted) But guess what? She totally did!! Hermana Garcia and I didn't even know what to do haha We tried to play it cool and then were able to have a really good conversation with her about having the strength to stand up for what we believe and what not. 
  • We taught the Perez's daughter (a family that was recently baptized) And the 8 yr old daughter said her first prayer and thanked Heavenly Father "for these two girl missionaries who I love so much." Yup... just making best friends with all the little kids :)
  • We've been doing a lot of service this week and one family we went to do service for and the mom was like "I don't want to pack anymore.." Hermana Garcia and I just looked at each other and were like "now what?" We excused ourselves for a moment and went out to the car and Hermana Garcia grabbed her thread.. And we decided.. threading eyebrows and sharing a message is a great new form of service. #anythingtowearpants :) 
  • Everyone was yelling at us in this neighborhood and we were feeling like we didn't want us to be there, but something said not to give up yet.. The next door we went to this cute woman named Betty answered the door. Betty is in her late 70's and is a recent widow, with no teeth and a southern accent (love southerns!) We said a prayer with her to bless her home and she immediately broke down in tears and gave us the biggest hugs and kisses on the cheek and kept telling us how she knew we were there for a reason. I know if we are willing to follow the Spirit that the Lord will always lead us to those who need us. 
So.. once I had 7 days of Spanish und
DAD!! I didn't know you were running for office :) hahah 
er my belt Hermana Garcia decided it was time for me to start sharing all of the messages at dinner. So I have done it, and it gets easier each time. We pulled up to one house (the second message I was supposed to share) and then I realized.. uh.. We didn't plan a message because we've been so busy. I looked at her and she just laughed and said "Well.. Looks like its time that you say a prayer and we go in and watch to see the miracle of the Lord bringing words to your remembrance. I prayed sooo hard.. And immediately the scripture Alma 26:16 came to my mind, one that I love SOO much and always have but that day it meant something more. Because the last phrase is "Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."  And I realized wow.. this is me. That is exactly how I feel. I have such a strong testimony, I have so much love for these beautiful people, but at the moment I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. Perfect. Hermana Garcia was right, right when I needed it all the words came to me and I was able to teach. The Spirit is amazing!! 

I hope you all have an amazing week, please keep me in your prayers! I love you all!! 
Hermana Hamilton

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