Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Trust In Him ALWAYS

Hey all!

This week I felt like I experienced all the types of days you do as a missionary. Last Friday or Saturday we had talked to Micheal and set up an appointment to see him Wednesday and we also had a few other appointments lined up. I was so excited for Wednesday, it was going to be the best! We fasted and prayed that day to know what all of the people we are teaching needed, and to find more people to teach. We walked out of our apartment pumped up and ready for the day. And then, it was nothing like what we had expected. It was freezing cold, raining, and not one of our appointments worked out. We literally walked from 11:30 am until 6:00 pm and had no success. A lot of doors slammed in our faces, and, what dad and other people warned would happen, people looking through their blinds right at us and then pretending like they weren't home. The ones that did answer the door shut it on us when we were in mid-sentence. Cool, I guess. But it was all good, we were working hard and we know there will be people who reject the great message we have, but when that happens, even though we do feel sad for them, we shouldn't because we're here to find people who desire to know more about Christ. There are people just waiting for us to come, and we're here to find them.

There were some great highlights from this week though! We were over talking to Shaquille again and we've been wanting him to meet Elder Thiel and Elder Blankenship since we're all friends. They were able to come over and oh my goodness, they began teaching and testifying and it was POWERFUL! It was so good. Sister Turner and I were sitting in our usual spots on his porch, and like usual, Shaquille wasn't facing us. He had his back completely to us this day, but the Elders stood right in front of him. They talked to him about prayer and knowing there is a God and He listens, and I don't even know what else was said but it was absolutely perfect for Shaquille. "Teach like an Elder, Love like a Sister!" That quote was at its finest this week. Elder Thiel made a promise to Shaquille that if he knelt down and prayed to know, to ask if there was a God and anything else he wanted to know, that he would get an answer. Thing is, Shaquille said he hates promises. There is so much that has happened in his past and I really want to know more so we can better help him. He has got a deep past, full of heartbreak I am sure. We see him as a warrior though. He was placed in this situation and in the family that he is in for a reason. There is some divine purpose for him. He doesn't even hate Satan! As we explained who Satan was, that he is also our brother but who rebelled and strives to lead all of us down a miserable and wicked path, Shaquille asked us if we hate him. Something to think about I suppose. I don't feel like I hate him, just what he does. Shaquille is the same way. He said he doesn't hate Satan, just his actions. He has the biggest heart and patterns his life so much after Christ's. You may have to hear me say that every week but it never ceases to amaze me!
Shaquille's birthday is tomorrow so we're still going to go over and have cake or something, but he's also agreed to come and play basketball with us and the elders today. He knows we're his friends. He is so close to understanding the gospel and making the step to follow Christ and be baptized, but yet he is so far! If he gets baptized, he would go on a mission. He's a leader, somebody different from his family, and they recognize it. One guy smoking weed while we talked to him asked us if we smoked and couldn't believe we never have. He was like "ya'll are just like him! Don't know how to live the high-life! No idea how to have fun." But he sees. We're different, and our lives are heading in a different direction. When Shaquille understands who he is and why he is here, his family I hope will follow. They all want something more and I hope they will find the light. It starts with Shaquille.

The best part of this week was yesterday, Sunday. Why? MICHEAL CAME TO CHURCH! We were sooo happy! His good friend/girlfriend also came after she said she wouldn't to support him! He had to ride with a member so we drove separate to go pick him up and when we got back in our car we blasted the 'Hallelujah' chorus all the way back to the church building. Ha ha, it was so much fun. His friend was pretty freaked being there, she panicked when Micheal went to Priesthood and she stayed in Relief Society with us. She'll warm up though. Micheal said he liked church and that he'll be back, he really wants to make his goal and be baptized on the 29th of this month. The elders said that Priesthood yesterday was really powerful too, and I know he had felt the Spirit before then so I can only imagine how he felt after that, he was just beaming when he came out. He's always smiling, but you could just tell. I'm hoping to send a picture of his baptism to you in a few short weeks! So basically, God did grant us a miracle for our efforts of fasting and praying. It may not have happened that day, but it happened. It always will. It's the Lord's timing, not ours. Blessings come and miracles occur after the trial of our faith. 

We also found a new investigator of the church this week, his name is Rick. The cool thing about that encounter was back in mission prep, Brother Quealy told us to not only pray that we as missionaries would find those seeking for the gospel, but that those people would also find us. Well, Rick is one of those people. I had prayed just a day or two before that someone would be able to find us, not just us them, and then it happened. Rick found us. Hopefully he'll stick with us, I believe he will. 

I'll leave you with some quotes I found this week, nothing but truth!

"The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."
"When you are in the dark, follow the Son."
"Trust in Him ALWAYS." <-- He will always provide! Ask and ye shall receive!
"The only thing God CAN'T do, is fail."

I hope you all are doing great and have a spectacular week! "Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone."

All my love from Georgia!
Sister Applegate

First few-There will be rough times on your mission, you have to have fun! 
A picture of a street and the cool trees, that's not even the coolest one, it just happened to not have any cars driving by so it was the best picture. I can't wait to see it in summer!
You know those machines with the claw where you try and win stuffed animals that are impossible to win? We totally won. We're kind of cool.

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