We had our zone conference this week and it was awesome. So many wonderful messages. I wish I could tell you all of them (or have time to type them all) but I don't...so they're journal stories :) However, we focused a lot on setting and achieving goals and reaching our potential so Elder Poti and Elder Tracey were like "IWADWWADTWAGWWAG" like we were supposed to know what it meant. Hahaha. But I get it now! "If we always do what we always did then we'll always get what we always got." IWADWWADTWAGWWAG. Simple. :) But I did like that it was a lot of fun. At the end of every zone conference President Cottle opens it up for missionaries whose last zone conference it is to bear their testimonies. It is always so spiritual, it really got to me this time. I realized that I only have one zone conference left, and it's at that one that it will be me bearing my testimony before leaving the mission field, the most wonderful place I have ever known. Oh that will be a hard day! And to make it worse we sing the hymn 'The Time is Far Spent' and I love that song because the words are so true! And because they're true, I hate singing it at moments of goodbye like that! Haha. It was a great conference though, I love missionary meetings.
We saw Paula for a few minutes this week because she didn't come to the relief society activity she said she would and she told us her husband said we can still come over, but he told her he doesn't want her coming to our church at all. So that was kind of it for that... done deal when the spouse says so. We talked with her and decided we would still keep her baptismal date for August 10th because it is so far away--time enough that hopefully, her husband's heart might be softened. He just doesn't want to go to a different church than where his wife went, but she's dead and neither he nor his children have gone back to that church since she died so I don't understand why Paula can't come to ours. But, if the spouse objects than a person cannot be baptized. I hope he won't object forever because I know Paula wants this, but we'll see. Lots of praying ahead.. maybe his heart will be softened. Paula has been listening to the Book of Mormon on lds.org and is changing and benefiting so much and I want so badly to see her reap all of the blessings that are in store for her. Like I said though, just a lot of prayers ahead.
We have a lot of changes happening this week, Sister Wood and I. President is doing an early transfer with us two and I know where he's moving her, but I have no idea what is going to happen with me and Hazlehurst. I've learned so much on my mission to really trust in Heavenly Father and I've received a lot of peace and comfort in doing so. I know He is guiding President Cottle and that everything will work out how it is supposed to. For now it's a waiting game though and my heart is pounding and my hands are always sweaty! Haha. Just gotta smile.... new song I love though- 'Trust in God' by Calee Reed. Listen to it. Sister Wood calls that my 'happy song' :)
Alright here is an awesome miracle for everyone!! So on Friday I believe this guy named Josh called us. He also called our branch president, he was desperate for help-he needed food for him and his 19 month old daughter. When we first talked to him I was a little hesitant because people take advantage of receiving help all the time. Our branch president is a wonderful man though and he jumped on it right away. Him and his wife took them some food and really truly helped them out. We went over to see Josh the next day and we had an awesome lesson with him. On the phone he had told us that he had a friend in Tennessee and it was that friend who gave our number to him. So we asked him how he knew his friend in Tennessee since he was born and raised in Hazlehurst and only left for a few years when he was in the military. Turns out he's never met this friend in person. They do online chat over a video game and Josh reached out to him just to have someone to talk to and since he was so far away, Josh didn't think he would do anything. Haha, well, this friend just so happens to be a member of the Church--and a great one! He recognized the cry for help and the need for the gospel and jumped on it! Got a hold of our number, the elders' number, and our branch president's number and gave them to Josh. Josh said he probably wouldn't have called if it were just him because "he's a grown man and could deal without" but he has Olivia, his 19 month old daughter (who isn't biologically his, but he's there for her and is her father figure) and he wasn't willing to let her go without. Things have just taken off. Josh came to church, and things are turning around for him. We tracted into a friend of his yesterday, and April was there who is his friend also (they all went to high school together) and April and the other girl Amanda said since they've known Josh, he's always been Atheist. Sounds like he hit rock bottom though and things are just... amazing. We gave him a Book of Mormon at church that Sister Wood and I wrote our testimonies in. We're going to see him tomorrow and he told us Saturday that he "unfortunately had never had the chance to read the Book of Mormon" so we're excited to see where his curiosity has led him. We extended the invitation of baptism to him if he finds out that this is all true and he accepted. I'm praying it will happen, and if it does, the plan right now is for May 9th. I told Josh none of these things happened by coincidence--not even close! I hope he sees that. I have no idea who this guy in Tennessee is, but I've been praying that he will know what a blessing he has been, and that he is. God is definitely using him as an instrument. One day I hope I can hug him and tell him thank you. I'm hope Josh feels the same way.
I really do know that the Lord has His hand in the details of our lives. He loves us, way more than we can comprehend and often times we have to go through many experiences, sometimes hard, to learn why and I am just so grateful for my mission and for all that it continues to teach me. I know miracles happen on a daily basis. On a minute to minute basis! Life truly is amazing.
I'll have more news Monday about what's happening here. Sister Cottle told me a quote that changed things for her and really has helped her in the mission; it was said by Sister Zwick (her husband is in the Seventy, he's coming to do a mission tour at then end of the month/beginning of April) and she said "Who you are and what you have to offer is good enough." I know that is true for all of us.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, keep your heads held high, everything works out! :) "It will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end." Love you guys.
This is William, Diane and Hunter. They're the ones that leave the notes when they can't make appointments :)
One of the projects areas. This is the nicest one, the quietest, not so trouble-making people I guess you could say. But this is what a lot of areas look like in Georgia. Or similar. I had just never gotten a picture of one before. We tried not to make it look like we were taking a picture of it though so that's why it's a little awkward looking. There are a lot of Equal Housing Opportunity places in Georgia
A sign at the Samples' house :)
Lunch with the Branch and Samples families! This is like 1/3 of the branch right here haha. Jerry, the one that is miraculously cured of cancer, is in the back. The kids are his, and Brother and Sister Samples are his parents. I love this big family, they have made such a great impact on my life. I'm putting all three pictures on here because I don't know which one is best/the lease blurry
Brother Anderson was there!! He's from the Albany ward I haven't seen him in forever! He is notorious for tripping people as they walk into the chapel for sacrament meeting. :)
Gold Rush activity for Relief Socitey--yummy food and a fun game. I was on the Heavenly Honies team, and we totally kicked butt! :)