This week was so awesome! Lots of stories for you today, hahaha.
We did exchanges with the sisters in Cochran this week and Sister Bradford who came out at the same time as me came with me in Warner Robins and boy we did GOOD! It was so fun. I'll start with the funny story first though. So we had a dinner appt with a member (husband and wife) and when Sister Anderson was going to Cochran her words were "have fun..." and she was totally right. She said it would be awkward and it was. The husband made things awkward. It was funny though. Anyway, we're sitting in the living room before the meal was ready with the husband and the wife was in the kitchen and she was like "um, did you park in the neighbor's yard?" We had because everyone parks in the grass on the side of the road in Georgia and I had passed the house so I was more in the neighbor's yard and we just parked. So I was like "yeah..." and she was like "the sheriff is outside..." NO WAY! Are you for real???? Who calls the cops for that?? Their neighbors apparently.... geez. We're always getting involved with the police. Mostly in Waynesboro, haha. Wrong place at the wrong time. ;) But anyway, the member we were eating with, that particular Sheriff was his Cadet so he cleared things up and we told the neighbor we would move our car and he was like "oh no, don't worry about it!" Really? Don't worry about it? You called the cops for crying out loud! Anyway, memories I guess.... :)
Also on exchanges we saw Chelsea, a 21 year old less active member we are working with. She told us she wants to quit smoking and remembers the missionaries years ago helping her mom and asked us if we still had a program. You bet we do! So we started that and we saw her Saturday and she is doing so well. She can beat this!
We tracted an apartment complex that Sister Anderson has wanting to tract for a while too-we found out why! We were really struggling with investigators and I love tracting so that was my plan too. Before we got out of the car I prayed so hard to find people there and God never fails us!! The fourth door we knocked on we met a 22 year old girl named Ciera and her mom, Pam. Oh it was so cool. The mom was so in awe the whole time we were there--I guess she had been praying for help and to find truth and all the good stuff that the Gospel brings. She kept asking us what led us to her door and if her door was the first we knocked on and all these questions. In response to what led us there we were just like "God did." haha. I love the miracles that happen every day!!! We had an awesome lesson with them and invited them both to baptism on July 11th. They weren't able to come to church yesterday because their ride didn't make it, so we told them next time we would get them a ride if they needed it, they are so sincere.
On Saturday we had a return appt with Ciera and Pam and Pam wasn't feeling well, but we got to teach Ciera about the Book of Mormon and it was awesome. She asks such sincere questions. And the first time she prayed, oh it was awesome! Anyway, when Sister Anderson came back we went back to that complex and right away met another awesome lady named Rhonda. We had a good first lesson with her, and taught her later about the Book of Mormon as well. Hopefully she will be able to come to church next week.
We went back this week to try and get in contact with a referral named Shanara that the elders gave us when I first got here. She's always gone when we go over and her mom always said she wasn't interested. We went by this past week and Shanara was gone again so we asked her mom (Sharon) if we could teach her and she rattled off excuses of how she was so busy and had to get this and that done and blah blah blah and she said she had to fold laundry and we could see it all over the couch so I said we love doing laundry and asked if we could help--she said yes! Booyah! So we got in and folded clothes and like everyone else, she gave us some of her life story and her daughter's, all these details we really don't even need to know. But it was good because based on what she told us we were able to talk to her about hope and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and we had a good lesson with her. And it all started with folding some clothes. :) Service goes a long way for sure. I love it! Right before we left Shanara came home too so we finally got to meet her and talk to her a little bit. Her mom is strong in her Holiness church but we invited them all to the Relief Society activity this week--they are doing the "this little piggy" rhyme thing but saying "this little piggy went to the market" and teaching about smart shopping/spending and they'll do home stuff and so on. Sharon said she would actually love to come but unfortunately has to work. She wants Shanara to go and I think she will. Sharon has tried so hard she said to get Shanara in church and as much as Sharon might not like it, she might come to ours. Haha.
Okay one more thing. So Thursday night the executive secretary from the ward called and asked if I would give a talk this Sunday because everyone else kept turning him down. I said yes of course and when he told me the topic I was like "well now I see why everyone turned you down....." haha. My topic was Matthew 7:6 about not casting pearls before swine and he wanted me to talk about it for 10-15 minutes. Okie dokie.... haha. So I gave it yesterday and it went pretty well. Someone from the High Council was there and he spoke after me and stood up and was like "I know the program says Applegate, but I think they meant Applebee" and the Bishopric was like "No, it's Applegate." And then members kept calling me Sister Applebee all day. Haha. I really want to meet the stake president, President Applebee soon :) But also with yesterday, we've been working with a less active mom named Ana and her son, Edrick. Ana was baptized years ago in Guatemala but her records were lost so she was rebaptized. Edrick was baptized about 3 years ago when he was 15. His mom kind of fell off the path a little for a time and she's coming back now, but I think that really hurt Edrick seeing her not living all the standards and so he kind of threw in the towel. It's a really sad situation. His dad died 2 1/2 years ago and they have a little memorial in their living room in the spot he died. And he died in December so all of their Christmas decorations are still up and Ana refuses to take them down. It's really hard. She suffers from depression and anxiety and we're trying so hard to help her, but she won't take the tree or anything down. We're really trying to help Edrick though because Ana has been coming to church but he wouldn't. Sister Anderson has been here for 7 1/2 months and he hasn't been once, so he promised he would come before she left. We texted him Saturday night and told him that I was speaking and that he should come. I didn't see him there when I gave my talk anywhere, but we visited them last night and the first thing he said to me when we walked in was good job on my talk--what? GUYS HE CAME! He was in the hallway/foyer just for the first hour, but he came!!!! Oh my goodness we were so happy! He has so much potential and I really want the best for him and his mom. I really think we can help him. He's been to the temple before and we want to work with him to get back there. We'll do it, no worries. Just pray :) He's a good kid, he has a good heart.
Okay I lied one more. Yesterday we got to teach a girl named Whitney that we met last week when we went to the wrong house for an appointment. God works in mysterious ways :) We had a good lesson with her and she has the cutest kids in the whole wide world. We will be going back sometime this week. I just think it's funny because we also have an appointment this week with a woman named Ami. I decided I'll just teach everyone who has the same names as my family ;) Haha. We're looking forward to another awesome week though!!!
I love all of you and I hope you have a splendid week! School's almost out!!!! Make today great.
I don't know if I put in my past emails, but it is so cool because we have what's called a teaching record for the people we are working with. After Joey died Sister Ellison sent me Joey's teaching record and at the top wrote "Entered the Spirit World on April 23, 2015" I thought that was so sweet. And Sister T from Hazlehurst sent me his obituary this week. Joey is gone but definitely not forgotten. Being a missionary and just having the Gospel in general is the most rewarding thing I could ever have. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Love you guys. Sometimes you don't know what you got till it's gone, so take care and make the best of every day.
Chelsea and her cute kids :) The little boy was the one who got pictures of her, haha
This person is just waiting to be Mormon! ;)
We report the achievement of our goals every week by text to President Cottle. When you're held accountable, things are so different. We worked our tails off this week and we reached 8/9 goals, the only one not reached being someone baptized and confirmed. Pretty good I would say! Especially since we've been struggling so much.