Happy birthday to Jaycee this past week, and to cute little Carter tomorrow!! Can you believe it's been a year?! Wow! Last year at this time I was in the library in Waynesboro waiting to hear about his birth and he was stubborn and didn't come till that night so I missed getting to see him the day he was born! He's a stud though and his cuteness makes up for all of that :) Can't wait to hug the little guy!!
This week it seemed like trials started hammering everyone around us, it's been really hard to watch and try to offer support, knowing we can only do so much. My convert from Hazlehurst, Charlene, she wrote me saying she lost everything. Her trailer, her cats, her pots and pans, everything. I was devastated when I read that. She is now living in McRae and wrote me saying what she needed from me was to find all out the info I could about the Church in McRae and write her back. That night I got permission to call the Elders in McRae and I gave them her new address and so I hope they've been to see her. I love her with all my heart and I hate to see her struggle so badly. But amidst all the trials, she told me that she knows the Lord is still blessing her. Her faith is incredible.
We have a couple different members in the ward now that are facing some immense trials as well. So many sad things with family happening, and one member's father just passed away this morning. Goodness, it just never ends. Your prayers are definitely needed if you would.
No matter where you are in the world, people are always facing trials. That I understand, but I've learned of something that is a new trial to me here in Georgia. It is amazing to me, and very sad, at how much racism there still is. We are in 2015 but there are still a lot of bad feelings. I've known this for a long time, but to keep experiencing it is super sad to me. Even amongst members of the Church there is rudeness and racism. Where ever you are, please just realize that we are ALL God's children and He loves us ALL! If for one minute you think you're better than another you had better take a look in the mirror and at your own life. None of us are perfect and we all need God and His mercy. We all need the Savior and His Atonement. So there you go, my feelings on that for today. :)
We were able to watch President Packer's funeral this past Friday, and there was a quote said that I loved. They said: "Where there is love, there is sadness at parting." Death, even though we know what happens after, can still be so sad. It is sad because we are able to open our hearts so much to people and we gain so much love so when they're gone, things change. The love is worth it. I thought about my mission when that was said, how incredibly sad it will be to leave and go home, because of the bounty of love I have felt and give during my time here. Love is a special thing.
I have a cool story for y'all, here's how cool the Spirit is. So I'm not into shopping or going to the mall or anything girlie, just ask my dad. But two Mondays ago when a lot of the missionaries went to the Museum of Aviation for Pday, the sisters from Cochran decided to leave the group a little early and go to the mall. While there, they met a less active girl, Krystal, who just moved here. She told them she knows she needs to come back to church and wants to, but didn't know where it was in Warner Robins. Those sisters passed her info on to us and we've seen her twice since with another appt this evening. She is 25 and is living with her 28 year old boyfriend, Kory. Kory is so stinkin' cool! So open to our message, it's awesome! The Spirit has been working on Krystal for a long time to get her back, she was born and raised in the Church but fell away when she married her first husband. But she needs the Gospel and the Lord has not forgotten her. And Kory is ready, and she was the key for him to learn. They're just a miracle teaching appointment! And we never would have found them if the Cochran sisters hadn't come here and gone to the mall, because I doubt Sister Walker and I would have gone there anytime soon. Boom. Led by the Spirit. God has a plan :)
The week really did have a lot of good parts, and it ended well. Sister Ramsey knows I am going home soon and her family is still in the Philippines. She has a niece there who she said feels like I could really connect with and asked me if when I go home, if I will get in touch over Facebook with her niece and share the Gospel with her. YOU BET I WILL!!!!! Oh my goodness I'm so excited!!!! The Gospel can be shared in so many ways and I love that Facebook is such a wonderful tool for it! I'm excited that I have someone already to teach when I get home!! :)
Okay, best part of the week we're in now--Rhonda, Eric and Carlos are getting baptized this Saturday! WAHOOOOOO!!!!!!! I'm so excited! Sister Walker and I just want to fast forward to Saturday!!! Hahahaha. I'm stoked :) We told them we want to have better daily contact with them through the next two weeks to make sure everything is still good as we know Satan will really try and frustrate this. We asked them to text us a random question every day and we'd ask them one, or ask for their answers to it as well. The boys have been excited and Rhonda says they have questions already for the next day. It's super fun :) I love this family! Super funny experience while we were there early last week too---Carlos was upstairs looking for something and Rhonda called up and was like "Ask Ramon to help you!" And we were like "Who's Ramon?" And she like covered her mouth realizing what she had said--apparently, Rhonda doesn't call Eric 'Eric'. Like, ever. His whole life she's always called him Ramon. Hahaha, I can't believe we just found this out! Eric's dad didn't like the name Ramon so he wouldn't let Rhonda name him that when he was born, but she's always called him that. Haha. Now when we see him we make it a fun inside joke and call him Ramon. At Book of Mormon class we had mentioned something we like and randomly I was like "I like the name Ramon...." and I looked at Eric and he just rolled his eyes but Sister Walker and I and Rhonda busted up laughing. Hahah. So we know refer to Eric as Ramon, in case y'all would like to do that same ;)
Even with the trials, it was a good week and I know we have a good one ahead of us as well. A lot of hard things will happen this week and I see that coming, but there are miracles yet to happen as well. Be excited for Saturday, your prayers are always much appreciated!
I love you guys!!!!!! Have a wonderful week and I will talk to you again soon!
P.S. just wanted to add, don't pray for humility. Hahaha. God answers prayers ;)
Sister de St. Jeor spent last weekend with us, lots of fun!
Me with Virginia and Danielle :)
Front yards in the South.
Evon and I! I love this lady!!!!!!