Monday, April 11, 2016

Find Joy in the Squirrels

Ayye, Snellville is a good place.

Updates on current gators:
1. John--kind of being a pile, I'll be honest. Somehow he's roped Sister Howell and I into his marital problems and calls us for advice everyday (which we don't give him) and then blames everything on that. it's incredibly awkward. We tried to set up at least 4 different appointments, invited him VERY FIRMLY to church this week because we knew he'd be able to receive answers, and he's never been any other time we've invited him. Every single one of those things, he found an excuse not to come, or had to reschedule the morning of so that was incredibly frustrating. he says he's still been reading the Book of Mormon so I guess that's a plus, but for the most part I'm about done. He just thinks all the blessings are going to come to him if all he does is read the Book of Mormon, even though we've told him tons of times that he has to DO more if he WANTS more from God. GAH WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE THEIR AGENCY????? If he's not willing to do more, then there's not much more we can do for him.
2. We are meeting with "My Soul Feels At Home" Khadisha this week which I'm STOKED ABOUT. They are finally home from vacation!

OKAY I have the most amazing drop of awesome of all time. and her name is NINA.  She's from Indonesia! Basically the story goes like this:
We had this former investigator named Linda who has literally been taught for like 3 straight years and thinks it's hilarious how many missionary sets she's gone through. She's basically already a member because she knows so much and has done so much research on her own about the church. Well, one day we went over to introduce ourselves and she had invited over her neighbor Nina. Nina was really super impressed with us and was like "you are not like other teenagers! you are polite and respectful and dignified and disciplined. Tell me more about your church." So we just did like this question and answer thing for her, mostly talking about marriage and our beliefs on same-sex attraction (don't ask me how it got to that point, I don't even know...Linda kept bringing up all this random stuff that could have ended really badly). But yeah she was really interested in the family aspect of our religion and was like "yeah i want you to come back over and tell me more."
The visit with her was INCREDIBLE. She just laid it all down: "I've been praying for God to send me someone like you to tell me which church I need for my family. I want my girls to grow up like you and I want my family to be happy like yours. I get really lonely around here because my husband is always working (Side note: her husband makes freaking expensive furniture for politicians like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan....basically he's loaded and always busy), and the people at my church never reach out to me. I just want to go somewhere where i feel loved and cared about. *Starts sobbing* I know you were sent to me for a reason!"
GAH ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? I have never met anyone more prepared or with more real intent in my life. I LOVE NINA SO MUCH. We've only met her two times and I can't even begin to explain to you the love i have for her! Me telling this story really doesn't do it justice either because it was probably the most powerful lesson either of us had ever had before. SHE HAS SO MUCH LOVE FOR HER FAMILY AND JUST WANTS TO BE HAPPY, DANG IT.
Another cool thing about this: her husband has a daughter from his first marriage that just converted a few months ago!!!!!!!!! Connections, man.
For the last 3 days, all we've been able to think about has been Nina. I'm so excited for her, you have no idea.
So yeah, that's Nina and that's the reason why I'm on a mission. AWESOME.

Other fun stuff:
This week we were called upon to use our STL (Sister Training Leader) powers for a legitimate reason called "Go save the sisters in Stockbridge who both have decided they want to go home." You got it. We had an emergency exchange and I spent the day with a sister who is...interesting. But also I love her a lot. We spent all day thinking of ways to help her have a more positive attitude so that she and her companion could get along and this is what we decided on: Every time we see a squirrel, we have to say one happy thing about the day. (This is brilliant because this is Georgia and there are more squirrels than people). The quote of the day was "Find Joy in the Squirrels" (hence the title of this email). It sounds super dumb, I know. But also it completely changed her whole attitude and they are doing great now, so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Sister Howell and I have continued the tradition so now every time we see said-squirrel, we yell out the best thing that's happened that day (which for the last few days has been "NINA!").
So yeah, that's been fun.

This morning, I had an awesome personal study! I just reached Alma 36 in the Book of Mormon and Acts 9 in the Bible, and read them both one after another this morning.
For those who know, Alma 36 is about Alma's conversion, and Acts 9 is about Saul's conversion. IT IS NO CHANCE THAT I REACHED BOTH OF THESE AT THE SAME TIME ON THE SAME DAY. As I was reading, I noticed SO many similarities between the two stories. One thing stood out to me so much as I studied these: Both stories showed how living the gospel can change a person around completely and make them incredibly HAPPY. That's all the Bible is! It's full of stories about people who followed the Savior's teachings, repented and became "new creatures" or "born again" through Jesus Christ. But guess is the Book of Mormon! It's completely loaded with stories about how people can change through the Savior as well. When I read these two stories together today, the Spirit testified to me so strongly that we can't have one without the other--We can't have the Bible without the Book of Mormon and vice versa. The Bible is the "what" of the gospel/Jesus's life, and the Book of Mormon is the "how and why" we live it. GAH I LOVE THE SCRIPTURES SO MUCH. Sorry if that didn't make much sense, but sometimes it's really hard to put revelation into words haha.

I think that's all the really important stuff from this week.

A funny moment from the week:
*Visiting Greta Coble (see previous email)* *eats dandelions* us: wut

Sister Lawson

1. Conyers Zone HOLLAAAA
2. Exchange with Sister Archer from Stockbridge!
3. Just a friendly reminder :)


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