Monday, September 12, 2016

Words fail me....

'Twas yet again another incredibly rewarding and fulfilling week as a missionary in the Greatest GAM! Carrollton has really proved itself to be the "promised land". 

As a lot of you know, this week I hit my year mark. As I've been emailing this morning, I've gone back to read a few emails I sent home a year ago from the MTC and it's quite hilarious what my focus was on back then and seeing really just how much I've learned and how far I've come since I left. Ahhh.....greenies are so weird.

This week was fun because:
1. I was asked to give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting for the second week in a row, and BOTH times, my last name was mispronounced to the whole congregation. I now have a lot of fixin' to do because everyone in the ward keeps calling me "Sister Larson" which is really great.

2. We invited a man named De$ean (<---this is not a joke..he really spells it like that) that we met at the library to church this week and found out later on that he only came to church to make either me or Sister Freitag his wife....SWERVE

3. Earlier this week, we were calling randomly through the phone and called a woman named Brenda. When she answered, she had the THICKEST accent of all time and yelled into the phone "HEYYYYYYY LADIES, WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER COME BACK TO SEE ME????????" It was frightening and awesome at the same time. So we got a team-up, headed over to her house the next day and met Brenda. My biggest nightmare happened: within the first 15 minutes of meeting her, our team-up had already brought up polygamy, "seeing spirits", and complex facts about the Book of Mormon that NO ONE needs to know. My fists were clenched under the table throughout the whole lesson and I was dying.
Miraculously, Brenda was like "okay I'm comin' to church. I need a ride though." We then scrambled to find Brenda and her 4 grandchildren a ride to church afterwards, and they came!!! The stress doesn't end there though....It's beginning to be the time of year where all of the lessons and topics at church are falling on temple work and family history--topics which have always stressed me out as a missionary because 1) you really never know how people are going to take those, especially without prior explanations and 2) I lack faith in humans to teach those doctrines purely and simply to non-members in a way that won't freak them out. *sigh*. This week, the explanations of the endowment and baptisms for the dead were definitely slaughtered so hard and even I was confused.
Anyway...needless to say, she was incredibly confused. BUT! Brenda rocks because after church she was like "welp, I liked it! When are you coming back to teach me more?" Nearly everything that could have possibly gone wrong in her first contact with the church happened, and she still wants us to come back! God is so good hahaha.

4. We had 6 new friends come to church with us this week! Haven't had a number like that in a while, but it just goes to show that some parts of the vineyard are more prepared than others...haha. Just saying.

I had 2 experiences this week that proved to be the most special experiences I've had on my whole mission.
1. Some of you will hopefully remember my dear friend Sister C from Snellville. Sister Russell, Sister Howell and I worked RELENTLESSLY to get that woman re-activated in the church. I have so much love for her and still consider her to be one of my best friends. When I left Snellville, she was going to temple prep classes to help her make it back to the temple and I found out this week that she went back through! I called her the night before and she just sounded so so happy and so different. 
The first time I ever met her, I remember how confused and sad she was. Her life had a lot of tension and stress and you could just tell she needed something more. By the time I left Snellville, she was literally glowing. She looked healthier, she was nicer to herself, and she was nicer to everyone around her. It is so amazing to see just how much Jesus Christ can change us and mold us into our potential. I'm so proud of her and grateful I could have a small part in her journey back home. :) Words fail me, I can't even begin to say how happy I feel.

2. SIDETH GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was the happiest, most pure baptism I've been to yet. Sideth's daughter Angelina gave a talk on the Holy Ghost that had everyone in tears. She cried through the whole thing and you could really just feel how much love there was in that family. It was beautiful. (I'm frustrated with how terrible my writing skills have become over the last year because I really just can't put anything into words anymore haha.)
After the baptism was over, a man named Dr. John came over to talk to me (he's the man who helped Sideth's husband and daughters join the church 5 years ago). That conversation we had was the most special experience I've probably ever had and still brings me to tears any time I think about it. I won't be able to explain what happened the way I want to but just know it changed my life! He said to me "You assisted in a great work of linking this family together forever. I want you to know how grateful Iam for you." and with tears in his eyes, he said "Now those girls will grow up to serve their own missions in Cambodia and do the same things for many other families."
It's truly amazing the impact just one person can have.
I love being a missionary. I love all the hard days, all the heart breaks, all the door slams, all the tears...everything. It is all so worth it for things like this. I have never been happier in my life because I get to assist in helping families be happy together forever.

Being a missionary rocks!

And I'm out of time....
I'm out!
Sister Lawson
Sideth's Baptism....happy day.

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