Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Baptisms on the 19th

*Disclaimer--I think it's probably like 25 degrees in here so please excuse the grammatical and spelling errors I will undoubtedly make. Thanks*
*Also shout out to @MorgiePete for being way hilarious and giving me "humour inspiration"*

Okie dokie, it was a pretty alright week. 
Obviously some weird stuff happened because this is Carrollton and you can't ever have just a "normal week". But some REALLY good stuff happened too!

Weird stuff:
1. A woman we met at the door said she would only talk with us if we agreed to make dream catchers with her. So that's what we did right there on her porch. Definitely one of the weirder teaching experiences I've had. The South is a super weird place. 
2. We had the ultimate Black-Southern-Jesus moment when we met this lady named Marcell. She talked at us for about 45 minutes about how much she loves Jesus and told us all her devil possession stories, she read us almost every verse from Psalms, explained that we are breathing in Jesus every time we take a breath, and she even topped it off by singing us her favorite hymn at the end. Life is so good and hilarious.
3.We spent an entire hour-long dinner appointment talking about artificial goat-insemination (sp?) and now I know way too many things about goat-farming.

The GOOD stuff:
1. We had a bomb.com lesson with Brenda about tithing. We were originally really nervous about teaching this just because this family has next-to nothing. It's been a really humbling experience to teach them, and I've really grown to love them all SO much. When Brenda walked into church on Sunday, she said "Y'all! Where's the little paper to put this money in?!"....*Jaw dropped*. It's actually really amazing to me just how converted Brenda and her family have become. When I first met them, I honestly thought "Man, this is going to be really tough." They are definitely super A-typical future-Mormons, but I've never seen any family change as much as they have. Brenda's no longer chewing tobacco, they no longer drink coffee, they are paying tithing despite having so little to give, and they just glow more and more every time we come to see them. Shout out to them for their baptism happening on November 19th!

2. I can't remember if I've talked about them, but there's this part-member family of 2 kids that are getting reading for baptism on the 19th as well! Bryonna and Brandon. (The Elders also have a baptism the 19th...it's going to be one big Pool Party!). Teaching Bryonna and Brandon has been quite the struggle if I'm being honest...they're 8 and 9, so there's a lot of attention-span struggles obviously, but this has been off the charts. We finally figured out a way to keep both of their attention though--we bribe them with tater tots haha. Unconventional, but it works. While we were teaching them about prophets this week, for whatever reason we felt impressed to share the cliche 20-minute Restoration video with them. I think we watched it more for me than for them because while I watched this dumb video that I've seen 128,479 times, I felt the spirit so strongly telling me that Joseph Smith was a prophet when he got down on his knees to pray and God and Jesus Christ came to him to answer his prayer. It was a moment filled with so much love and that burning-in-your-bosom kind of feeling and I started to get teary eyed haha. Those little moments are the best. :)

3. We had MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) and President Foote asked us to share one thing we've learned while being a leader. As I sat there and thought, I remembered that the first time I was called to be an STL, I was 3 transfers into my mission, and the second time around I have 3 transfers left. I remembered how little I actually knew about life then and being a leader and how little I knew about what it means to really be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I still don't know everything, but I recognized that I've grown SO much in a short 8 months and I have 3 more transfers to grow in this little mission-greenhouse through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
That first time as an STL started me off on my 'path of humbling' that just really hasn't stopped since then haha. God has broken me down to my absolute lowest, and by the grace of His Son, He has slowly built me back up little by little into what He wants me to become. My heart of stone has been slowly changing into a heart of flesh, and it's the longest process ever, but thankfully I have a lifetime to change and not just 18 months. 
As always, I wish I could put my thoughts into better words but at least I know what I mean haha.

Thanks ya'll,
Sister Lawson
(Side Note - Brenna's release date will be March 30, 2017) woot woot.......

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