This transfer flew by so fast! I am so thankful for all the people who have helped me to adjust to missionary life. It has been an amazing month!
We went tracting Saturday and saw an amazing miracle from persevering despite the cold! As we went door to door, most people were disinterested. We kept going, but we were getting cold fast, and our feet were beginning to go numb. Finally, when we felt like we were being entirely unsuccessful, we decided to pause and listen. The Spirit told us to keep going. So we did. And after only knocking on one more door, Christine answered. She immediately welcomed us in and told us that she has been going through a really hard time. She has been struggling with major depression and anxiety, and her life has been a wreck because of it. We said a prayer with her, offered service, and comforted her, telling her that Heavenly Father loves her and is always there for her. She told us that we came just when she needed it.
It was a tender mercy for me to see the blessings that come from persevering and following the Spirit's promptings. We were lead to the person who was desperately in need of our help.
Also, we now have someone on date for baptism! We are so thrilled. His name is John, and he is fantastic! So far, we have taught him the Restoration. Soon we will move on to the Plan of Salvation. Looking forward to it! :)
My mission president, President Foote, said it perfectly:
"See the good in the world! It truly is all around us. We choose to be happy. Get rid of 'stinkin thinkin".
I testify that God's love is extended to all. He is ever reaching out to us, and He is watching over us always. There is always good to be found in this world, despite the chaos that is happening all around us. God will protect us as we seek to do His will.
My invitation to you this week is to share a smile with ten people every day (outside of your family if you're my family). I promise you that you will see a difference in your day. As you share smiles, they are frequently returned, and you brighten others' days! :)
This week has been full of miracles! I testify that the Lord's tender mercies are upon us each day. He is ever reaching out to us as we seek to touch the lives of others.
We set high goals this past Thursday (that is when we do weekly planning), and saw many miracles that came from it. There are great blessings that come from opening your mouth!
1. Random street contacting works! We found a woman who had before met with missionaries and had even attended church! She was really excited to meet us, and we look forward to helping her progress further. :)
2. CLAUDETTE CAME TO CHURCH!! We were SO excited!! It was amazing to see her there! I am so excited for her. She is progressing so much. She told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon, and she's already in 1 Nephi 10!
So here's a little smidgen of my everyday life. ;)
The weather here is very moody. One day it feels like a beautiful spring morning, and another day it is bitter cold, rainy, and gloomy. It is so random!
The people are fantastic. I have met so many different people. It's opened my eyes to the wide varieties of personalities and cultures that are in the world. There are a lot of Jamaicans here! (They're really loud and have spunky personalities--makes life really interesting!) It's so fun to talk to all the different people in Georgia. :)
The food is almost normal... Except for a few things. Cornbread and boiled peanuts are very common here. I tried boiled peanuts for the first time recently and it was... interesting. Not at all what is expected. They taste nothing like peanuts. But they're good... I think. ;)
My challenge for you this week is to try something new! And have fun with it. :)
You are all so amazing. I pray for you frequently. May the Lord bless you as you seek His guidance in your life.
Life is so beautiful! It may be cold and gloomy, you may be exhausted, and things might not go according to schedule. But they always work out. Everything happens for a reason. Each day is a blessing. Life is a beautiful, tender mercy from God!
This is something that I have been learning as I have adjusted to the life of a missionary. No one is perfect, and no day is perfect. But each day is a miracle, and we should treat it like such. God wants us to do our best. He wants us to reach out to those who stand in need and lift them up. We can learn the value of life as we learn to be charitable and love everyone.
Tiffany is the biggest miracle of the week. She has had exposure to the Church for some time now (she's a friend of a ward member), but she hasn't expressed a desire to learn more until now. When she found out that I am new to the field, she invited us to come "practice teaching" her!
So for our "practice" lesson, we taught the Restoration. As we shared the account of Joseph Smith's vision, she said that she got goosebumps from it. She believed that it could happen and said that it made sense. It was a powerful lesson and definitely a miracle! This was probably the best Restoration lesson that I have taught so far, and not because I did well. It was because the Spirit did the teaching!
You are all so amazing. I testify that God is watching over you each day. He loves you so much. His hands are ever outstretched to you. He is so excited when you turn to Him in prayer. He will answer your prayers.
My challenge for you this week is to include one person in your prayers each day, that may be struggling, or in need of a prayer, or for any reason. Pray for eyes to see the people around you who are in need of your help. And then reach out to them in service and love!
I testify that you will see a difference in your life as you do so. You will see the joy that comes from serving others. You will be able to develop charity for others as you seek to love them.
Keep being amazing, and keep smiling! Have a blessed day.
This is the living room. you can see the desks in the left corner. We have an awesome Christ picture collage on the back wall and it really keeps things happy. :)
This was the greeting at my desk that I received the first day at my new home! Sister Stewart's previous companion, Sister Barry, left it for me. Such a wonderful way to begin mission life! :) All of it was sunshine themed.
Also, the Tigger is from the Nollans. He gives me a fun greeting every day! And the lion is from Sister Barry. :)
PS I don't use this desk much for studies. I usually use the kitchen table.
Tiny Baby Christmas Tree!!
And this is our awesome area map! If you look at the dark green outline, it looks like a Native American Indian. The top half is his head/feathers, and he has a big nose with a sticker-outer chin. The lower half is his neck and chest. Can you see it? He's a fun greeting each day. ;) ~~~~~ I received a text message from her Companion's Mom this morning. She shared part of Sister Stewart's letter home: "We met with Claudette on Sunday and had an amazing lesson with her! Sister Eggett took the lead on the whole lesson and she did so good! She's such a prepared greenie." Carmody has done an amazing job preparing herself for this life-altering experience!!! What a compliment!!!
What a wonderful, crazy, long (and short) week this has been!
I though I would share my most recent Mission President update with you. Miracles! :)
Something I learned this week was that God gives us bad days so that we can learn to appreciate the good days. We had one day where all of our appointments fell through and we were having no success in tracting. Not one person answered their door. And to top it all off, it was cloudy, so the day just dragged on in a gloomy way. But before we went tracting in the last neighborhood we chose, we said a prayer, asking God for a miracle that evening. Then we went to work with a stronger faith and diligence. That's when we were given the miracle. :) A pastor opened his door to us and let us pray with him. We spoke for a while with him, comparing common beliefs, and he encouraged us to keep working diligently as we served the Lord. His words lifted us up and helped us to see that there are still good things to be found, even on hard, gloomy days. :)
Another amazing miracle happened this week!
We met Claudette while caroling. She is an awesome Jamaican woman with such a fun personality! Our ward was having a pork roast dinner for New Years, and so we invited a bunch of people to it, Claudette being one of them.
Then, at the dinner, we saw an amazing thing--Claudette walked in with a huge, nervous grin on her face! She kept saying, "Where is the Steward?" (where is Sister Stewart). We were able to introduce her to a bunch of people, and she was also given a tour of the building. Later, we were able to set an appointment with her to visit!
On Sunday, we followed through and visited her. We were blessed with a wonderful lesson about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. The most amazing thing, though, was that she committed to reading the Book of Mormon! She was very enthusiastic about it, and she is excited to learn more. I look forward to our next visit with her. :)
I testify that God knows each of us individually. He loves us. He wants what is best for us. He provides ways daily for us to draw closer to Him and to learn of His Son. His tender mercies are always there for us. He blesses us with them each day.
My challenge for you this week is to look for the Lord's tender mercies in your daily lives. Write one tender mercy down each day. I testify that as you do so, you will be able to see the Lord's hand in your life each day. It may be in small ways, but His influence is there. He is always there, for He truly loves you!
Keep smiling, and have a blessed day! (A common Georgian saying. :))