Monday, August 10, 2015

After the Trial of Your Faith... "IT'S RAINING MEN!"

This week. The Lord delivered. It was insane. Miracles. Check. Tender mercies. Double check. Blessings times a zillion. It was a week to remember! We have been working SO HARD on finding people to teach and doing everything we can in order to increase our teaching pool. It was extremely difficult at first, but now we are reaping the rewards! 

Tuesday we went on blitz. This is when the sister training leaders come down to Somerset and all four of us work Somerset. It is so much fun, but literally the most stressful day of the transfer. We have to book double appointments all day, and lately we haven't had the people to do that. This blitz was straight up miracles on miracles. Let me just start by saying we picked up five, yes 5, new investigators and taught four lessons and set a baptismal date with one of our new investigators. Incredible. I was with Hermana Butts. Yes, she is a Spanish speaking sister! It was SO AWESOME. She is absolutely incredible too! We started off at a lady named Barb. She was a referral from a member in our branch. (Cool side story. Sister George had given us barbs information a while back and the number I had written down on a piece of paper was wrong. Last week, I found my old paper planner and had the thought to look through it. As I looked through it, I found a number for Barb and decided to call it. Well, it was her number this time! MIRACLE. She set an appointment with us and this was that appointment.) we taught her the first lesson and then set a baptismal date with her. She is totally going to be baptized! :) she is so sweet and loving too! She told us how she hasn't been going to church lately and wants to get back into it and get close to God again. Here is your help Barb! We have arrived! 
We ate lunch with sister Starkey and sister Taylor and I had my first "hot brown", just for my dad! Haha! It wasn't a true hot brown, but it was definitely a Kentucky sandwich! I am referring all inquiries about the hot brown Kentucky sandwich to my dad. It was delicious! 
We then had an appointment with a guy named Austin, but his phone number had gotten lost. He lives in a place called the Beecher house and it is impossible to get inside. It was an old hotel and they keep the front door locked at all times. Lovely. I was just praying that we would be able to get in. We walked up to the door and looked through the glass. There was a man sitting on the stairs and I made solid eye contact, waved and gestured for him to let us in. He did! Tender mercy #1. So now we are in but I have absolutely no idea what room he is in and we are already 40 minutes late to this appointment..... We start asking around and after some confusion, this old lady pipes up: "Austin married to Whitney? Oh he lives in 607!" Woooo! I had no idea he was married but it was our best shot at this point to try it out! Tender mercy #2. We got up and sure enough, Austin lives in this room AND he is married to a woman named Whitney AND we had contacted her separately AND she is friends with a woman in our branch. What. Yes. Ok tender mercies # 3,4,5 & 6. It was a straight miracle that we found him. We rescheduled for an hour later, ran and quickly taught another lesson and then came back and taught them both the first lesson. The spirit was so incredibly strong and they believed what we had to say. Whitney had amazing questions and although they didn't accept a baptismal date right then and there, I know they will be baptized! They are so awesome! 
We did some Spanish finding because Somerset used to be a Spanish area too. We actually have a ton of Spanish records at our apartment that Hermana butts was able to go through. We pulled up to a house and asked some white people where any Hispanics lived. They pointed across the street, but we saw one down the street and decided to go talk to them. This man walked into his house with a small child so we though, family! We go down there and Hermana butts does her thing in Spanish while I just stand there and look pretty and this woman who answered the door immediately let us in. "HERMANAS!" Was her reaction. What. She knew who we were. She went on to tell Hermana butts that all of her family is Mormon, her sister was married in the temple and she just moved here from Alabama. She was going to be baptized in Alabama but moved and didn't know where the church was in Somerset. What. What the heck just happened. Is this real life? Yes. Yes it is. Estrella is going to be baptized! We are figuring out a way for Hermana butts to teach her and help her get ready for baptism. Meanwhile, we have two members of the branch who speak Spanish and we will be going over with them! AWESOME MIRACLES.  

Wednesday we officially lost the bet to elder polson and elder patten. Sister Starkey had to back me with an orange vest and copies of the Book of Mormon. We were expecting a way worse vest. It is mesh and although you can see it, we were expecting reflectors. The elders talked to 95 people and taught some lessons and we talked to 45 people and taught a lot of lessons. I don't know which one is the real winner here... Haha. We will get em next time! Enjoy the attached picture! 

Thursday we were able to travel to Lexington for the second time in two weeks. (Next week will make it three times in three weeks. Man this is exhausting, so much travel time!) it poured all the way there and all the way back. We hit dead stop traffic on the way up and were almost late because of a car hauling trailer catching on fire (brand new bmws all charred up) but we made it. We were the only sisters and it was the new missionary training. I loved this meeting. I received so much insight as to what I need to be doing to push my little baby Starkey into becoming the greatest missionary she can be. Some of that was giving her more of the reigns in the companionship and letting her take the lead. Failure is what makes us grow right? Right. I am going to test this out over the next few days! Little does she know she will be taking full responsibility of Planning and lessons, contacting and teaching lessons! 

Friday was another solid day. We volunteered at God's food pantry and found a super awesome new investigator. It was such a tender mercy too! We were restocking the drinks at the front and this woman said "aw how cute!" As she grabbed my name tag to see it. At then led to a conversation with her while another woman eavesdropped. Well, the woman who eavesdropped actually is our new investigator, Mandy! We told her we have a living day prophet and she was blown away! It was so sweet! :) she wanted to learn more and we were able to set up a return appointment with her! 

I don't know what is more stressful, having no investigators or too many investigators. This week has proved to be the miracles after the trial of my faith. The first few weeks of this transfer were a little rough finding investigators wise. We were putting in the effort, finding for an hour or an hour and a half a day and now we are reaping the rewards! It has truly been incredible to watch our teaching pool grown SO MUCH! While we finished up our weekly planning we realized we do not have enough time to fit everyone in and that we will have to go on splits or something to make it all work out! Craziness! Heavenly Father is literally opening the windows of heaven and making it rain men! So many prepared children are falling into our hands! :) Like I said, I don't know what is more stressful, too many appointments or not enough appointments! The blessings of hard work and obedience are real! 

I also found out this week that not only do I sleep pray (Richmond memories, haha, I prayed twice for sister heiner and once for sister jones, I guess I like praying!) but I also sleep teach. Apparently a few nights ago I was teaching the plan of salvation to someone, but I was completely passed out asleep. Sister Starkey said I did pretty well and even cracked a few jokes. I am at that point of my mission where I teach in my sleep! :) I love this work! 

We had the most incredible lesson with Whitney and Austin, two of our most solid baptismal dates! Oh yeah, Austin and Whitney from Tuesday, they accepted baptismal dates! :) When we arrived Whitney told is she is so excited for her baptism she just wishes it could be sooner. Sister Starkey and I literally were in shock so excited. She is the cutest. Then, Austin showed some hesitancy about being baptized. I got concerned, but we came to find out he was only concerned because he can't put 100% of his weight on his right foot because of a car crash injury. We fixed that by telling him he doesn't have to be baptized in the font, we can baptize him in the Cumberland lake! He thought that was so rad! We are praying for a lake baptism! Please keep them in your prayers! They are progressing so well! They absolutely adore the temple and are looking forward to being sealed together forever! The temple is truly the goal in this life! We must always be working towards it! 

Sunday. Sunday is sometimes a struggle on my mission because 1. No Sunday nap & 2 it is still a crazy work day. Those are also totally selfish reasons for the struggle too. This Sunday was incredible. Sacrament meeting was absolutely wonderful. Sister Peterson spoke and the spirit was so strong. It was a feeling of complete peace and comfort, I felt engulfed in the love of my Heavenly Father. It was such a beautiful feeling. A feeling I don't ever want to lose. I am so grateful for the spirit I am able to feel and carry with me always! After church we went with sister Orantes to Estrella's home and she translated for us and Estrella. It was such a blessing because we were able to get to know Estrella better and help her figure out how to get to church. We also got the go ahead to use FaceTime to do lessons with Hermana butts and Estrella! Win win! I love technology! We ate lunch at the Cook's home and when we shared our message with them we got not 1, not 2, but SIX referrals from them. This is unheard of. What? Just a nice little way to end our week. It didn't end there however. We stopped by barb's house and met a woman who literally said "I saw your name tag and I knew you were sent for me." I love those moments. I love when the spirit testifies to others that we bring the truth and they can feel it. Trusting our feelings is so vital because that is how Heavenly Father works! 

We saw so many tender mercies and miracles again and again! We set baptismal dates with wonderful children of God and are working so hard to see that they make it there. Baptism is just the first step! Enduring to the end is the vital part and the temple is how we endure! We must go there, make and keep those covenants and then keep going over and over! This work never ends! It is incredible! The blessings are real. The experiences are worth it. I am in love with this work! :) 

Much love,
Sister Hannah

Sent from my iPad

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