Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello Transfer #10

As I write this, I am sitting at a computer in the Clark County Public Library watching it snow outside. Big flulffy flakes are falling gorgeously. I feel like I am in a snow globe! I love the snow! :) I am definitely a lot more prepared for it this time around!

This week was absolutely incredible. I love the Winchester area so much. It is a blessing to be here, especially with my amazing companion! Sister Resendez and I work so well together! She keeps me on my toes! Without saying anything, she helps me turn my weaknesses into strengths! I am so grateful we are going to be together for another 7 weeks! :) Transfer #10 is going to be OFF THE WALL!!

I want to share some miracles from this week! We had a lot! Here we go!

We started our week at the homeless shelter helping out and talking with the owners. They are incredible people! They are so selfless and service minded! They are true Christians! After we left, we got a call from a woman in a neighboring ward, Sister Privett and she told us she had just talked to the homeless shelter and they told her we had just left! It was a tender mercy! We have been praying to be at the right place at the right time! This was a direct answer to our prayers! Later in the week, she took us out to lunch where I got a Hot Brown at Maddie's Café. Living the dream. It was perfect. I know my dad is proud! I have been looking for a good hot brown since LAST January! :)

Sister Resendez and I had been running around all day from appointment to appointment and were about to go teach Kim when we got a call from our Ward Mission Leader. The previous Saturday, we had told him how much we loved Sam's club muffins and chicken, and how we would need to get some next time we were in Lexington. When we answered the phone, he said he had something for us and met us at our next appointment, Kim! He brought us sam's club blueberry and banana nut muffins! AND  a rotisserie chicken! #blessed I love this man! We then taught the lesson to Kim, which was incredible! This is the woman who called us and asked for us to come teach her! She is incredible! The lesson was so spirit led and she knows what her end goal for her family is going to be -> the CELESTIAL KINGDOM!!  Later in the week, we taught her about how to get to the celestial kingdom by teaching her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We testified boldly and powerfully of God's love for her, how much he wants her to be happy and how she can be through the gospel.  We went in thinking we would focus on baptism, but the spirit took it the way of repentance. The spirit was undeniable! I know that sister Resendez and I are here specifically for her!

Also, the Johns. Let me just tell you about these boys. THEY WERE CONFIRMED!! Say hello to the newest members of the church! They are a huge miracle for us! The confirmation blessings were beautiful and the spirit filled the chapel. There were not many dry eyes. As Bishop Smith confirmed Isaiah, the spirit testified to me of just how powerful and valiant his spirit is. He is absolutely incredible.  He is going to be one of the greatest servants the Lord has seen! He is the craziest, funniest, most loving 9 year old I have ever met. At the beginning of teaching him, he was bouncing off the walls, not really all the way in it, as most 9 year olds are. Now, he is a calm, reverent and stalwart young man. He has changed so much. He says the most sincere prayers. He is truly talking to God. He gets the gospel. He has my heart! I know that the gospel changes people and I have seen this change in Isaiah. It is so evident! He strengthens my testimony!

I was also blessed to go to lunch with the Wright Family from the Richmond ward this week! I love them so much! They were a huge blessing to me while I served in Richmond and continue to strengthen me throughout my mission! I love them! We enjoyed a lovely lunch in Winchester! I love being so close to Richmond! We also found out this week, that we cover sisters serving in the Berea ward, which is practically in Richmond! I will be in Richmond a lot more than I was expecting to exchange the sisters there! I love that place so much!

On Thursday, we did a TON of driving. Over to Owingsville for District Meeting and back and then down to Stanton and back. IT felt like we were in the car forever.... I was so sick of it! We used the last few hours of the day that we had to go and try some referrals we had received. When we did, there was a girl walking around and we stopped her to talk to her. We asked her if we could come back and share our message, but she said "you can share it with me now, I am just drinking, so if you don't care, then let's do it now! I am trying to get closer to God." Of course we didn't care. We sat down on some steps in the freezing cold and taught her the restoration. It was a powerful lesson. We bore pure testimony to her of the restoration and how it had eternal significance for her! Nickie kept nodding her head and accepted everything we told her. When I went to extend a baptismal date to her, I was thinking in my head March 13th, but March 20th came out of my mouth... I was confused, but she jumped up and said "that's my birthday!" Inspired.  She expressed to us how she felt like this could be true and it scared her. After working through some of those concerns, she recognized how much love God had for her! It was incredible that she was placed in our path!

A few days later, we were in her neck of the woods again trying the same referral. We thought we saw them, finally, so we quickly prayed and jumped out of the car. We asked this young couple if they were the Clem's and they said no. So what do we do, carpe diem! We told them about our message! Brother and Sister White were excited! They are 20 with two kids and a baby on the way! We tried to teach them right then, but forgot we had an appointment, so we told them we would be back in an hour. Our appointment fell through and we ended up at their apartment. We taught them the restoration and they had many questions answered! They had been wondering why there were so many churches on the earth and why there wasn't a prophet. They accepted baptismal dates! It was another answer to prayer because we had been praying for a family to find and teach! God is so good! :) We then found out that Brother White works with one of our awesome members and they graduated with some of the missionaries that are out in the field from our ward! awesome!!

And to top it all off, we had an ongoing competition with out district leader this week, Elder Viehweg.  All of our bap dates had dropped and our area was suffering a little bit.  We were praying with all of our might for help. The clean out time is hard. BUT we had a goal to set three baptismal dates this week and we set 4! It was a miracle! :) I love miracles! They keep me going!

I know that God loves us! I know that Jesus is the Christ! I know that he hears and answers specific prayers. I know He is aware of everything! I know that through the enabling power of the atonement, we can change and become better. We can receive the strength that we need to continue on, even in the darkest of times. I know that my redeemer lives!!

Much Love from the GKLM,
Sister Hannah

*pictures on the blog or facebook*

here is a cool quote from my studies this morning by M. Russell Ballard:

Simply stated, testimony--real testimony, born of the Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Ghost--changes lives. It changes how you think and what you do. It changes what you say. It affects every priority you set and every choice you make. …

"My experience throughout the Church leads me to worry that too many of our members' testimonies linger on 'I am thankful' and 'I love,' and too few are able to say with humble but sincere clarity, 'I know.' As a result, our meetings sometimes lack the testimony-rich, spiritual underpinnings that stir the soul and have meaningful, positive impact on the lives of all those who hear them.

"Our testimony meetings need to be more centered on the Savior, the doctrines of the gospel, the blessings of the Restoration, and the teachings of the scriptures. We need to replace stories, travelogues, and lectures with pure testimonies. …

"… To bear testimony is 'to bear witness by the power of the Holy Ghost; to make a solemn declaration of truth based on personal knowledge or belief' (Guide to the Scriptures, "Testify"). Clear declaration of truth makes a difference in people's lives. That is what changes hearts. That is what the Holy Ghost can confirm in the hearts of God's children.

"Although we can have testimonies of many things as members of the Church, there are basic truths we need to constantly teach one another and share with those not of our faith. Testify that God is our Father and Jesus is the Christ. The plan of salvation is centered on the Savior's Atonement. Joseph Smith restored the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon is evidence that our testimony is true" (in Conference Report, Oct. 2004, 42–43; or Ensign, Nov. 2004, 40–41).

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