Monday, July 27, 2015

Fwd: Tracting, sunburns & contacting

We did a lot a Tracting this week and as a result, I was fried. Multiple time. Yes I am wearing sunblock. I just can't out on enough fast enough. It has gotten to the point where i carry a bottle on me, have lotion & spray in the car and on my bike and in the house. I can't seem to keep it on. Hot summer weather. It will break, eventually. Haha. I have determined that I will get both skin cancer and lunch cancer from my time in Kentucky (Tracting and second hand smoke). Although, I know God will bless me for my efforts! :) the work is truly amazing! 

This week in Somerset:

Baptists make the best Mormons because they are dedicated! We have had many trainings recently in our district on goals, talking with everyone and receiving revelation for us personally and our investigators. It has been wonderful! I love our district! We have three greenies (new missionaries, fresh from the MTC) and the greenie Fire is burning STRONG! There are 12 of us total, 5 regular companion ships, and we are privileged to serve with a senior couple, the Scheuning's! As we went out to work on Friday everything fell through, it was one of "those days". It had been such a promising day with a potential new investigator and an appointment with our solid investigator Julie, but everything fell through, they all canceled or didn't show and we sat outside a house and I just wanted to cry at this point. We had 30 minutes before going to a dinner appointment and we both felt strongly that we needed to go to Thacker lane. So we go over there, knock all 8 doors and not a single person answered. At this point we both were a little discouraged and just wanted to go eat. After dinner we put our heads together and quite literally said "what would Jesus do?" Normally this is a joke question but we received revelation of what exactly we needed to do. Training, applied! ✔️ I got the impression we needed to go to a place called Somerset village. As we were walking around finding some people we met the most incredible woman who wasn't interested at first but then took a Book of Mormon. She said something that really stuck with me. "First, I am a Christian, THEN, I am a baptist." I loved that. I love that she knows that Christ is first and then everything else. She was so awesome and honestly would make an incredible member of the church! She said "I will read this book and then I will ask God." Hey, that is all we ask! This is why baptists make the best Mormons! They are devoted! Haha! We then met some other super sweet ladies who saw pictures of the temples and asked all about them. Awesome! The night ended with a super cool guy named Chris and he told us "I am on a search for the truth. I have recently come to believe in God and I know there is more. I want to find it." WHY HELLO THERE, MY NAME IS SISTER HANNAH AND I HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR." We gave him a Book of Mormon. So after this crappy few hours of everything falling through, we ended with four awesome miracles. We handed out four copies of the Book of Mormon, talked to 10 people, got and contacted a referral,and got some sweet children of God to come closer to their savior, Jesus Christ! That is what happens when we are exactly obedient and apply all of our trainings! MIRACLES! 

Baptist Billy. He is just awesome. We met him while out tracting and he was genuinely interested in what we had to say. He shared his beliefs on being saved and the rapture, the second coming and baptism. He is actually a baptist preacher. Well so he says. He teaches Sunday school at the baptist church. As we got to know him and share our beliefs, he came to realize how similar we really are. Everyone here loves Jesus Christ and they are so willing to talk about him! It is awesome! As we gave him a Book of Mormon he said "well you're not Jehovah's witnesses so I will read whatever you got." Jw's get us in so many doors. Win again for the Mormons! Haha we just laughed it off and are so excited to meet with him this coming week! 

Julie- just love her. This is miracle Julie. We found her while entering those tedious paper records into our iPads. As we continue to teach her I just can't help but think how amazing she is going to be in our little branch. She has concerns, as everyone does, but she is totally open to the Book of Mormon and widening her horizons. She realizes that whAt she grew up with could be wrong and so she is a tad bit reserved. Pray for Julie! She is going to get baptized! We know it! We know it. 

We had some other interesting lessons this week. One with a same sex couple and another with a guy who was not sober. They both made us cringe a little bit but overall they were ok. The two women, Jacqueline and Megan, were interested in the plan of salvation. It was so awesome to explain it to them and to see them understand it and want it. Living with God and our families forever is something we should all desire! We then had to explain our stance on marriage and what we believe. This strengthened my testimony so much of "the family: a proclamation to the world".  We were able to tell them that we believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that is what is ordained of God. We believe children are entitled to a proper family with a mom and dad and that it is in our families that we learn, grow and progress in the gospel. We are meant to have a father and a mother. A proper family allows us to receive exaltation and a proper family helps us become more like our father in heaven. We were also able to explain that we are all children of God and we love everyone, we just simply do not support sin or sinful behavior. God has a law and that is what we live by regardless of what the government says. This truly opened my eyes to how horrible the battle against satan is becoming. He is attacking the family like never before and it is an awful battle. This was the first time I have encountered a same sex couple out here and it will be interesting to teach them more about the gospel. They have sincere desires to get as close to they can to Heavenly Father but we are not sure if they are willing to change from their current lifestyle. The other lesson we taught was too guy named Adam. He is living with one of our members and wanted to meet with us. We agreed and the meeting went up down and all around. He came into the meeting saying "I don't really care about your church" and ended it with "I feel closer to God when I smoke weed." So there was that. We got about five words out to this kid before we realized it was casting pearls before swine and sadly, his heart was too hard to even begin hearing our sacred and unique message. 

On a brighter note, we saw the wonderful Teresa this week! It was a pre dunk or drop lesson, meaning we felt out where she was spiritually to decide whether or not we needed to drop her as an investigator or continue teaching her. It was the most amazing lesson. We sat outside and discussed Joseph smith, the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ's church and the godhead. We asked a lot of questions and got her thinking. Something sister Starkey and I have been working on is "asking inspired questions". This was an inspired questions lesson. We asked her if she noticed a difference in our church. Her response was "I have done a lot of research and I feel as though your church has the most truth of any other church." Yes, yes we do! :) towards the end, I asked her about her belief in the godhead and she said, "oh well I believe in the trinity." WHOA, ROADBLOCK.  That is a huge doctrinal difference! It was only by asking inspired questions that we were able to get to this confusion. We were able to clarify and she then decided should would ponder about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost being three separate distinct beings. It was an incredible spirit led lesson! 

It was summer nights cruise this Saturday and it was AWESOME. 1600 old, restored, beautiful cars. They also had new cars that had been modified, classic muscle cars and unique cars. I was in love. Welcome to the cruise capital of the states. The While we were out contacting it was HOT. It is 5 in the afternoon and 97 degrees, humid and I am just dripping in sweat. We approach this kid and talk to him but he showed little to no interest. He called his friends over and we talk to them about the Book of Mormon but they shoved it off as typical 'too cool for school' teenagers. At this point I was thinking  "ok I'm out, It's hot, I'm a hot sweaty mess and I just need some ice water..." We said see ya to the teenagers and then as we walk away the oldest of the bunch screams back at me "HEY, YOUR EYES ARE BEAUTIFUL!" Thank you random fella. Thanks for making my day just a little bit brighter after many rejections. The car show was a success for fine tuning our contacting skills, which little did we know would come In very handy! On Sunday night, our district leader, elder Polson, always calls to collect information from what we did over the past week. He is a sweet elder and our companionship has a continuous bet & wager game going back and forth. It has been going on for a few months and this week it is all about contacting, who can contact more people on the street. We are absolutely determined to win because if we lose sister Starkey has to wear a yellow reflector vest and orange glow sticks (like airplane men who back the airplane out) while she backs me. We will win. We just need to think up something the elders have to do for when they lose. All ideas welcome. 

I spoke in sacrament meeting and was told that I was speaking on Thursday. Both sister Starkey and I had 3 days to prepare. As I sat down Thursday to ponder it nothing came to me. Friday, nothing. Saturday, NOTHING. I was like "ok Heavenly Father, I am just going to get up there and give a talk then." All three days sister Starkey kept asking me what I would be speaking on and I honestly was just like "I have no clue but it's ok." I always get nervous when speaking in front of crowds but being out here has subsided that fear completely. Sunday morning rolls around and I literally have an hour left before I have to give this talk. I started praying and said "Heavenly Father. I am now desperate for some revelation." It came, I found some awesome scriptures and I spoke on enduring to the end. I love giving talks because I learn more from preparing than anyone else can learn from just hearing it. I love how Heavenly Father works that way! 

This week was awesome and HOT. August is here. The rain is sorta stopping? The time is flying. I can't believe how fast time flies, really. It blows me away. The work is the best thing ever! I love my time here! :)

A dear friend wrote me recently and asked me how I truly feel about my mission. I was so grateful that they were impressed to ask me that question because it gave me the opportunity to ponder and reflect upon the time I have been in Kentucky. I will admit, I did struggle a lot at the beginning of my time here. It was hard for many reasons, but I regret having those feelings and have since come to LOVE and adore my time here as a full time representative of Jesus Christ. Over the past few months I have been in Kentucky, my love for the gospel has grown immensely. There is something incredible about watching it change a life from despair to hope, struggles to triumphs. I love my mission not only because I have been able to see the gospel change lives, but I have been able to see the gospel change me, and that is something I will be eternally grateful for. It is Something that could have never happened without coming here, sacrificing everything and truly learning and understanding who my Savior is for me personally. As I was reading in the Book of Mormon about a month ago, I came across this passage and realized Kentucky is my waters of Mormon because this is where I came to the knowledge of my Redeemer! The people were taught, instructed, given commandments, promised blessings and gained a testimony in this place of learning for them. Kentucky is that place for me. I am meant to be here, for certain people who I can touch and for those people who can touch and influence me for good. I am here to learn, grown and be edified as I help others do the same.  I love this place, I love this experience and I am forever grateful to be a missionary! 

Mosiah 18:30 "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

Kentucky is the place to be, the mission is the work to be in! This work never ends. Heavenly Father is always aware of each of his children and our savior, Jesus Christ, is always there for us to lean on! 

So much love from the GKLM, 
Sister Hannah

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