Somerset, week 18! A baptism and a curveball!
This week. Man. Week before a baptism, satan always hits us hard. I will always gladly take the hit though if it means that my investigator is able to enter the waters of baptism and make those covenants with our Heavenly Father!
Monday we ate with the cute Petersons and we played tag with the kids. Noah is their oldest and he is fast. I for sure wore the wrong shoes... The kid chased me down and tagged me more times than I was able to handle! It was so fun though, it made me work for my dinner. They are the cutest little family! I love them so much!
Tuesday was kind of a mumble jumble day, so many things happened. We caught Cora at her place and had an extremely bold lesson with her. She is so close to full activity and the temple, but the word of wisdom is holding her back. It is so devastating to see her holding herself back because of an addiction. The lesson we had with her was really straightforward, blunt and bold. It was what she needed. We now have a pack of cigarettes in our possession, again. :( it is satisfying leaving with our peoples setbacks, but it breaks my heart knowing they are letting Satan slip into their life. We told her straight up "every time you smoke you are choosing the telestial kingdom! YOU DONT WANT TO GO THERE." She expects God to take this away from her, but He won't. We have to TRY. We have to endure. We have to show forth an effort. It is a process, it takes time, but we can get through our trials and our setbacks! There is hope! There is always hope!
We taught Billy! We taught the law of chastity. He thought it was hilarious that 19&20 year old girls were teaching him it. We do what we gotta do! Necessities for baptism! It was a really good lesson!
We also saw Kristina and she has seen so many blessings in her life recently! She got a new apartment and it moving in next week! That was something she had been stressed over and was working towards! It is so amazing to watch God answer the prayers of my investigators! Promised blessings are even cooler when you promise something specific and then it happens so quickly in the investigators life. There is something so special about feeling the spirit promise blessings through me. It is indescribable! I can feel that it truly is from God and not from me!
Wednesday we had our weekly time at God's Food Pantry. Miss Brenda, the head honcho, called us into her office and said "do you girls want to hear some blessings?" Uh yes, of course! Ok, let me preface this with the fact that miss Brenda is one of the sweetest and most kind and giving person you will ever meet. She is selfless and loves the Lord so much. She has incredible faith! So she goes on to tell us how God is blessing her and the pantry for some time, giving both sister Starkey and I goosebumps! She expects miracles. I love that about her. She puts all of her trust in God and knows that He will take care of her. She has no doubt about that. She sees those blessings daily too! :) I love her and her example!
Tuesday night my permanent retainer, that I have had for 6 years, broke! It was so bizarre! I finally started to do what my dental hygienists had been telling me to do for years, floss under it, and look what happens! Haha! It was annoying, but I got it taken care of. It was a total tender mercy of the Lord too. I called around the branch to find an Ortho and I found dr. Petrey. He was able to fit me in right away. When we went in, he knew exactly who we were and told us how he went to dental school with a ton of Mormons and then updated us on byu football-you know, the important things in life. We got all the deets on taysom hill. Hahaha. So he removes my retainer and then tells me to have a nice day and to not worry about anything. He didn't make me pay at all.... I was shocked and so grateful. It is the little tender mercies like that that make me so much more aware that God is there and that He works through other people! :)
Following that appointment, we proceeded to walk 4 miles all over town and tried some people with no luck. It was hot and sweaty. No better way to welcome in fall than by 80 degree weather. Am I in California?
Thursday was weekly planning and Sonia prep day! She tried on her baptismal clothing and we taught her some last minute stuff to prepare her for her interview tomorrow! She is the cutest, she kept saying "I'm so excited and I'm so nervous!" She is so ready!
We also taught Billy this night and the lesson was a little hectic, but everything ended up fine. Billy's friend showed up and kept asking me after I bore my testimony of how I knew the things I was saying I knew. It was such a cool testimony building to me to then be able to tell him "I know what I know to be true because of the Holy Ghost. It has testified it to my heart and no one can take that away from me, ever. It is my witness and that is how I know that God is there and that He is real. That is how I know that my savior is Jesus Christ and that is how I know that this is Christ's church!" He sat there quietly after that. He was completely playing the devils advocate, but the spirit was so strong after that he was confounded.
Friday, what? That's about how I felt all day "what?" Day before transfer calls and Sonia's interview and district meeting. Stress, medium. Sonia passed her interview with flying colors! She is well on her way! She didn't realize it was 10 am when it was, but she got to the interview and it all worked out! She is one incredible daughter of God!
District meeting followed and we were trained by the wonderful sister Patterson on extending commitments. If we don't invite our people to do anything, they can't change, they can't repent and they can't progress! They need that invitation, a solid straightforward invite. It was a powerful training! As Elder Caldwell said "in president brough's wise words, 'a person who doesn't have a baptismal date isn't going to get Baptized!'" Truth. We then got permission from Elder Polson to go to the apple festival in Liberty! Yep, we ended up in Liberty at the apple festival with the Working family! It was so fun! We ate a corn dog that was a foot long, tried Amish fried pies and rode the tornado. The best line of the night was when the tornado siren went off and the lady selling us the tickets said "yeah... Our ride doesn't make that noise." Ha. Funny one, but the actual tornado siren was going off. No tornado this time, just a false alarm. The entire time we were at the festival it was pouring, we of completely soaked and had the best time. When we rode the tornado, sister Starkey and I were going nuts. We just sat there and laughed the entire time it was going, I don't even remember what is so funny, but we had a blast to say the least. We got off and were soaked to the bone from sitting in a pool of water, but we still had a grand old time!
Saturday: SONIAS BAPTISM! HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK!
Sonia was finally able to enter into the waters of baptism! There is nothing more satisfying in this work than seeing a beautiful daughter of God work so hard to come and make sacred covenants with Heavenly Father! Watching the change in her has been inspiring to me. Sonia is the kind of woman who when she puts her mind to it, she can do it! She radiates the light of Christ and her baptism was exactly that too! She was so excited to be baptized and that is how the baptism was, exciting! We had a great turn out from the branch and there was so much love and support! The spirit was undeniable as she was baptized! :) we couldn't wait for her to be confirmed!
We also were able to attend the General Womens session of conference and it was AMAZING!!! We had a little dinner with our cute sisters in the Branch and then watched it all together! I am so excited for general conference!!! :) If you missed it, you can watch it here!
Sunday was a beautiful sabbath. Yes indeed. Sonia was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! She was promised that she would be a blessing to her family through her example. She will be. She is glowing. When we asked her after how she felt she said "it was everything I expected and more. I could barely sleep last night because I was so excited knowing I was getting the Holy Ghost today!" Ok, how awesome is she?
The talks in sacrament were inspired. Brother Eames spoke on the testimony of God the father and the son, Jesus Christ and how they are separate and real. They have faces, like us. They have bodies, like us. We are made in their image. President Malar spoke on the spiritual inheritance we leave our children and families with. He said that the decisions we make now have a huge impact on the lives of our children and how they view the gospel. It was an awesome talk. Brother George also spoke and he spoke of the "ifs" in our lives. When we stand before God, we do not want to say "if I had done this" or "if I had done that..." We want to say that we did do this and we did do That! We can't just expect to get into heaven with a bunch of ifs!
Later on in the evening we had the last supper with the workings and it was delicious food! They are the greatest family! :) we then went to the family history class being offered by sister Loesevitz mom, sister Hudson! This was the biggest tender mercy of the week because I found so many people on my moms line that has never been done before! Sister Hudson helped me fix a ton of stuff and add a ton of people- People who still need their work done and are just waiting to be found! It was a huge huge blessing! On ancestry.com we found a link to the entire tree. I don't know how much is done, but I look forward to finding more people! It was an exciting breakthrough!!!
The entire week, we were wondering about transfers. All week, I thought I would be leaving. I felt like I was leaving and so we prepared for that. Well, Heavenly Father threw us a curve ball- well two. Normally, president is done calling people by 10:30. (He calls to tell specific missionaries of their leadership roles, training, district leader, zone leader or sister training leader) He starts up in Indiana and works his way down. So after 10:30, I thought, ok I am in the clear. we aren't getting a call from president. For some reason I felt like we would be getting a call from him, which isn't unusual since I have every time I have been transferred! Our district leader, elder Polson, had already gotten his call from president so I really believed We were in the clear! We then called our sister training leaders and they said president had called them and they told us what their news was. Mid call with them, president Brough calls us. My heart dropped to my stomach. Sister Starkey and I had a mini panic attack and then I answered the phone, I agreed to something the president asked me and then he said "so sister Starkey, we will need to see you at transfer meeting. You'll be going into a three-ship!" And then it all clicked as to what just happened! Sister Starkey is leaving Somerset and I am training a new missionary again! Yeah! CURVEBALL! What just happened? Did that really just happen? What on earth? But that is what is going on with transfers! My prayers were answered! I will be staying in Somerset for another 12 weeks! I am so thrilled! I am sad to see sister Starkey go, but she is going to kill it in her next area! Here's to another fresh missionary and miracles in Somerset! :)
I know that my redeemer lives and I know that God is in control of everything. He has a much greater plan for all of us than we can ever comprehend! I know He is all knowing and that He loves each and every one of us!
Sister HannahThe brother stettler quote of Sunday school: "it's more fun to sin than to repent"