Monday, October 6, 2014

Zone Training and General Conference ~ all in the same week!

Hello to all!  I am missing you so much:)  Can you feel October in the air?  You sure can here.  In the mornings it is SO crisp outside, haha.  Not as warm anymore.  It is forecast-ed that this winter will be N.C.'s worst... just my luck -_-

Highlights:  So this last week was another good one.  We had a really good lesson with two of our investigators that have been friends for about 8 years.  They are helping each other progress without them even knowing it, ha!  We showed them a Bible video on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  They both had NEVER heard of the Atonement before...crazy.  So we turned off the lights, started the video, and 6 minutes later their eyes were wide and they said they couldn't believe someone 'went through all of that'.  We explained why it had to be done and what that means for us if we use the gift Christ gave us through that act.  The day before I challenged myself to let the spirit guide the lessons more than I was.  I have a problem with there being too much silence, so I try and talk to keep things going.  Well today I let the spirit talk more, and that was a phenomenal experience. We let the holy ghost touch their hearts and at the end of the very simple and quiet lesson we extended the baptismal invitation to both of them for November 1st.  They looked at us, and said, "Okay."  It was such a great feeling!  They even wanted to tell their families about it!  We are going to try and meet with them this week and keep things going:)  I know that when we move out of the way, and let the holy ghost guide us, better things will come from it, because it is what Heavenly Father wants to be happening. 

Second, I had my first Zone Training meeting this last week!  I was super nervous because it went from 8-4 pm and we had to sit the whole time and do role plays and listen to all the higher ups speak and what not.  But it ended up going okay and we learned about missionary work...again.
                                                                       Study Materials
BUT,  at the end of it they let us watch the movie "Meet the Mormons" which is coming out soon!  It was really good and I encourage you to go and see it!  We couldn't go to the movies to see it  (or anywhere near a movie theater we were told) so they got us a pre-screening of it.  YAY!  

Grateful For:
So this weekend was General Conference!  Oh my goodness how amazing was that!?  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  It is a different experience when you are watching it as a missionary- I don't know why, but it is more deep and held more personal revelation than it ever has before.  My companion and I watched the first Saturday session in the church building and the evening session at Sister Anderson's house on base with her family.  It was nice to be with a family during conference because it reminded me of home!  I went into conference with 12 questions written down, and by the end of that day, 10 of them had been answered and talked about quite a few times!  I couldn't believe it.  After conference we had dinner which is a southern tradition I guess.  We ate 'Carolina Pork' which is pulled pork in the crockpot, but they use vinegar and a little bit of balsamic to marinate it instead of BBQ sauce.  It was super good!  They made me put coleslaw on my burger because supposedly that's the only right way to do it in the South :)
                                                               Sister Anderson's House
Sunday session went just as well.  We watched it at the church and had lunch that was provided by the two senior missionary couples.  I seriously love them to death.  We went over to a members home for dinner after the last session and had eggplant lasagna (that's a new one!)  This family is really big into missionary work and is so, so fun to be around.  They are energetic and ALWAYS looking out for us sisters.  I love them.  We had a great gospel discussion and then they had us take one item off the table and relate it to a gospel topic.  The parents try and get their kids prepared to share the gospel in any way they can.  So by practicing like this, they will be able to share more with people around them in situations they may not have known could relate to the gospel! 
Lastly, I am so grateful for the work out cards my mom has sent me!  It has rained a few days this week and it is swampy in our area so we aren't able to work out outside.  Well, no need to fear.  The workouts and resistance band my mom gave me took care of that.  I was actually sore the next day from it- wow.  I am out of shape!
                                                                  Laminated Workouts
Funny of the Week: 
So this week we met with a couple who don't have children, but a wide variety of pets.  We introduced ourselves and they immediately started talking to us like old friends!  One of the first things they shared with us was that they were parrot whisperers... I had to contain a laugh because I wasn't expecting that.  But they have 5 parrots they talk to and are teaching things to.  Along with their  3 cats and 2 dogs and fish.  To each their own!  Haha.  But what got me was when they introduced themselves.  The wife went first and then her husband followed suit.  He reached out to shake my hand and said, "Possum" and I looked behind me and asked, "where?" .  He responded by saying, "No, that's my name."  I of course had to ask, "Is that your real name??"  I probably should have just said it was nice to meet him but I thought it was funny and wanted to know who names their kid that.  He says it is a childhood nickname that stuck and everyone calls him that now.  
Second!  We went to a house that has lots of bushes and trees around it, and since it has been raining, there was a manifestation of mosquitoes that were living there as well.  They literally ATTACKED.  I'm standing there SWATTING and RUNNING in little circles as the bugs bounce off of me only to return and attack once again.  The woman came outside and looked at me for a second and said, "Hon are you okay?"  I just laughed and fast walked into the house.  After the lesson we get into the car and my forehead is itchy- low and behold I have a HUGE bite on the middle of my forehead.  I don't even have bangs to hide it!  It literally looks like a bulbous bouffant is on my face (haha the kids will enjoy that joke).  We had a dinner appointment with a member after that.  She was kind enough to pretend she couldn't see Mt. Everest on my forehead.  Bless her. 
                                                                     Mosquito Bite
More about the South:
So I think either people are very festive in the south, or they are obsessed with Halloween.  Everywhere we have gone we have seen full blown decorations.  Wendy's is decked out, peoples homes, both inside and out.  Restaurants and lawns.  One neighborhood we were making some contacts in had this house that had a full size boat in the front yard with skeletons on deck.  Then a little dingy with more skeletons.  I was impressed and a little freaked out. 

Halloween is about the candy right?  Haha.  Live and Learn! The Trunk-or-Treat here at the church is also a big event I've heard.  The families actually have competitions against each other to have the best car and room decorations.  A whole family will dress up (ie: Wizard of Oz characters or something like that) and try and out-do the family down the hall from them.  It is going to be fun to see!
                                                                  Getting in a Festive Mood

Second,  maybe it's just me and I'm too proper, but people here aren't bothered with sharing their bodily noises in public.  There is lots of burping and passing gas as we chat with people or friends.  The first time this happened at a members home for dinner and the daughter passed gas really loud and no one said anything!  By the end of the night I knew which sound came from which family member.  I need to try and find humor in these funny life moments, but I was more shocked than anything.  Haha.  

I hope everything is going well for you.  I love getting emails and mail so keep it coming:)  

I have been privileged to learn that Heavenly Father answers me personally through the BOM and through other people.  I challenge you this week to try and see how Heavenly Father answers your prayers.  
Lots of love, 
Sister Mallory Golden

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