This last week was an interesting one. First off I got the flu and was down for the count on Saturday after 4 days of getting worse. It was NOT fun let me tell you. But I have a fabulous companion and the ward members were good to me:) I got doctored up, given a blessing and now we are out on the streets teaching like crazy! (PS- today was 70 degrees and sunny! So nice.)
Last Monday we got a call from a member in the ward who said she had a friend who was ready to hear more about the gospel. While this sweet older sister had been gone on her mission in Utah for a year, an older gentleman named HERB (CUTEST name ever) watched her cat. Slowly over the months he read in the Book of Mormon, some of the church magazines (the Ensign) and looked around on lds.org! This sister got back from her mission the same time Sister Macrum and I got to Hampstead and has been talking to Herb about the gospel slowly through the weeks. We all had dinner together in her home and then we taught him what we call the First Discussion, or the Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we explained authority and the need for a Prophet etc. Herb announces, "Well YES! That just makes sense!" The rest of our lesson went this way with Herb asking questions here and there and saying that it all clicked and he couldn't understand why everyone wasn't a part of the church. It was cute :) We both felt the spirit very strongly prompting us to invite him to be baptized. Many may say, 'WHAT? Invite him to make a life long commitment the FIRST time you meet him, let alone the first lesson he has ever heard about your church??' Precisely! So I say, "Herb, when you come to know that this is the true church, and Christ's church here on the earth, will you be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood author...." *Herb interjects* "YES. I will!" Hahaha we didn't even finish inviting him to be baptized but he knew he was hearing the truth and couldn't be more excited to join himself with it. In preparation for yesterday (Sunday and his first time coming to a Mormon church) he went out and got a hair cut, bought a new sport jacket and laid everything out at the ready. Everyone at church loved him and wanted him to come to their home for another lesson. I love that this ward (congregation) reaches out to any new face they see walk through the doors.
Tuesday we had some minor details to take care of...such as getting a state inspection done on the car, calling the Sisters in Jacksonville and seeing how they were doing (Tues. is my accounting day with them) and setting up a few appointments. That night I started NOT feeling good at all and didn't have an appetite for dinner...despite the cockroaches and little termites that were dropping into the crock-pot from the ceiling. Hehe...oh the South. We then went out and visited a less active lady with two older ladies who remind me of Lucy and Ethel...we were all roaring in the car and I was wheezing because I was so congested.
Wednesday we had district meeting way out in a little place called Mt. Zion. To give you a better idea- we have no service for the last 20 minutes of our drive there. We have a lot of new faces in the district! 3 new elders. It will be good. That day we also went on exchanges with the Jacksonville 2nd sisters- Sister Alldredge (who I actually roomed with in the MTC: Missionary Training Center) came to Hampstead and Sister Macrum went to J2 where she actually started her mission. So weird, huh? We had a fun day and saw an investigator, a part member family, and two less active families. The older couple we went to go see will be turning 90 something come MAY and they are the most precious things on this earth! Brother Bryant gave me some wise advice that I wrote in my Planner, that said, "If you can't control something, let it go! Otherwise...it will kill yeh!" Hah.
Thursday we went out to lunch with our investigator named Alecia and her cutie little girl named Caidyn. We ate at HWY 55 (I couldn't taste anything and was not feeling good this day either.) But we love Alecia. She told us that she wants to be sealed in the Temple and go on a couples mission one day with Mike who is a member. We love them!
We did our weekly planning the rest of the day (which I used to hate but now I love) and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant. (I just asked for it to be put in a To-Go box because I was feeling so gross. I had to keep blowing my runny and congested nose too which was embarrassing! That night the Sister Missionaries who are serving in Wilmington came to spend the night at our apartment because Sister Muder and I had a leadership training the next day in Raleigh. We had to be there at 8:30 and it was a 2 and a half hour drive. We were going to meet the Spanish elders at their apartment in Wallace which was a 40 minute drive and carpool with them. So that meant we had to be out of our apartment at 5:45. So NATURALLY we had a Sleep over! It was so fun! Sister Macrum and I got really excited and made beds for them with some sleeping mats provided by the Bishops family. We put little chocolates on their pillows, placed a Doterra diffuser on the bedside table that we threw a sheet over and a lamp under to make it glow, turned on some classical music, put some slippers and lotion at the end of their bed and waited for them to arrive. We put little note cards saying "Hotel Hampstead" by the desk and couldn't help but giggle and get a little slap happy! They died when they got to our apartment; it was fun :)
At the Leadership training meeting we had instructions given to us by different missionaries, by President and Sister James, and then lunch. After lunch the Sister Training leaders and Zone leaders met in a room to council over new rules, changes and more for the mission with President James. It is always interesting because everyone wants to share their opinions and sometimes it goes on for way too long. But it is needed nonetheless. It was a long day. We didn't get back to Hampstead until around 6:20 in the evening and met back up with the sisters who had been doing work in the area all day.
I love my mission because I love my Savior. How does He strengthen you?
Love Sister Golden :)