Monday, August 25, 2014

Lifting Lebanon

I can't believe it's already Pday again! This is crazy! This week just FLEW by. 

My shoutout this week goes to the beautiful and happy and ENGAGED couple: Tara Fantastic Wells and Ryan Studofaman Raymond Ross. Congratulations you stinking cute people. Congratufrikinglations. I could not be happier. Yes. #marriageisneat #doubleswiththeDawsons 

Alrighty then!

We had a great week last week! I was struggling really hard with being shy and not wanting to talk during tracting or even sometimes during the lessons. I don't know what was wrong with me. But this week I'm doing so much better! It was in a large part because we got to go on exchanges. 
Our Sister Training Leaders are dang incredible. I got to serve a whole day with Sister Wade, and I've never met someone in my whole life who compliments people as often and as sincerely as she does. She made me feel so good about myself. She was just about the most bubbly and outgoing missionary that I've ever met, so serving and teaching with her was a blast, and as easy as breathing! I don't know why, but it seems to be so much easier for me to open my mouth and be outgoing and optimistic with other people who are the same way. But I have been working this week to not let other people's moods and/or personalities affect my own! It has been an awesome week. Sister Wade helped me so much to see that I have a valuable part in this work, and she helped me to recognize my talents and attributes. She gave me some very valuable advice: "Stand where you are, and lift." Which means that, wherever you are in the world and whoever you are with, leave it better than it was when you arrived. 
So I have been working on lifting everything - our less actives, our part member families, our investigators, our creepy apartment, my district, even my trainer!  We have gotten so much closer this week! I am seriously doing so much better. It's great. 

We've met some awesome members this week who have fed us some seriously awesome food. Two incredible families that I have met are the Henson's and the Chakmakov's. The Henson's are awesome. Brother Henson is in the army and he served in Afghanistan. I have never seen a happier, closer family. Being with them was so simple and real. They're so down to earth. It was like a breath of fresh air. 
Brother Chakmakov is from Bulgaria and Sister Chakmakova is from Arizona I think, and she served her mission in Bulgaria. They are new to the ward and are looking for friends. I don't think they'll have a hard time with that. They're so open and friendly. I love them! They fed us awesome Mexican food. Yesss.
We also got to go out to an authentic Mexican restaurant one day for lunch. So good.
The members take such good care of us here. I'm gonna be gorda!! D:

We have had some funny stories this week with teaching and tracting and I am excited to share them with y'all.

First, we have A. Sister Tolman and her old companion met A one day when they had to call an ambulance for her. A. told them that if they called an ambulance she would let them come over and teach! So we went to go teach her and Sister Tolman was trying to get inside and A. was like "who are you?"
Hahaha she couldn't even remember that they had called an ambulance for her. She couldn't even remember going to to hospital. It was so funny. Crazy, beardy A. 

Then we've got good old R. We teach R. every Wednesday. R. likes to read scripture books and he likes to talk. A lot. This week, he had a bunch of questions about the godhead. He is just so sure that they're all one person. We were trying to explain to him using the Bible that they are three separate personages, but he wasn't having it. Then, during the closing prayer he started praying to the Holy Spirit. It was madness. Sister Tolman and I had to stifle our giggles. It was just such a classic mission moment. We left his house and I told Sister Tolman that I could die happy. 

Then there's a less active sister. I'm not exactly sure what her condition is, but apparently her spine is disintegrating or something? It's really bad and basically she just roams around waiting to die. It's so sad. We always do our best to help her be happy. But the thing is... I feel so uncomfortable at her house because she's always so scantily clad. She wears these little black lacey nightgowns that are totally see through and when she sits down on her chair she always lifts them up to adjust and totally flashes us! It's so awkward! I have to try so hard not to laugh. But we convinced her to come to church next Sunday so that's good! Hopefully she'll get dressed for that, though. 

Remember last week when I wrote about our new investigator S.? Well she has this bearded dragon named Lizzy. It's awesome. We always get to hold it when we go teach her.  But anyway, while we were on exchanges, Sister Doxy was with Sister Tolman and totally told Savannah that she could bring Lizzy to church! It was such a stressful moment. S. ended up forgetting about her commitment to come, so we did not have any dragons in the chapel... but it was so funny that we even had to worry about that. 

This week, we got two solid new investigators. :) J. is like a storybook investigator - her family is Catholic but she doesn't think that their church is true, she says she feels so much peace and comfort when we talk, she is excited to read the Book of Mormon. All good things. We love J. 
Then we have S. who is the sweetest little guy ever. He's a former Marine so I was so excited to jump in and tell him about Brandan. He agreed to be baptized on October 4th, and he came to church with us for all three hours yesterday and didn't want to leave! It was great! We had a powerhouse member with us during his lesson named Sister Seamans who was actually baptized just under a year ago last November. She was bearing her testimony and the spirit was so powerful I couldn't help but think "Geez. If people even feel HALF of this incredible Spirit when we speak as missionaries, no wonder people want to join the church." It was just such a verification to me that this church is so true. God speaks today and we can know of the truth of this gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Being a missionary is super cool! But we seriously can't do it without the help of the members! If you guys get an opportunity to go out with the missionaries or to feed them a meal or to give them a referral, please! Do! We need help from the members so much! You guys do more than I think that you know! We love our members here in Lebanon! They are like family. 

Everything is great! The Lord is furthering his work! I am so grateful for all of your prayers in my behalf. :) You guys are cool. 

I love you all! Yo se sin dudas que esta Iglesia es tan importante en la vidas de todos los hijos de Dios. Todos son Sus hijos. Todos necesitan el Evangelio de Jesucristo! Yo se que este Evangelio bendice a las familias y a los individuales. Estoy muy agradecida por esta oportunidad a servir aqui en Lebanon! La obra es maravillosa!! :) 

Love, Hermana Bills