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Monday, June 30, 2014

Missionaries in the Spirit World

Hey there!

     It has been kinda an interesting and rough week. Last week after emailing I found out some sad news. Jose (As in Jose and Q the cutest little family ever that the Gospel has completely changed their lives) passed away in his sleep last Sunday night. Sister Blaylock got permission to call and tell me. He had made so many changes with his life and turned it around. The week before he passed away he got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and he had just received the Aaronic priesthood as well. I got permission to call and talk to Q, she is holding together but it is hard, the kids don't really understand what is going on. My heart goes out to them and I wish I could be there to help and support them but I am so far away. I am so glad that she has the gift of the Holy Ghost and I know that Christ is carrying her through all of this. 

      I know that Jose is in the Spirit World being a missionary up there. I remember him asking us on many occasions.... "Where can I get one of those tags? Can't I go on a mission right now? Why do I have to wait until I'm older? Q and I are just going to go right now!" Those were the desires of his heart to share the gospel with all those that need it. Now he is able to do that in a very real way to those who are seeking for the truth and goodness that he himself was able to find in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He now has a missionary tag and can bear his testimony to all those around him. He is our zone on the other side of the veil. It reminds me of a scripture in Alma 13: 24 "For behold, angels are declaring in unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."

     He can be a full time missionary now in a very real way as well as watch over his sweet little family that are still on this earth. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. This makes me want to tell others even more to help them take this into theirs hearts. This is truly the Lords kingdom here on this earth. The words of President Uchtdorf in this last general conference bring me comfort.

     "In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they      unacceptable to us?There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.

    Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.

    The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.

   How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

   Other than that I picked up my new companion on Wednesday morning. A long drive to Suwanee Georgia and we re-entered and then left civilization again. Her name is Sister Andrus as I said last week. She is from West Jordan Utah. She graduated the same year as me and she is about 5' 7"ish. She also hates corn. Thank you, someone that agrees. 

     We are still visiting with Monica and she is amazing! She came to church yesterday with her 3 kids and her mom. They all loved it. We have taught her everything. When we taught her the Word of Wisdom her response was "I don't drink any of that stuff any way" Well that was easy. Chiggity Check. It is amazing how much she soaks up. She has a strong desire to learn and change. It truly strengthens my faith seeing her pure and sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ's gospel. She has 3 kids the oldest CJ - 10 Then Desha who is 8 and Cartez who is 4 today. They are so cute!

     Well, I think that is all for this week. We are just pushing through. Getting some pretty good tan lines and avoiding the bugs. :) I am so grateful for these experiences I have to learn and grow. Hopefully I can become a better instrument in the hands of the Lord. This Gospel means the world to me. Thank you Mom, Pops, Gramsy, Gramps. And all the others that made good decisions and helped me learn of these eternal truths. It fills my heart with peace and joy.

     Have a great week you are in my prayers!

LOVE YA BYE!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)
 
(It was kind of a tough week for  Rachel it seems, but she if pulling through OK.  It was good that she was able to talk to Sister Blaylock and also to Q but her heart is hurting for them.  Sister Blaylock goes home in 6 weeks.  I also learned that she had to drive the big truck once and it was kind of scary but she is not the designated driver again - she wiggles out of it with her cute smile and pleadings with Elder Residiori in the office who makes those assignments.  They are a Senior couple.  She adores them.  She also said the office requested that they try and find a new place to live because where they are is too expensive.  Then Sunday in church someone asked them how the apartment was and they said they were looking and asked if he knew of any place and he offered them the basement in their house!  It is being cleared through the office now.  She was pretty  excited.  They are pretty  well off and they live in a gated community. She said yeah they probably don't have cockroaches!!!  Otherwise she is doing fine and continues to enjoy the work.  It was a learning and growing week for her.  Tomorrow she gets to go and meet her new mission president and his wife.  The Bennion's start officially tomorrow. She was excited to see some of her other friends too.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Lord's perfect timing

Hey there family!

     It was a great week here in Greensboro. We have seen many miracles and I am so excited for the work that is happening here. I went on exchange with Sister Liu after district meeting and we met with Sandra a lady that we met last week when we talked to her when she was pulling out of her drive way and we just stood there and stopped her. She works nights as a security officer at Reynolds Plantation and said that she has not found a religion yet that she has been able to connect with fully. She has a lot of really good questions and we were able to see that she was really pondering what she was hearing. Then that night as well we met with a lady named Tamekia, we have knocked several doors on her street and she told us that she has just been praying for God to bring us back to talk to her. It was an amazing lesson. Her and her daughter Emerald said they loved what they were hearing and she wanted to come to church because she hasn't found one that was right for her and her family yet. We warned her of the influence of the adversary and she said she has felt it before but really wants to know. We went back on Saturday night and she made her husband answer the door he said that they weren't interested in studying the Mormon thing any more and he wouldn't really talk to us other than that. We asked if they had heard anything and he said no. It was pretty disappointing and it was hard to walk away but we just prayed that Heavenly Father would soften their hearts more and let us know what we can do to help them. 

     Then we met with Monica again and she is awesome. She is just soaking everything she learns up and read the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon everyday. She said her boss wouldn't let her have work off this week for church but she got it off next week. She came to a Branch activity with her kids and they loved it. She has accepted to work toward baptism on the 19th of July. She said that it all makes sense and she really likes it. We were able to take 2 members over there this week and the lessons went great - having members there is the best. We set up a baptismal calendar with her and we can see the joy that is coming into her life. It was amazing how we found her. Sister Kunz had previously tracted the apartment complex that she lives in already but we decided to look through some former investigators. We tried to contact one who used to live where Monica does now but had moved. We talked to her instead and she said she is  ready for a change and something else in her and her kids life. They have been through some rough times but she is awesome and really understands. The Lords timing is perfect and he knew where she would be and what she needed in her life!

      Then we met with Erica and Rachel as well. They came to the Branch activity as well and met a lot of members. They LOVED it and want to keep coming. Rachel said that when she listens to the Book of Mormon on the CD that we gave her that she never wants to stop because it makes her feel so good. She is loving it. Erica still feels confused about what she should do because many of her friends are pulling her to go back to her old church but she said she loves it here as well. We talked to her a lot about the spirits voice and the kind of feelings it gives us and committed her to read everyday. Yesterday she said that she is already feeling better. Rachel is still a little depressed about her friend but is coming around and loving the new friends that she is making at church. It is the perfect place to be. :)

       We have had some funny times as well. This morning I was kneeling on the floor praying minding my own business when a cockroach crawled on me. EWW!! Sister Kunz said I flew into the air and yelped and the first thing I said was Ahhh I didn't even get to say Amen yet. A roach crawled on me. Nasty. Then she was laughing super hard and said I didn't get to say amen either. Now it is funny but when I'm groggy it is so not. That is the last time I kneel on the floor to pray. I'll be kneeling on my bed for now on.

     Well, I think that is all for this week. It has been so fun to be companions with Sister Kunz she is definitely a great and hard working missionary and I am glad I had the opportunity to learn from her. She'll do great where she is going and hopefully I can keep working hard here. We'll see what a new week with Sister Andrus brings. 

      (As you can tell Rachel's companion is being transferred on Wednesday to Johns Creek and she is getting in a new comp that she doesn't know too much about.  She may have to drive the big truck now - but she said it is easy to haul everything in for transfers, but a little scary to drive it is so big.  She gets a new mission president on July 1.  She has really loved the Wolfert's.  She seems to be enjoying this area and loves the old houses and history that are in that area. She doesn't get fed very often because it is just a branch and that building is 30 minutes away and there are not as many members in her area that feed them, but she says the branch is growing and has plans for the building to be added on to.  I am so happy that she is happy and loving what she is doing!)

LOVE YA BYE!

Have a great week ya'll are in my prayers!
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's a small world and even smaller in the church.

Hey there,

      Yesterday in church a family was on vacation and visiting. And since it is a branch EVERYONE knows when there are visitors and they were swarmed. They sat behind Sister Kunz and I so we introduced ourselves and asked where they were from. They said Utah and Idaho. So I asked where and you will never believe... Out of all the places that they could have said in Idaho they said Burley! WHAT?! A part of the family lives in the Declo area. It was so cool. One of them said that Pops had taught a couple of their classes. Church started so I didn't get a chance to ask any names and they left before I could talk to them so I have no idea who they were but it was still pretty sweet. :)

   It has been a good week here in Greensboro.   We were able to talk to a lot of people and have some pretty cool experiences.  We had a lesson with Monica, she is someone we just tracted into last week and she has had a pretty rough year the last year. Her 3 kids got burned in an accident and she has really been able to see the hand of God helping them and leading them along the way. She said that she wants to change and have Him more in her life.  The Gospel is exactly what she needs in her life. She works with a member in the branch we found out and she is going to ask her boss to have Sunday's off so she can come to church! She is the cutest, and her kids are soo full of energy.  

     We also met with a man named Nelson. He is a Methodist and is a substitute preacher. We have met with him once before. He understands a lot and said he wants to pray about it and find out if it is true. He was very intrigued by the Plan of Salvation and the fact that we chose to come to this earth and make choices and have the opportunity of becoming like God.  He even asked for help on the sermon that he was preparing for Sunday. He even took notes on what we said, who knew that I would be sitting in a white rocking chair helping a reverend with a sermon that he is going to give to his Methodist congregation on Sunday? Haha. He always says "yes ma'am, yes ma'am. That's gooood that's good." 

      Rachel accepted a baptismal date for July 12th this week. We took a recent convert of about a year over there with us - Sister Bethune - They connected really well and she opened up a lot about her concerns but she truly has a desire to know. She didn't come to church this week but she is still reading and praying and knows that she feels the spirit when she does. It is just a lot different then her baptist church with the praise worship. She said when she feels the spirit she just wants to stand up and say "HALLELUJAH" But that she can't because someone would say "Sit that woman down" haha we laughed so hard we cried.    

     We were also able to meet with a members sister who has seen the impact the church has had on her sister's life for good as she has lost her husband and received so much love and support. She has met with missionaries previously but is at a point in her life where she wants to know. She isn't going to a church right now  and is finding herself searching for what is missing and where she can find it. We are just praying that she will want to continue to act upon those desires. She admires Joseph Smith and all that he has done for the church.  She is on her way to gaining a testimony.  She knows that this is something that can have an impact on her life. 

     Well, I think that is all for this week. Greensboro southern houses are beautiful. I just want a tour of one... But I'm too scared to ask. Maybe one day. :) A guy yesterday was telling us the history of  both huge homes on his property. They have a root cellar, a pool house and everything. Wowsa. It was built in the early 1800's it is so cool. I am fascinated by it lots! 

Have a great week I love ya'll lots and you're in my prayers!

Love ya bye!
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)  :)
 
 
 
 
Does your riding lawnmower have a cup holder for water or beer?  Too funny.
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

"Watch out for that ooo ahhh...."

Hey there!

     It was a good week here in Greensboro Georgia! It was pretty sweaty though and a little itchy because the chiggers found me... If you can avoid them I would highly recommend it. Bug spray is a fantastic investment. And I proved to myself once again that the nicknames I may or may not have been given about being clumsy are slightly true... I tripped and whacked myself on a lot of things this week the real doosie was... just wait for it.... Remember our super cool white Chevy truck yeah well it was super cool until I rolled my fingers up in the window. Yep you read that last sentence right I myself rolled them up into the window. I'm loosing it. Not really sure how I managed that but I sure did. Oh brother.... I thought I was going to have to paint my nails for a bit but I am happy to say that there are no bruises or marks. Haha hold the applause. :) 

     And we had to make a difficult decision, after a lot of prayer and pondering we decided that it might be best to give Stevie a break. We had no idea what we were going to say and it was kind of hard but the spirit really led us in what he needed to hear. He said that he knows that it is all true. He knows. He just isn't willing to make the changes necessary yet. Which is a little heart breaking but he said that he is still going to keep coming to church and reading. One day he'll get baptized and enter into the gate. Really before we said anything he knew what was coming and he said he is grateful for our time an he'll never forget what we taught him. The spirit was strong and I know that he felt it testifying to him of the truthfulness of Christ's message. 

     We have been meeting with Erica and Rachel as well still, Rachel has had a really rough week this week. Her best friend passed away and she has felt really alone. We stopped by the day she found out it happened. I think that it softened her heart a little bit and they came to church on Sunday and she has been reading. Her and her daughter are growing closer together being able to read together and come to church. Erica loves church and young womens and has really been able to feel their friendship. Members are so important in this work.  The members in the branch have been helping with a part member family. It is pretty impossible to teach them at their house because of the crazy environment and the members invited them over for dinner. They really opened up and have had a few humbling experiences lately that are making them recognize their dependence on Heavenly Father and striving to follow Christ's example.  They have been reading together and are recognizing the impact that it has on their lives. We invited him to make  a plan towards baptism and we are meeting with him this week to see what we can do to help him with his plans. Heavenly Father knows exactly what people need. 

      During our lesson with Stevie we were sitting outside and hornets kept chasing us, I dodged one and he said "Don't worry Sister Weeks I got you! I will spank his little beehind!" And he clapped his hands together. And he got it. Haha we almost lost it in the middle of the lesson. We haven't had that great of control over our laughter this week.... I don't know if I have ever had that great of control over my laughter but it makes the work fun. :)

      This week I was studying in Alma 5 and thinking a lot about consecration. I absolutely love the questions in that chapter it is an example to me Alma has got the inspired questions down! Man one day I want to be a boss missionary like the ones in the Book of Mormon. But they are questions that I really was thinking about. I want to be able to have the image of God clearly in my countenance and have that kind of dedication or consecration to doing his work his way. To take that into my heart. To put my trust in the true and living God and be faithful until the end. The greatest blessing of all is eternal life and he wants us to have it. And we get to be part of this work!

      Well, I think that is all for this week! Have a great week you are in my prayers. Love ya bye!
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)
 
 
 
Rachel showing the treat they received from Pres and Sister Wolfert at their last Zone Training.  They go home the end of June.

Rachel likes sign and found her name sake.

It was bound to happen one day!

A street named after a great missionary and daughter!

Sister Hoskisson (who is from Tremonton) and Sister Weeks

The Rusch family from Lilburn with Sisters Blaylock and Weeks.
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Consecrate Myself to the Work

Hey there,
 
This week kinda started out as a crazy week. We went to the zoo which was pretty fun. It wasn't a very big one. And I realized that standing around looking at things still isn't my favorite thing to do. I kept feeling like we had to go because we had somewhere to be but we really didin't.... haha. but We had zone conference on Tuesday and it is President and Sister Wolferts last one because they go home at the end of this month which is pretty crazy. The main theme of the meeting was consecration. I loved it. And I have been studying that this week a lot. We are doing a month of consecration where we are doing and praying for some specific things and doing our very best to dedicate ourselves to the Lord and his work. To work with my whole heart might mind and strength and really understand the meaning of Matt 16: 24-25. Forget myself have faith and go to work to truly find my self my losing myself in the work. It was a very powerful meeting. It is so cool how you can recieve individual answers to questions when the speaker is addressing such a large group of people. I love President Hinckleys story about that we have great examples.
 
President and Sister Wolfert gave us alittle gift at the end a card and a box of cookies from someplace that I can't remember at this second but boy oh boy was I in heaven. Mmm hmmm Yum. So good. I regret nothing. Until later when I am super chubby and then I'll regret it. Don't worry I didn't eat them all at once.
 
We had a lesson with a guy named Keith and he said that he knows that something is missing in his life. Then again with a lady named Rachel (not me haha) She said I sit in all the other churches and I know that there is something missing. They both really want to know. When I hear that my heart leaps for joy and I just want to shout "I have it!!!!" We can tell you all about it! I don't know how well they would respond to that but instead I bear my testimony instead of shouting at them.... That might be a slightly better option who knows though I might try it one day. :) Keith said he wanted to be baptized on July 5th we are praying for him that he holds strong! And we are still working with Rachel.
 
I got to fianally meet the Branch President this week and you will never guess what his name is.... You can't guess right? Well it is President Monson. Oh the irony. He is a great man and does a lot of work for the branch. He actually lives in Athens in my old area. Speaking of old areas I am about a 40 minute drive from Watkinsville. Sound familiar? Well I used to serve there we have district meeting there so I have driven right past Brad and Nikki Cannons house serveral times. And last night I got to call her on the phone! It was so amazing we are going to meet up for lunch in a couple weeks! Yay. Miracles and tender mercies are all around us.
 
Saturday night we stopped by Casey and Vicki's house we haven't met with them before we just ran into him at his work and they called us and said they were coming. That is pretty much unheard of. Usually we are calling people and begging them to come. Then Sunday morning they showed up for church and hour and a half early. Wowsa. They said that they felt more comfortable there then at any other church they have ever attended and like a big weight was lifted off their shoulders. Heavenly Father truly prepares people. They are fining peace in the Gospel and we all can and I am so grateful.
 
Well, that is all for this week! I hope you all have a great week you are in my prayers!
 
The Gospel is true and the book is blue. :)
 
Love ya bye!
 
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)