So last night Sister Nettleton threw up and then in the middle of the night again. This morning I woke up and just let her sleep, thinking that she could sleep it off and I wouldn't have to skip emailing. She woke up not feeling good still but we mad it to the library. Good heavens! I was crying all over the place as I read your e-mails and looked at pictures. It looked to be a beautiful and grand funeral. My heart wishes I could have been there, my spirit knows that this is where I need/needed to be though.
On Saturday night at Stake Conference we had made plans with Sister Hamilton☺ and Sister Harris to hang out. Sister Hamilton had a Macy's gift card she wanted to use and Sister Harris wanted to go to the Disney Store. Sister Nettleton still wasn't feeling good but she wanted to go, so we did!
Sister Hamilton is the kindest person I have ever met. She is absolutely darling with whoever her companion is. Sister Harris has no idea how blessed she is to have Sister Hamilton. That girl is amazing I tell ya. Sister Nettleton had told me that she and Sister Harris had become good friends in the MTC. Well, all I can tell you is that Sister Hamilton is an amazing example to me. If she ever has a bad day or struggles she NEVER shows it. She only ever shows her positive happy self. I so want to be like that! Oh Mom! She loves that you read her blog. She put a little hello in this weeks entry, so try to read it! All I know is that it made her day a lot brighter when she got your letter Momma. I love Sister Hamilton so much! She is so in my top faves missionary list! Even if Heavenly Father doesn't allow us to be companions, at least He is allowing us to be close to each other! Sister Hamilton bet me lunch that we would both be training again this next transfer. I have no doubt that she will be. I think it would be fun to train again but I don't know if I will be. We shall see!
After hangin', we went and got groceries. Our dinner cancelled on us so we just stayed at home. Sister Nettleton said she didn't feel good enough to go out, so we stayed home. She just went to sleep. There was not much that I could do. It is hard to be sick and it is hard to wait and have patience when someone else is. At the end of the night we realized that Sister Nettleton had left our phone at WalMart so we had to go back and find it. That was a bit of a hassle but no harm, no foul- -found it!
January 28, 2014
Well, today was quite an adventure! We got a voicemail from President telling us all of North Georgia was preparing for a "snow storm." He said we could have district meeting but we needed to be back in by 12:00. He grounded our cars and bikes and told us that at 12 we were only allowed to walk.
Ellijay is about an hour away from us so we did district meeting early. Well about half way through DM it started to snow. Not like the little wussy flurries but SNOW! It was AWESOME. The Ellijay sisters started heading back right away. The elder stayed to have lunch with us. Traffic was ridiculous as we started home. Georgia drives don't know how to drive in the snow. We got half way to our apartment when we got to a car stuck on a hill. We were following our elders and had Ellijay (actually they are Jasper. . . but they are close to Ellijay) elders behind us. We ended up pulling over to help the stuck car. Next thing we know, we are helping most of the cars up the hill! For 2 hours we did that. We passed Mormon.org cards out to them while we helped! We had so much fun! Go contacting.☺ That's one way to do it! Poor drivers though, we talked to a lot of women basically sobbing as they tried to drive. I think having us help them eased their panicking a bit.
We were all soaked by the end. but we were happy and content.☺ We helped a ton of people. By the time we finally got back into our cars it was like 3:30. It sure didn't feel like we had been helping out for that long! We ended up parking our cars at a gas station about a fourth of a mile away from our apartments and walking. There was an 8 car pile up in front of the entrance of our apartment so we couldn't get in except by walking. What an adventure! It took us an hour and half to get home. By then President changed his mind and our feet were grounded to inside too. So we are grounded until further notice!
I love Sister Nettleton! She needs love - - we all do. She tells me stories about her family lots. We all love our families. I just know that I need to remember to be patient and love my companion. She was a real trooper today helping with all of the cars.
I was talking to Sister Hamilton. President had been doing interviews but as soon as he saw that he snow was sticking, he told everyone in their district to go home. She said sh had never seen President look so panicked. I guess it is a pretty heavy burden to be responsible for so many people most of whom are 18-23 years old.
I called Elder Residori to let him know our cars were parked at the gas station. Turns out a few missionaries were in wrecks and President and Sister Wolfert ended up getting a hotel instead of driving back to Lilburn. Crazy I tell ya! Crazy! I think we got about 4 inches of snow. I took pictures so you can see our "snowmageddon!" Whoot! So that was our day.☺ Fun and snow filled. Jasper elders get get to have a sleep over with our elders and we are just chillin' here until further notice. So, that's snow in Georgia for ya! It is really the freezing rain that becomes the problem.
I talked to Sister Knight tonight. She misses me and I miss her. Funny girl! She just talked for like 45 minutes straight. I couldn't get a word in edgewise! That's okay though.☺ It was fun to hear her voice. She has my GPS because she is terrible at directions and has no clue where anything is. She was supposed to sent it back last wee though, but it hasn't come. Luckily, turns out she still hasn't sent it. So it's not lost in the mail! Phew!
January 29, 2014
Well, today wasn't nearly as productive as I would have hoped.
I got up this morning at 6:30. Canton is in a water boil alert so I started boiling water so we would be able to drink it. We got a text saying our car and bikes were grounded still, but our feet weren't! Yay for feet that have been freed!! I was excited and ready to go. When we finally left we stopped real quick at the elders to drop some stuff off. I'm really jealous. They are all having tons of fun together. I was kinda wishing some sisters had been stuck with us. ☺
Our apartment is on the very edge of our area, basically with nothing super close. The elders just tracted the closest neighborhood last week. There were just random people walking in the road. Cars were parked and abandoned. Some had crashed into each other and then just left. It felt like the end of the world or something!
|Getting ready to mess up the snow!|
We found out that like 780 ish accidents were reported so far and hundreds of kids had to sleep in the high school. Pretty crazy! Georgia just isn't prepared for this. They have not salt or snow plows. People 20 minutes away from home were stuck in traffic for 16 hours. It's just crazy!!
We got to a road and knocked on doors. One guy opened the door, looked at me and said, "You messed up my snow!" All I could say was sorry. It was weird. He was so mad at me! Sister Nettleton's ankle started to hurt. I guess she stepped on a stick or something. I dunno. She told me that it was bad enough that we had better go home. That made me sad. I didn't want her to be hurt but I really wanted to keep tracting. I hate being cooped up in the apartment. She was frustrated because I had refused to drive the car. But really it was only because we had been told that they were still grounded. Yeah, the ice had begun to melt but it was still way dangerous!
We got back at like 2 and I just read my scriptures. I read all of Ether and learned some pretty cool stuff that I had never realized. So that was fun. It is always good stuff to immerse yourself in the scriptures.
January 30, 2014
Today was another mostly frustrating day because we ended up in the apartment again. I basically had 4 hours of personal study. I have found that Heavenly Father is the best source to go to when you are frustrated. Of course sometimes you have to pray for a very long time before you get unfrustrated. I wasn't getting anything out the the scriptures until I prayed. I was totally stopping the Spirit from being with me. Scriptures are MUCH better when the Spirit is available to teach and testify. I did end up finishing the Book of Mormon sot that was awesome!
Sister Nettleton told me that her ankle hurt and she wouldn't be able to tract today. We left the apartment around 12:30. We had to walk up the hill to our car that we had parked at the gas station. She made it though so that is good. She also drove.
She decided to take the back road to get to Billie's (the lady we were going to visit). Well we got to this huge hill still covered in ice and snow. Along the hill were about 7 cars, a jeep flipped on it's side, a few cars jammed into trees, some tilted on their side, all abandoned. She started up it. Well the car couldn't make it, too icy. But, she backed up onto the dry spot and I looked at her and said, "We aren't going to make it." She tried again and we almost ended up like all the rest of the cars on the road. After I finally got her backed up onto dry ground I said, "Just turn around."
We finally go to Billie's. Cute Billie! She was the highlight of my day! We get to her house and her driveway is covered in snow. She is about 80 years old and her husband has Alzheimer's. We knock on her door and she "yells" at us for being outside. She made us take off our shoes before we came in. We Sat down and just let her talk. i first asked her though, if she had a push broom or square garden shovel so I could get her snow off her driveway. She kept telling me she wasn't going to let me do that. She kept talking, trying to distract me so I would forget about her driveway. Finally I looked at her and said, "Billie, I know that you are trying to make me forget about your driveway, but it won't work! Where is your shovel?!?" She looked at me with tear filled eyes and said, "Are you really going to do that for me?" I assured her that I was! She ended up calling her neighbor for a shovel. Turns out it was a legit snow shovel!! Probably the only one in all of Georgia!
So I shoveled that darling little lady's driveway. When I got back inside we prayed with her. She gave the prayer and asked if I could get double blessings.☺ I won that sweet little lady's heart by doing something so very simple. I am so very glad she let me shovel for her. Though I probably would have found a way to do it even if she had refused.☺
After Billie's we went to Dustin's. Oh! Wait! Before we left Billie's, I passed her husband on the chair and I just patted his shoulder. Billie looked at me and said, "you can kiss him on the cheek, go ahead." So I did. He looked up at me and said, "What are you doin'?" I told him I was giving him a kiss goodbye. He frowned and grumbled, "Well shoot, (except he didn't say shoot☺) you just got here and now you're leaving!? You just walked through the door!" Billie patted his hand (after giggling a little at his swearing.☺)
and said to him, "It's alright Daddy, just go back to sleep." It was just so sweet and made me smile. ☺
Okay, now the Dustins! Mom, my first week here you asked about their kids and ages. Autumn is 13, Malia is 11, Aunna is 9, Elaina is 7, Allen is 4 and Abram is 2. So Brother and Sister Dustin are in Poland right now on a business trip. Sister Dustin's sister Shauna, and Nana (her mom, who has been visiting for 3 months) are with the kids. Shauna and Autumn had gone to the store so Nana had the other kids. Abram was asleep so we were playing with the kids while Nana cleaned. Elaina and Allen had my sunglasses on and were playing. Elaina snuggled into my side and said, "Sister George, you're my favorite missionary!" She pretty much melted my heart.
I hope I didn't make Nana too mad at me. I teased her a little bit. So even though the kids were being pretty darn quiet, she kept shushing them and threatening them with bed. Well, they were all being silent and she shushes them again. Well she had the vacuum and she dropped it and it made a huge crash. Totally without thinking I said quietly, "Nana, shh." I grinned at her but she didn't think it was funny. Oops! :\ The kids did though! I felt pretty dang bad!
We had an hour before dinner. I wanted to tract but Sister Nettleton said her foot still hurt too bad to walk. So we only got one productive thing done. We went to see one of the people on our lost sheep list. She is now a 'Do Not Contact.' She yelled at us an told us she wanted nothing to do with us. I always wonder what happened to those people that they become so extremely hateful toward the church.
We ended our night with dinner at the Rethkes. When we got there dinner wasn't quite ready. So we sat by Andrea and talked. Her sister-in-law, Karen, and her husband are living with them. Karen is awesome! I am thankful for members who so willingly share what they have with us. I know that it is sometimes a bit difficult to feed us. But they do. Over and over they willing share what they have.
January 31, 2014
This morning I told Sister Nettleton that we had to choose families and we had to call and make appointments. That is really the best way to make visits. It is much better than just dropping by or fumbling to figure out what you are going to do in the evenings. She handed me a list of people that she doesn't know well and I started calling. We got some things planned and I am hopeful that we will have some good experiences.
After weekly planning, we went out with Sister Wyman to try and go visit a less active, who is also a part member family. Her husband answered the door. He is just the sweetest thing ever! We talked to him for a minute. His wife was in the shower so we left. But hey! At least we got to talk to her husband!
Sister Wyman then took us to get some frozen yogurt. Yummy! I really like Sister Wyman. I find her just delightful!
Because of the snow storm, we haven't gotten mail this whole week. But today I got 5 letters! Whoot!☺ I got one from Hannah☺ and Momma☺(thanks for that talk and the story!!), I got one from Sister Hooker, Sister Jacobs, and my cute little Josephine (Marni's daughter). I love my Sister Hooker and I miss her more than I can say. How could anyone not just instantly LOVE my Sister Hooker?!? I am always so very jealous of her companions. She is truly an amazing person. I hope that soon we will be in position to see each other again.
We got a call while we were with Sister Wyman and they left a voicemail. It was the sweetest voicemail I have ever heard! On Tuesday, while we were helping people, we were also giving them mormon.org cards with our numbers on them. We got a call from a man we had helped. He said he was so amazed at what we did and that we did it with smiles. He said if it hadn't been for us, he would have been stuck 10 miles from home. It was the greatest feeling that someone actually would call with such gratitude. It kind of reminded me of the 10 lepers. I know what Jesus did was lots more amazing than helping someone out of the snow. But I did get a little glimmer of how he must have loved the one who turned back. We didn't expect anything for what we did but oh my how nice it is to have the person you help recognize and thank you. The elders loved the voicemail too. It was so sweet!
So Monday is Zone P-day. I want to go so badly. Sister Nettleton says she hates Zone P-days. I asked her why and what had happened at the last one and she said she had actually never been to one. Well, that did it for me. We are going to Zone P-day. They really are always so much fun. I promised her that I would do whatever she wanted next P-day. It doesn't take much to have fun at the Zone P-day, all you have to do practically is show up.
Dinner was cancelled on us, so we tracted. No on really answered. There was one cute old man that we talked to. I told him if he needed anything to give us a call. We left and a minute later he comes out asking us to come back. He said he and his wife have no food. I told him if he would come to church on Sunday we would have someone he could talk to. He seemed earnest about it. I hope he comes!
We went home and had dinner, then went over to the Wyman's. Sister Wyman's son Heath, is less active. He has a 12 year old daughter, Katelyn. Katelyn loves the church and wants to be baptized. Her mom is okay with it and Heath is willing to be there for the lessons! Tonight was the first time we have met with Katelyn. Oh. My. Goodness! This little girl is elect! Teaching her was like teaching Ben. She had no questions. She said everything we taught made sense. She already reads her Book of Mormon. She prays exactly how she should. The first thing she told us when we asked her what she knew about the church was, "Well, not much. But I know it's the true church!" She is amazing! I fell instantly in love with her! I believe she will be baptized soonish. Heath only has her every other weekend, so we are working around that, but she said she wants us over whenever we can!
I am amazed at how the Lord prepares His children. I feel so blessed to be a part of watching them grow and learn! I feel so privileged to be the missionary who gets to teach these elect children! It makes me wonder, would I be this elect? I highly doubt it! Luckily I never have to find out.☺
February 1, 2014 (Where has the time gone?!?)
Today was a very crazy day! So do you remember last Friday when we had our lesson with Haleigh and Luke at the Tyes house? Well Haleigh texted us and basically said she wanted to do it her way. She wanted to do a testimony meeting with us, her parents, and her pastor. . .umm okay. Well, luckily Bishop came. So did the Tyes. Pastor Norman and his brother run 2 of the biggest churches here in Cherokee county. The high schools have their graduations at their churches because they are so big.
We met and talked with Bishop before and he said he would take the lead on this one. I was WAY okay with that! He said we weren't going to bash and if it came to that we would just leave. I was WAY okay with that too! Bashing makes me anxious and I don't like it! And I refuse to do it! Engaging in it does not seem very Christian.
When we got there we just chatted for a while. Turns out I know lots of Haleigh's dad's family in Suwanee! I LOVE the Humphrey's! From what I know Haleigh's family blames them for not staying in the church. I dunno the whole story but I have a hard time believing it. Her mom isn't a member so that's more why. From what I saw during the meeting her dad still knows it is true deep down.
So Pastor Norman started off by telling his story. He was actually baptized into our church but never did anything. He smoked and drank. Basically he was baptized along with his family. He says he passed the sacrament and what not but from other parts of his story I am not so sure. So many holes. He's never read the Book of Mormon or anything. He was saved and has bee a pastor for 32 years.
Whenever anyone of us bore our testimony the Spirit would make it's way into the room. I really think Pastor Norman felt it too because he would get antsy and try to attack anything we said. Basically he told me I was fake because I said I have never doubted that the church was true. I believe that is one of my gifts of the Spirit- -to believe. In the scriptures it says that we are all given different gifts of the Spirit. For me Doctrine and Covenants 46:13-14 says it as well as anything. He is a mean vicious man. That's okay though because my testimony stands as a witness to him forever.
He tried so very hard the whole time to bash, but we wouldn't. We were there forever though! He tripped over himself a few times. So maybe we could have held our own if we would have bashed but that is the problem we would have totally been on our own. The Spirit never stays in those situations.
We finally got out of there at like 2:30. Haleigh dropped us. So, I got to bear my testimony to one of the biggest baptist preachers in Cherokee county! I don't think that will ever happen again. Only in the South.☺ Oh funny story. So when we first walked in and we were shaking hands and introducing ourselves, I'm behind Sister Nettleton as she shakes Haleigh's dad's hand. She goes, "Hi! I'm Sister George!" I was so confused! I didn't know how to introduce myself!! So I'm shaking his hand and I say, "Umm. . .actually I'M Sister George. That's Sister Nettleton and I have no idea why she introduced herself as me." It was funny but kinda awkward.
After, Bishop had us all go to the Tye's house and talk about it. We all agreed that is was quite the experience and that Pastor Norman is . . . well ya.
Then the Kings took us out to lunch. That was fun. I really like them! They are a good family! Their story is pretty cool. Sister King got baptized when when was 12. When she was 14 they had the Nauvoo pageant and she got to be in it. Bishop was in her group and he was 17. They lived in the same city but quite a ways from each other and they became really good friends. Well Sister King fell in love with Bishop but just didn't tell him. He thought they were just friends. Then he went off to college and realized how much he missed her. So they dated for a little bit, he went on his mission and she waited for him Pretty cute!
We stayed at their house for quite a while, talking and sharing a thought. Sister Nettleton started saying she had a stomach ache and her head hurt so she needed to go back to the apartment.
Dinner was at the Tye's tonight. And I guess they told the elders to come too. So we all had dinner. It was kinda nice, not gonna lie. I like our elders they are good young men.
Elder Peña loves calling me an oldie. He will turn 19 in June and he know I will be 21 in May. Elder Rodrick likes telling me that since I've been out 7 months now my mission is basically over. The little punks! They are funny though.☺ I like'em.
So we just got a call from the Sister Training Leaders. They asked us if we could meet them at 3:45 tomorrow so we could get to Atlanta on time. Huh? Well, turns out tomorrow we get to go to Atlanta and stand in front of the theater where The Book of Mormon Musical is playing!!! The forgot to tell us. Haha☺ I'm so excited! Oh! AND Sister Hamilton is coming with us! Her companion went home so she's with the Sister Training Leaders until transfers in 2 weeks. So only like 10% of the sisters in our mission get to go to Atlanta and do this and I'm one of them! Whoot!☺
February 2, 2014
Happy fast Sunday/visiting Atlant day! Whoot!
This morning we got ready and went tracting for a while. No one was home. We got one contact. We had ward council and we went to that. Bishop told everyone about yesterday and how it went with Pastor Norman.
Testimony meeting was good! The elders both got up and bore theirs. The did an awesome job! I love listening to testimonies!
We left church early cause we needed to meet up with the Sister Training Leaders at 3:45 and church ends at 4:00. So we came home, broke our fast, and left. I had the keys but Sister Nettleton wanted to drive so I just handed them over.
We met up with the Sister Training Leaders and wen to Lilburn to get supplies from the AP's. Ah! SO much fun!
Atlanta is pretty dang cool! It's a fun visit, but I will never be a city girl. Too dirty and loud. The AP's told us there was free parking but where they told us, there wasn't. I was the only one with cash, so lucky me, I got to pay. Ah well, I was just excited!
|Sister Hamiton and Me!!|
|Sister Nettleton and Me!!|
We got there at the time the AP's told us but the play had already started. So we just tried to contact. We also met the Atlanta missionaries that were there. The didn't know Michelle Tavenner was. Ah darn! It would have been fun to have them tell cute Sister Tavenner hello! One of the sisters was just going through a whole list of names asking if I knew them. Turns out she went to high school with Elder Hales so that was fun.
|Fox Theatre downtown Atlanta|
It was quite an adventure! Not many missionaries get to say the did this! I'm glad I got to be a part of it!☺ It was just such a great experience. We got home last night at 11:30. I haven't stayed up that late in FOREVER! Totally worth it though!☺
Well family, I love you lots! Can't wait to e-mail☺