Friday, June 20, 2014

Macon Miracles in the GMM!

Dearest Family and Friends!

Last week was SUPER busy with meetings and interviews and driving back and forth from Cochran to Macon 4 times! Needless to say we didn't have as much proselyting time cause of it. But we still had a successful week!!!! 

Brittney and Ebryanna were BAPTIZED on Friday the 13th! Woot woot! It was a very spiritual service. The Bishop got up after and said a few words to Brittney. He told her that he wasn't sure why he needed to say the things he said but he was following the promptings. He was an answer to her prayers about being an example to her husband and family, and they would eventually follow her decision and be baptized. Wow! Brittney was so excited about that! She can't wait to go and be sealed with her whole family! She and Glen (her husband) have four children; Beanie was the only one who chose to be baptized with her mom. I am so excited for them! They were just glowing! They both said that when they had received the Holy Ghost they both felt their bodies get super warm and felt like they were "on fire"! (Baptism by fire!) 

Mini miracles, where the spirit prompts us: 

1) Sister Abad and I have been trying to meet a referral for the past two weeks. We have never been able to catch her until Wednesday! We knocked on her door and she opened, her dog was barking up a storm so before we could introduce ourselves she said one minute as she left to go put the dog away, leaving the door open. When she came back and before we could say anything she asked us to come inside! (Wow! that never happens and we hadn't even said one word yet!) Inside there was a feeling of sadness and distress. Monnie (that’s the referral) is crying and tells us it’s not a good time cause they are having a family issue. (I think someone just died) She is crying... but she let us in! So we sympathized with her and asked her a few questions before we left. She has met with missionaries before and would like us to come back because of the good feelings she gets. Sister Abad shares a scripture with her, Alma 34:40-41 (one of my favorites!) Wow that was what she needed! She cried even harder and said that helped her a lot. After leaving with a prayer she asked us to come back soon. 

2) Sunday evening we were trying to find this less active. We couldn't find her house so we knocked around looking for her. No one knew who she was. :( But we did meet some potential! However the real miracle was when we looked at her address again, we had the wrong house number! lol! We were running to another appointment and I was tired of looking for this lady, so we headed to see Miss Peggy. But half way to Miss Peggy's, I kept getting this feeling we needed to go to the real address of this less active now! So I turn to Sister Abad (who is driving) and tell her we need to turn around and find this house. She being an awesome comp didn't ask any questions, she just said ok and turned the car around. We get to the house and it looks like there are no signs of life. I was skeptical that anyone one be home and I really wanted to go see miss Peggy. So I start writing a sticky note to leave on the door and even in thinking that no one is home, I leave my bag back in the car. (the sad thing is I kept getting the feeling I don't need this note and I will need my bag.)  We ring the doorbell just to say we tried and behold someone answered the door! It is not the LA, but someone else who just moved there last week! Her name is miss Dolly and she is very sweet! She invited us in right away and wanted to hear our message. Wow! First off I am glad I listened to the spirit, even though I didn't want to and second it’s a good thing S. Abad had her bag so we had her scriptures! The lesson went well and Miss. Dolly told us that she has been searching! She really wants us to come back to share more! Right when we ended our lesson, in walked her... friend? boyfriend? I received the distinctive feeling that if we hadn't come when we were prompted to, we wouldn't have been able to get in and teach her! 

Yesterday was Stake Conference! During the Sunday session our zone + the Columbus zone sisters sang with President Cottle conducting us! It has been a dream of his to lead a missionary choir, of his missionaries! :) He used to conduct for a living... and teach institute. We sang "Behold the wounds in Jesus' hands" and "This is the Christ" (my favorite!) We spent almost all day Saturday practicing. It went very well! A very spiritual conference and a super neat experience! President Cottle was so touched that he started crying after the second song. The angels came down and helped us. :) President Cottle spoke on missionary work, he inspired the members to share the gospel and to help us full time missionaries find people. After conference a member in the Cochran ward came up to us and said during Pres. Cottle's talk he had felt prompted to have us teach a member of his family! How awesome! Everyone needs to catch the wave and get excited for missionary work! :)  

Well hope y'all are doing great! Keep smiling and catch the wave!  XOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie

With all the sisters in the Macon zone! 

 Brittney and Beanie's baptism!

With President and Sister Cottle!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Yo ho yo ho a mission is the life for me! :)

Hey Y'all! 

Something happened to me last week! I think it had to be that I am now past my first 6 months and mission life seems so normal and even more fun to me now! Sister Abad and I were talking about how it took both of us a while to have these feelings, but apparently that is normal for all missionaries. :) Plus when you are obedient and working hard it is just plain AWESOME!!! 

Last Tuesday was a rough day! no one was home, doors were slammed in our faces, no one wanted to talk to us and all of our appointments fell through! :( Sister Abad and I decided to pray and tell our Father in Heaven how grateful we are to have the hard days so we can appreciate the good days even more and to grow ourselves. :) The best part was that the rest of the week was on FIRE!!! We were so busy and had so many appointments, meeting many new people and teaching a lot of lessons on the door steps! The Lord loves and blesses humble people! I can sure testify for that! We were finally able to get in a lady's door that we have been trying for 3 weeks! She has had all of the lessons many times in the past. She told us that she met with 8 different sets of missionaries before... yikes! This is going to be a challenge but we are ready for it! :) She was so excited to see us and told us how much she has missed seeing the missionaries. We shared Helaman 5:12, where we are told to build our foundation on Christ. She started crying as she felt the spirit and told us how much comfort that brought her. She seems more ready now to hear and except the gospel. :) I love seeing the spirit touch our investigators and confirm to them the truthfulness; it is such an amazing thing to witness! :) 

Another miracle was when we were able to teach a former investigator. Miss. Dorris let us in and she had family over. We all watched the Restoration movie. I am not sure how ready she is, but her 28 year old niece from Texas asked a lot of questions and told us she wanted to learn more! She said she has been searching for the past 10 years and hasn't found anything that soothes her soul, but she really liked what she saw in the movie. :) The Lord places you in the right place and at the right time for that one person! Ariel (the niece) was going back to Texas the next day so we got her info and said we would be sending the missionaries to see her. She was so excited! :) 

Another part of missionary work that I love is helping the less actives return to church. For some reason they usually have funny quirks and stories to share. :) Recently we have been visiting the Behrend family. The parents and their 19 year old daughter don't come to church, but their 11 year old daughter Emily does! All by herself! Her dad will drop her off and pick her up 30 minutes before and after so he doesn't have to see people. lol ;) We were told before by member, that we shouldn't go on weekends and after 4pm (that’s when the dad is home).... well Sister Abad and I ignored them and we went on the weekend after 4pm too! They weren't terribly welcoming (but they let us in!) at first but Sister Abad asked them about the movie that was on pause and she found out it was a Korean drama she got excited! S Abad loves Korean drama and music and so does the Behrends! They started softening up cause we talked about the things that made them happy. I was able to talk about culture and that's how we connected. Well the Dad came and sat down with us and he started telling us stories and sharing Korean food with us! They loved us so much that today they want to take us to a Korean restaurant that is 45 minutes away! Every time we see they are all excited to see us! We really hope so get them back to church as a family soon! That would make Emily very happy! :) 

So a random funny story.... Saturday we were driving to Eastman when our tire started having trouble. Well it turned out that we had ran over a nail and needed to put on the spare. So just imagine these two girls in dresses trying to figure out how to change a tire. (I'm sorry dad but I don't remember you teaching me how to do this.) Well thank goodness the Elders call us and said they would just come and help us, even though we were 17 miles away from them! I bet someone else would have stopped by but we weren't on a main road and plus it was the middle of the day and super hot! lol So they Elders taught us how to change a tire! I am a pro now... jk ;) I am trying to be humble... hehe :) Anyways it was funny and random and very nice of the Elders. 

Hope y'all are having a great week! Spread the Gospel where ever you may be! Luv ya!  XOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie

One of the toughest looking dog but he is sweetheart. :) (everyone in the south has a dog) 

Cyrus came to Church! He will be out of town for the next 3 weeks, so we won't get to teach him. :(  

A baby kitten fell asleep in my hands! I was so excited! :) hehe!

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Faith is always pointing to the future"

Magandang araw (Good day) Family and Friends!

As you can see I am doing great in my language studies, what you didn't know was that I have secretly been transferred to the Philippines.... just kidding! ;) But Sister Abad and I are having fun (trying) to speak Tagalog together! This week was ASTIG (awesome)!!!! We were so busy and super tried but it is so much fun! (when you have a good attitude that is.) 

We taught a man in the cemetery right next to his 19 year old son's grave. We were teaching him the Plan of Salvation and it was beautiful! He is this big burly man covered in tattoos but he cried and felt the spirit strongly! He wants to change his life around so he can live with his son again! He also was floored when we talked about the "original" sin and how he was born pure; he is only accountable for his own sins. I usually don't teach that when we are going through the pamphlets, but I felt strongly that I needed too! I saw and felt this burden being lifted off of him when he grasps the understanding! It was such a neat and spiritual experience! 

We have become friends with this sweet older lady named Miss. Wynnell. We finally got to do service for her! :) She asked us to wash her car... well we did it! With skirts on and in the blazing sun, but it was fun and her heart is starting to soften towards hearing more about the Gospel! I just love how the Lord knows where and when you should be somewhere so you can meet that ONE person who is ready and searching for him! Heavenly Father truly knows each of us personally! :) 

So Ken... the DQ and subway Baptist, Trinity man? Well we did have dinner with him and his family Thursday! What an experience! His family is very nice and has the true southern hospitality about them. :) His wife is the image of a southern belle too. During dinner we didn't talk too much about religion, he wanted us to be comfortable before we started "discussing" our views and beliefs. We got to know each other and then after dessert he started bombarding us with questions and accusations! He was still friendly and nice, but still I don't appreciate being called a cult and that I have been brainwashed. He has a really hard time with a modern day prophet and apostle and the BOM.  We talked a little bit about baptism. He believes that you don't need to be baptized; it’s just a man’s way of showing other men that you have decided to follow Christ.... no washing of sins, no convent, no nothing!!! Bless his heart for thinking this. I was floored when he said this! Christ was baptized as an example to us so we would follow him and be baptized too! Ken does have potential, but his heart needs to be softened a lot! 

Then there is Britney!!! She is golden! Did I ever mention that the Elders tried to teach her and her husband a few months ago? Well they didn't like the Elders but they like the sisters! I love how you (me, other missionaries) are just prepared for certain peeps! It’s a good feeling! And plus when it doesn't work out with someone, you know down the line another missionary will come who is prepared for them. :) She is super excited for her baptism on the 13th! We went through the interview questions with her and she has a strong testimony! She is excited to make Friday the 13th a good day! lol :) 

I hope all is well where ever you may be! Keep up the hard work and keep smiling! I love you all very much! XOXOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie

Washing Miss. Wynnell's car! :) 

With Keidon and Tariaya! She was baptized 3 weeks ago!  

With Britney, Debbie (a new covert), S. Abad and me!