Monday, September 29, 2014

Scuppernongs.... the 'g' is silent :)

What up my peeps?!!?! 
This past week has been GREAT!!! I hope it has been great for y'all?! We has many adventures, blessings and miracles! I have been reading the New Testament along with the Book of Mormon and I am absolutely loving it! This morning I was reading Matthew 14, this is where the Savior walks on water. Peter comes out and he also walks on water.... A miracle! But then his faith falters and he starts to sink. Then at the end of the chapter it briefly talks about a group of people that want to be healed and they know they will be be healed if they only touch the hem of the Saviors garment! When we have faith, this is when the miracles occur! They happen on a daily bases, all you have to do it have faith and watch for them, you might just be surprised in how many occurs in your own home! :) 

This past week we have been doing a lot of walking since we are very low on miles! I am loving it! The weather has also cooled down to the low 80's and 70's! So it has been just happy happy! :D One day when we were walking, a older man came out of his house and called us over. He asked to hear the good word. Then he pulled 3 chairs from all around his yard. (His house and yard are covered in furniture and odds and ends! But it is all neatly organized... so it is a organized junk pile!) We sat down and talked with him. His name is Willie-James and we think he might be a little crazy. It was super funny. We shared about Joseph Smith's vision in the grove and before we could finish he said "And do you know what happen to that little boy? Well he wasn't very nice to his mamma so he got whooped! But then he repented and turned towards God. Now he is at church every Sunday..." haha! So sweet! Sister Schmidt and I were literally biting our tongues from laughing! We talked with him a little bit more before we said goodbye. As we were almost out of his sight he hollered back at us and said he needed to give us something. We hesitated and he was very insistent, we went back and he was digging around his junk. He came back with the handle of a shovel... a stick! lol! He told us that there are mean dogs running around and they will bite us! He wanted to make sure we had protection. Super sweet of him! So now you can picture two sister missionaries walking around with a stick! lol! We thought it was hilarious, so we kept the stick. And the Elders are even jealous of our stick! ;) 

The Women's Conference was incredible! We had 4 investigators come!!! And my recent convert came too! I loved that they talked so much about the temples! This helped get our investigators and RC's excited! It is nice when someone else talks about what you have already talked about , cause then they see it in a whole new light... almost like they GET it! haha! The spirit was strong and it was wonderful to have this sisterhood wrap their arms around out gators! I love Relief Society! It is truly inspired by God and it works in harmony with the priesthood! And for those of you who watched it did you notice Sister Marriott's accent?! Yup she is from the south! Ahh... I just love it here! :D 

And I bet y'all are wondering what scuppernongs are?! Ya I was curious myself when a member asked us to try them! They aren't to bad either. They are a type of fruit that looks sorta like a grape. But you spit out the hull and the seeds. They are messy and take way to much time to eat! 

Remember to constantly fill your own lamp with oil by reading your scriptures daily! Your day is truly better and more at peace when you do this! I love y'all very much! Fall is here!!! XOXOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie
 This is what happens from walking all OVER the place!

Found this beautiful spot while walking! #beautifulgeorgia 

With Mr. Willie-James! haha!

The elders found this adorable kitten! We all fell in love with her, a member "adopted" her!

Sister Behrends taught us how to crochet! We are just goofs! :) 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Where ya goin?"

Hey family and friends!!! 

As we went to visit a potential, we knocked on  their door 3 or 4 times cause we knew they were inside! They even looked out their windows! lol! As we were walking back to our car, a white car zooms up and stops in front of the house and blares on the horn. A woman (the potential) runs out of the house as if something was nipping at her feet! lol! Her dad or grandpa yells out the door "Where ya goin?!" and she yells back "I'm running from the latter days!" He looks confuse and says "the ladder folk?" As she speeds off in the car. LOL! That was HILARIOUS!!! Glad to know we made an impression on her. ;) Think about it for a minute. Where are you going? Where is your life taking you? Are you running away from something good or are you running towards it? 

This past week was full of service! I love doing service cause it truly softens people's hearts! Miracles come from it!! :D On Tuesday we went and cut grass Jim and Janeans. Sister Schmidt and I were pretty excited to drive the riding lawn mower! lol! We cut 3 of their 4 acres and it look a long time! But it was worth it! Whoever wasn't mowing was talking with Jim and Janean. Jim opened up a lot more to us! But the best was on Saturday! Us and the Elders went over to do some hard labor! Jim had to jobs he needed done that he couldn't do by himself (he is sick with COPD). He needed his house to be power washed and also to till the dog pen, under the dog houses to make it even. He assigned the Elders to do the power washing cause he would rather they fall off the wet ladder than us. lol. So we were given the dirty job! It was a lot of fun and good work! Plus we got to work along side Jim and talk with him! He thanked us so much and he felt our Saviors love for him through us! He is such a great guy, just a little stubborn! We just love him SO much!!! We know that Janean coming back to the church is helping him. She is doing so awesome! She has been tempted too buy nicotine pills but has stopped herself because Heavenly Father givers her the strength to! Jim is very proud of her too! :) She is excited to go to the Temple! After our service she had made us all dinner, at the table Jim was opening up so much! Miracles happen every day! :) 

We have also been doing service for Miss. Janie, Peggy and Becca. A part member family. They have a beautiful old huge house. We are helping them clean the inside to get ready for Becca's baby shower! Miss. Janie accepted a BOM! I've been visiting them the entire time I've been in Cochran and this is a BIG step for her! woot woot! We will be going again this week to help out! Miss. Janie loves us! I love when they love you back! :) 

We went and saw Bethany with he plans to teach her the word of wisdom, but when we were saying a prayer in the car before we went inside we both received the prompting that we shouldn't teach her WOW. With a minute before our lesson we were not sure what would happen and then it came to us! Read the BOM with her and read Sis Willie's favorite chapter! wow! That was incredible! I love being lead and guided by the spirit! It turned out to be one of the best lessons we have had with her! We read Alma 7. We asked her how she felt about baptism, she says she is open to it but is not ready! WOHOO! Big step! She is doing pretty well, but she wasn't at church yesterday. :( 

But you know who was at church yesterday?! Gabi! She is 13 and has been meeting with Elders for over a year now! They and the ward have been at a lost of how to help her. She comes to church almost every Sunday and she even went to girls camp! They asked us to go visit her and see if we can help her along and understand baptism. So we did and it was a great lesson! She wants to be baptized! The Elders and  our ward mission leader went over a few days after us to talk with her and her dad. She is gonna be baptized October 11th! I love working in unity with the Elders and the ward! Thats how miracles happen! :)

Hope y'all are doing well! Keep smiling and showing how much this gospel brings you joy! Because a full joy only comes through Jesus Christ and following Him! (Alma 26:30) I love y'all! 

~ Sister Tara Willie
 We mowed all this and more! (that's my comp being silly!)

 This is Mr. Jim! He was showing off his poncho he got for his B-day! :)

The Elders were so kind in leaving us a friend.... SICK! lol

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another transfer has past... and I get to stay in Cochran!!! :)

Howdy Y'all!!!

It's a new transfer and I am SO blessed to be staying in Cochran with Sister Schmidt for 6 more weeks! During my interview with President, I pretty much begged him to let me stay! lol! But of course it is always in the Lords hands who stays and who goes. This past week was super busy and fruitful! 

Bethany came to church yesterday!!! She is totally gonna get baptized! We had a great lesson with her on the 10 commandments! Charity was there too! The youth of this ward is so amazing and love doing missionary work! At church the whole youth surrounded her and she was beaming! Tonight we have a lesson with her whole family at the Thompson's for FHE! This is Charity's family! Bethany is super excited and so are we! 

Tori is just doing great! She has good questions and is reading the BOM! Mr. Earl, a LA and her boss sorta, bears his testimony to her all the time and tells her to stop working and to read the BOM! lol! So awesome! Mr. Earl is the Stake President's father and we are working closely with him and his family to get him back to church! 

My love for Janean has grown SO much! She is an incredible woman! Yesterday at church she came to all 3 hours! During relief society she shared how she has been away from the church for 30 plus years and with the help of the missionaries she is now coming home! She is excited to go to the temple and have a calling! She is rocking her addictions! She has been off of them for 6 days and hasn't relapsed or had a huge craving either! She said it is all because she is reading her scriptures all the time and turns to Heavenly Father is prayer! I am SO proud of her! She is such a great example and I love her very much! :) This shows that it is never too late to change and come back to the fold. We are all needed.

I am so grateful to be a missionary, to be serving the people here in Georgia. I just love them all so much! I love how every day I get to share this gospel with them and show them the BOM! I love bearing my testimony of the how much I love and cherish the BOM, it is true and the word of God! 2 Nephi 25:26 "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for are mission of their sins. " The BOM is all about Christ! How can people say we are not followers of Him? I love my Savior very much! I am so grateful that he died for me so I can return and live with my Father in Heaven one day. 

Hope y'all are doing well! Don't forget to smile and show love to all of those around you! xoxoxo

~ Sister Tara Willie

Tori and Mr. Earl! I just love them! 

With Ken and his family! They took us to eat SUSHI!!! 

I became a dog.... lol!

Monday, September 8, 2014

You think we believe WHAT?!?!?!?

Hey Y'all! 

Last week was very successful! Interviews, exchanges, lots of lessons and driving! I went on exchanges with Sister Ellison! I just LOVE her!!!! We have become best friends these past 2 transfers of being in the same district! She is from Post Falls Idaho and we are totally gonna be buddies after the mish! :D 

We had a great lesson with Cyrus on the Law of Chasity! Brother and Sister Ashcroft were there to help "smooth" it out. This will probably be his biggest challenge to face, but I know he can do this! Cyrus looks up to Bro. Ashcroft a lot because they are both in the army and Bro. A is pretty legit and high up. It was a blessing to have him there to give Cyrus encouragement and words of advice! 

Janean is doing great! I am so impressed with her! When we visited her last week she told us that she had decided to totally give up coffee and the nicotine pills! It is hard but she is strong! Sister Schmidt and I have decided to add our strength to hers by giving up something as well... so I am having no more dessert. And you know what, its hard! lol! I even had a dream last night that peeps were trying to force me to eat their dessert and I was not happy! lol! ;) 

We are teaching this way prepared lady named Tori! I have never seen someone jump up and down and get excited when we give them a BOM! It was awesome! She is so excited to read it! woot woot! She already feels that the things we are telling her are true and she wants to come to church! She just needs to take off a Sunday and she said she will do that! She told us that her Mamma told her that if there is any true religion out there it has to be the Jews or the Mormons. Lol But she doesn't really know why her mamma told her that so long ago.  She is a joy to teach! 

We had this super crazy bible bashing/anti-Mormon lesson. It was terrible! This (what we thought) sweet old couple asked us to come over and once we had been there for like 5ish minutes the husband pulled out this prepared lesson for us so he could tell us all that was wrong with our church! OMG! I was staring at him in disbelief, wondering where he was getting all of this nonsense about our church! I did not want to bash, but I did speak when I felt the spirit prompt me too. I totally owned him too! haha! (that's right I have the spirit!) And because I am super proud of that moment I have to share! lol! So he was saying something about how he knows Joseph Smith and Brigham Young weren't prophets cause he has a list of all of their prophecies and some of them haven't come true, so that makes them false. (And right before he talks about this he quoted Isaiah.) Well the spirit brought things to my remembrance that I had studied the day before! I said so you believe that Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ correct? He agreed and then I said well Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ was even born! It took 700 years for that prophecy to be full filled!  Joseph Smith and Brigham Young didn't put dates on their prophecies, just like Isaiah. So that means there is time for them to be full filled. Hen them started sputtering and couldn't make a complete sentence, he just changes topic! haha! Boo-ya! (ok I will know humble myself....) hehe :) This couple was very rude (they are not from the south!) and they really have hard hearts, Its so sad. We bore our testimonies and left them. Hopefully one day their hearts will soften enough to listen to the truth.

After that lesson we were drained but Heavenly Father gave us such a tender mercy! We went and taught Jennifer, the 50ish year old lady in the nursing home. We had such a beautiful and spiritual lesson with her! She excepted to be baptized and has a date! wahoo! I just love the spirit and how much our Heavenly Father is aware of all of us! He cares for all of us individually and knows of all of our smallest needs and desires. We are all children of God! 

I hope y'all are having a fabulous week! Keep smiling and showing love for everyone! Remember we are nothing without Charity! (Moroni 7:46) I love y'all! XOXOXO

~ Sister Tara Willie

 With Becca! She painted this beautiful painting for me cause she knows how much I love the moon, the ocean and old fashion ships! She is so sweet! :)

 At lunch with most of my district!

Thats right!!! :D

Monday, September 1, 2014

We live in a such a beautiful world and It was created just for us! :)


Wow what a great week I had!!! So many miracles! And the world is such a beautiful place! I just love nature! Every morning and evening we are graced with beautiful sunrises and sunsets! My camera is full of pictures of nature! SO BEAUTIFUL!!! :D 

On a random note, since it is Labor day and the public library is closed we are emailing at the family history center at the church... and because the chair is way to short I am sitting on a BIG book! lol! I feel like a little kid again! :) hehe! ok back to business... ;)

We finally saw Nikki again! woot woot! She has been out of town and very sick but we were able to get in contact with her! She still wants to learn but she isn't sure how committed she is... pretty much she is scared. :( But we are just loving her and are going to focus more on the temple and how families can me together forever!!! She has 5 children so hopefully this will help her to progress. 

We also had a great impromptu lesson with Cyrus! He printed off his schedule for us so we are now able to catch him when he will be home! We sat out in his garage and taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ! He had good questions and said we can bring members to his home this week! So we have an appointment with him and our ward mission leader and his wife tomorrow! Hopefully by getting the members involved more he will progress faster! woot! I love when members get involved, it really helps our gators move along a lot smoother! :) 

On Saturday we had a SUPER spiritual lesson with Janean and Jim! The Elders went with us cause Janean asked for a blessing. It was so powerful! We had the blessing first, then us missionaries sang "I am a child of God" right before we said the prayer. It set the tone for the lesson SO well! Jim has never seen a priesthood blessing and Janean doesn't remember too much, so it was incredible for them to experience that! Jim was pretty quiet for most of our lesson, which isn't like him, but while we were singing I am a child of God he started crying! He hid it, but I know he was touched by the spirit! We talked with them about the word of wisdom. Jim has COPD from smoking A LOT and he still smokes a pack a day, Janean use to smoke and loves her coffee. Janean knows it is true and wants to be an active member! The miracle was she came to church yesterday and LOVED it! She told us that she is ready to come back but Jim isn't. He kept telling us how he was born a baptist and will die a baptist... he just needs to keep telling himself that cause he knows it is true! I just love this couple! I can't believe Janean was at church! The first time in 30 plus years!!! Wow! :) 

Also Ken came to church too!!! Sister Schmidt was speaking so he said he would come and support her! Super awesome since he wants to "save our souls" he is so great tho! His views on Mormons have changed for the better! :) The ward was so welcoming and reached out to him! :) That evening we went with him and his family to their evening church service! It was super cool and a neat experience. Lets just say that is was good, but lacking the spirit... plus I don't like when people yell about the scriptures. lol. But I love how our good friends we have become their family! 

I hope y'all are doing great! Keep smiling! I love ya! xoxoxo

~ Sister Tara Willie
 This transfers district!!!
 Morning sunrise! Beautiful!

 Just my size! ;) Oh the random things you find in peeps yards! lol