Man. The weeks are seriously flying by. I feel like for the last several weeks Sis Tanner and I have both been shocked that it's Pday again! So fast. But that just means that the work is chugging along quite nicely! :) Time flies when you're having fun! And I am having a blast! :)
Guess who has an investigator?! Woo hoo!! We met a lady named K. my first day in Hartwell and she invited us back whenever. It's hard to follow up when they say to come back whenever... but about a week later, we felt prompted to go back and she let us in. The first thing she said to us was, "I've been waiting to hear back from y'all!" It was exciting. :) We taught her a first lesson. We went back the next week, and showed her the Restoration DVD. Every time I watch it, my testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet is strengthened. Super cool :) We challenged her to watch it with her husband (who used to be a preacher of some sort) and when we went back a couple of days later, they had watched it together and her husband had started to read the Book of Mormon. He mentioned to her that they needed to come to church and pray about it... and we haven't even met him yet!! We invited her to be baptized and she said, "Actually. I haven't been baptized and it's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I really do want to be baptized." Oh. They also have 8 kids. Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Keep them in your prayers, yeah?
Another exciting thing was Sunday. I don't think I've had a better Sunday out here. I didn't know what to fast for, so I just had a gratitude fast. An idea from my previous companion Sis Sullivan. And it was so great. Man. Best day ever. Okay. So before sacrament meeting started, Pres Rownd (the Branch president) came up to us and was like, "Rumor has it that you're fluent in Spanish!" Fluent? Haha. Thanks Mom. Not quite :P Anyway, apparently there are like 3 active Hispanic members and about 117 that just don't come. And I guess they're all related somehow. So Pres really wants to work on activating them. There's one person in each missionary companionship that can speak Spanish so he's putting together a "game plan" of sorts and we're gonna get that all up and running next week! So he told us all of this before sacrament meeting. After the sacrament, a young lady, (the 17-yr-old daughter) and her parents came in... with like 15 other people! They wanted to bless 2 of their children. So Elder Elder blessed them... in Spanish!!! I was all sorts of excited.
The father of the children who had been baptized shared his testimony about being inactive for 12 years due to the language barrier, but that he knew he needed to be at church and that he wanted his kids to be raised with the Gospel in their lives. Both he and one of the less active ladies that we've been working with touched on the fact that God doesn't "do" things to us. But that people have their agency and that's why we suffer. And then Heavenly Father helps us through those things. This sweet sister also shared that the Gospel has filled a hole in her heart that she didn't know was there. She and her husband are going to have their kids blessed next week. Woo hoo!
There's a summary of yesterday for you. I wrote like 4 1/2 pages in my journal last night... but those are the most exciting details :) Everything has just kind of clicked together this week.
On Tues, as I'm sure you heard, "IT SNEW!!!" (It snowed) Well. In terms of southern people... haha. We got a call from President saying that we had to be back from our meetings by noon and that after that we needed to proselyte on foot. So we did! We were actually teaching K. when we got a text from the zone leaders, "Game over, Athens zone! Go home til further notice from President." So... after our lesson we started walking home in the snow. Which was so fun. I love snow :) So we were walking home when a nice older lady pulled over and offered us a ride home! She told us, "I recognized y'all as servants of the Lord from behind and I couldn't stand to think that y'all were out in the cold. And y'all are smilin like it's been sunshine all day!" I don't think she knew how much we were loving the snow. :) We talked to her a bit about the Gospel and offered her a Book of Mormon as a token of gratitude. To which she said, "Hallelujah" and "Praise the Lord" I love Southern people!! We're not perfect missionaries... and we failed to get her number or address. But on Wednesday we were still forbidden to drive, and as we were walking, she drove past us and honked! :) I like making friends out here :) It was weird to have a "snow day." My first snow day ever. And maybe my last? But anyway. We're all safe and sound. It was so beautiful to see the snow. Definitely a tender mercy. And rumor has it, there'll be a bigger storm this winter.
Well. My heart is just so happy. And this email is a novel. But I love y'all. And I love it here. I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else doing anything else. Til next week! :)
Things you hear tracting...
"It don't tickle my fancy... you know? It just don't start my tractor."
Have I ever mentioned that I love these people? Yeah. A whole lotta love! :)