Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!! 11/25/13

I really can't believe that it's thanksgiving already! time is flying and soon it will be christmas. We are going to be with four different families this thanksgiving, so i'm still deciding if i should fast to prepare or just work on stretching my stomach for all the good food. But either way i'm really excited for Thursday and what it has instore. Speaking of the lovely food… Tuesday during our companionship study we were singing some christmas song.. and all of a sudden i hear this loud crack and pop sound! and next thing i know i'm clinging to my desk for support! immediately my companions and i are just busting up and laughed for like 20 minutes straight! I had broken my wooden chair. Yup, God sure has a funny way of telling his missionaries to stay healthy. He just so happened to tell me the hard way cause it was the only way i would listen. And when i mean broke i mean right down the middle, a nice clean break.  so because of that i have been seriously watching what i eat and exercising like crazy.  
This week though has been very challenging and has definitely tried my faith. We had 8 lessons with investigators cancel on us this week. They either did not remember and had other plans or they were sick. And for everyone we had a member planned to come with us. THose are rare!!!!! we were so pumped. But hopefully this week we get to meet with them and the appts will follow through. It's been very trying. Saturday night i was just so discouraged and i wanted to just brake down and cry. But i wasn't about to cause that would have been embarrassing, and cause i don't cry. But we have been so upset and as a companionship we have to be there for each other to lift and encourage. There is so much work to do and there is always work to do. I pray that this week will have better things instore. Maybe the Lord is just trying our faith and our diligence, and maybe he's preparing us for what is to come. Sometimes a trial precedes a miracle. But the faith must come before the miracle. Faith does not come from miracles, rather miracles come because of faith. Therefore we are praying and doing all we can to have faith hope and charity. 
The people here have been so good to us. Sister debry has been fighting the nastiest cold now for a month and she is as sick as a dog. That has also been hard. But the members have taken so good care of us. THey give us vitamins and medicine so hopefully we will get rid of this sickness. 'they are just becoming family to us and our closest friends. I'm already planning a trip back to this area after my mission. 
Thank you everyone for your prayers, letters, love, and support! I appreciate alll ya'll do and may the lord bless ya! Happy thanksgiving!!!!!  Love, Sister Hulme

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another week under the belt. 11/18/13

Well hate to say it, but it was kind of a boring week compared to last week. 
We had our one month follow-up meeting on wednesday for all of the missionaries and our trainers. It was really great. Except for the fact that I was super sick with the stomach flu and later got a fever. Sister Debry and I have been sick pretty much this whole week and it was not fun. It's hard to do this work when you just have no energy and have to force a smile on your face. I felt bad cuz I could tell on Wednesday when i had to say hi to President and sister Wolfert that they could tell i was not in a happy state. I don't want them to think i'm miserable. Afterwards thought sister Debry and I slept for 16 hours straight and I seriously didn't wake up till6:30 the next morning. It was something that was much needed and we were able to jump right back into the work the next day. Mom had written me and told me that Kade was really sick with a fever and i found it kinda funny that i was in the same situation. It is not fun knowing that you're only putting in 75% of your effort instead of 100%. That's when we knew that we needed the rest cause we don't want to slack forever on this work. We said a prayer before we went to sleep and woke up totally new people, God sure listens and will answer! 
We did have dinner with "Jane" and her family on THursay night. They were so sweet and I could see that she was just happy. Her family commented that this week she had been different and they noticed how happy she was. They are so eager for us to teach them and we hope to get permission from our president to teach because they live outside of our mission by 2 miles! Maybe that miracle will happen and he'll be kind enough to let us teach them, we'll conitinue to be diligent and obedient so it can happen. Her youngest daughter, Avin, who is 7 drew us each a picture and it is the cutest thing! I have that and the letter and pic from Jack and Lucy taped above my studies desk. Her other daughter, Ilar, is very nice and just sat and talked to us. SHe showed us some pictures on her phone from Iran and they were surprisingly very pretty! She said they only show the poor and sad parts of her country on the news and that's all the people know about. As pretty as it is, she said she doesn't wish to go back and she's hoping to stay with her grandma here in the USA. I hope she does as well. 
So here is a funny quick story. WE were tracting on thursday and we had one man tell us that we were trespassing and soliciting, so he was going to call the cops on us if we didn't get off his porch. THat was kinda scary but we merely wished him a good day and moved on to the next house. The man that answered the next door had just woken up from a nap and he looked like he was almost high. We explained that we  were representatives from the church... blah..blah.. and he just answered.. "well cool, i don't know if i'm what you're looking for though. I mean it's just great what you're doing.. hallelujah! (with a little fist pump in the air and a sarcastic look on his face) but i'm canadian."
"oh, that doesn't mean anything! our message is for everyone."
"Oh.. and i'm an atheist." 
Oh... ok then... 
hahaha the excuses that people come up with here. I wonder when people say they don't speak english if they are just not interested and its an excuse to not here what we have to say. Oh well, there loss. 
Well thanks everyone for the love and the prayers! I love and miss Ya'll so much! 
Take care,
Sister Hulme

Monday, November 11, 2013

First Baptism 11/11/13

Yes we finally got our first baptism! Jane Smith* was baptized yesterday and it was just her family, us, and a few others there. But she was sooooo happy.  We were all so excited about the baptism! she came to church yesterday before and she sat by me so i had to explain the sacrament and everything to her. She doesn't know much engish so I had her read the sacrament prayers in Moroni and she continued to ask me good questions. I absolutely loved that sacrament meeting because it the spirit was so strong and powerful. To explain it all in such simple terms made me realized how important and great it all is. She would ask if everyone including babies' were mormon and if everyone had served missions. Her funniest question was if all the young men were the bishops boys haha I told her know and they were boys from the families within the ward. SHe's the sweetest lady. I wish I could send you pics but we have to be so careful cause if we let any pics on the internet of her baptism she could get caught and killed in Iran. We had to take our nametags off so she could take a pic home herself. She won't be able to take her book of mormon home cause she won't be able to get it through the airport. IT's all just sad to think that she has to go back! I'm going to miss her sooo much! she has effected my life so much! she said we could write her letters though and if she ever came back to the usa then she would let us know. I'm so going to see her when she gets back. To see her come up out of the water though after she was baptized was the best thing ever! WE just stood in the back with her towel hugging each other because we were so excited, waiting with open arms and full of love. Reminded me of how Heavenly Father is with us. We just stood in His place. Later we sang i believe in christ to her, it was the simplest hymn that she would understand and we actually saw her start to cry. It was amazing and the coolest experience ever.  I don't know if i'll ever have one that measures up to it.  It was so cute cause she has a daughter that's 7 years old and she was crying because she couldn't get baptized. So we said that Jane had to come back with her when she was old enough. We're gonna get the whole family! I'm dreading saying good bye to her.. she leaves this weekend but we're having dinner with her family and an older ward couple named the gagnons (who are grandma and grandpa to us), they helped out with teaching and the baptism. Her mom is going to make us persian food and we're excited! don't know what to expect but chicken and rice! SHe is like a sister to me and I love her so much! I now ask myself everyday.. what am i willing to risk or do for this gospel? I'm serving HIS mission for 18 months but it seems like such a little sacrifice compared to what He did for us and even what she has risked. When you ask her why she is doing all of this her only reply is "I love Him! and He loves me. This is my biggest wish." .. If only this was everyone's biggest wish. It is a huge miracle to me that we were able to teach her, cause it was the spirit who taught her. She said she has looked into catholic and baptist.. everything.. but this gospel is true. She can feel it and it is like home to her. It is home for us all! She understood the plan of salvation so well and we were worried about that one. Yet the spirit testified to her, I so believe in the gift of tongues, and in a whole new sense! Im so grateful to know Jane and I know God has prepared her and us as missionaries for this experience. I'm thanking Him everyday for this. I know this is true. Ha I wish we could teach Jane more about temples, she worries for her husband in Iran and her family if they aren't baptized. But she understand that they will be taught everything in the spirit world and again this makes sense to her. I fully believe in temple work and this has taught me how important temple work is! WE have a lot to do! Makes me wonder about millions of others in the middle east and all over the world who are searching for happiness and peace. WE are so blessed here and I'm so grateful! 
Thank you everyone for the letters and emails. I appreciate all you've done. Lets keep moving forward and God be with you!
Love, Sister Hulme

*again…the whole witness protection thing…    :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Love This Mission! 11/4/13

So a lot has happened this past week and so far they are my favorite stories! We've been doing so much tracting, our mission president asks us to tract for 2 hours everyday. So we have a TON of potential investigators. But I've really found out who's really interested cause we have only a few progressing investigators. Some just don't understand that they have to follow through with their commitments. oh well. we'll get'em. WE actually had to stay in thrusday night starting at 6 pm cause they didn't want missionaries out just for safety. So we painted pumpkins and had chili and pumpkin pie:) oh and cornbread of course.
So! on thursdays we do a book of mormon reading with Sister williams. ( the black lady who was a drug dealer and is now preparing to go to the temple). She is a roommate with another lady named 'miss gloria' from columbia. Miss gloria lets just say.. she stays in her room all day and pretty much lives in their. Sister WIlliams rules the rest of the house. WEll when we showed up Sister williams was not in good spirits and was really stressed. Apparently miss gloria also stores her food , all of it!, in her closet. And over time some of the food got spoiled, but no it would be terrible for her to waste it! Sister williams had been complaining about flies always in her house and she never knew how they got in. Well she walks into miss glories room and low and behold their are flies everywhere! so she goes in the closet and ...... hold onto your seats. ... there were maggots all over the walls and her clothes. some hatched, some not hatched.. bugs everywhere. ya. GROSSSSSSS!!!  and we happened to walk in when she was in the middle of cleaning it up! good thing we had our service clothes with us. not. So we spent the next two hours cleaning out her closet and getting rid of maggots and nasty moth flies. ugh. I took the longest shower and scrubbed myself top to bottom thoroughly when i got home . It just amazed me at how many there were and the state of it all. it had to have been happening for about three weeks for it to get that bad. and the nastiest part of it all was she was eating her food and wearing her clothes from her closet. we had to go through and sort the clothes into deep cleaning piles and the dry cleaners. She didn't understand that everything needed to be washed. SHe would say " oh i just wore that yesterday though!" I don't care lady! you've been wearing maggots on your clothes for threee weeks! i'd buy a whole new wardrobe if i were you! ya.. i'll never forget that story. and i did not sleep that well that night. 
Here is the coolest story though. So on sunday at church the bishop pulls us sisters out of class and says he has an investigator in his office that wants to be baptized asap! Her name is Jane Smith* and she is from Iran. She has a brother who is in the Army and he met a mormon in the army about 9 years ago. He became very interested and was baptized. Ever since her brother has been telling Leila that this gospel is wonderful and the savior, Jesus Christ, is amazing. Leila though is in a country where the gov't is crazy and muslim is huge! She has been reading the bible, secretly the past ten years and learning about the gospel from her bother. So she has come to the united states to finally get baptized and see her brother. She had to sneak her bible in her airport or they probably would have killed her, so she said. I'm curious on how she got the bible in the first place, in her language, in her country! Well we ordered her a persian book of mormon and we only have about 2 weeks to teach her cause she is leaving to see her brother in utah and has to be home in Iran soon. Her faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father is astounding and so inspiring! She has come all the way here to get baptized!!! She claims herself to be christian the past ten years and has wanted to come closer to Christ, and she not only wants to be baptized a christian, but she wants to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day SaintS!!! She came to our church because her mom lives in Marietta and our specific church is the one where her brother was baptized. The language barrier is hard so we are fasting today that it will be softened and broken when we teach. WE meet with her every night at 7 at the church cause her mom's house is outside of our mission area. We had to get special permission from the president to teach her cause she's in a different mission. but i'm so happy that we have been chosen to teach her! and the amazing part is that even though she speaks very little english, she understands what we say and teach because the spirit is so strong and testifies to her!!! so we are hoping that we can baptize her and get her confirmed before she goes. She is determined though to be baptized before she has to go home. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!!  She has come all this way to do this and she knows that she can't go to church or be active in meetings in her country. all she can do is read and pray to Heavenly Father and grow on her personal relationship with Him. So inspiring!!! I thought.. what am i willing to sacrifice or do to grow in my relationship with Heavenly Father and my savior? How strong is my faith in Him? and i just got so tickled because i want to tell her about temples and the awesomeness of it all, that she can do work for her family and loved ones, but she has to be Iran and I hope she comes back so she can do all that. I plan on getting her address so i can write her and keep in contact. She is absolutely amazing! I love that she came to our church, the one i was at, and we get to teach her! we get the privilege of helping her. After our first lessons, she looked at me and said, "Thank you, thank you!! you are all my friends,, my sisters!" I may or may not of teared up and attacked her with the biggest hug. I've wondered why i was called to Sandy plains at this time, my first area. and this is why. and may there be more opportunities like this!!! btw, i recommend reading the story called muslim to mormon, it was in the ldsliving magazine and that guys story is amazing! also we ran into another muslim/christian lady while tracting and we had the longest discussion with her, offered her a book of mormon and i hope that turns out well. What's with all this muslim stuff?! ha i find it kind of funny! It tells me that people are seeking peace, they are seeking CHrist! Reminds me of "The vision of the South" a quote by Spencer W. Kimball. If you haven't heard it, look that up also. I hope i'm a part of it and i see it on my mission. 
THis has been a good, crazy week and I love it! Thank you every one for the emails and letters. I appreciate the awesome pics too:) I'll send some to ya'll too!
Love Sister Hulme

* name has been changed to prevent the new convert from losing her life and Lexie and Natalie from having to enter the witness protection program...

Sister Debry, Sister Andersen, and Sister Hulme

The view from Lexie's apartment.  Atlanta in the distance…

Lexie's backyard...

Celebrating Halloween...

A cute walking trail by her apartment...

The church parking lot…

Sister Williams and Sister Hulme cleaning up the maggots…There must be awesome blessings for cleaning up maggots…

Lexie claims she found the Tree of Life…  In Georgia...