Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Coal Mountain 1/26/15

Hey family and friends!!
If I thought Monroe was country, Coal Mountain has shown me what real country in georgia is! It is beautiful here, and our home is basically a little piece of heaven, just like home. We live in the basement of members home, which is super nice, and its on a nice piece of land, just a small ranch that the family and their kids families live on. So I'm surrounded by corals and barns, got the horses and dogs:) Even if we as missionaries aren't allowed to have pets, i feel like we do. Maybe the family will let me feed the horses one morning:) 
So my companion is Sister childs, she's from sacrament (fair oaks) California. She's been out a transfer longer than I. So she goes home in March, then I go home the transfer after her! It's my first time killing off my companion, so we'll see how this goes. We're determined not to get 'trunky', or in other words lazy, homesick, our last transfers, so we've set goals as to what we want to see in the work, in our companionship, and individually this transfer. Haha one of those goals is to work on our physique, we both love running, so yes! I finally have a companion that will run with me! She did mention that her dad is from Montana, so she probably does have relatives in Wyoming. I told her how we know a few Childs.  THis companionship is totally inspire of God!! We've known of each other our entire missions and we shared how we secretly wanted to be companions some day, and here we are! I feel like we've been with each other for a month already but it's only been a week:) I've learned so much from her already and I love working with her. 
We've had some amazing lessons so far this week, I'm excited for those we are working with. We don't have alot. so its going to be one of those "pick up the wheel and get it going again" phases for a couple of weeks. But we both want to work hard, so I'm keeping my hopes up. There is one family we are teaching, they're from Ghana, the dad was baptized a few months ago, but has been less-active since. The kids are super smart and know their bible, so we've been doing trivia nights with them and asking them questions from the old and new testament. Next time we go over we'll be doing book of mormon trivia. THe dad asked us a few questions last night though and we found that he has a hard time understanding priesthood power and how god would only have one church, yet he has as strong testimony of the book of mormon. He's just missing hte big part as to WHY  we have the need for the book of mormon. I guess you start to lose your testimony like him when you don't nourish your faith by going to church, praying, and reading. I call it my GPS, you can get safely home by those 3 commandments.  So we're praying as to how to help him understand, but its really going to come through his own personal study and prayer, and by keeping the commandments. We just have to invite him to do so. Their such an awesome family and i love working with them! 
We have some other less-actives we're working with, alot of new converts who have just gone inactive. That's why its important to hold onto the fruits of your efforts!!! 
So i wanted to end on my experience of leaving Monroe. Each day I was saying goodbye to sooo many members who I have grown to love immensely. It felt like saying goodbye to family all over again.Wednesday morning we actually had the chance to teach the seminary on another lesson on missionary work. We shared the responsibilities and the blessings. It was perfect to end my stay at monroe by being with the seminary, theyre amazing kids! I actually hate crying and I was  trying to hold it back wednesday morning as I was driving to transfers, but sister tanner caught me and said "Just let it out sis hulme!!" haha gosh i love her:) so i had to pull over and take a breather. I can't thank my heavenly father enough for giving me the experience I had in Monroe. I saw that ward change dramatically and grow in so many ways. I worked with some amazing leaders there, I know i'll miss bishop carter, and our ward mission leader. Working with that ward and seeing it progress like that was just so gratifying to me and I love to look back and see all the changes. I think that's my favorite thing about a mission, is seeing the change in people, areas, and most importantly in myself, through the atonement of Christ. I can't wait to bring some of my family back to meet some of these great members, who have impacted my life so much! I hope and pray that those who we were working with also stay strong. So much of that ward's missionary efforts and progress depends on the missionaries. I believe strongly that I was there to help strengthen the ward and not to find those to baptize, but to help the members become more converted to the gospel. It taught me so much as well, and i'm grateful for all that i learned. I'll share much more about what I learned when I get home:)
Well, i hope ya'll have another great week, i can't believe january is almost over. time is precious.
Love ya'll!

Love sister Hulme

Sister Childs and I practicing our hula-hooping. :)

Last photo with Sister Tanner

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week of transfers1/20/15

Hey family and friends!
Can you believe its been 6 months in Monroe!!? I guess president really is bootin' me out. But I got a big surprise with transfers this time. He called sunday night and called me to be Sister Training leader again!! Guess i'm going back. I'll be going to Coal Mountain in the Sugar Hill stake, i believe thats above cumming georgia and below dawsonville georgia. So its also in hte sticks. I'm glad i'm staying in the country! Here is it goes to the last 3 months though. I've been feeling the need for change lately. I will greatly miss Monroe ward, its home. But I've been fighting for every bit of motivation to work, and i feel change is best. i'm excited for my new area and whats instore.  My new companion will be Sister Childs, definitely not a tough companion, she's a sweet sister. Sister Tanner will be getting Sister Storrs, she's only been out about 5 months. But she's a fire ball and a hard worker. 
I'm sad to be leaving Monroe ward. I've just seen so much growth and and amazing changes while I've been here! It has been such a joy for me to serve among the people here, especially the different leaders and members in the Monroe ward. We really wouldn't have been able to do this great work here if it wasn't for them and their testimonies. These people have become family, and Its been so hard to say goodbye to them. I hope things will only continue to grow and improve here, like I mentioned before, alot depends on the missionaries. I have complete faith and confidence in the missionaries here in Monroe too. The past couple of weeks we've been following up with the families to see if they've made their family mission plans for the year 2015, something that is part of our ward mission plan. Some families are getting really creative and have some fun ideas! Others have been struggling as to what a mission plan is, so that is where our help comes in. It's only the beginning of the year, but I know it will be like a snowball effect and soon the work will pick up! So i'm very excited for the missionaries here in Monroe.
We sadly weren't able to commit the Mcelhannon family we are teaching to a date yet. We had a great lesson with them at a members home after dinner, the member's wife is from China so they speak the same language. But we answered alot of their questions and helped her understand the Book of Mormon more. We have one waiting for her at the mission office in her language. We were able to softly commit them to baptism though, at least the husband. Meaning, they said once they felt and knew that it was true they would get baptized.. just not a date yet. I have great hopes for that family.
Exciting news!!! I got a card from Michael this week. I jumped so high in hte air when I saw it in the mail, and I just bawled as i was reading his card. He's doing very well. Our bishop was able to see him this past weekend up in jefferson. He mentioned that all his charges are dropped and he'll be out next week. He was very sad that he wasn't able to see me before i leave. It probably won't hit me until I leave, but I miss him so much!!! He always gives me that boost that I need and inspires us. I wish i could see him before i go, but i know that we helped him in so many ways and i'm grateful for that chance that i had to help him come unto christ. 
Well i'm just ready for things in my new area, and i'm still going to hit the ground running:) I just want to plow through these last 3 months and enjoy every second i have. I was able to go on exchange with SIster Debry, who is my sister training leader in this zone, last weekend. Right before she goes home:) I'm goin to miss her so much!! she's been such an amazing example to me and it was perfect how we were able to be reunited once more before she goes home. Its weird to think she's done with her mission now. Ha i sent her a txt this morning with the scripture Alma 46.41:) Sister motuliki is going ot the grayson ward, in the lilburn stake, that's actually right next to monroe. She's goin to be part trainng a sister there. helping her finish her 12 week program. I'm so proud of her:) 
I hope ya'll have another great week!!!
Love Sister Hulme

Monday, January 12, 2015

Last week in Monroe…. 1/12/15

Hey Ya'll!!
Another good week in Loganville/Monroe. Something that i love from week to week is looking back on the week and seeing the many little miracles play into one big picture. All because of our faith in this great work. 
We have this family we are now teaching, the Mcelhannons. Sister Ngo and I found them one cold evening when we were tracting near a less-active's home. Thank goodness Sister Ngo was there too, because the wife is from Taiwan, and she spoke to her in her native language. That night we just taught the father of the family, Leonard, he's as southern as they get! They're kind of a funny pair, but a cute family. We haven't been able to follow up with them for the longest time. But just this past week, we had a message from Leonard telling us that his wife is interested in meeting a member from our ward who's from taiwan and talking with her. So we gave the member her number, and he member called right away! She got back with us saying she scheduled an appt for dinner and a lesson at her home with the Mcelhannan family. Me and Sister Tanner were so excited! we found some videos on mormon channel to share with the family, and a great mormon message of a member in taiwan from Well the lesson went great, we were able to teach the restoration, and we also invited them to church. They told us sometime they would make it but they didn't know if they could this sunday. Then on sunday, in the middle of sacrament meeting Sister Tanner shakes my arm with a big smile on her face and points to the family walking in!! They stayed all 3 hours, their 2 kids went to primary, and the wife stuck with 2 members from our ward who are from taiwan and china, who all 3 became friends quickly! This family is amazing and we're praying so hard for them! We plan and would love to put them on date this week, or at least commit them to baptism. Sister Tanner and I remembered that we now have 2 sister missionaries in the mission from Taiwan....which would be some good food for thought for President Bennion to chew on during board week this week before transfers:) WE feel they would be of great benefit here in Monroe:) 
Another cool miracle, there is a new couple in our ward, the husband was baptized in Acworth back in May, and the wife is nonmember. We've seen them in Gospel principles, and when we talked to them briefly, they mentioned they lived in loganville, but no one knew where, even the bishopric or ward clerk. Well there is this one neighborhood in Loganville that sister tanner and I have been determined to tract, because we recently discovered a new subdivision of the neighborhood that is huge! We had gone to the same part of hte neighborhood 3 different times to start tracting, but someone would call, or we would talk to one person for the longest time, and then run out of time to tract. Each time we went back we would knock the same doors, because nobody answered. Finally the last time we went, we knocked on the same house where we always started, and as soon as we were walking away, the nonmember wife of the couple walked out of the garage! I didn't recognize her at first, but she recognized us and invited us in from the cold. We visited for a bit, and shared with her a quick message from the Book of Mormon, she loved it and added her own comments, but didn't believe it was scripture, said it was a good thought, but not scripture,.. thats only because she hasn't read the book.. yet:) We were so happy to find them! We didn't know we would find them each time we went to that area, but we went there for some certain reason:)
So there is this other woman who we tracted into that lives nearby our church. She invited us in first time we met with her. We taught her a brief message of the restoration and gave her a book of mormon. She's a cute stay at home mom with 2 kids, she lives with her boyfriend, who is the father. But life has been very hard for her and she would resort to alcohol, she told us that the week before she was a complete alcoholic, and it broke her heart to look back and see she was like that in front of her kids. So when we came she felt a sense of hope and suddenly had no desire to drink, or turn to alcohol again. WEll the second time we followed up she told us she wasn't interested, but she got herself back into church, baptist :/,  and she feels we awakened her to her sense to come back to god. Well that was about a month ago, and yesterday when we were by the church again, SIster TAnner felt prompted we needed to stop and just say hi to her again. AS soon as we pulled up she walked outside and sat down, but saw us and walked towards us. She said she was doing pretty good and things have been looking up since we last saw her, she was just stepping outside for a smoke. She said she really appreciates our love for her, and she always feels at peace when she's with us. She doesn't know what it is but she there's something different about us. Then she said she had to go back inside to help her daughter with her homework. We distracted her from drinking once, now we distracted her from smoking:) haha But I thought of how she's not interested but she still feels the spirit when she's around us. She's one of those people that recognizes us as disciples of Jesus Christ, and she recognizes the spirit, but she doesn't know what she's searching for, and doesn't know she's looking for this. It's right in front of her, but someday, she'll remember that spirit and she'll know to come to us when she wants to accept our invitation:) 
So our ward mission leader has been gone for a few weeks, we found out that he had emergency surgery on new years day. Our bishop's wife told us he found he has cancer, and the family has a newborn baby in the family. Broke our hearts to hear, yet through it all they still came to church yesterday for the sacrament to support their son who gave a talk. We have an assistant WML who is taking his place in the meantime. Our bishop is still on the search for new ward missionaries, hopefully we'll have some here soon. We've given him some suggestions. So for now , our ward mission is having some setbacks. But it will pick back up soon, it always does:) 
Also, our convert Anel has been trying to go less active on us. We were trying to figure out how to tell him he needs to make it to sacrament, but our last visit he told us he had to come to pass the sacrament! So he finally passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday!! We were so proud of him and seeing him in a white shirt and tie. Soon he'll be blessing the sacrament. Love the priesthood power.
Well hope ya'll have a great week! i'm going to enjoy my last week in monroe, its going to be soooo hard for me to leave here. These people are family!!! 
Love, Sister Hulme

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year...New Goals. It's 2015!! 1/5/15

Hey FAmily and Friends!
Alot has happened this week, so much i have learned. 
So quick update on Michael, we'll start off with the bad news first. We got a phone call from his neice Shalatta on tuesday saying that Michael is in jail and he won't be out for a few weeks. Finds out his family has a ton of problems nad issues, there's always contention. WHile he was up in jefferson, he was basically harassed by some of his family members on the changes he's made, he got mad and out of anger he pushed his other neice pretty hard. Later he felt bad and he turned himself into the police. He was also on probation which he failed to tell us, so his probation officer is just having him in there till he can pay to get himself out. And that probably won't be until february. So I don't know if i'll see michael again!! I'm so so sad and heartbroken. But we can write him a post card, so we are going to do that today. He needs to know we're thinking of him and are praying for him. I wanted to see him go to the temple before I go, but that isn't going to happen now. He was so excited to work on going to the temple. We learned though that we provided him with the gospel and he knows what to turn to. He has his agency and can choose what to do in his life, and its never easy after baptism, or any ordinance we take part in. Shows how fast satan works on us. We have to learn to act for ourselves and not be acted upon by the adversary. 
Good news, we saw Nikki this past week! She is doing really good! It did my heart so good to see her. She still has the desire to be baptized, she reads the book of mormon and prays, but she misses church. She just said change is hard and her family is not a fan of her getting baptized, so she's going ot wait for hte right time. She invited us back and we know that the door is still open for her. There's always faith and hope!! for those who hold out faithful to the end, everything will turn out ok:)
So we had interviews with president on Friday. In my interview, he asked me where I wanted to go my last area, and I just looked at him in shock.. not knowing where to say. so i just smiled and said, "Monroe?" He laughed and said if he could he would let me stay, but that would mean me and sis tanner would die together and they would take the sisters out of monroe. So I asked if I could train again, i loved training and the 12 week program. WEll there's only 4 sisters coming in and he actually has to close down some sister areas because there won't be enough, too many are going home! But he smiled and said immediately "I do have someone in mind though that I could have you retrain! She'll be a tough companion, but its a great ward you'll love!" I didn't really know how to react to that. But he gave me the best compliment, said I'm the missionary he knows he can turn to to fix a problem and build someone or somewhere up, and he can ctrust that i'll get the job done:) That probably was a bit much, but it really meant alot to me:) so i'm excited to see where the lord will have me go next! I was super sad though realizing that i really will leave monroe. THis place is home to me. Too many people that have become family to me. 
I also told him of my new years goal. I have taken such a joy in teaching and I want to continue to teach even after my mission. My patriarchal blessing applies ot everything in my mission, and talks about how i'll have a gift in teaching. Thing is, i want to transition my blessing to even after my mission and still live and abide by it. And what better place to be than a mission to practice teaching and to be so involved in teaching. So my goal is to be a better teacher this year. And the key to help me with that is the spirit, and Preach my Gospel. Something that Sister Ngo really taught me is to be a PMG missionary. That's my goal. I want to be a PMG missionary.  When I told president that, he asked me what that meant because he wants GANM to be a PMG mission.  But he's trying to figure out what that exactly means. Well so am I! So what i'm doing to start is to ensure that I study from PMG every day during my studies for 20-30 minutes. Mostly i've been studying chapter 10, teaching skills;) But I've already been noticing a difference in the way i talk to people. through tracting and in lessons. I try to always explain through scripture, share , and then testify and invite. I've noticed a difference in their reaction also, more are keen to listen rather than so quickly turn us away. Little things i'm learning more in PMG that are helping me everyday to be the better teacher that I want to be! And mainly applying what I learn. I am so grateful for PMG 

So I have to tell ya'll about our investigator Austin. He was taught by missionaries a year ago, he totally believes and knows it all to be true. He just is on probation for 6 more years, nad he can't be baptized! Well he contacted us, and we went back to teach him. Let me tell ya, he is a die hard southern country boy!! he's only 22 but he looks about 30. And he's a cowboy, country boy, basically like every other guy in Bear Lake, Idaho. Super nice and knows alot. ANd he's hilarious. Well we told him if you can't get baptized you still need to come to church, its the sacrament we need to go for. So he can just get in the habit of going, so when he's baptized, church won't be a problem. well he came to church, pulled up in an old red chevy truck, kind of like dentons blue truck, and he was wearing a bright orange sweatshirt, and and camo hat. but he was sure happy to be at church, he saw a lot of people he knew and remembered. And he wouldn't shut up during sacrament meeting! he commented on everyone's testimonies, told us joke after joke, asking us questions. Sis tanner noticed but he was sitting a little too close to me, like pretty close!. I hadn't been that close to a guy in 15 months! It was pretty awkward, so i had to move or something, so I went up and bore my testimony, and when i came back down i sat on the other side of sister tanner!! He has a nickname for every sister missionary who's taught him. SIster tanner is sis, yankee because she talks like a northerner. But i'm sis humble, he told that to me after i bore my testimony. he had the hardest time  thinking of a nick name for me, but just smiled and told me i'm sister humble:) I smiled and said thats the best compliment ever! then he laughed and said i wasn't anymore cause it was getting to my head. Never a dull moment with austin. He wants to feed us rabbit, squirrel, and possum, first time for everything right?! Next week i'll tell ya of the next adventure we'll have with him.
I hope everyone has a great week! love ya mucho, take care and god bless:)
Love, SIster Hulme