Monday, March 16, 2015

Obedience, Sacrifice, and Consecration 3/16/15

Hey Ya'll!!

I just wanted to share how happy I am today because of this beautiful weather we are having!! Sis Beckstrom thinks I'm a little overly excited, but there's just something about spring in Georgia:) Beautiful weather somehow gets me more excited to get out and share the gospel! And can I share how excited i also am for general conference?! I just tell my self to make it through this week and we have 2 more weeks. I don't think i've ever been this excited for conference:) April conference is my favorite. and its on easter!!! 
So we are seeing some good progress in the work, although our numbers don't really get to show it. One thing that has been a little hard for us since I've been here is getting investigators to church. Our church building is 30 minutes away for most people in our area, so it is a bit of a commute. We're really excited for the new church building in our area that is promised to be done in July. It's almost as if a temple is being built! It's the talk of members, less actives, and nonmembers. Everyone always asks us when its going to be done and if they can come see it. Problem is they use this as their excuse as to why they can't come to church now. The other is too far away, but they promise to come when the building is done in July. for example, we have a new investigator this week named Nina, whom we have visited twice now, and is reading the book of mormon. We've been literally exhorting with all diligence and asking everyone to come to church, offered to find rides for them, everything!. But Nina has said she'll wait till the building is done in July. So we emphasize that we need her at church! why wait when you can come now:) I'll tell ya I'll be so grateful for these people when that building is finished cause there will be many, even those we don't know, who have committed to come to church then!! 
So we've been exhorting with all diligence and inviting others to be baptized. Sometimes in the first contact with them while tracting, if we've felt prompted to by the spirit. We haven't felt it right to commit others to a date yet, until they commit to coming to church. Since this is the biggest struggle we're focusing this week on getting just one person to church, with a couple people in mind behind that goal. We've also had some great team-ups scheduled with members who will be good in fellowshipping them, but the members have been cancelling on us last minute this week. But we've still been able to go through with our lessons. 
Things with our investigator Sandy are progressing. We were able to teach her the plan of salvation this past week. The member we brought was just the one at that time. She was able to share with Sandy her experiences that are somewhat similar and how the gospel has blessed her. Little did we know that about the member though! Something that I wanted to share, we've been praying that angels will minister to Sandy, and Sandy pointed out to us that everyday this week she's received a card in the mail from one of the members that we've taken to visit her. A small act of kindness, but i knew in that instant when i saw the cards that the Lord was answering our prayers, in small and simple ways, but surely. WE have a group of men in the ward getting together next weekend to help clean up her yard. Sandy still shared that she's not interested in conversion but she's slowly changing, it will take her time. We invited her to "come and see" a general conference session at the church, it would be just her and us at the church most likely. But she wasn't too open with that. she likes her personal environment. But we've given her ensign talks from general conferences that talk on hope. 

So this past week, we had a great zone meeting. We started by having a training on personal revelation, and we took 10 minutes right there to ponder and think about what questions we had to keep in mind as we listened to the trainiings. As I thought about it, i got down and kneeled right there in prayer and asked my heavenly father for revelation to questions i had. The spirit was so strong in that room in those 10 minutes as 50 missionaries, pondered and prayed to heavenly father for personal revelation. THe biggest answer to my prayer came from a training on spiritual purity. I felt that all that i've been searching for, the very answer that i've been in need of, to all my prayers i've given in the past several months, came to me that very day. ItS something that i knew all along, and i've practiced before. For this very moment, when its needed most. I learned its time I make a choice that will have an eternal consequence, a lasting and impactful change in my life and my mission. The lord isn't done with me yet! I still have potential to reach, and only he knows what that is. I need to take all that i desire, all my thoughts, feelings and even actions , and lay them on the table of sacrifice. And take up that law of consecration, and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I crave every feeling from the Spirit, and the more i've learned about eh gift of the holy ghost, the more i've been wanting it. I thought of what more the lord wants me to give my last 6 weeks. Lately i've felt my mind reverts too much to the future, fearing or pondering what it may hold. First of all, I need to replace my fear with faith. I need to remember who god is, my eternal father. He has a plan for me, and I need to have confidence tht god will direct me. Most of all, i can decide what i want to become and deliberately pursue that. OR i can accidently become someone less than my true potential, which satan cheats us of. Which leads me into how i will act.
The training on spiritual purity provided a game plan for how to sancitfy myself and always have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I had to fast for a full day, prayerfully considering what i need to sacrifice, consecrate and obey. THen I made a list full of the things that hinder my ability to have the holy ghost. AFterwards, I prayed to God and promised him that I will fast or stop doing these things for 30 days. At the end of each day, i must remain accountable to the lord and ask for his help, seeking spiritual strength. I know this will help change my nature, not just my behavior. THis is exercising the principle of the gospel and using the powers of the atonement. It's already been a challenge. Some days have been hard. ANd I feel Like i'm back at square one. BUt I have noticed a change in myself so far. and its a working progress. I also read the talk in this months ensign on the anti nephi lehi's. if you haven't read it yet, i highly suggest so! then you'll understand me more. but its my favorite story in the book of mormon. sooo many things to learn from them. I've actually been telling myself everyday, my past is redeemed, my present makes sense (focusing on now) and my future is secure. having faith in the lord. That's from president eyring's fellowship of the unashamed. 
I love ya'll so much! happy birthday to hans this week!! love and miss ya.
love, sister hulme

Monday, March 9, 2015

Update from Georgie 3/9/15

Hey ya'll:)
Transfer week is forever long! it was hard to say goodbye to sister childs, but we'll see each other again soon. Transfers always bring with it new changes, new beginnings, but its good:) i've come to love change. my new companion is sister Beckstrom, fresh on her mission, and just a fireball as ever! SHe is from tooele utah. 
 We've seen alot of great things from this past week, definitely alot of hard work. We even enjoyed a wonderful baptism to top everything off! 
Ginger's baptism was probably the greatest turnout I've seen, so much love and support from many her age and friends. There was so much help from the ward and it was a great experience for everyone. I was really determined to invite some investigators to come to the baptism, unfortunately none of them could make it. I was a little disappointed they couldn't come because it was a wonderful baptism, but end of the day I was still on cloud nine:)
We had another good lesson with Sandy. She made sure to tell us from the start that she wasn't interested in converting, but she really loves the visits we share. She hasn't read from the book of mormon. toward the end of the visit she told us that her neighbor gave her some printed resources on our religion, and I think that's what holding her back from sincerely searching. We told her the information was false and she needs to take the invitation to read the true source, the book of mormon itself. We can discern truth by the fruits of the spirit, and we shared the scripture from Alma 32 on planting the seed, or the word of god, with faith. And if its good, it will give us enlightenment, knowledge, basically a good feeling of coming closer to christ. In that moment we asked how she felt, and she replied that she agrees, and we said this is the spirit testifying of the truth. I really liked your response of just telling her to "come and see", like elder bednar's talk. AT the end she said she's searching for hope, so we looked in the index of the book of mormon on hope and invited her to read the scriptures on that, and pray about it. Her lessons are always so powerful and the spirit so strong. THe only thing holding her back is her fear, fear of getting hurt, or losing something. But what does she got to lose just by experimenting? SHe'll only gain what she's looking for in return. We're trying to help her replace fear with faith, and i fully believe she will act through love. She needs so much love and support from the members, and she wants to feel like she belongs. This will take time as we help her build relationships with the members. 
We found a part member family who is letting us come teach them now. THey are active, the wife is a nonmember. She explained to us that if she were to ever get baptized it would be this church, she just isn't ready for commitment yet, she has some things she needs to work on. But we're excited to start teaching the family and see where it goes!! 
Things with sister Beckstrom are going good. It was definitely a change from Sister Childs! I love and miss her dearly. SIs Beckstrom has some anxiety issues so sometimes that's a challenge. It's been a little hard to read her, so I try to love and serve her in anyway I can. Maybe that will help ease the stress. Ha pretty sure i've never seen anyone so exhausted as her. Kind of breaks my heart, but there's alot of work to do, and there isn't alot of time to slack, its been hard for her to adjust to the schedule. Sis Beckstrom is a hard worker. She's exactly what I've been needing my last 6 weeks. She's very determined and likes to stay focused. Being flexible and patient is a bit of a struggle. But she's s quick learner and will adjust eventually. Ha she's not afraid to be bold! but i have to remind her to be loving too. Maybe that's where we balance each other out. Something a mission teaches ya is how to adjust with different personalities and love others despite differences. 
WEll I love and miss each of you dearly!! I will try  to write everyone soon that I need to. sorry i've been out of stamps, post office is forever adn a day away! BUt i would still love to hear from everyone! 
Love, SIster Hulme

My last transfer!! 3/2/15

Hey ya'll!
All weekend i've been sitting on the edge of my seat on what's going to happen for transfers. President called us Thursday and told me that he was thinking of having me train. But the possibilities are up in the air, since board week for him wasn't over and the Lord might have other plans. So I had no idea if I was going to stay Sister TRaining Leader, if i was training, if i was just going to be a normal missionary, or if I was leaving and transferring to another area my last 6 weeks. FINALLY, president called this morning and said I was for sure training and no longer STL and in 6 weeks I will go home, my greenie will be transfered, and they'll replace our area with elders. Phew!! I couldn't be more happy with this transfer. Although, i'm super sad i'm losing sister Childs. Ahh, we've had a complete blast this week!! Her and I just click and I've gained the greatest friend in her. You seriously gain some of your closest friends on your mission. We plan on rooming together at Byu-I .. if we can:) It's been really hard for her to grasp that she's going home. The past 2 days have been crammed packed with saying goodbye's and packing. It will be nice after transfers to finally focus back in on the work. Yesterday I fasted that my last full month as a missionary I will be able to truly focus, and  consecrate. Because I love consecration!! I feel like i'm always consecrating myself, there's never enough. Something I've learned this last bit is commitment isn't commitment until it's tested.
So we had another major snowstorm. It wasn't as major as last years. But we had to go in early wednesday night and we were able to get out thursday afternoon. I'm glad it didn't take as much time out of proselyting as last years did. 
We found another amazing investigator to teach this week. A young mom we tracted into a few weeks ago, and we were finally able to follow-up and teach her the restoration this last week. When we first followed up she commented that she had begun reading from the book of mormon and had read the restoration pamphlet we had given her. That rarely happens! So we were excited to actually visit with her. She said there was a lot of similarities between her religion and ours, but her biggest question was our difference. We're were more than happy to explain what that was. We hope to be able to meet with her husband soon, he has alot of questions about religion, and his wife has a hard time answering them, such as baptism, but she strongly believes in it. We were so excited about her lesson, we went down the street to a member's home and stopped for 15 minutes to explain our miracle, and then asked the member to come with us this week to her lesson. The member was more than willing. I love going to the members in person, sharing our miracles, and asking them to come with us. It's a new technique, or tool we're using lately. It's been working well. 
We were able to follow up with our new investigator sandy, the woman who called us, and was our miracle from last week. She is open to learning more and pursuing a stronger relationship with Christ, but she's not as open to religion. It's kind of confusing. But she's had a hard time with organized religion, because she feels its become so corrupt lately and is more for show. The member with us explained through her testimony that our religion is more than a show, its a way of life, the gospel should be how we live, not but just what we preach. We're still earnestly praying that she'll have angels minister to her and she'll feel the spirit testify of the truthfulness of the gospel to her. These things take time, but its working progress.
Ginger's baptism is this coming saturday, she's so excited) she made these cute invitations and was handing them out to all her friends and members at church. She even went up with sister childs and bore her testimony on sunday. Short and sweet and to the point. But no matter what, it carries the greatest spirit from it. This has been out of her own decision, and you can tell how happy and excited she is. She reminds me alot of hannah, same age, kind of looks the same. But i'm excited for the new missionary to have a baptism right when she gets here. 
Since we somewhat knew we would be getting a new missionary here, and we both wouldn't have much time here in the area, we decided to just give her great experiences with teaching, its a great time to practice. So there are many members who are willing to have us over to practice teaching, and one who we recently got to know, has said that she'll try to invite her neighbor over who is a sweet woman, and would let us practice teaching. This is more exciting than I thought! We've been asking less actives, and one family, who is a part member who's son is serving in Salt Lake, if we can practice teaching with the new missionary just to give her experience. It's another technique I have grown to love, it works:)
Welp.. i guess that's all for this week folks! Love and miss each of you dearly!! 

Love, SIster Hulme

The big snow storm of 2015.

There's a purpose 2/23/15

Hey ya'll!!
THis week has been a roller coaster. THursday night we had a stake correlation meeting. AFterwards our mission president asked us what area would be better to close down for sisters, either our ward, or hamilton mill, where the other sister training leader is. Which ever would close down, i would either go there with her, or she comes here with me. there's just too many sisters going home and not enough coming in. Hearing this made my heart sink, and my stress levels sky rocket!! Ive been searching and finding what i can do here in Coal mountain in such a short time, which could now only be 6 weeks instead of 3 months. 
 So I've actually been struggling this transfer in trying to find my purpose here in this area. The work has been slow, I haven't felt much involvement with the members, and I honestly just felt like we, the sisters, were Yet, we were still working and trying to find, teach, and invite others to be baptized. Maybe the Lord is just testing my patience this one last stretch right before I go home. After talking with president thursday night, I just felt my stress levels increase! Considering I might be transferred again to a new area, my last 6 weeks, and only 6 weeks here, made me wonder again, where does the Lord need me , and what do I need to do?? You told us not to think about it, but I couldn't help myself. We also had correlation in our ward, after the stake correlation, and the elders were basically visiting all the families that we were trying to visit. Any ideas or inspiration we were receiving, they were getting the same and were on top of things. I just kept asking the Lord, why am I here, why are the sisters here in this area?? It could easily just be the elders, they could take things over pretty smoothly. Then, this weekend, we started to see miracles.. I started to feel a purpose. 
We've been following up on potentials all week, and this weekend, we were able to find 3 new investigators. Some of the potentials we didn't have a lot of faith in or expect much, became the new investigators! Sunday night, we were determined to find one more investigator to reach our goal, and we felt prompted to follow up with this man. Our first contact with him was very short, we didn't say much, he was busy and we asked if we could come back another time. When we showed up last night, he invited us in, and we met the whole family! We arranged for a return appt on tuesday, and he said he's open to anything right now in his life. 
The biggest miracle was a phone call we received Saturday night. We had a missed call from a woman named Sandy who asked for Sister Childs to call her back. We could not think of who it was, but she knew Sis Childs! When we called her back, we realized it was a woman we tracted into a couple weeks ago. Her mom had recently passed away and she had hardly any family left. She felt something when we talked to her, and thanked us for an uplifting message about hope in our savior and god's plan. She told us on the phone that she has thought about us every day since then and felt bad we haven't been able to meet with her yet. She had paced the floor all day trying to summon up the courage to call us. We are so indeed grateful that she did, and she was also. She asked us before saying goodbye, why we knocked on her door, what brought us there. We simply said, the lord did, we had no idea we would meet her, but we simply followed the spirit. She agreed, and said she knew it was the spirit all along. We're planning on meeting her this coming saturday, the only day available for her. I can't wait!!! We immediately said a prayer of gratitude to our Heavenly Father after the phone call, and also prayed that there would be angels ministering to her, preparing her to receive the restored gospel. Miracle like this make every second of the mission worth it, no matter how hard it is! 
I'm grateful that after much prayer, pondering, and searching that I'm starting to feel a purpose here. Again, I have the greatest companion ever. I know I was here this transfer for her. She left me the kindest note thanking me, but really i am thankful for her, and the experiences we've had together. She reminded me of why I was here, and I'm grateful for how our Heavenly Father works.
Ginger is still on date for march 7th, she wasn't able to make it church yesterday because of the ice storms we've been having. There were so many trees knocked down, and they had a mess to clean up at their home. This week was literally freezing!! I am such a wimp this winter, its been in the 20's and dropped to the single digits during the night, i'm gonna die next winter at home. But the ice over everything is absolutely beautiful!! it was like being in a frozen wonderland, everyting was crystal. yet. there was a disaster everywhere because the trees were falling or breaking apart because of the ice. ANd today its sunny and feels like spring. Georgia is sooo bipolar. I'm excited for spring, its beautiful here. 
Love and miss ya'll greatly!! 

Love, SIster Hulme

there is ONE costa vida here in georgia and the elders had a baptism at the church nearby it, they asked us to teach a lesson there so we had to attend the baptism. SIs childs informed me that less than a mile away there is a costa vida, so i demanded that we go:) i was in complete heaven!! you don't realize what you have back west till its gone!! 

Everything was ice crystals after the ice storm.

This is a picture that was in the church where the baptism was held.  Only in the south...