Monday, July 13, 2015

We have to trust the Spirit & Welcome to South Carolina!!

Hey y'all!!!

I am in a time warp where I feel like I have been in South Carolina forever, when in reality I haven't even been here a full week haha! For starters, I'll talk about where I am and who I am serving with!!

My companion's name is Sister Ward! She joined the Church about 3 years ago. She is the only one in her family that joined. She has a super strong testimony and knows the scriptures really well, which is awesome! She is from Minnesota but went to school in Rexburg. She's 22 and in the same grade as Sarah Janis! So that's awesome! Oh another crazy thing is that with the number of incoming Sisters with me (12) there weren't enough trainers so President Turner (my Mission President) had to get a little creative. In Sister Ward's case that meant she just barely finished her own 12 week training and is now training me. I hope I don't have to train in 12 weeks!

I am serving in the Lake Murray ward! Since there are Elders in this ward as well, my area is only half of the ward! I am hopefully going to attach a picture below of my mission map. In case I don't, Lake Murray ward is in the city of Lexington, which is a suburb of Columbia! It's awesome. Another special opportunity I have as a Lake Murray Sister is that I get to be one of 8 missionaries who serves at Fort Jackson. Fort Jackson is a military base where there are lots of Soldiers for basic training. Each Sunday morning we get to drive up there and teach Soldiers before and after a Sacrament meeting. One thing interesting is that because there are so many Soldiers who are interested we don't teach in companionships. At one point I was teaching around 10 Soldiers all by myself! It's pretty crazy! They are all humble and ready to learn so they are baptized after about 2 weeks. Yesterday 2 Soldiers were baptized and we have around nine on track for next week! It's amazing! This week I taught Prive C. the last two lessons so she could be baptized next week. She is at basic training for the summer and then she will finish her senior year of high school. She first came to Church with her battle buddy (battle buddies are like companions where you have to be with them all the time). Next week she's going to bring one of her friends with her. She already has permission from her parents to be baptized. So keep your fingers crossed for her, and include her in your prayers! Also I would love to know more about the history of Fort Jackson so if anyone looks it up and emails it to me they will an electronic hug from me!

Also excitingness is that I am in an iPad mission! Church headquarters picked out 60 missions in the US and Canada to pilot a new program for mission iPads. My mission received them June 17, so we are still in the transition mode. Meaning someday iPads will be used for everything and we will have zero paper work. Like it will be our area and planner and a few other things like that, but we aren't doing that quite yet.

So a bit about missionary work or just general stuff with Lake Murray/South Carolina. There are a lot of people who when we knock into them they are too nice to tell us no, which we take as a yes. So we go around visiting a lot of potential investigators. Sometimes they are genuine investigators, and other times they surprised that we actually showed up again. It makes for fun adventures! There are also a lot of less actives and we've made it a goal to visit all of them, so we try to meet with them as well. Some of them are really awesome and still have lots of faith, but don't come to Church anyway. Some of them have a lot sadder stories. We met this couple this week, Brother and Sister S. They are awesome and super friendly. Brother S. has some funny conversations. Sister S. is all for coming back to Church, but Brother S. won't let her. It makes me sad, but I am happy to see that they still both have faith in Jesus Christ. Also another opportunity we have each week is to do service knocking for an hour. Meaning knock on doors down a street in our service clothes asking if they need help with anything. We normally do that on Saturday's. This Saturday we ended up not being able to because we were teaching lessons, so that was nice. But I am excited to do that this week!

Awesome thing about South Carolina is that there is seriously every kind of tree here. Like there will be a Palmetto tree, growing right next to a Pine tree, growing right next to all sorts of other trees you didn't know could exist in the same climate! Also they aren't very creative with their street names. In one neighborhood we were driving on Garden Arbor Lane, when we intersected with Garden Arbor Drive. Then we intersected with Garden Arbor Court. I am very grateful I am not the one driving because that happens a lot and is very confusing to me. Another thing is people tell us that we can't go into an air conditioned car and back out into the heat or guzzle a cold water bottle otherwise the monkey will get us. (meaning get heat stroke.) It's a pretty awesome way of saying it! So you'll hear people talking about getting monkeyed or things like that ha, ha!

So Sister Ward and I are at our apartments by ourselves. There used to be another set of sisters that lived there, but there are fewer Sisters in the mission than there used to be. But it's nice because we have a washer and dryer in the apartment. We also have a piano keyboard. I'm excited to get to play it later today!

Spiritual thought for this week is that we have to trust the Spirit. There are still a few things that I am learning (obviously), but that's the biggest one. Often times the Spirit will prompt me or my companion to do something that confuses me, but it turns out to be exactly what the investigator or less active needed. It's awesome how when we turn to the Lord, He really will guide us.
I hope life is good for y'all. I've decided y'all is the best phrase ever! I've already picked it up and am using it so much! It really is the best! Thanks for the letters and emails! Love y'all!


Sister Amy Bennett :)

 Amy and Sister Ward

Amy's mission. She is serving in the West Columbia Stake in the Lake Murray Ward.