Monday, September 21, 2015

God puts you exactly where you need to be!

Hey y'all!!

So this week has been... well a week haha! True to my subject line, this week has been a little bit of everything. Missionary work,hiking in a swamp, service opportunities, purposeful and accidental stalking, unnecessary zone drama, finding out your investigators is actually a less active, going back in time, Fort Jackson, and as always more missionary work!

So for starters missionary work has been good as ever! Some people are progressing faster than others and it is still very hard to get people to come to church. But we've hopefully found a few new investigators this week so we have our fingers crossed and a prayer in our hearts! 

We also went with our investigator Corinna last Monday to the Congaree nation park and we walked around on a board walk around the swamp! It was pretty fun!!!

We've had some fun service opportunities this week! The best of which is we got to volunteer at the soup kitchen that's downtown! It was really cool to be there with people from several different churches all trying to help others. It's cool how service really unifies people together! The funny part was I was in charge of passing out the sandwiches (luckily I had gloves on and I washed my hands several times afterwards) and the Elders in our ward were passing out tea! We all had a pretty good laugh about that! We also got to help our investigator John do all his yard work! It was hot and there were so many bugs, but I got to wear pants for a couple hours so I can't complain ;)

Now for our stalking adventure of the week. So Sister Webb was driving down the street and I was sitting there as a happy passenger when suddenly Sister Webb goes, "Sister Bennett! That's our bike!" I quickly followed her frantically pointing finger and I found myself looking at a man riding our very distinctive blue bike! Sister Webb was like, "What should we do?" And me being the very helpful junior companion had no idea. Sister Webb decided to take matters into her own hands and turned the car around and the turned at an intersection and turned around again so that she could pull the car into the cross walk and block the guy from crossing the street. She rolled down my window (because that's the side of the car that the guy was on) and she started talking to him. I don't know what came over her but the conversation went something like this:

"Hello sir. Where did you get that bike?"

"I bought it at Walmart."

"No I don't think so. Do you have a receipt?"

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah, our bikes were stolen like two weeks ago and that's our bike. I don't know if you were the one who stole it or you bought it from someone who stole it, but that's our bike." 

The man then informed us that he was insulted and then he rode around our car. Throughout that encounter I was just awkwardly sitting in the middle like "What is happening?" And I didn't know where to look. I looked at the man, then I looked at the ceiling, then at the dashboard, back at the man, at Sister Webb, at our bike. Apparently the look on my face was quite hilarious, which I can believe. So moral of the story is if your companion is going to talk to a man about having your stolen bike, make sure it is out her window, not yours. ;) We then pulled out our spy skills and followed the man at a safe distance. We followed him into a neighborhood that is very close to where we live. We were on the phone with the police telling them we were following a man on our bike. But unfortunately our distance was a little too safe and we lost him. We laughed really hard at this adventure. But that's not the end of the story. That night we were knocking in our apartment complex and we were outside talking with a member who lives there when suddenly on the other side of the fence this same made rode by on our bike again! Right by our apartment!! We were like "that's our bike again!!!" It was crazy! So that is the story of how we purposefully and accidentally stalked the man with our bike. 

Also funny story with one of our "investigators." We have been working with the grandson of a lady in our ward. He has had a really rough few years and it's been really cool working with him. At the very end of our third official lesson he mentioned to us that he had already been baptized in the LDS church by  his grandpa. His grandparents had failed to mention this to us, even when we invited him to pray about being baptized! haha! We had a good laugh about that! We are still working with him now, just as a less active instead an investigator haha! 

Also on Friday evening we went back in time, so that was pretty exciting! A man in our ward wrote a Patriotic concert/play called "Prologue to Freedom." We got permission to go to the performance because we had less actives and recent converts both in the play and in attendance. It was so much fun! It was also really cool because the Fort Jackson Army band was playing in it! Sister Webb and I had the time of our lives and it was actually really good! It was also really funny to see people in our ward dressed up all colonial style haha!! 

Now I know this email is long, but I have one more story to tell! With it no longer being summer, the number of soldiers is basic training has gone down, which means lower attendance at church. The past few weeks have been a little harder in the way of teaching lessons. This week I was set on teaching at least one lesson and talking to a lot of people. I talked to so many soldiers and none of them were interested in learning. (On Fort Jackson we can't technically proselyte so we have to ask "Would you like to learn more?") I was feeling a little discouraged that I was working so hard and I wasn't finding anyone to teach. I was praying that God would help my find an opportunity and I would be led to a soldier to talk to. There were only 10 minutes left before we had to leave the chapel and I had talked to almost all the soldiers who weren't in one of the classes. I finally sat down at the back off the restoration class and was hoping I could maybe talk to some of the soldiers there. I figured it may not be a lesson, but it'd still be hopefully doing some good. When the class ended a soldier and his battle buddy turned around and started talking to me. The soldier told me how his battle buddy, Private Weeks, had come to church a few weeks ago and they had been talking a little bit about it and that he has decided he wants to be baptized and so they were hoping I could teach him the next lesson. I then taught him the Plan of Salvation and put him on date for baptism. Here's where it gets really cool. I was talking a little bit about baptism with him and he said how his aunt had just been baptized a member of the LDS church. Private Weeks then went on to tell me how he had gotten a letter from this aunt saying she had been baptized and that her husband (who she had recently married) had just been diagnosed with a heart condition. He read that part of the letter out loud to his platoon. When he did the battle buddy who he was there with (I think his name is Private Shelton) suddenly was like "wait. My uncle was just diagnosed with a heart condition and his wife just got baptized. They said their names and they found out that their aunt and uncle had just gotten married to each other! Between having his aunt be baptized and his new cousin who just so happened to be in his platoon also being a member of the LDS church, he wanted to learn more. Isn't that such a cool story!!

I have learned very much this week that God puts you exactly where you need to be! Whether it is in the same platoon as your new cousin, or taking a shorter dinner break and then seeing a man riding your bike, or just being where ever. God is there helping each and every one of you and putting you exactly where you need to be. It's really cool to see and it is so apparent while serving a mission!

I hope that y'all are doing well! I love y'all so much and hope y'all have a blessed week!!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Serving meals

Helping with yard work!

at "Prologue to Freedom"