Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finding His Sheep

Dear Mom!!

Oh how I love you!! Mother's Day is this Sunday and I am so excited to be able to talk to you face to face. To think, a year ago at this time I was preparing my farewell talk and packing for my mission! I can't believe it has almost been a year. Crazy. After I talk to you on Mother's Day the next time I get to talk to you is in person!! that is so crazy to think about. Especially since that still feels like a longs ways away and that I just got out on my mission.

This week has been pretty slow, but good news!! I'm not getting transferred! So I get to stay in Albany for at least 6 more weeks. I'm super happy about that. Especially since Sister Danible gets to be my companion again for those 6 weeks as well.

It has been a pretty slow week this last week, so not much happened, but there were some really awesome moments where we were able to be in the right place at the right time for the Lord to help us find people that needed to be found.

Backstory-My trainer began her mission in Albany about 2 years ago. Of course when I remembered that, I emailed her and told her that I was here. She emailed me back and told me to go find a part member family that she had been working with, whom she loved a lot and to go tell them that I knew her, and that hopefully they would let us talk to them. Apparently somewhere along the way, the family got lost because none of the missionaries that had been here before me and was still here knew who they were. We had planned on seeing them last week, but due to other things coming up, we weren't able to make it to the city in which they lived and try to go see them. Last Saturday though we were going to the Farmer's Market because we heard about a member who grows fresh produce and sells it there, but who also gives it for free to missionaries. So we went to go see what we could get, and plus we really wanted to meet this person. We go and find him, and after talking for a while, the family that was there buying stuff too was about to leave, when the mom told us that her daughter had something to say to us.. Super shyly she told us her name, and then ran away. It was super cute. The mom then said that her husband and her daughters were members and then told us their last name. IT WAS THE SAME FAMILY THAT MY TRAINER ASKED ME TO FIND!! It was pretty awesome how random of a meeting it was. We were able to set up an appointment with them, and the member who was selling the produce was from a different stake but he volunteered to come with us to go teach them because he is good friends with them. That was so awesome!

Another crazy story. So on Wednesday, when we were on exchanges, I had to make a quick stop at Walmart to grab something, and for whatever reason, this Walmart didn't have any self checkouts, so I had to go to a regular one. While I was going through the line, the cashier lady stopped us and happily exclaimed, "Hey! They brought the ladies back!" We gave her a super confused look, and then she pointed to our badges and said, I'm a member! The missionaries used to visit her, but about two years ago for whatever reason they stopped. We were later about to go visit her, and her son who is now 8 really wants to get baptized! Super awesome!

The last thing that was super awesome was that on Sunday one of the young Women's leaders came up to us and told us that there was a young women who had been coming to church for about a year now that wasn't a member (how the missionaries didn't know this, I have no idea) but that she wanted to meet with the missionaries and have the discussions so that she could get baptized! We are so excited to begin teaching her! It seems like she already knows all that she needs to know, but that she just needs to have the discussions so that we can make sure that she knows what she needs to know. I'm stoked to see how it is going to go!

Oh! Also this one is short, but the awesome moment when a member who is less active calls you out of the blue asking for a ride to church for her and her son, actually comes to church, signs up to feed us, asks us to then visit her family (none of whom are members), and then volunteers to go teaching with us. Yep. That moment made me so happy!! She seems like a pretty fantastic person already even though I have only known her for less than 48 hrs.

There are so many people here that I don't know, and so many that are amazing people but because there are just so many people to see that are on our records and then lots of people that aren't either, we hardly get to see even part of them. (here is an idea of how many people there are- in Albany alone, there are over 200 families. In Leesburg there are about 150, and then there are a lot in the outlying areas as well.. Those are just the members. We then have a list of online referrals that people want us to come see them of about 200 people over the last 18 months.) So we can't see all these people all the time, but we are working on it!!. There is so much work to do here and I am so excited for the future!

Love you all!

-Sister Monica Walker

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