This week has been super awesome! It also seems to have flown by, because of how much stuff we had going on. This week we had exchanges with the Sisters in Tifton, and I went there to Tifton. It was super fun because Sister DeMann, who I was with, had just finished being companions with one of my past companions Sister Dayton! So that was super cool to be able to talk with her about that and how they did in their previous area, and just reminisce about life in general. It was really fun:)
We went to try to visit some of the people in our ward that lived in the middle of nowhere Georgia, and we had a member come with us to help us try to track some of these people down. One of the places we went looked very secluded, and the member was afraid of getting shot (because we were in the middle of nowhere) and so she made us stop to say a prayer before we drove on their drive way. Their driveway was about a mile long and it felt like it just kept going on and on.. Finally we see a house only to discover that there are 4 houses! And none of them have numbers on them. We keep driving on the driveway, and it takes us up to the first house. We were going to get out so that we could knock on the door, but we see somebody walking back behind the house, so we follow them in the car and ask them if the member lives there. He said the guy did but that he lived in the back house and that we needed to continue down the driveway and take a left at the telephone pole and keep going until we hit his house. He told us though that he wasn't home, but his wife was. We thanked him, and then went back to go talk to the members wife. When we find her, she at first thought we were lost (they don't get very many visitors). When we explained who we were, who we were looking for, and why we were looking for him, she told us that he wasn't a member of our church. We asked if he had ever been a member of our church (because sometimes they were but because they stop going they think their records are gone) and she said he had been a member of their Baptist Church his whole life. She then told us we weren't the only people to think that that guy lived there, they get stuff for him and phone calls for him all the time. Apparently even the Sheriff called for the member guy once too. I asked her then her husbands full name, and it turns out his middle name is different than the members listed middle name, so unless it is the same guy and he changed his middle name for whatever reason, we had the wrong guy. It was pretty funny though and the lady was super nice, even though she wasn't all that interested in learning more about the Restored Gospel.
While I was in Tifton, we traveled to a small town somewhere outside of Tifton, and it was really cool to meet all the differently people in the small little places around Georgia. It was also cool because we went to a gun shop to try to find an investigator of theirs who owns the place, and while we were there, they gave me a free pink t-shirt that has a gun on the back. Its pretty awesome:) I love being able to see how God is able to touch the lives of those who live so far away from anyone else, and how is still blesses their lives even when they don't have many of the things that I am used to in live. It is very humbling.
We also had our Zone Training Meeting, where Sister Danible and I had the opportunity to train the rest of the missionaries in our Zone. Usually we would train off the trainings we receive from our mission presidency, but we were unable to go to the last MLC because it was before transfers, and that MLC wasn't a normal MLC either because their was a general authority there who spoke the whole time instead of the mission presidency. So the Zone Leaders picked our topics and we got to plan a training off of that. My training was on Personal Revelation. I learned some interesting things about it which I wanted to share with y'all. First, it is important to understand that without personal revelation, none of us can be saved. Why? Because it is through personal revelation that all of us receive a witness that Jesus is the Christ, and that He is the Savior of all mankind. Second, personal revelation only comes through personal study. The Lord expects us to do our part before He gives us the answer. We have to ask a question before He can give us the answer. We have to try to find the answer ourselves as well. He gives us all these resources to look through and sometimes we just have to push through it all to find them. The object lesson that I did was that I had a dollar that I hid in plain sight, and had an Elder be blindfolded to try to find it where ever it was in the room. One of the sisters was the Spirit and her job was to make sure that she guided him to where it was using a soft voice, but she also couldn't touch him. Everyone else in the room was to be the distractions. One elder played the piano super loud, some of them yelled at him when he got close. Some Elders pushed chairs in his way as to make him stumble. Eventually he found the dollar. The point of it is to remind us that even when we know what we are looking for, and we know what the Spirit sounds like, we have to take the time to tune out the rest of the world in order to make the steps necessary to obtain it. The sister didn't just give him the dollar when he asked where to find it, he had to find it himself. But she did guide him to the place where he needed to go, and she even warned him of some of the dangers in his way. The same works with the Spirit. He doesn't always give us the answers. More often then not, we have to search for a long time before He will give us the place where it is.
Sunday, we met with our Spanish investigator again. We were a little worried though because the return missionary that we had previously asked to come with us to help teach couldn't come because he had family in town, and the investigator's niece who is usually the translator was out of town. We decided to go anyways, but were praying the whole way to help us be able to communicate with him. Luckily for us, earlier that day at church, we had 12 or so visitors at church that were going around selling Vivent, and most of them were return missionaries. One of them had recently returned from serving a mission in Mexico, and had told us that if we needed help that day to give him a call and he would do what he could to come help us. So we texted him and asked him if he would be willing to drive an hr away to help us with a lesson with a Spanish investigator of ours. He said yes!! That was a miracle in and of itself. Unfortunately we realized right before we left to the lesson that we were running out of gas (we had according to the car 70 miles left until the tank ran out) and the lesson was 44 miles away (in one direction). We discussed canceling the appointment, but we decided to go anyway. The whole way there we were praying that we wouldn't run out of gas, because we knew it was important for us to not go buy gas on the Sabbath, especially since it was because of our lack of preparation that caused the situation. We got there safe, and the member came with us to help us translate for our investigator. It was an awesome discussion though because we were able to figure out what was holding him back from baptism, and now that we know, we are going to try to work it out so that he can get baptized sooner than December. We are currently in contact with the missionaries there in Mexico so that we can mash out the details concerning his family. We are so excited for him though because he has such a strong testimony! We finish the lesson, and the member told us he was going to follow us home to make sure we were ok as we drove the many miles back to Albany. It was honestly a huge blessing though because we were not only able to make it home safe but we were also able to make it to the dinner appointment that we had that night about 8 miles away from our house. By the time we pulled back up to our apartment, we had 9 miles left of gas. The Lord really does bless His servants when they are doing His work, and when they show a little bit of faith:)
As for some fun news, we were able to do some service for a member family and help them process some of the chickens they raised for food. We killed 40 or so chickens, and I participated in all stages of it. I have pictures of it to prove to y'all that I did it, but if you get queasy easy don't look at the pictures:)
We also got to go fishing for a little bit. We didn't catch anything, but we still had lots of fun! :)
Life is good:) I love you all!
Love forever and always,
Sister Monica Walker