Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another great week in Franklin

This week was fantastic!! We managed to stay really busy again!! We had a goal of 26 lessons and exceeded that goal by getting 33 :) I guess Sister Bambrough and I just really like being really busy!!!

This week we saw ALOT of progress in our investigators!!! So here is a little something about them:

Jacob committed to be baptized on July 26th. He had met with missionaries before but wasn't sure about it and wasn't willing to commit to living the gospel in its fullness. After our second lesson with him, he had already decided (on his own) to quit smoking!!! So when we met with him later this week he was super excited to share that with us. He has been carrying around a pack that has one cigarette in it-- he says that it is his last one. He carries it so he knows he can smoke it if he wants too, but as a reminder that it is his last one. So far this has worked for him!! He is 20 years old and we were able to take one of the young men who just graduated with us to his lesson!! It was so awesome!! With the help of Mick we were able to share Joseph Smith's experience with him and commit him to be baptized! I am excited to see how he changes in the next couple of weeks as he continues to commit to live the gospel more fully in his life. It is amazing- he already seems happier!

This week Jeanine also made awesome progress!! She committed to quit smoking on August 4th- her birthday. This is the first time that we have gotten a firm commitment from her to change. With the quit smoking date in mind, we were also able to set a baptismal date of August 16th :) Jeanine has even been reading on her own-- which is a huge and big change for her!! She is beginning to better recognize the spirit that comes when she makes time to read. Reading scriptures is keeping a commandment-- keeping commandments brings blessing, as well as the fact that she is reading the words of the Lord and his chosen servants the prophets. Inviting the spirit into our lives, into our days helps us better understand God's will for us and act on it. It can give us the strength we need to keep all of His commandments. Jeanine is finally starting to put the gospel into action in her life-- and that is when the blessings come :)

Bill also committed to be baptized this week!!!! We were able to teach him in his home with his family’s home teacher!! We had an awesome lesson on the Atonement and forgiveness, eternal life and baptism! Before the lesson Bill had stated that he didn't believe that he would ever be able to be forgiven of his sins. He did not believe that he could be cleansed from his past. The spirit in the lesson was so strong and at the end of it, Bill committed to be baptized. He understands that this involves giving up his alcohol and cigarettes, and he is willing now to make this commitment. I am so grateful that the Atonement covers everything!!! By living the gospel of Jesus Christ we can leave our past behind and become who the Lord wants us to be!! We can return again to live with our Father in heaven!

Okay so this email is WAY long... but one more :)

Renee also committed to be baptized!!! She is praying for a baptismal date right now!! She was not able to make it to church because she got sick :( She is only 16, but recognizes that God isn't really a part of her life right now. She wants to learn how she can be happy and how she can come closer to Him. Her grandma, who she lives with, isn't super interested in learning more herself right now, but she is super supportive of Renee learning more-- she wants Renee to make these changes in her life! We are so excited to teach Renee and help her find true joy by living the gospel!!

I know the joy that comes from living the gospel is real!!! God loves us and wants us to return to live with Him again!! That is why He sent His son to this world!!! Thank you all for your love and support! I love it when I get to hear from you!!

Love <3 Sarah

 There are so many exciting things happening right now in Franklin!!! But here are some pictures on a less serious note ;)

Gotta hate it when your spoon melts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Soooo many Lessons

This week was so busy-- full of cats and lesson!!! Sister Bambrough and I were super motivated... we ended the week with 32 lessons :) (we exceeded our goal of 26 big time!!!) We were so excited and dead tired...... hahah

SO we are BOTH staying in Franklin!!!!! Which is fantastic!!! We are so excited! All we have to do now is help some of our wonderful investigators actually progress :) One of the assistants texted us to tell us that we were both staying with this transfer! We texted back a “thanks” and expressed how excited we were (well tried too..haha) and the text we got back from him simply said "Baptize!" haha guess its time for the rest of Franklin now!

This week we went on splits with some women in the ward!! This is actually the first time I have ever done it, and it was a first for the Franklin Ward too :) It was so much fun! Sister Bambrough and I were both able to teach 2 lessons each with the members we were with. It was so exciting!! We had 4 lessons in 2 hours!!!! The women in this ward are fantastic! I love how willing they are to support us :) Now splits with the sisters will be  a weekly event!

We had an awesome lesson with Rene and her family this week! Her grandma actually had us over for dinner (even made baked, not fried chicken so I coul dactually eat it! She is too sweet!) During the lesson Rene told us that she wanted to be baptized! She said that the church that she is currently going to doesn’t believe in baptism-- but that she has always wanted to be baptized! Too bad she is out of town until Saturday. Her grandma said the choice to be baptized is up to her. We also asked her grandma if she wanted to be baptized... she said she had to think about it... but she sounded sincere. We are also going to start teaching some of Rene's cousins.. we are super excited!!!!!

I think that is all of the SUPER exciting stuff for this week- it would take WAY to long to share everything.. so that is all :)

All my love from Indiana <3 Sarah

Meet one of the kittens.. and a couple pictures of us pretending like we are cool ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Fleeners get Baptized !

This week was CRAZY. CRAZY GOOD! We were so busy! Everyday had something! Monday was preparation day and we helped a family move! Tuesday was our district meeting. Then on Wednesday, we spent all day in Seymour on an exchange and Thursday we had our 3 hours of weekly planning and then on Friday we had Mission Leadership Council from 10-4. That is where all of the Sister Trainer Leaders and all of the Zone Leaders meet with President Cleveland and the assistants. Then on Saturday we got to go to Muttie and Sue Fleener’s baptism in CARMEL!!!!!!!!!! It was fantastic! AND THEN on Sunday, Doris, I mean Sister Bennett ;) spoke at the “Why I Believe Fireside” in downtown Indy. So-- crazy week and we still got to teach a lot!!!! I am exhausted, but it was fantastic!!!

So now the best part..... story time!!!!

We got a new investigator, Rene, this week! Her grandma is Janet-- the one whose husband just died and we have been trying to teach for forever now! But anyways, Rene is 16 years old and lives with Janet, so when we went she was there and wanted to sit down with us. She wanted to learn more. Janet would try to change the subject and talk about her problems and the whole time Rene was like "I want to learn more!" She ended up coming to church on Sunday and LOVED IT! An awesome family with a daughter her age picked her up and took her home. She said she wants to keep learning more! We are so excited to teach her-- and talk about baptism at our lesson on Tuesday :) Rene Rocks!

We also got another new investigator this week- Gisselle! She actually has been taught by the elders since September, but it wasn’t going much of anywhere, so our ward mission leader asked us to teach her! She comes to church almost every week, she has read the entire Book of Mormon and actually started it over again and she wants to be baptized. The only thing holding her back is she doesn’t feel like she is prepared enough (biggest LIE ever!!) So we are going to work with her to help her feel more prepared and hopefully give her a date this week as well!! She actually has really good friends in Utah that introduced her to the church. Actually, one of them may or may not be David Archuletta, who is probably going to be the one to baptize her... WHAT!!!!! :D

AND THEN! We got to go to Muttie and Sue Fleener’s Baptism this week!!! I so wish that my camera would let me load the picture, but it is being so silly today.... but they totally didn’t even know that I was coming. Sister Wilde was so sweet to drive us up!!! (in her red convertible Mustang... these sisters have style ;) The look on their faces when we saw them was priceless!!!! They were so excited! Their baptism was fantastic! They left their church of 50 years to come and to be baptized. They are now working towards the temple! It was an awesome day!!!

J came to church!!! It was the first time since we started teaching her that she came!!!!! She brought her less-active ex-mother-in-law too :) So it was a good day at church. She has been struggling a lot with smoking, but she didn't have to smoke at all the 3 hours that she was at church. However, she did bring her a big ol’ thing of sweet tea!! Haha a member asked if she had something delicious and she said "Yup-It's sweet tea- but you can't have any, it’s not allowed." Hahaha too funny!!!!
J was also super sweet and she told me that if Sister Missionaries were Nuns that I would be the biggest and the Numbness Nun (too bad she meant nunnest... there was a lot of laughter!)

Doris Bennett is just fantastic!! She got a calling this week to be the Ward Historian. (I am not sure exactly what that is but apparently they had been praying to find someone who could do it and then Doris got baptized!!) She also shared her story when she spoke at the “Why I Believe” fireside last night! She was so fantastic!!!! By far the best speaker of the night, but then again, I guess I am pretty biased ;) It is so amazing to see how Heavenly Father puts exactly whom we need into our lives when we need them :)

I am so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us. He knows us individual. That is what this is all about. Coming closer to Christ and coming to know our Savior better. Finding joy in this life and preparing to live with God again.

I love you all!!!!
<3 Sarah <3

Sarah and her companion in front of the unfinished Indianapolis temple on their way to the Fleener's baptism

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Doris Gets Baptized !

This week was amazing!!!! DORIS GOT BAPTIZED!!! She took the plunge ;) Her brother who is 16 years younger than her drove to Franklin with his family all night so he could baptize and confirm her! She said she was pretty sure her brother introduced her to the church so he could publicly "dunk" her- she said it was the perfect little brother's revenge. Hahahah.  But on a more spiritual note, the baptism was awesome! I think almost everyone was in tears by the end of it! The spirit was strong- just another testimony to me that this church is true and that Heavenly Father loves all of His children. The spirit is such a sweet confirmation of His love and His care for all of us.

We also found 4 new investigators this week!!! It was pretty exciting! One of them was a complete miracle! We had an appointment scheduled with one of our investigators on Saturday evening and she canceled on us last minute. Sister Wilde was coming with us-- and she was amazing and said that she would go wherever we needed to go- that even though the investigator canceled she was still willing to go out with us! So as we followed through with our backup plans we decided to go and see a potential investigator named BJ that we had met with about 6 weeks ago and hadn’t been able to get into contact with since. We had stopped by her home a couple times earlier in the week and she hadn't been there. BUT SHE WAS HOME!!!! She let us right in. We had left her a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it after the first time we met with her and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Come to find out, she was already in the Book of Helaman!!!!! and she wants to come to church :) She will be out of town for a little bit-- but we were so grateful that we were able to get in contact with her again and set up another appointment!!!! We are excited for BJ’s spiritual journey :)

Nothing else to terribly exciting happened this week- funny story though- Sister Bambrough and I totally slept on couches in a kitchen this week on exchanges. How random!

I love you all!!! Thank you for your support!

Sarah and Doris and her brother

Sarah and the boys who were baprized last week

Sarah and Sister Bambrough