First week in the mission field was great! Very different to the MTC, that's for sure. I didn't realize how much different the work load was. Luckily, I have an awesome trainer, Sister Berrett! She is so helpful and hard-working! I think she is the best example of the type of missionary I want to be. I'm so lucky to have her in this transition.
With having Christmas this week, it was so difficult getting any appointments because everyone is out of town. But we did have a ton of dinners scheduled with the members. We literally had 4 dinners on Christmas and Christmas Eve. By the time we had our last appointment on Christmas night with Sister Helsing (a sweet 91 year old lady), we were stuffed. Actually, I was stuffed by the first meal, but there was nothing I could do about that. So we get to her house around 8pm, and she prepared steak sandwiches for us! Haha we didn't even know how to react. Luckily I used my gluten allergy as an excuse, but she still expected Sister Berrett to eat the whole thing. So while she was telling us some stories, Sister Berrett started slipping some food to the dog haha. It was so funny. It's sad that the holidays are over, but at the same time I'm grateful that I don't have to eat that much every day..
We have a few investigators, but it's hard to know what they need since I'm brand new to the area, and came into Georgia in the middle of a transfer. Our main focus is on a lady named Ashley. She has a baptism date for Jan. 17th. I don't know much about her except she has been on date 2 times, but keeps pushing it back because she won't keep her commitments or come to church. We were both pretty sad when she didn't show up to church yesterday. But we'll see what happens with her this week. We want to just find out her commitment level, and see how much she truly understands what her role is in receiving conversion. She has to put in the effort herself, and she has to exercise her faith in order for her to have the desire to live the gospel. I guess all we can do is continue to love her, and push her to make these good changes in her life.
We want to focus on getting new investigators this week. That's our biggest goal right now. I didn't realize how many people there are who haven't heard about our church, and who are searching for a purpose. We met a man at The Waffle House on Christmas morning before we skyped our families who seemed really interested in our message. I asked him if he was religious and he said he definitely believes in God, but doesn't go to any congregation. He said he thinks that what we are doing as missionaries is awesome, and he wants to know more. It's been hard getting a hold of him, so I don't know how serious he was, but there's something awesome about opening up to people on the streets and sharing what you know to be true.
I'm still brand new to the area, and to missionary work. But I have an awesome companion who has helped me so much, and I have a desire to share this happiness with others. I want others to know what I know, and to feel what I feel when I live the gospel. I was sitting in a member's home on Christmas Eve I think, and we were watching a video about Christ's Atonement, and it hit me so hard how much I love being a missionary. Even with the homesickness I felt this week, I just cannot deny how powerful missionary work is. I can't even express how important it is to rely on Christ's Atonement to be freed of guilt, and that to be forgiven of our sins. Being a missionary gives me the opportunity to help others experience that relief and happiness.
I'm so grateful to be here! I don't even know how long I'll be in Georgia, because I don't know when my visa is coming. But I'm not complaining. Anyways, I miss you all and I wish you happy holidays!