This week held a variety of experiences. It's just one big rollercoaster. I couldn't be more grateful for every day I have, and every thing I see and feel while I'm here in Georgia. I think I learned a little bit more about God's plan for us. Sister Barrett and I were getting so sick of recording our actuals for the night, and how they never seemed to meet our goals. How is that even possible? We had done everything in our power to be prayerful and mindful in our work. We had high expectations and high hopes. We were fearless in our work and determined to accomplish. How in the world were our actuals staying the same low number?
Sunday and Monday let us off to quite a rough start. Appointments cancelled, the weather was bitter, little to no success in our tracting... it was just devastating. However, we knew what our goals were and we knew we couldn't let those experiences get to us. So we pressed on, believing that we would succeed. The next morning, our first appointment with Michelle canceled. Sister Barrett and I just looked at each other with the fakest smiles on our faces, and looked through the phone for someone to go see. A thought came into our heads to go and see Sir James. It was a Tuesday, which is the only day he can see us while he works at his barber shop because it's so slow. It's been hard getting an appointment with him since he works everyday, so when we called him and he told us to come see him, we were so excited! So, we went and saw him, taught him the restoration and he accepted baptism! He is so great. He's probably in his 50's, and wants to know why there are so many churches on the earth, and which one holds the truth. He's just golden, and we wouldn't have seen him if Michelle's appointment didn't cancel. AND while we were teaching him, this man walks in - his name is Ziggy. He asked us what we were teaching and we told him a little bit about what we do as missionaries and gave him a Mormon.org card. Super nice guy. He leaves, and we continue teaching Sir James. After the lesson, we gave Sir James a Book of Mormon and went on our way. As we walked out of the barber shop, we saw Ziggy walking towards us. He said "Hey! I was on my way home, when a thought came into my head that I needed to come back and talk with you sisters. So I brought my bible, and I just have some questions that I was hoping you could answer." So of course we started talking with him and answered his questions the best we could, and he was very interested in learning more and also accepted baptism! It was seriously incredible.
I just know that the Lord is preparing a way for all of His children. He is just so mindful of us all! So I had to keep that in mind while we were tracting yesterday, because I don't think anyone could experience more rejection in such a variety of ways within the space of two hours than what Sister Barrett and I did. We were so pumped to get 2 new investigators, and pray with at least 7 people on this street. We knocked on about 20 houses, 95% of which were all home, and they ALL rejected us in one way or another. All of them! And it's not like they were very friendly people either. We experienced everything from getting the door slammed in our faces, claiming that THEY were true disciples of Christ, to people yelling at us to go away, to the "shooing away" with their hands.. everything. For two hours. Sister Barrett and I just stopped and looked at each other after a while in complete awe.
Rejection isn't what gets me down. But it was the many people I had just met that were so hard-hearted to our message and full of so much anger towards us, that made me feel really sad. That same godly sorrow. Most people wouldn't even give us the time of day to introduce ourselves because of the misconceptions they have against us and our religion. It was SO difficult to feel much motivation after that. But Sister Barrett and I walked to the last house on this street, with a prayer in my heart and we met Vicky and Steve. Steve answered and invited us in to get us out of the rain, and allowed us to pray with him. His wife was in the other room and said she wasn't presentable and didn't want to join. So I began to pray with Steve and Sister Barrett, and in the middle of my prayer, the music in the background turned off, and after the prayer his wife had joined us. She said she was so touched by the prayer and felt impressed to come join us. We shared with them a little bit about our message and they both invited us back to learn more.
And that's when I realized that it doesn't matter how much rejection I face, or how many times I feel that godly sorrow, or how much discouragement and disappointment I feel. Because experiences like that make everything worth it. Those experiences make up for every single doubt I have. Overall, I'd say this week was fantastic. Because of the incredible experiences we had outweighed the bad ones - to the point that I almost forgot about the misery I faced for hours at a time. I know that the Lord is just testing our faith right now, and it's hard to see the blessings that come from exercising our faith. But I know that they do come, and I know that I can't give up.
I hope you all have a great week! No news on the visa, but I've been waiting for a full transfer now, so we'll see what happens. Love you all!