Monday, January 26, 2015

1/26/2015 In Which ShelbyPooh Has Her Second Baptism and Attends a Baptist Church

Good afternoon everybody! :) or morning... haha ahhh this week was amazing!! Well Saturday was amazing, the rest of the week was really interesting! Monday again was a holiday, so we had our district meeting that morning and it was good! This week was transfers so a couple of the missionaries in my district were leaving so it was nice to get some pictures taken and everyone writes in each others "Bye-bye journals" haha But I'm also glad I got one last picture of my district because we got the news this week that we're switching districts!! :/ I don't really know why but I think it's because they took sisters out of an area and put Elders in and so now there wasn't any Sisters in a district so the Suwanee missionaries had to go with this other district. So it'll be me and Sister Twogood and SEVEN other Elders... Heaven help us. Haha jk but I really loved my last district so it'll be weird being with new people. But that's okay! 

So basically we're just continuing to do a lot of member stop-ins and practice lessons with them and trying to get in with some less-actives as well. But this week we were mostly focused on the baptism for Saturday and trying to finish Monica and Maddie's lessons and getting everything confirmed for the service. So Tuesday was our P-day and then that night we had their last lesson! It was kinda weird I was like... "Wait, that's it?" Haha like it's crazy when it was all done because I've been here teaching Monica for a while and when her lessons were finally done it was bittersweet. But then on Wednesday we had another sorta lesson with them and just went over the baptismal interview questions with them in preparation for their interviews on Thursday night! 

Thursday we had another wonderful morning at the food bank volunteering! :) Seriously everyone there loooves us and appreciates our service and help each week! They call us "their girls" :) haha So then we were trying to plan our lesson with Maddie and Joel, our other investigators, that day because we were in need of serious pondering and prayer for that lesson on Friday night. We had a couple of conference talks to choose from and some really good, solid team-ups from the ward that we were trying to figure out what they NEED and what Heavenly Father wants them to hear and know. So we thought about things, studied, and prayed and ended up going over to the Ketchem's house (My favorite Japanese/Filipino family) for some inspiration. I definitely think we were led there by the Spirit because we had a wonderful discussion with them and got really great ideas on how to make our lesson with them go well so that they can start getting answers and understanding and being more open to exercising faith that this is truly God's true church on the Earth. So that was good. And then that night we had Monica's interview with Pres. Joyner who's part of the mission presidency, and then Maddie's interview with the District Leader. They passed :) Haha 

Friday we did weekly planning and then tracted. Then we had our lesson with Maddie and Joel that night and decided to team-up with the Lowry's, for the second time with them. Brother Lowry is a ward missionary and the first time they came with us, I thought he was answering a ton of their questions and the Spirit was so strong, but then they still go off on "Well this is what we believe in and I don't understand why you believe this" and all that fun stuff. It's not unusual though, really. Haha with Maddie and Joel it's always been that way. But the approach we decided to take that night was having both Joel and Maddie tell us their "conversion" to Christianity story. We had found out from dinner with them that Maddie came from an Atheist family. So there had to be some point where she felt the Spirit and "knew" that she wanted to follow Christ and convert to a religion. They really opened up to us and it basically became a big testimony meeting. Ha cuz then they asked us some times when we were converted and what experiences helped with that and what motivates us to want to share our gospel with all of God's children. It was neat and the Spirit was definitely present :) Then we wanted to listen to a talk by Pres. Uchtdorf called "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth" and we really felt inspired to share it and thought it might answer some questions. They liked it for the most part but brought up some things they didn't get or bothered them and that's when Bro. Lowry took over haha He says things so much better than I could ever explain and again, when he talks and testifies the Spirit was just SO STRONG. I was looking at Maddie and Joel the whole time wondering "How can they not feel this right now???" Haha I mean seriously, and they still don't understand and don't think that works is as important as faith. That's really their main concern. It's hard with them. But... at least they are sorta slowly progressing... still... sorta.... 

Saturday was the best day! :D First we made a cake for Sister Twogood's birthday cuz that was on Sunday! That was fun and then we went to tract a little bit before the baptism. So we went to the church and started filling up the font and setting up. Also me and Sister Twogood had to practice a song :) Once again I sang at a baptism and am loving the opportunities I get to sing! But don't worry, if you wanna hear it, I'm gonna record it this time and send it home and so you'll have to hear it from my parents! ;) Haha But we sang "Gethsemane" and it sounded soooo good! :) Sis. Twogood did the Alto/harmony part and I did the solo and Soprano part. It was so fun! But there was a great turn out for the baptism and even Monica's non-member parents came to support her! She had been waiting for this day for a long time!!! It was so wonderful, and I had tears in my eyes, to see her go into the water and come up just crying because of the overwhelming happiness she felt! Then she watched her daughter get baptized and it was literally the most amazing thing to watch! Ahhhh that's what this is all about!! :) Seeing someone you've grown to love and watch progress in the Gospel and teach for a while, and then finally get baptized is the greatest thing!!! It makes you want it for everyone :) This Church is true!!!! Then we totally have a tradition here in Suwanee which is whoever gets a baptism, either the Elders or the Sisters, the others have to buy Arizona's for the four of us! Then at the end of the night, we meet up and drink our Arizona's as a celebration for our DUUUNNNK DAY!!!! :D It's like the perfect way to end a baptism. Hahaha 

So then Sunday was the interesting part of my week haha we went to Maddie and Joel's church for our church-swap! So we went to their baptist/Christian church with them on Sunday morning and then they came to ours. It was really interesting but also really sad, knowing how much knowledge and comfort we have from the Gospel really makes you wish everyone could have it. A lot of these religions are missing so much or just barely don't have the full truth. The Sermon was filled with praises to God but then so much hellish talk and damnation ha Anyway it was interesting but the difference between our church and their church was the Spirit. We had a great sacrament meeting and also a great Sunday school lesson, taught by Bro. Lowry, and the Spirit was so strong! Maddie and Joel didn't say much before they left, but we're hoping they liked it and felt the Spirit also. We don't know exactly if we're going to keep scheduling lessons with them. We're going to see if they are still willing and want to meet with us and see if they will be the ones to schedule the lessons, and if they do then we'll keep teaching them. But I think it's best to give them to the Lord more and see how much more He can prepare them if they are truly ready for the Gospel. So we'll see! And then that night we had a little celebration for Sis. Twogood's birthday with cake and party hats and everything :) 

So that was my week! I hope everyone's was as great and interesting as mine!! ;) haha and this email was long, mine are always long. ha but anyway I hope you all have a great week this week and that everyone is staying warm and safe! :) Thank you for the constant support, love, and prayers that come my way and for all the missionaries! This is truly a marvelous work. Do your part in it and the Lord will bless you and prepare people to be in your path :) I've seen it. I love you all!! 

Love, Sister Davenport 

My last District pic!! such good friends and memories :) 

Decorating her cake... yes I decorated it and it looked really weird but sorta unique and cute all at the same time! ;) 

Our selfie with Maddie. She is the cutest and was so happy!! 

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