Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 18th 2014

All my dreams are coming true in this transfer. I have always wanted to be an hermana, I've always wanted to train for my last transfer, and I've always wanted to serve in Florence. All 3 wishes granted!

I am training Hermana Sierra West from Holliday, Utah. She's super cute. She graduated from high school this year, and came out to serve. We are having a fun time together. She's outgoing, and people naturally like her. She's going to be a great missionary. :)

This is my third time being double transferred with a new missionary. Every time, God has worked miracles. This week He continues to prove His goodness.

I have managed to get along without a GPS my whole mission, but most of my companions have had one. Hermana West doesn't have one, but a sister serving close by lent us hers to get us into our area about 2 1/2 hours from the Birmingham Stake Center. Her GPS is crazy, and after way too long of it sending us in weird circles in Birmingham on matter what settings we put it on, I just went to the freeway I figured we should be on, and guessed most of my way to the area, calling the elders in Florence when we needed help. Wednesday night was the ward Christmas party, and we were told that all the members were anxiously awaiting our arrival. When we finally got there, late due to the travel delays, one of the elders ran to the microphone and announced the sisters had finally made it. The ward literally applauded when we walked through the cultural hall doors, and we were accosted with hugs and handshakes and grins. It was crazy awesome. We were so tired and so happy. This ward was devastated when sisters were taken out a little less than a year ago, and are ecstatic to have sisters again. The relief society had daily team-ups scheduled with the sisters and had much success with the program, so we will re-establish that.

The next day, we had an awesome miracles. Hermana West was a little nervous about tracting. We were busy during the day, and by the time we had time to tract, it was dark. President told us at transfer meeting to tract in the dark, so we do now. We were actually going to a part  member's house, but oculdn't see the numbers in the dark, so guessed, figuring we would just contact the person if it wasn't the right house. We were greeted warmly by a middle-aged woman. She ushered us in, and we talked for a bit and presented her with cookies. We assumed with the welcome that it was the sister we intended to see. It wasn't. We were surprised. We heard more of her story. She has 4 kids who are all grown, and her husband passed away a few years ago. She has so much faith, and we talked about God's plan for each of us. She walked away for a second and Hermana West asked me, "can we ask to come back?" I said, "of course!" When she came back, she asked us first if we would come back, and gave us her phone number, so we have an appointment with her. She is so neat. Such a wonderful woman. That was the very first door Hermana West knocked on.

Friday we were driving to an area the elders had told us about. After a while we realized we were not on the road we intended to be on, but I figured we'd keep going anyway. Then we see....TRAILER PARK. I immediately pulled off. There are not a whole lot of Spanish speakers in the area, but we normally find them in trailer parks. There are different signs we look for. One is a mop on the porch. We walked around, and it seemed pretty dead, but then we saw a mop on the porch, and I thought for sure, we would meet a hispanic, but an older white woman answered the door. Within a few minutes, she was crying. She had experienced really rough times recently, and hadn't seen any manifestations of God loving her. I know we were sent straight to her. We are seeing her later this week. In that same neighborhood, we found a family that knows a convert to the ward, we had a good lesson with her, and are teaching the whole family this week. We were referred to a neighbor by her and two other people, so we will contact her this week as she wasn't home them.

There was a city parade that night, which was super fun, and we met lots of awesome people who are willing to meet with us. Such blessings.

Yesterday we had a follow-up appointment in the projects. When we were walking to it, I saw this guy on his porch. He was smoking and drinking, so I figured I'd just talk to him for a bit and try to ask for referrals. He asked about our beliefs and such, and Hermana West asked if we could come up on his porch. He said yes, so I'm thinking, "Alright then, we're doing this."  We sat on his porch, and she brought up the Book of Mormon. I asked him some questions and he brought up his beer about 4 times saying that even though he drinks it, he still takes care of people and does God's work. I called him out on the fact that he must be experiencing a little bit of contrition since he kept bringing up his beer. He admitted to it, and I shared the classic Ether 12:27, and we talked about acting in faith. I asked if he would be willing to give up his beer. He said yes. Then I asked if he would be willing to act in faith and dump out his beer right then. He said, "not today." We wrestled with it a little bit, but wouldn't do it. We promised that our message is life-changing and miraculous, and we want him to hear it when he hasn't been drinking. We're teaching him this week also. :) Fun stuff.

Lots more crazy miracle stuff with just being led to people. We have only been here for four days, but we have people to teach. It's awesome. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

Oh yeah, we also found lights and ornaments in our apartment. The apartment had been vacated by elders a few weeks ago, (my third time for that also), so we have been cleaning like crazy, but we got ourselves a tree, and our place is so cute. An adorable little home for the rest of my mission.

Love y'all,

Hermana Sheffer

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