Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"He's sayin' 'Bless 'em Lord!'"

Quote from a kid who was telling me what his horse was saying when his horse was neighing at me. yes, we saw a kid on a horse when we were up in the far reaches of our area and pulled over to give him to talk to him and his horse about the gospel. thought it'd be a once-in-a-mission chance. :)

Man oh man….Holy cow! Who’s doing all the amazing prayers…cause they’re working! We have been so blessed. I SERIOUSLY don’t know how I’m so blessed to be in the middle of all of these miracles going on. It’s like Bishop Gwilliam told me before I left. His attitude was that the Lord had amazing things plans and that if we can be obedient and are willing to be instruments in His hands, then He’ll do the rest. He said “I just showed up!” That’s how I feel. There are so many miracles I’m in the midst of here in Canton, GA and I just showed up. Wow. So let’s see…where to start….

So it’s funny cause the Lord works us hard and we have some really awkward and sometimes painful experiences. This one definitely falls in the awkward category. We were on the way to an appt in this apt complex and as we were walking there we saw a couple teenage kids and stopped to talk to them. Sis. Sinclair was explaining a little about the Restoration of the gospel and the boy that was there suddenly turns and sprints away and around the corner—cackling as he goes. No joke. Like the fastest I’ve seen someone run outside of an organized race. No explanation. This left the girl standing there very awkwardly. All she could do was apologize and all we could do was laugh. It was amazing. That’s one way to let the missionaries know you’re not interested. Head in a dead sprint in the other direction. Wow. It was hilarious. Minus the fact that it’s sad when people run away from blessings. Figuratively or literally. (See the pun humor that has seeped in. That’s also a bit sad…)Anyway, but after that experience, the Lord blessed us big time. We were talking to the kid we had an appt with but mostly just talking outside his apt. This is a really busy complex so there were people walking by constantly and the hallways were very echoey. But one neighbor of his walked by three times. Really this should’ve been a sign to definitely talk to him but the Lord’s missionaries are sometimes really dense. So the guy ends up stopping us and asking what church we’re from. We tell him and he still looks confused so we clarify and say, “same thing as Mormons.” And he said “oh yeah!!! The Book of Mormon! I thought I heard you talking about that guy. What’s his name?” We said, “Joseph Smith?” He was like “yeah! The missionaries used to visit me but then I moved and couldn’t find them again. But I was reading that Book of Mormon. It was such an amazing book and I couldn’t even talk to them about it cause I moved. I needed some kind of release!” Well, certainly we’re happy for him to talk to US about it. He goes on to testify to the kid we’re teaching about how amazing The Book of Mormon is and how the kid needs to read it. What the?!! Does that ever happen?! :) So we have an appt to talk to him later this week. Sledge is his last name but what he introduced himself as. Anyway, amazing. And the kid we were teaching is pretty amazing too. Love it!

I got to go on splits with Sis. Browning yesterday. That’s the mission president’s wife. Such a blessing that she came because honestly we have more work than we can handle right now. Plus she just has such a strong spirit that radiates so it’s amazing to teach with her. And she’s so nonchalant and humble. She just introduces herself as another one of the sisters. Love it! She got to meet good ol’ Warren and some other favs.

So there’s a family called the Paynes. The boys haven’t been baptized but the missionaries have been working with them for over a year now. The boys are 10 and 12. The dad had some major concerns about the Church because he got mixed in with some anti material. (That happens a lot when people get into stuff that’s put out for the purpose of tearing down God’s kingdom and they stop relying on the Spirit. :( So it’s been a real struggle). Anyway, Sis. B and I went there last night and they were supposed to be praying about baptism for the 12th but they hadn’t been. Usually the whole fam’s not home at the same time. But we talked to them about it and Sis. B was testifying to them about eternal families. So we whipped out a calendar and picked a date. The dad even told the boys that it was something that God has asked them to do (he’s been the one holding them all back in the past.) It was amazing because he had gotten so mixed up but still knew the truth deep in his heart and was trying to build his faith back up. All we could do was pray for a miracle so that’s what we’d been praying for and that definitely was. So they should be getting baptized on the 19th. Michael and Nicholas. They’re champs. I’m so excited for their fam. They’re so cool. Keep them in your prayers! :)

So this is the analogy that Sis Leakehe used. Missionary work (esp right now) is always a miracles because there’s so much to do and there’s a multitude of people (200,000 in Cherokee County) and just us 3 missionaries with our very limited skills and knowledge. So now think of us as 2 loaves and 5 fish. But the Lord is all-powerful and makes it work. He uses our very limited capacities and somehow stretches it to be able to (hopefully!) handle all the work. He really has been placing people in our path and having very blatant signs tell us who we need to see. It’s been amazing and I’m SO thankful for Him and His trust in us. So, so cool! I know that the Lord can work the same miracles in each of you and even when you get to the point where you feel you’re stretching yourself as far as you can go, look back and see what the Lord has done with you. You may need to pray and ask Him to help you see. We have a tendency to cloud our own goodness and gifts with negative and discouraged thoughts. That’s Satan. The Lord made you. You are divine. You have potential beyond what any of us comprehend but ask the Lord to help you understand it a little more and I promise it’ll help you get through the daily struggles we all have.There’s a million funny and cool and intense stories and I wish I had time to write them all but I do my best to give you a taste each week. Hope it does the job.

Thanks SO much for the obvious prayers that are happening, for the letters, the support, and the love. I love you all—even those I haven’t heard from. I know it’s busy in “real life” so just keep being the amazing people and examples that you all are.

Thank you and love you!
--sis cartwright

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