Monday, November 30, 2015

November 23, 2015 - John's Creek

This week we felt impressed that we should contact the members of our Ward and ask if we could share a Thanksgiving message and the response was so good! We taught so many people; members, both active and less-active, non-member family members, and now have a potential investigator! It's been so awesome! Besides that we did a lot of service this week and in one day we saw 11 cats! Which would've been pretty cool except for the fact that my companion is allergic to cats....dun dun dunn! It was crazy every home we went to had at least 3 cats and then at the end of the day we dusted a home with both cat fur and dog poor companion....bless her heart. Haha Toward the end of this week we were able to help F again and it was so good to be with her! She is such an example to me of strength and love for the Lord and His children. We also helped this awesome 90 year old member, Sister Hk, clean out her bird baths and that was great - she is a hoot! Haha 
At the beginning of this past week we were a little surprised to see that only one family had signed up to feed us and that no one had signed up for this upcoming week. It was strange because usually we are fed every night in this area and last year families had signed up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Thanksgiving a couple weeks in advance. Well we decided that because we didn't have any dinners we would eat dinner after we came home for the day (after 9pm) so that we could have an extra hour to serve the Lord. As our week progressed however we noticed that a lot of members, both active and less- active, would randomly ask us if we had any dinners and then proceed to feed us. It was incredible to see how the Lord provided for our needs.
It reminds me of Matthew 6:28-32, "...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:...Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you...Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." and Luke 12:31-32,34, " ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom...For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." I'm so thankful for His awareness of our needs. I'm thankful for eternal families and service. I'm thankful that we live in a day and age where we can enjoy the full blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for His love which guides us each day and I'm thankful for y'all. :) 
I love y'all sooooooo much-oooooooo!!!!!!!!! Remember that y'all are always in my prayers.
Lots of Love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

This is the biggest district I have been in!

November 16, 2015 - John's Creek

Saturday evening was an incredible night! We were trying to find people to teach because we didn't have any appointments planned and to be honest we weren't having much luck as we were trying less-actives, potential investigators, and former investigators and then something crazy happened...we left the car to try someone and when we came back and turned on the GPS there was an address that I had never seen before plugged into my GPS. When we looked up the address on our Area Book we found that the address was of a former investigator (one I had never seen/heard of), so we decided to try it. Now picture's dark, we're talking non-stop (because that's what we do :) haha) as we're driving around the neighborhood, and we can't really see the numbers on the houses. After driving around in a circle we finally pin-point the house, but for some reason kept passing the house. After FOUR times of passing it haha we came back to the same stop sign. At this point we were about to give up and try someplace new, but felt we should try just one more time. As we drove back around for the fifth time we made it and as moments of silence passed by after knocking on the door we heard a voice say, "Who is it?" and we answered, "Missionaries!". Silence. Twice more they asked, "Who is it?" before finally opening the door. Two YSA aged young women opened the door surprised and then expressed that they were just talking about how they wanted to know more about God and strengthen their relationships with Him when we knocked on their door. It was seriously perfect timing. We taught them right then and there and invited them to ask God their questions before reading the Book of Mormon and then call us when they had tried it.
This morning as we were out and about we got a call from one of the young women. She was really excited to tell us that she had just tried what we had asked her to do and had received an answer. She said that she was shocked and happy all at the same time and stated that she was going to continue doing what she had done with all of her questions from now on. We were so happy for her! By the time she called us she had her schedule in and we were able to set up a return appointment and invited her to use not only the Book of Mormon to answer her questions, but both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. We are super excited to hear what happens next and look forward to teaching her this week! Besides that AWESOME miracle I just wanted to let y'all know that I love Sister H so much! We served around each other for five and a half months back in Kennesaw and she goes home a transfer after me. We are having a BLAST and I feel so blessed to be with her at this time. :) If there's anything that you remember from this email remember this: "...has the day of miracles ceased?...Behold I say unto, Nay..." (Moroni 7:36-37). God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Miracles do happen, every day and I feel so blessed to be able to witness them first-hand as I serve Him each day. I love y'all sooooooo much-oooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember that y'all are always in my prayers.
Lots of Love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

November 9, 2015 - John's Creek

I love the quote from Elder Wirthlin, it's so comforting to know that everything will be made up for in the end. :) I'm so grateful for our Savior and His restored gospel that bind families together forever, even beyond the bands of death. Families are the building blocks of eternity. It makes me so happy to know that the family was able to gather together in comfort and unity. My prayers are with y'all.
Happy Fall Y'all! This week it's been raining 'pitchforks and hammer handles' and they say that it'll continue to rain through next week. Everyone says that this winter is going to be a bad one and I have to admit that I believe them, because it never rained this much last Fall, but I'm excited for Winter time to come - the Christmas season is the BEST...especially when you're a missionary because you really get into "the reason for the season" and it's so much fun to share with others. I'm so grateful for our Savior!
So this week we've had a lot of opportunities to sift through those who are ready and those who are not....aka we lost all of the new investigators we found, but that's ok! because we had some awesome miracles! It's funny...I've found that the miracles almost always happen at the end of the week - after being tried and tested. It's interesting how usually miracles happen after the trial of our faith (Ether 2-3). Anywhooo..... 
The first miracle I'd love to share is a continuation from last week. Previously I shared a miracle about a less-active part member family who of the two years that they've lived in Georgia have only had three visits from members of the Church and the third visit was us. Well we had set up a return appointment for this past Saturday to help them with service, but when we arrived we noticed that their dinning room table was set up very nicely for dinner and that the things they needed help with were already finished. They said, "We usually eat dinner at this time." And of course a little surprised we said, "Oh no! We hope we didn't come at a bad time?" To which they replied with a smile, "No, you didn't come at a bad time, we actually made extra. We would love if y'all would join us for dinner." It was so awesome! By the end we hadn't mentioned anything about coming to Church the member just automatically brought it up and we wound up having a really good conversation about it. Before we left he expressed desire to come back to Church - which was AWESOME!! 
As Sunday rolled around and Sacrament meeting ended we saw the less-active member had stayed for the whole Sacrament Meeting and he had this great smile on his face! Afterwards we were texting him and he said that going to church was like being "awakened" - which was really cool since one of the speakers that he said really spoke to him was talking on choosing to keep the Sabbath Day holy. The speakers did outstanding jobs by the way!
The second miracle we had that I wanted to share was with a new investigator named M. We taught her during the second hour of Church and instead of teaching her the whole first lesson we taught the first two bullet points: 1. God is Our Loving Heavenly Father and 2. The Gospel Blesses Families. By the end of our lesson as we were saying the closing prayer she started crying. When we finished she said, "You have no idea how much this means to me. The short time you've known me and you can already say you love me. There's people who have known me the whole 18 years of my life that can't even say that. Thank you." 
Everyone is a child of God. Relationships in this life are not perfect, but through the Savior and His teachings relationships can be built upon a sure foundation that will never break even though the World will. I love y'all soooooooooo much-oooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Remember that y'all are always in my prayers.
Lots of Love (From your Favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

P.S. *Updates* My companion is being transferred to Big Shanty and she will be step training!!!! I'm soooo excited for her!!! I'll be staying in John's Creek and my new companion will be Sister H! I served around her in Big Shanty  - she was in Kennesaw while I was in Big Shanty so we know each other pretty well. :)
Oh! And there's one other experience I want to share with y'all. It's of a family that we've been teaching for a while now. Every time we teach them they have these awesome questions, but their questions/lessons although sincere sometimes border the line of bible bashing haha. If it wasn't for the real firm hope we see in them we might not come back. The last time we visited them however we could tell something had changed. They hadn't really read the Book of Mormon and this time it kind of crossed the fine line of bashing. We set a timer on our phone before hand because we knew that their lessons usually go over time and that day we couldn't be late because we had another appointment right after. 
For the majority of the time we were with them they talked and we listened. When we finally were able to get a word in, we testified of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and shared our experiences of how we came to know that the Book of Mormon is true. Silence fell and then the timer went off - perfect timing. When they spoke next their countenance changed. We left that day knowing that they could not deny the experiences we had. I will never forget an experience I had in my first area where a YSA girl named Mo, Bible bashed us for almost three hours and all we did was just listen. When she was finished and my companion and I could speak all we did was testify of the Savior, the Book of Mormon, and how we came to know it was true. Silence. She said, "I cannot deny the experiences you've had. I will have to look into his further." I will never forget that moment. When we bear testimony and share our experiences by the power of the Holy Ghost it cannot be denied. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 2, 2015 - John's Creek

I swear this Halloween was cursed or something....hahaha.....but really though. The night before Halloween we were really looking forward to a lesson we had the next morning with a new investigator. When Halloween morning rolled around however, it turned out to be a *I'm not interested in really learning or hearing what you have to say I just want to share what I believe and make you change your beliefs, because what you believe is incorrect* lesson. To say the least, we were happy to leave when it was all over. Haha Since we were at the bottom of our area and it was lunch time we decided to treat ourselves to a Halloween lunch out, especially after that lesson. When we started eating our food however my tooth chipped on the fork....ughhhhh........fortunately, although it's a little pointy and rough, it's not really noticeable...thank goodness, and I'm sure with time the pointy edge will wear down. Besides that our day went kind of downhill from there haha...all of our lessons canceled and no one would open their doors, but! when we returned home (we had to be in by 5 unless we had a dinner and then we could return home by 6) we had an awesome weekly planning session and it was great! Besides Halloween we've seen a lot of rain and many miracles this week (it feels like Heavenly Father's blessing are being poured out upon us...literally hahaha)To give you an idea of the miracles we've seen I'll just say that we have about 7 new investigators and new less-active families to visit regularly! 
One of the cool tender mercies of this week has to do with a cat, who absolutely enjoys to eat purses haha. We felt that we needed to visit a returning less active member and with this particular member it's always a shot in the dark on whether or not she will be home. We knocked on her door and immediately the door swung open. She said, "Oh! I'm so glad y'all are here! Heavenly Father always sends you when I'm having a bad day." It was nice to know that we helped her. :) Little did I know that as we were talking and reading one of her favorite talks called, The Atonement Covers All Pain (which is a super great talk by the way!) one of the cats she was cat-sitting was eating/chewing up the leather strap on my bag!! I'll admit I was a little upset on the inside, but then the returning less-active said, "Oh! Hold on, I know just what you need!" and then left to another room. After a little while of waiting she returned with a mint condition antique coach bag for both me and my companion (antique coach bags range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars...).....say whatttt??!! Haha Needless to say we were both very grateful to her!
Yesterday we were in this golden apartment complex (where we found two new investigators, one right after the other) and while we were out and about we saw this lady bringing in her groceries from her the rain. We went up to her and offered our help and when she kindly declined we explained who we are which in response she said, "I appreciate what y'all do but I'm actually happy in the Church I'm at." Which is one of the typical responses we get, but then she surprised us by opening up to us a little bit more. We testified of gospel truths and shared a message of peace. By the end she gave us both a hug and said, "Thank y'all so much, I really needed to hear that." It was such a great moment. :)
The last tender mercy/miracle I want to share is of a less-active/part-member family. When we knocked on their door last night they opened the door kind of surprised but super friendly and immediately invited us into their home. We had a really good visit/spiritual message and by the end they said something that really hit me. The less-active said, "In the two years we've lived in Georgia y'all are the third visit we've had from anyone in the Church". In that moment my heart hurt. It made me wonder about just how many people there are in the Church, active or not, who don't receive the fellowship that they need and then I was reminded by the Spirit more forcefully this time that many of the less-active members are less-active simply because they don't have a friend and or feel alone. 
Yesterday after Church, unlike what we usually do, we had to linger a little longer in the building in order to use the wifi. While we were fulfilling missionary responsibilities we overheard part of the testimony meeting of the Ward after us. The second testimony borne was from a less-active member who was coming to Church for the first time in years. She said that about a month ago the Sister Missionaries knocked on her door and she remembered telling them that she did not want any of the "spiritual stuff", but that right now all she needed was a friend. As she continued to share her story and testimony she again said that all of those years all she really needed was a friend. After a month of the missionaries coming over and just simply serving her and being her friend she was reminded of the blessings that come from living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and had a desire to come back to Church. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what testimony you have everyone needs a friend. Sometimes through mortal weakness someone may be forgotten, but Heavenly Father will not and does not forget. I know that we heard her testimony for a reason. Although people are not perfect the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is and although this world will change, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will not. I am so grateful for a firm foundation in these last days. I know my Savior lives and I know that this is His Church.
I pray y'all have a blessed week. Remember y'all are always in my prayers. I love y'all sooooooo much-ooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice


My pumpkin! 


My bed :)