May 11, 2015

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It has been a great week! I will write some stories (even though some of you heard them on Mother’s day) because good things are happening!

First off, fireflies!!! We saw the first ones of the summer Saturday night πŸ™‚ Sister Verdejo hadn’t seen them before.

While we were driving home Saturday night, we passed a car on the highway that was stopped and had their emergency lights blinking. We went a mile and then were wondering to each other if we should have stopped and helped them…or if there was even anything we COULD do to help them (we can’t give rides in mission vehicles…and heaven knows i’m not a mechanic). I wondered if we didn’t stop because a) it was dangerous or b) there really wasn’t anything we could do to help or c) we were lazy. I asked Sister Verdejo, and we decided it was because we’re lazy, so we turned around to go see what we could do! But the car was gone by then. BUT at least we knew we weren’t lazy, and also I think that is a good way to decide if you should help someone or do something good. What are my reasons FOR doing it, and what are my reasons for NOT doing it? It is hard to kick that lazy bone in gear, that is usually the deep down reason for not doing it. One blessing we got from it (besides peace of mind) is that it made us stay out later and we got to see fireflies!

I love the humidity and even a little bit that bugs are coming back…it reminds me of the beginning of my mission. Those were rough times in the hood….glad I made it through!

I finally met our Relief Society President’s husband…they had us over for dinner. He isn’t a member and the missionaries haven’t had much luck with him, he’s very anti-organized religion. However, he is really funny, and it was a great night. We invited them to do a 30-day book of Mormon challenge, to read from it for 15 minutes every morning with no distractios, before you turn on the tv, and really use that time to pray and seek understanding. She said “Sure! I’ll do it.” and he refused. haha. While we were leaving, Sister Verdejo turned back to him and said “So are you gonna read the Book of Mormon, or are you gonna be a big baby?” haha I died. She said it with such a nice smile on her face, he then agreed to read with her in the mornings, if she reads to him. πŸ™‚ and he said we could come back! I know she has been praying for a softening of his heart.

Leeann is still doing nicely, she came to church yesterday and set a new date for June 6th. We love her!!

Here is the rest of the story of Jerry Ogle……he is the one we taught months ago when I first got to Athens. Our Restoration lesson back then went great…he said “Does the world not know how amazing this is?” as we were talking about the Book of Mormon and the way it fits into the apostasy. Back then he said he hasn’t had a spiritual witness that it is the truth, but that logically it made sense to him, and he’d need to pray about it. Over the next few months, we weren’t able to teach him super regularly, but we’ve been focusing on him a little more lately. We had a lesson Saturday on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He was absolutely adamant that he’s been baptized by the Spirit, he doesn’t need a man’s baptism, and he knows he had a spiritual experience that changed his heart. We explained covenants and the blessings, but it wasn’t quite clickin for him…finally Brother Ward brought up fasting. We all agreed to fast together, us from food and him from cigarettes for 18 hours, and to pray that he’d get understanding and an answer about whether or not God wanted him to be baptized. He gave me his cigarettes and I said I’d give them back to him after church the next day.

Well, he didn’t make it to church, so we stopped by his house afterwards to give him his pack back and ask how his cigarette fast went. He said “Well Sister Hale, better than you might think. I’ve been thinking that I need to get baptized.” Wut! Was not expecting that…maybe I should have been. He said that this doesn’t mean he’s not skeptical of a few things still…but he thinks he is supposed to because it will help him help other people better. He said Jesus didn’t get baptized or die on the cross for himself, he did it for other people, and so he’s willing to do it if God wants him to. He still has to quit smoking, that will be a big one for him. We’ve been looking over the “stop smoking” workshop…maybe it will help!

ok gotta go!

– Sister Hale

pics: our district, then y’all, then me, then the Daggs who have us over for dinner a lot, then a chalkboard. …Ok I guess those were all kinda obvious.

DSC00086 DSC00096 DSC00101 DSC00106 DSC00076.

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