Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone!

Alright so this week was pretty great! We taught lots of lessons this week and were able to achieve all of our weekly goals (which is super important). At the beginning of the transfer Sister Asi asked me if I felt like I was a successful missionary. And to be honest I could not confidently say I felt like I was a successful missionary. Which absolutely crushed me to say. Reason being I had come out here and automatically measured my success as a missionary by how many baptisms you were a part of. And within my first three months of training i didn't have any of my investigators get baptized like some other missionaries have had. But Sister Asi helped me to quickly realize that that is not what defines you as a successful missionary. She asked me to look around at all the other people I've taught. And I realized that I had too soon forgotten the miracle of two of our most progressing investigators that I'm not sure I have even mentioned before. 

Their names are Tony and Laura. Now if you remember back in February, the first week I got out here to Pennsylvania we had a baptism. Her name is Angel and she is 13 years old. Although I didn't have anything to do with teaching her and helping her prepare for baptism I did have the opportunity to re teach her all of the lessons. And to help her go to the temple to do Baptisms for the Dead. And since, I have also had the opportunity to teach Angels mom, Laura and Laura's fiancĂ©, Tony. Laura and Tony would be baptized sooner but they are just waiting to get married in August. And once they are married they will be baptized just two weeks after. And they are amazing! I love them both so much! Tony will admit that at time he may not have made some of the best choices throughout his life and the last thing he thought he would ever be doing would be to start coming to church, and especially the Mormon church of all churches. He reads The Book of Mormon, they pray as a family every night and they both pay their tithing. They are just patiently waiting for day that they can both be baptized. Tony is also in the process of quitting smoking and at the beginning it was really rough for him but I can honestly say that I have seen the power of the Atonement working through him and it is incredible.  Seeing people change is one of my absolute favorite things about being a missionary! 

Also a few weeks ago I had been having a rough day and we had a lesson with Tony. Somehow we had gotten on the subject of sometimes feeling like you're not making a difference. And like the work that you do may seem insignificant to others. The members that were with us were talking about it, and at one point during the lesson Tony looked at me and simply said "Sister Callaway I hope you know that you're helping to make a difference in our lives." I think he could tell I was having a rough day and that was all I needed to hear at that moment. I love this family that we are teaching!! I'm honored that Heavenly Father has blessed me with the opportunity to teach them. I have to say I completely underestimated how much I was going to love people when I got out on my mission. Seriously, it's crazy I just love everyone! Haha but it is the greatest feeling ever to know that Heavenly Father is sharing with you a portion of the love He has for His other children. 

Another lesson we had this week was with a woman named Ty. She was a referral given to us by some Elders, and we weren't actually planning on having a lesson with her this week but we were in the area and decided to stop by. She was home and welcomed us in and we taught her The Restoration right then and there and then invited her to be baptized!!! She is so going to be baptized on June 28! She is so prepared! She loved it and she said that it all made sense! We love her and are so excited to keep working with her! Oh and apparently her brother is in the NFL but I forgot to ask what team...But anyway! 

We also had a lesson with what were two of our most progressing investigators. I've mentioned them before their names are Ben and Levi. This was our last lesson with them because they have since moved and we had to refer them to some other missionaries. But a little background, Ben calls himself an atheist but yet he reads The Book of Mormon and prays. And he prays so much that he sounds like you or I would when we pray it's awesome! and Levi is Bens best friend who is a Buddhist. They are both 18 and initially started meeting with the missionaries for a school assignment about religion. But since have become genuinely interest for themselves. They have talked about being baptized and I can totally see these two on missions! They are awesome! I was so sad we had to refer them though, but it's not about what I want it's about what's best for them, and we prayed and felt it was best to refer them to the elders in their area.

We also taught our first lesson to an Albanian Muslim woman yesterday! Haha let me explain. On Saturday night we had just pulled into the parking lot of our apartment when usually we would have taken a few minutes to stop and record our miles for the day before we went inside. But when I parked the car I without even realizing it I just started to get out of the car not knowing exactly what I was going to be doing I just felt the need to get out of the car at that moment. When Sister Asi and I saw this older woman walking passed us. I started talking to her and noticed she had a very thick accent. I asked her what her native language was and she said Albanian and I got SO excited!! Because our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Krenicky served his mission in Albania and spoke the same language! As we were talking with her we asked her if she believed in God, she said she does and that she thanks Him everyday for everything but she doesn't exactly know how to pray. We told her we could teach and we taught her right then and there simply how to pray. When we opened our eyes she was crying and thanked us so much for teaching her how to pray. We set up an appointment with her the next day and asked Brother Krenicky of he could come with us. And it was a tough lesson to teach haha we would not have been able to do it had we not had Brother Krenicky there to translate. She spoke in broken English and so Brother Krenicky had to translate. We taught her The Restoration and she believed it but at the end of the lesson she told us that she was old and it was too late for her to remember anything that we were teaching her, she believed in God and that was enough for her. She also mentioned how she was Muslim more by heritage than by practice. But she said we could come back! So we're not giving up on her! 

Another cool experience we had last night, was after a really good lesson with a less active we had to run back to our apartment but as we were leaving the apartment we said a quick prayer and in the middle of the prayer I just knew and felt that there was someone waiting outside who we needed to talk to. And sure enough once we walked out of the apartment there was a man standing outside and we began talking with him, he spoke more Spanish than English but as we were talking with him we asked if he would like to here more about our message but in Spanish and he accepted and so we got some Spanish elders to go and teach him! It was amazing! 

Something else I wanted to share is something that was talked a lot about in church yesterday and something I have been studying and learning more and more about...and that is Conversion. There is far too much I have learned but if there is one thing I want to emphasize about it, it is this...there is a difference between having a Testimony of the Gospel and being Converted to the Gospel. I have seen SO many people out here who have testimonies, because they KNOW the gospel is true but they simply don't want to live their lives according to that knowledge. David A. Bednar gave a talk on the topic that explains it better than I ever could. Another apostle said that "having a testimony is to know and feel, but being converted is to do and become." And I loved that because it is so true. Because you don't have to be baptized into the church to be a convert to gospel. Now something else that I have come to understand is that everyone is at a different pace in learning how to use the atonement as well. And that is okay, the important thing is that we learn how to use The Atonement EVERYDAY. No matter how long it will take to learn, because honestly I am just starting to learn how to use the Atonement more fully in my life. I pray, and invite each and every one of us to strive to become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No, living the gospel is not easy, and it will never be easy but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Saviors Atoning sacrifice we will become converted and become who the Lord has intended us to be. I love this Gospel and my Savior with all of my heart and soul and bear firm witness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true way to receive eternal joy. 

I love you all more than you could ever know ever!! Please oh please strive to find any and every way to come unto Christ! 
Until next week,

~Sister Amy Callaway~

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hello Everyone

Hello everyone!! 

It was SO good to talk to everyone yesterday! I love you all! I miss everyone like crazy but I am grateful to be a missionary! 

Hm well honestly this week was crazy busy. We are still trying to get settled into our new apartment and I'm sorry if this email is super lame again but today has been nuts and I don't have much more time. But I will try to make this awesome! So anyway, we again didn't have many appointments this week. But we did have one with a young girl named Evelyn. She is 13 years old and I swear she looks just like Haley! Hay, I'm not kidding you when I tell you this girl is your long lost twin. Seriously I love teaching her because she reminds me of my little sister! But anyway, Evelyn has very little knowledge of Jesus Christ to begin with. She honestly didn't even know what Easter was. Come to find out her mom grew up in the church but never talked about it while raising her daughter, but then contacted the missionaries to come and tech her daughter "the basics of the Jesus story" and so we gladly accepted and we're excited to teach her. We taught Evelyn about The Plan of Salvation and she just kept saying that it all just makes sense! She is a very bright girl and she has so much potential! I am so excited to keep working with her and to help her come closer to Jesus Christ. 

Another cool experience this week was when Sister Asi and I were driving back from District Meeting on Thursday and we were almost back to our apartment when we drove past this cemetery where a car was parked and a lady was just sitting inside smoking a cigaret and listening to music. I drove passed and thought nothing of it at first. But not even like two seconds later within driving passed her I felt my heart start beating and before I knew what I was doing I found myself starting to turn the car around. Sister Asi looked at me and said "did you see that lady too?!" I said yes and then she said "I was just going to tell you to turn around!" Grateful for having both received the prompting we parked the car said a quick prayer and got out to go talk to her. When we walked up to the car I began talking with her and she just proceeded to smoke her cigaret and turn up her music even louder. I asked her if she was religious and she started talking about her relationship with God. I assumed she wouldn't be apposed to watching a short video about Jesus Christ then and I asked her and she accepted. We showed her the #BecauseHeLives video and she LOVED it. We explained to her who we were and what we do as missionaries. We asked her if she had heard of The Book of Mormon and she said no. We gave her a copy of it and she was hesitant to take it only because she felt bad taking something special from us. We asked her if she would like to learn more about and she said no we will just leave it at that. We said that was alright and simply asked her if we could leave her with a prayer. She said of course and quickly just bowed her head and just sat there silently. We were somewhat thrown off by that haha and then she looked at us and started reciting the Lord's Prayer and she asked if we knew that prayer. We told her how our prayers were different and she said she wanted to hear so I offered the prayer and simply asked that Heavenly Father would bless her with the thing that she needed and to help her have the strength the face any trails she faced. When we finished with the prayer she looked up at us with this stunned look on her face and said "how did you know." I asked her what she meant and she said that not even two minutes before she pulled into the Parkin lot she was about to ask different people to pray for her. And with the most sincere look in her eyes she thanked us for coming to talk with her and told us that she would read The Book of Mormon. I was so grateful for that experience and for the opportunity that we had to be an answer to someones prayer. 

Also something else that I've been able to study this week is the principle of retention. In Mosiah 4-5 it explains this. And it has strengthened my testimony so much for the fact that we not only receive a remission of our sins and the things we do wrong but that that we must retain, or hold onto that remission of sin. And King Benjamin explains it perfectly. I have such a strong testimony of the power of prayer and scripture study, and service. And those are the very small and simple yet powerful things that allow us to retain that remission of sin. Because just as important as it is to revive it, how much more important it is to retain it. So please I plead with everyone that if you are not already, please begin to pray, study the scriptures, and serve others. 

I love you all more than you will ever know!! <- I say that every week and I feel like it gets over used but it's the honest truth! 
Until next week!
Sister Callaway

Sorry no pics this week but next week :)

I Love Being A Missionary :)

Hello everyone!!

First of all...I AM SO EXCITED TO TALK TO YOU GUYS ON SUNDAY!! And second, Happy Birthday this week Momma!! You should be expecting a package from me this week :) And Happy Birthday to Rossy Poo today, aaaaand somebody better give that kid a big fat hug for me tomorrow when he comes home!! I can't believe he is already done with his mission! That is crazy! But tell him I love him and that I am so proud of him :)

Okay so this week was absolutely and completely nuts haha. Exciting yes, but utter chaos at the same time haha. And I apologize if this email is super lame but i don't have much time!! So I'll just update you on how the week went.

Well transfers were on Wednesday and I LOVE my new companion! She is the best! Her name is Sister Asi. She is this beautiful Tongan girl, born in New Zealand and raised in Reno, Nevada! So crazy that we only grew up 2 hours away from each other! She is so sweet and such a great missionary! And come to find out she has made so many connections here with members of the ward! And there were actually members in the ward praying for her to come to this area! And she is here! I know that this area needed Sister Asi, so now she is here and we are ready to work! I had met Sister Asi before because she was training another Sister who came out here the same time I did. And I knew that I just loved her because she was so sweet! And so ALL last week I kept joking and saying "what if Sister Asi is my new companion!" In all honestly I thought it was highly unlikely that she would be because I thought she would be called to be a Sister Training Leader or something. But come Wednesday at transfers I was just a nervous wreck because my trainer was leaving me and now I was getting a new companion but I didn't know who. I just felt very unsettled the entire time. But during transfers my picture came up on the screen and then they announced that my new companion was Sister Asi! I turned around and we both we just so excited!! And later she told me that when she saw my picture come up she just KNEW that I was going to be her companion! Awesome how the spirit works to confirm things huh? Anyways, We have seen so many miracles just from the last few days that we have been companions. We have been talking to literally everyone and so much has come of it! It is wonderful! It's so good to have her here because she has SO many good ideas to add to the work. For example, yesterday we did some "phone call finding" where we just looked up all the random numbers in our phone of people we didn't know and called them! Our goal as a mission is for each companionship to talk to at least 10 new people a day and it was 8 o'clock and we still needed to talk to 5 more people so we decided to do "phone call finding" and it was SO funny!! Haha but we got some return appointments out of it also! Total miracle! Oh and also I get to drive! I forgot how much I missed driving but it is sooooo nice. 

Anyway the day after transfers we had to move....which I've decided that I hate moving as a missionary haha. Transfers is a whole other story but having to move and entire apartment is so stressful, because we had district meeting and then we had to finish cleaning the rest of the old apartment, and go to the appointments we had that day and then get the keys for the new apartment and then finally get there. But all was well :) The move went well and we are in our new apartment and we are excited for the opportunity to talk to new people in the area. We know that this is where the Lord wants us. 

Hm well let's see, on Saturday Sister Asi and I had our first ever Skype lessoit was with one of Sister Asis close friends from Reno and so we got to skype in and help to teach her the The Restoration. And although there were some complications with the call itself the spirit was still so strong! It was amazing to me that we could still feel the spirit so strong even over a Skype call! And that just confirmed to me that this technology we have is truly given to us for the purpose of spreading the gospel. It was amazing! And I'm not a perfect teacher but my teaching skills are coming along! And earlier this week we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Leo. And he is awesome! He loves the gospel and the last few lessons we have had with him the spirit has been so strong! And he is getting baptized on June 7!! We are so excited to keep working with him and are so grateful for his willingness to learn! We still have been doing a lot of finding lately but that's okay I have grown to love finding. After a few experiences with some people just being flat out mean to us, I've realized that I've kind of been afraid to talk to people lately. Which makes me frustrated haha but Sister Asi is helping me to just try and overcome that fear. And through my personal studies this week I have learned so much that has helped me with this particular struggle which I would like to share. Every week we have conference calls which are pretty much like a 30 minute fireside over the phone with everyone in the mission. and a few weeks ago we heard from the Assistants to the President. They spoke to us about overcoming our fears whatever they may be. They referred to Moroni 8:16 ""... Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." Moroni 8:16, I think I may have mentioned this last week but I have been saying this to myself ALL week long! Haha I am serious. It has helped me so much. And this week I have been studying a lot about charity and humility. I have only just begun to realize what true charity is. It is the pure love of Christ and I can honestly tell you that I have started to see people as my brothers and sister and have started to feel a portion of that pure love that God has for each and everyone of them. And for me humility means not only being submissive and willing to do the Lords will but also not worrying about pleasing anyone else but the Lord. I have come to realize that it honestly does not matter what people can do so long as you are doing the Lords will. I wish I could tell you everything that I have learned this week but I am out of time and we have work to do! 

I love being a missionary! I love this work and I love our Savior! Look for ways to come unto Christ this week :)

I love you all so very much! I'll talk to you next week! :D
Love you, 

~Sister Amy Callaway~


Hello hello my sweet family and friends!!

Oh how I love you all! Well his week was pretty good. Many canceled appointments but what are you gonna do? People have their agency haha. We didn't teach many lessons his week which is super discouraging but we still saw many miracles! So now, onto the weekly report...

I forgot to mention this last week but, a few weeks ago at Zone Conference our Mission Presidents wife, Sister Anderson gave each of the missionaries a copy of The Book of Mormon and she asked us to write our testimonies in them and then gave us what she called "The Book of Mormon Challenge." (Which I will share with you in a bit.) Where she had us mark specific scriptures that give the reader a quick glance at what The Book of Mormon is all about it. Anyway, she asked us to prayerfully consider who we gave ours to instead of just passing it out like a flyer. This is something very special and she wanted us to give it to someone who we thought was truly ready to hear he Gospel of Jesus Christ. Well, so earlier in the month we got a referral from the church headquarters for a girl who had requested a copy of The Book of Mormon. And so a few weeks ago we went to give it to her. We showed up to her house where we met her, she was so sweet and she welcomed us in with a smile. We taught her The Restoration, and once the lesson was over I had in my hands two copies of The Book of Mormon. One with my testimony and the scriptures Sister Anderson had asked us to mark, and the other without it. Zone Conference had only been the day before and I had already been pondering whether I should give it to her or not. I had prayed that morning to know if I should give my specific copy to her but seemed to not get any clear answer. As we finished the lesson she asked for the copy she requested and I looked down at the two in my hands and trying to decide which one I was going to give her. Quickly I came to the conclusion that I should give her the one that I marked. As I held it in my hands I looked at her and told her that this book was very special to me, that it has help to change my life and bring me closer to Christ in countless ways. I told her that I had been praying about who to give that copy to and that I wasn't just going to give it to anyone but that I felt like she was the one I should give it to. Her countenance seemed to change almost as I expressed to her how important this book was to me. When I handed it over to her she just looked at it and was holding it very carefully like it is was a precious possession. Which it is, but she looked at me and said thank you for giving it to her of all people. As she walked us out she was telling us how she wants to be a Sister Missionary and how she wants to change her life and she was so grateful that God brought us to her.

We followed up with her about it last week and she said she has been reading it and loves it so much and she knows that this is something that she needs in her life!! We are so excited to go back and teach her! But with that I would like to extend this invitation to please take a copy of The Book of Mormon and participate in The Book of Mormon Challenge! :) {you'll find in down below}

The Book of Mormon Challenge
{grab a copy of The Book of Mormon and begin!}

First Page-- Write your testimony
Bottom of Page-- write "Turn To Page 59--"

At the Top of Page 59-- write "Read 2 Nephi 2:27" (underline scripture)
Bottom of Page-- write "Turn to Page 117"

At the Top of Page 117-- write "Read 2 Nephi 33:10-12" (underline scriptures)
Bottom of Page-- write "Turn to Page 310"

At the Top of Page 310-- write "Read Alma 41:3-7;10 (underline scriptures)
Bottom of Page-- write "Turn to Page 459"

At the Top of Page 459-- write "Read 3 Nephi 27:13-16" (underline scriptures) 
Bottom of Page-- write "Turn to Page 529"

At the Top of Page 529-- write "Read Moroni 10:4-7" (underline scriptures)
Bottom of Page 530-- write "Know It Is True--Then ACT!!"

At the Top of Page 531-- write "Read Moroni 10:32-33" (underline scriptures) 
Bottom of Page-- write "Now go to the beginning and read this Book!" 

{Then prayerfully consider who you give your copy to and watch the miracles unfold!!}

And now for in other news, transfers are this week and Sister McCuen is getting transferred :(
And so this is how transfer calls went. We got a call from our District Leader and we were freaking out! I answered the phone and the first thing he says is "you're both gone!" I freaked out and he immediately said "just kidding! I haven't even gotten the calls yet for who is getting transferred I was just bored."...I was mad haha. But anyway he calls a few minutes later and this time we did a conference call with the whole district and he names off everyone who is safe and everyone who is getting transferred. Sister McCuen and I being two that were safe. We were practically jumping for joy while others where so upset when we heard Elder Beirman say "now for the real transfer calls!" Again he had played another prank on us, which I didn't find funny haha. But eventually he gave us the sad news that Sister McCuen is being transferred. So we will see who my new companion will be this week! Which will be fun because we move the day after transfers. But all is well. Everyone on my district has been joking with me that I'll be training this transfer because Sister McCuen started training me only being 3 months out in her mission. And so I have been so anxious whenever the phone rings haha. But I will go and do whatever the lord asks of me no matter what it is. 

Yesterday we also saw a few miracles. After the week before when that woman tried to bible bash with us Sister McCuen and I decided to go back to her neighborhood and finish the rest of the houses. And so that's what we did. I'll be honest though I was scared to death of running into Liz again. But something that the Assistants to the President gave us this week was a verse in Moroni, 

"Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." (Moroni 8:16)

So I was repeating that to myself ALL day yesterday. And as I did I found that whatever fears I had completely went away. I love this gospel, I love my Savior, and I came to love the people we were talking to. Whether they were nice if whether they were mean. Because "perfect love casteth out all fear" and it does. Perfect, genuine Christ-like love casts out all fears. And so Ill leave this thought with you: if ever you're afraid to share the gospel, accept a calling, give a talk, etc anything! just remember that phrase "perfect love casteth out all fear." Do it out of love. And most importantly do it because you love the Savior. 

Sorry this email is a bit shorter than most but I didn't feel like writing a novel today haha jk jk. I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate you! But most importantly I hope you all know how much I love this gospel and our Savior! 
Much love, 

~Sister Amy Callaway~

What A Week!!

Hello everyone!!

I love you all! I hope you know that! First of all I have to wish Trav a happy birthday today!! I hope you have the best day ever! Try not to have too much fun without me though haha. Hm lets see well I'll just get right to it then! 

Well unlike the week before this week was much more eventful, still a lot of canceled appointments but we had some other fun stuff happen! First of all earlier this week we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, I stayed here in Kutztown this time whereas last time I went to Reading, which is kinda super sketchy but it was awesome! Exchanges was fun and I love our STL's! Sister Wright and Sister Nielson are the best! Anyway, the day after exchanges Sister McCuen and I were out doing some finding we showed the #BecauseHeLives video to a few guys and gave them our cars with our number on it in case they were interested in learning more. Well later that night after an appointment we checked the phone and we got a text from a random number that said, "to the cute blonde with the skirt; you free Friday?"...I freaked out but Sister McCuen thought it was hilarious haha. So yep I kinda got asked out on a date on my mission which I didn't think I would ever happen but it was pretty funny. 

Then on Friday after a good day we got a call from our STL's at 9:20 and they said they were on their way to our apartment and that they were spending the night. We said okay and then started freaking out thinking we were in trouble or something because that doesn't ever happen. Come to find out that someone had tried to break into their car and they just didn't feel safe for the night so they came to spend the night with us. It was fun to have them over for the night! But anyway onto the biggest event of this week which actually happened last night. 

Yesterday we went out to do some finding before our dinner appointment. So we stopped on this one street that we hadn't tried before. We knocked on a few houses with no luck of anyone answering, and then came to one house where a very sweet woman answered the door. I told her who we were and she said with a big smile on her face "you know what? Let me grab my Bible and I would love to come and sit out here and chat with you ladies!"...and immediately after she said that, I knew what she was doing...yep! You guessed it! I experienced my first Bible bash yesterday! It was an interesting experience and let me tell you why. Right after Liz went inside I looked at Sister McCuen and she knew exactly what I was thinking, that we needed to leave, we're not suppose to Bible bash with anyone. Because it doesn't do anyone any good just to try and prove a point. But she insisted that we stay and so we did. We went back to the car and armed ourselves with the scriptures. As we walked back she came outside and sat with her sweet little family and we first asked her if we could share a short video with her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We showed her the Because He Lives (which everybody should watch if you haven't seen it already) video just to invite the spirit, and she enjoyed it but then proceeded right on with telling us (in the kindest tone of voice possible) that we were going to hell for what we were teaching people, and that unless we listened to her we were inevitably going to be damned for teaching "false doctrine." And I swear it was like I just felt the spirit get right up and walk away or something. Because right when she started saying that of course the spirit wasn't going to be there anymore, and I didn't blame him! I didn't want to be there either! I wanted to follow him right off that porch! But Sister McCuen insisted that we stay. For reasons beyond me at that moment. 

Liz went on to tell us many other things that she had supposedly learned of us and our church. And she even quoted Joseph Smith and from The Book of Mormon. But the way she was speaking of how she learned these things I knew without her even having to say it that her church had a class that taught against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So that whenever they came across us Mormons then they would be ready to try and argue with us. So I asked her how often she attended this class where they taught against us and she said "oh, every week!" I knew right then that her heart was pretty hardened to anything we had to say, but that doesn't mean that it can't be softened! 

But anyway, I could also tell she had practiced these things. It sounded like rehearsal and repetition rather than her own words. She kept asking prodding questions to try and get us to talk about deep doctrine, which we werent about to get into, (that's hard enough for anyone to understand) so that she could try and come back with something to try and stump us. She continued on to say many many things against the Church and The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and anything else she could think of to bash on. Now I was just getting angry. Because I was not about to sit there and listen to someone bag on everything that I know is true and hold most dear and sacred. The anger I felt I knew on its own was a sign that the spirit was no longer there. 

She said many things against us, to which for everything she said I had a scripture in The Book of Mormon to throw right back at her if I really wanted to (which i did) but I held myself back because I knew I shouldn't. It wouldn't have done her or us any good anyway because she didn't care, her heart was so hardened to anything we had to tell her and the spirit wasn't there to testify of the truth because it had already been driven away. But this whole incident went on for a good while, and she said a lot of things. But one thing we talked about in particular caught most of my attention. She kept asking how we had come to believe that these things were true and Sister McCuen simply said "because the Holy Ghost has confirmed it to us in our hearts." And then Liz went on to again tell us that we were wrong. And that we can't know and feel things with out hearts. That our hearts are deceitful and we can't trust them, and that the only thing we can rely on is the Bible. And just as she said that these verses came to my mind 

"And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught." (2 Nephi 33:1-2)

I didn't read them to her they just came to my mind and taught me something very important. I told her how it is by the word of God and by the power of the Holy Ghost that we can know the truth of these things. And she no it is only by the word of God that we can know anything. 

Eventually I had had enough and it got to the point where I stood up as if I were ready to leave and did the only thing that I could think to do. The very thing that Alma himself said to do, "seeing no it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them." (Alma 4:19) and so that's what I did. I just bore my testimony of the truth of The Book of Mormon, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and most importantly the divinity of the Savior Himself. 

Now I wish I could tell you that at this point that I bore this super powerful and awesome testimony and that I completely confounded her! Softened her heart and now she is getting baptized!!...that would've been so awesome I'm not going to lie haha...but nevertheless, that isn't at all how it happened...Rather, Little Amy Callaway who was scared half to death of the entire situation, mustered up whatever courage she could to stand up, and stumbling over her words, managed to stammer out her most simple testimony of the things she knew were absolutely true. I told her to take my words for what they were, but we challenged her to read the Bible and The Book of Mormon together.

Liz challenged us to study the Bible more and so I thought "deal! I do that already!" We promised her that we would, and since she challenged us We again challenged her to read the entire Book of Mormon and not just go off of whatever people tell her. I had her read Moroni 10:3-5, she accepted a copy of The Book of Mormon and then hoping she would have the last word she again told us that unless we changed our ways that we were going to hell, and that at judgement day we are going to be accountable for the things we are doing. And I told her that he's we were and at least I know that the things we are doing are right and I will not be ashamed to be known of the works I am doing for my Savior. And so before we left I read these verses to her :

"And now, my beloved brethren...and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day." (2 Nephi 33:10-12)

And with that, we hugged her and turned around and left. Once we got into the car I wish i could say that we carried on our merry little way and didn't let it bother us. But in all honesty we got into the car and I broke down...Now! First and foremost you must know that even with that, nothing she could have said would EVER shake my testimony. EVER. But what bothered me was that I felt like I couldn't defend my Savior and his gospel in the way that it deserves to be defended. Once again I felt so unqualified and inadequate to do this work. But, as I was sitting there these verses from the Bible came to my mind, 

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."(John 15:18-20)  

But despite my inadequacies I knew I did my best with what I could. And I found comfort in this truth,

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13)

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to have been called of Him, I am grateful that He called me, despite all of my many many many weaknesses and that He is trusting me with this call. But, you don't have to have a name tag pinned on your shirt to be a missionary. Remember that. We are all disciples of Jesus Christ, if we choose to follow Him with full purpose of heart. Yesterday at church a talk was given in Sacrament Meeting about our discipleship. 

After this whole experience I could only think of the words of Elder Holland from a few of his talks that I wanted to share...

I have been asked many times why I came on a mission. And here is my simple answer as to why. Because I love Jesus Christ. And I love Him more than anything. 

"You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it!...Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them."
(The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship)

"What I need... are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world...My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty."(The First Great Commandment) 

So with that I leave you with this question, what are you willing to do for your discipleship?

Well I love you all so very much! Please look for ways to come unto Christ this week :)
~Sister Amy Callaway~ 

P.s. I like apple pie...

Oh and sorry I didn't take any pictures this week! I promise I will next week :)