Hello my people!
First of all I have to wish my favorite oldest sister Brittney the happiest birthday ever!!!! I hope you know how much I love you! And be patient with me, I'm uber slow at getting mail out to people soooo your birthday present will be coming soon, and when I mean soon I mean probably within two months time haha :) but at least you're the one that lives the closest to me so it won't take as long to get to you...but you can trust that it is coming! Anyway I love you sister and I hope you have the best birthday there ever was!! You deserve it :)
AAAAAAAH!! Oh my heck! Aubrey is a momma!! Oh my gosh Aubs, he's beautiful! It's crazy because I knew that baby was coming this week... ALL day Thursday I was like "I swear it's somebody's birthday today"...well turns out it was Aunt Karen's, Uncle Tims, and baby Logan's! Seriously I just had the strongest feeling that Aubrey was going to have her baby this week and then mom emailed me with pictures and I may have started crying haha...I've been praying so hard all week that all would go well and that both momma and baby would be healthy and I am so glad that they are!! Ah! Seriously, I wish I could be there to meet him and hold him but pictures will have to suffice for now...seriously though, send me more pictures ASAP! Congrats Aubs and Joe, he is so stinking cute!
Oh boy well this week was pretty great/rough. But still great nonetheless. So earlier this week we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. I seriously love them to death they are so darn funny! They definitely know how to have fun while doing missionary work. So Sister Asi stayed here in Kutztown with Sister Nielson and I went down to Reading (pronounced like Redding from back home) with Sister Andrus. And Reading is pretty much the epitome of ghetto...I LOVE IT!! The first time I went there I was kinda nervous to be walking around the streets and honestly if I wasn't a missionary I don't think I would want to walk the streets of Reading, but I really do love it. Because for one, everything is so close together and you can just walk around and talk to people, whereas in Kutztown it's mostly farm land and you see more cows than people walking around. But I can at least tell you that I met some pretty interesting people in Reading haha.
I have been trying to get better at talking to more people, and so while I was in Reading I took advantage of that opportunity. I talked to as many people as I could and there were definitely some crazies but those are the best people to talk to! I learned a lot from Sister Andrus too. She is so funny and she hates talking to people but she does it anyway. And she just doesn't care what people think, she just knows she is suppose to give everyone the opportunity to hear the gospel. As we were walking down the street I saw in the distance a few people and decided to go an talk to them. As we approached we introduced ourselves and began talking with them. We met a 91 year old Pentecostal woman, named Mother Thomas, and her friend. As we were talking Mother Thomas just kept on "preachin!" And every time she would finish saying something her friend would say very loudly "mmhm! Amen Motha Thomas!" Or "mmhm, that is so deep! You are so deep Motha Thomas!" I was trying so hard to keep myself from laughing haha. Not interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ but they great.
Oh I also ate the BEST Jamaican food of my life while I was there. We had dinner with the Treveline family, they're from Jamaica and they are so funny! I love them already! I think we both served missions and then came to America but oh my heck can they cook...it was so great! And then we went out to do more finding, and Sister Andrus warned me that people in Reading will just try to hit on us. And oh boy, was she right haha. It was so funny though. Also while we were in Reading we came across a young girl who's name was Marilynn. And oh my heck she is so prepared!! We gave her a Book of Mormon and just talked with her about the gospel for like a half an hour and she is amazing! I hope they get to go back and teach her!
Well I learned A LOT during exchanges and I was so grateful for that. The day after we had interviews with President and that was probably the best thing for me this week. He is so in tune with the spirit it's incredible. He was able to help me so much, and answer many prayers. The day after interviews I got a blessing from my District Leader Elder Beirman, and all I can say is I love the priesthood. It amazes me how in tune these Elders are with the spirit and how much they respect the Priesthood that they hold. The blessing was a great help and source of comfort for me and in it I was promised some amazing things. Just that much more motivation for to be diligent about this great work that I am doing for my Heavenly Father.
Also we know that there are some big changes that will be happening in our area soon, so President has strongly encouraged Sister Asi and I to work as hard as we possibly can to try and move the work along in Kutztown. Come to find out, Kutztown is one of the toughest areas in the entire mission, which was good to know four months into my mission since for quite some time I was getting a bit discouraged that I wasn't helping everyone ever get baptized like I had hoped when I got out here haha jk. But I had expected more only to find the somewhat harsh reality of missionary work haha but all is well :) we have helped to strengthen the members in the area more than anything else. Of whom I have come to sincerely love so dearly.
One more of my favorite lessons that we had is week. His name is Leo and he is one of our progressing investigators. We didn't see him last week until I just decided to stop by and out walks Leo to walk his dog! He had been telling us he was very busy so we offered to go for a walk with him and we taught him while he was walking his dog! He said he has never found so much peace as he has within the time he has been learning about our church, and he can't wait to come to church! One thing he said to me was "I can tell how important this is to you, because you're so passionate about it when you teach!" And I was so grateful to hear that. Because at least one person out here I know can tell just how much I love this gospel and hopefully it will help him to build his testimony. I LOVE being a missionary!!
If there is one huge thing I have really learned since being out in these last four months is humility for sure. There's a scripture in Mosiah that describes my feeling perfectly,
"And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men."
This I have learned, I am nothing without my savior. Every weakness I have has only become more and more apparent, but through his grace, or the enabling power of His atoning sacrifice we can do the things that otherwise we could never accomplish on our own. We can overcome our weaknesses and short comings, and with "unwearied diligence" (Helaman 15:6) we will become who Heavenly Father has intended us to become. And this is the most important thing I can testify of, is that our Savior lives and the power of His Atonement is real.
Love you all more than you'll ever comprehend :)
Until next week,
~Sister Amy Callaway~