Monday, November 18, 2013

You Lose Some, You Win A Lot

I've been starting emails off with "Hey Y'all" ... I'd like to go to back to old ways and throw out a "Wazzzup Muh Brothaz?!"
Face the facts here people, Georgia is just as ghetto as it is southern. And the more I'm here, the more I'm realizing I've become a combination of both those sweet, sweet things. :)
So, lets be honest- this week was a little tougher than normal. But, at the same time, some of the most amazing things I've experienced as a missionary happened this week as well. You learn a lot of important lessons on a mission. This week I learned the meaning of "you win some, you lose some"
So - here are some accounts of a few times I felt absolutely defeated and conquered in the past 7 days...
We called to set up an appointment with the young girl we have been teaching, Alexis,  who was scheduled to be baptized this past Saturday but she was sick... and she ended up having the flu! Which meant we weren't able to see her for almost a week and that for sure pushed her baptism back! Sure, it may be the season of sickness, but I felt as though it was the adversary doing all he can to keep us from meeting with her! 
We went to a meeting at the mission office in Lilburn and my last companion was there! Sister Kelly! It was such a blessing to see her and yet made me miss my last area so much! I suddenly was homesick for Hickory Flat, the amazing families we were around there, the people we were teaching, and simply that I was with my best friend everyday.
We went to see James, a guy we have been teaching since the first week we got here, and he asked us while we were there what we would do if he asked us to never come again! He then proceeded to tell us that he didn't believe anything we have taught him and then mocked us and our testimonies! It was one of the hardest lessons I have ever been in and not only was it a challenge to hear him belittle what is most important to me, but it was sad to see that his heart isn't softened quite yet. Feelings of frustration and sadness like I had never felt before flooded and my heart was broken in a few places.
I experienced what I would like to call a day where nothing goes right...
Our heater broke and it was 50 degrees 
We suddenly had no service at our house
I melted plastic to the burner
Our DVD player wouldn't work
I started to feel sick 
I burned my arm while helping a member make dinner
While I was helping make dinner the batter on the fried chicken wouldn't stay on the chicken and instead burned to the cast iron skillet  #southernproblems
Our phone battery ran out
We got lost and were late to an appointment
Our awesome new investigator we found a few nights prior was home.. but wouldn't answer the door when we came?
All in a days work, right?!
So remember how I said I started to feel sick? And remember how it's that time of year when everyone gets sick? Well, you guessed it, I got sick.
I woke up from a full night of sleep and didn't even have the strength to kneel and pray. My head felt like it was falling off and my body ached. I told Sister Chapman I had to sleep and get some rest. Well.. I did just that, considering the fact that I slept from 6:30 - 12... then after eating a little bit of soup I slept from 12:30-5. I started to feel a little better after that, but not great, and so I went to bed at 9 and slept through the night. (good news, I am almost 100% better now though!)
So - as you can see.... there were some speed bumps through the week, but, more importantly, there were straight up victories! 
We were able to have a lesson with a sister who has been struggling and not only were we able to teach her how coming back to Church would help her, but we also were able to teach her about the blessings of the temple and how amazing the plan of salvation is! The Spirit was so strong! And .. she came to church this week, she hasn't done that for weeks! She now wants to go on team-ups with us and get back to where she needs to be. She is so wonderful!
While I talked with Sister Kelly at the meeting she told me that a family we worked with while I was there in Hickory Flat got baptized this past Saturday! I knew this would happen for them eventually, and even though it was tough to know that I wouldn't be there to see it, it made me so happy for them and for what the gospel will do for their family! I am so grateful I was able to get to know them and teach them while I served there!
We found Rick, this awesome man who was prepared for the message of the Gospel! When we first walked up to him I wasn't sure he would be willing to hear what we had to say, the colorful pony-tail holders throughout his beard, and his cigarettes made me thing he was rough around the edges but I was wrong, and he was so open to learning more! He came to church with us even and wants to continue to come!!
When I got sick, I have an awesome companion who made me soup! And canceled all our appointments and arranged times to reschedule! I felt like a total "pile" because we had to miss meetings and stay inside all day, and yet she was patient with me and let me rest!
We had a return appointment with a potential investigator and he wasn't there.. but his younger brother was! And he said he has been looking for ways to get closer to God. We taught him the restoration outside in a Gazebo and he committed to be baptized!
That same thing happened with another girl we met, she opened the door to her house and told us that she had always been curious as to what Mormons believe. We taught her the Restoration and she said she had goosebumps as we recited the first vision!  She also said that she was loving how close she felt to Christ lately, but that her church wasn't leaving her feeling full, and that she was searching for more. I wanted to yell, "Search over, Sister! You've found the Buffet!" but, instead I just asked her if we can come back and teach her this coming Wednesday. I'm trying to freak people out as little as possible.
As for Miss Alexis, well, after she was done being sick and I was done being sick we were able to get back with her and we asked her how she is feeling about everything, we were a little nervous because it had been so long since we had seen her, and yet she said "Can I be baptized this coming Saturday!?" Why yes, yes you can! So... if all goes well, there will be a baptism this Saturday!
Like stated before... you win some, you lose some.
But I think the old classic saying should go something more like this, you lose some, you win a lot.
I know that these trials come to teach us things, to humble us a little ( or a lot, haha!) and that they are for our benefit.
I know that the success and winnings are because of the Lord and not because of anything we are doing... It is His Work and His Glory. 
I am just so grateful to be experiencing all of this.
So... what are your losses? What have they taught you? Your winnings... are you finding joy in them? Are you giving that credit back to where it belongs; to the Lord?
Romans 5: 1-4 says this,
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulations worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope."

No matter how strong our team is, no matter our game-plan... there are going to be challenges, but with the Lord as our coach we can recognize that everything he puts on our plates are challenges and triumphs that will bring us closer to Him.
I love the Lord! I love His work! I love the people of Georgia! I love you all back at home! And.. apparently, I love me some sports!?...
I guess it's easy to tie the gospel into football when your hometown team takes the state title! Good job to all my boys- I am one proud big sister!
God bless & God speed!
-Sister Beasley

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