Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Official cockroach season?

March 20, 2017

So...to answer the title question...we saw about three cockroaches this week, one day after another. I am definitely NOT looking forward to the summertime. Coackroaches are nasty little bugs - well really, the ones we found were pretty big and fat. It is reasons like these why I could never live forever in Georgia! I still don't know how the bugs survive around here when the weather fluctuates within about 20 degrees every other week!

Sister Anderson and I found the tulip tree!

Anyways...it was a pretty good week. the weather is starting to warm up, so this week will be really good for tracting. It was so nice yesterday to stand in front of doors with the sun on my back and no wind nipping at me!  We ended up doing a lot of tracting this week as well (missionaries are always in the finding business!), but not really any new investigators. We are trying harder every day to listen to the Spirit and talk to everyone. And so far, everyone really has been pretty nice to us - they're just pretty content with their own faith and church.

Athens Zone Conference Elders & Sisters

Athens Zone Sisters having lunch

We attended zone conference this week, which was really cool. The mission president  - President Bennion - and his wife got up and spoke to us about how we can improve our finding efforts through different methods and goals as a zone. We focused a lot on appealing to the youth of the church to share their knowledge and testimony through social media, since most people who join the church end up doing so in their teens and early adult years because that is when they are really looking for a purpose in their lives. President says that the social media is such a fast and broad place to share the gospel, as well, so we have been focusing on that a lot as a new way to encourage member missionary work. During the meeting, we also did a lot of roleplays encouraging us to use different door and street contacting approaches like family history, prophets, the Book of Mormon, etc. We made a whole list and are now competing as a zone to see who can use all of them first and find new investigators from it!

I also went on exchange for my first time this week with a Sister Hansen (not MTC Companion Sister Hansen), who is also one of the STLs (Sister Trainer Leaders). She was really friendly and encouraging as we got to know each other and learned to apply different door approaches. I went to her area the day before zone conference, and it was kind of cool to get to know a new area and companion if only for a day. In some ways, it felt like I was completely green all over again, even though that will doubtless happen when I get transferred- just trying to take in all the new information all at once! When I was out with her, I finally got in to a house - a couple actually, and we were able to share our testimonies of the power of prayer and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, respectively. They were both Christian, but also very open to discussing Jesus Christ and religion with us, which was nice (for a change!)

I am so glad to be here in Georgia learning new things and meeting new people every day! I know that the work is definitely going strong here, and I hope that I will continue to trust in the Lord's guidance and timing to meet those who are willing and prepared to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Love you all and I look forward to talking again next week!

Sister Yount
Georgia Peach 2

Here are a few extra pictures:
Sister Yount and Sister Anderson, my companion
ice cream at Brusters on Sisters preparation after our self-defense class

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Three weeks!

March 13, 2017

Third week in Georgia! I can hardly believe it! The weather still can't decide what season it is, but I love it here all the same! It's good to be here teaching people - and finding people - who are ready to know the truth of our Heavenly Father's plan for them. My companion Sister Anderson and I are officially in the "finding" business now, since we have so few investigators at the moment! We keep praying and looking out for unplanned opportunities to share the gospel, so I know it will come! As long as we listen to the Spirit and trust in the Lord, I know we will be led to those who have "ears to hear." Sometimes it just feels like Hide and Seek though!
We just gave talks on Sunday about member missionary work, so hopefully that will help our little branch grow! We have been doing a lot of work with strengthening members, so I know it will all work out eventually!

All my love,
Sister Lauralee Yount
Georgia Peach 2

Crazy Georgian weather, y'all

March 6, 2017

So...I thought last week's weather here was crazy, but I was wrong. This week has been unbelievably cold and windy, then one day it was humid and rainy - we got a lightning storm Thursday night, I think it was - and now it is back to warming up again. Slowly but surely, I guess I will warm up (haha no pun intended) to the crazy weather here.

This week something really cool happened though, rainy weather and all. The same night that it started to pour on us, we were able to contact who we thought was a potential investigator. As it turns out, this was a different guy, so we introduced ourselves and started talking about the Book of Mormon with him! He said that his father was a pastor, but that the two of them had never really agreed on how to interpret different passages from the Bible. In his own practice, he said that he followed what the Bible said and everything else just kind of fell around it because the Bible is the word of God. We explained to him the backstory of the Book of Mormon and how it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ - we believe that through God,  a prophet named Lehi and his family were led to a promised land - America - where they continued to keep records of their dealings with the Lord in the land, and how they were able to build their own faith in the Savior.

 Since he seemed so open-minded as we talked, we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray bout it and testified that if he would, he could feel whether it really way God's word. And then he agreed to it! By this time it started to really pour outside, with wind, lightning, and all. Sister Anderson and I absolutely booked it to the car, but we both were glad to be there because he needed it. That was the best experience this week because even with the dampening weather, I felt so good inside at sharing the light of the gospel with him. Now THAT's missionary work - sharing the gospel to those who are open and prepared to receive it!

Another cool thing this week - one day when we were out tracting, we ran into TWO different young mothers who had grown up in the church and are now once again searching for God in their lives, especially for the sake of their families. They were both very friendly and open with us, and we invited them to come to church. We hope to go back and see if we can share more. As Sister Anderson said, It's not every day that you find less-active or former members, especially in the same neighborhood.

Even though this work is hard when I don't know how to talk to strangers and share with them how wonderful the gospel of Jesus Christ is, I am grateful when Heavenly Father puts those in our path who are willing to listen. I am still learning to open my mouth and rely on Jesus Christ in this work, and as I do, I am seeing the blessings. I have gotten frustrated a couple times this week, but I know that as long as I rely on the Lord, I can have the confidence and the strength to carry this message to all those who will receive it! I am growing and changing each day to share Christ's message of love to the world!

Love you all,
Sister Yount

Georgia Peach 2