This week has been awesome. Really slow, but awesome! This week I was able to do exchanges with Sister Barkdull from mid Wednesday till Friday night. I have to say it was the best thing this week. I never anticipated working with Sister Barkdull again, and yet here we are haha. We tried a lot of people and we also taught some less active lessons which was awesome. We worked really hard. We talked the whole time and just had fun catching up. A less active who we just started working with wanted to have another meeting with us before exchanges stopped. The next day we saw her and met with her and after the lesson she gave us a huge compliment, she said "I now know why I needed to see you again before exchanges end, it is because you two work so well together and as a team really know how to help and truly love me" AWWWWW how sweet is that. Sister Barkdull and I really do work well together. I love her so much and it is so nice to have her around again.
Saturday at the adult session of stake conference I was able to see Sister Taylor also, she is in our stake/zone and that was amazing also. My companions are with me once again.
Wednesday night, Sister Barkdull and I were on exchanges and I don't remember what we were doing, we were with a member I think. Anyways Sister Barkdull mentioned how it was my 9 month mark that day. This is usually a happy occasion for most missionaries, and to be honest I thought when my 9 months mark came I would be so happy. Well it came, I had totally forgot about it and did not even realize that it was my half way point. When Sister Barkdull mentioned it my heart just sunk. It really struck me at that moment how much I love my mission. Sure, there are hard times, but true joy always come with true heart ache. I love my mission, it is the best choice I ever made. I have learned so much and have so much more to learn. I have loved more than I thought I could ever love. I have cried more than I have ever cried, out of joy and out of pain. I am not ready to come home, I do not want to come home. Sister Barkdull felt really bad. Later that night Sister Spencer congratulated me on my half way point thinking I would be happy too, but I was not haha.
Before I move on I just want to bear a short testimony. I know that this Church is true, I know that it is the only true church on the earth and that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore The true church to the earth once again. I know that we are in the final and last days before Jesus Christ returns to reign on the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that he is my Redeemer. Jesus Christ loves me, Andrea, Sister Draudt. I have gained such a knowledge of the atonement. I know that it is something that is so large that I will never comprehend all of the ways it blesses me. But I do know it blesses me. I know that my Savior suffered for my sins, but he also suffered my pain, my hardships as well as he understand my joy. He understands how it feels to be alone, or so be discouraged. He is my best friend. He is constant in my life. Since he suffered all of my pain, and trials, and hardships, he knows exactly what I need and he can help me in that perfect way that is tailored just for me. I know that we had and have prophets called of God who hold his priesthood authority. The best thing is that my Brothers and my Dad also hold the priesthood so that they can bless their families. The priesthood is a service to bless others. I am so thankful to have it in my life, I know that this church is true. I know that the time is now to hasten the work. It has been prophesied that God would hasten his work in his time, and the prophet has told us it is now. The prophesy is being fulfilled. In a world full of wickedness and it grows everyday, we must Hasten the Lords Work now. We need to combat this evil. The time is now to Hasten the work. I challenge all of you to be missionaries and to help bring your friends and your family unto Christ and help them receive the happiness that we have as members of the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know with my whole soul that the gospel is true.
Last night I had an experience that impacted me so greatly and I have to share this with all of you. Last night we went with the elders from the Shepard Ward to meet some of the people they teach. Sister Spencer has met them once before and this was the first time I met them. We pull up to this trailer, the elders are not there yet so we wait and wait. Then Jonathan comes out of the trailer. He is the reason we go, he is 19 and is investigating the church. He and his mom and little brother live with this lady, we will call her Randi, cause I do not remember her name. When we went inside, the elders finally showed up, well elder Ferguson and a member. Randi is a member, she joined 3 years ago in Utah, she is a former member of Hells angels and a former druggie and everything you can imagine. Well while we were talking to Johnathan and Randi we found out that Johnathan's mom was in the psyc ward and had a mental breakdown. We found out that Johnathan has been abused his whole life by his parents. His mom put him on meds so she did not have to deal with him. Johnathan has a little brother who is 5, cutest little kids I have ever seen. My heart was breaking as we learned about their life story. They have been abused none stop till they got with Randi, she does love those boys. Johnathan does everything she says because you can tell he has been hurt so much in his life that he does what he is told because he doesn't know what else to do. He is a little slow, and it is only because he has been treated like he is stupid, but he is not. We tried sharing the restoration and the furthest we got is that God Loves us and wants us to be happy. The sweetest thing that impacted me was when re told us about all the blessings he has been given. This young man could have so many excuses to say God does not care, but instead he Testified in just a short sentence and explained how God has been with him through all the hard times. The 5 year old was really tired and so Randi told Johnathan to take him to bed. Also just side note Johnathan is about 250 pounds. He is massive and about 6 ft 3 inches. He goes over to his brother who is in a bean bag chair and tenderly tells him "ok it's time to sleep" and the little brother gets up and gives him a hug, and Johnathan just holds him with this tender caring smile on his face. Then the 5 year old gives me and Sister Spencer hugs. I love Johnathan and his little brother. I know that he is one of the reasons that I am here. I need to help him realize his self worth and help build his relationship with God. Johnathan has so much potential, but has no idea how to reach it because of the situation he was born into. Please keep this family in your prayers. I teared up about 5 times during this lesson. I know that he is Heavenly Fathers son and Heavenly Father wants so much for him. He loves him. I know I did not explain this very well, and I could not really get across how the lesson went. But I want to testify of Heavenly Fathers love for Johnathan, and for all of us.
I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week. Tell Josh that the Karikers are my favorite people on the planet and I love them