|Sisters Houghton & Thorn with the lovely Tanya and her mother Marlene!|
I'm in Georgia and it is awesome!
My first area is the Allatoona Ward. It's a lot like Sonora, my home town, but is also very different in so many ways. I've only come across two people who I couldn't understand so far, and have had several people try to teach me Southern. The strangest thing about GA is that even though it has been plenty wet (mostly just rainy, not humid yet), all the grass here is brown.
My trainer is Sister Thorn. She's the only Sister Training Leader in my zone and has been all I could ask for in a trainer. She joined the Church 4 years ago and has a really wonderful testimony which she is not afraid to share. She has already taught me so much! Her last companion went home, and I am the first greenie Sister Thorn has trained in her 11 months here.
On my first day we went tracting and visited several less-active members. By day two, I had given away my first Book of Mormon, and by the end of day three, I had even been able to teach a couple of times! There's too much to tell, but I absolutely love being a missionary! It's hard, and I'm slowly learning how to talk to strangers, but I love it!
The hardest thing about Georgia is that everybody here already has a church, and when we talk to somebody, they assume we want to talk about our church (which, to a degree we do), when our actual focus is on the gospel. It's great that almost everybody here already has faith in Jesus Christ and recognizes God's hand in their lives, but they don't often give us a chance to tell them about how many more blessings Heavenly Father has in store for them!
On a more positive note, Sister Thorn and I had a Walmart miracle! After dark one evening, we decided to go contacting at Walmart for the 30 minutes before it was time to go home. We set a goal to have at least one gospel conversation and talk to two other people besides. After talking to a young mother about families, we were looking for somebody else to talk to in the near-empty store. We walked into an aisle and the lady there promptly asked us if we were missionaries for the Mormon church. We excitedly responded that, yes, we are, and she told us that she lived a few houses down from a member in our ward. Within a few minutes, she had invited us over to teach her about our religion. We almost couldn't believe our ears! It's just amazing how the Lord prepares people to hear our message and how he sends us out to find them in the most unlikely of places!
Sorry for the poor quality picture, but this is my companion, Sister Thorn, and me in our apartment when we realized we didn't have any pictures to send home. I love you all and hope that you can find some way to share the gospel with those around you! :)
<3 Sister Houghton
P.S. The title is Southern slang. Can you figure out what it means?