Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Week 75

July 17, 2017

"In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little” because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do." -Robert D Hales

Hey y'all! 
Wow this week was so stellar! I can't believe I only have a few weeks left. But it is exciting and I am making every second count! 

This Tuesday was my birthday and I had a great one! I can't believe I am getting so old. I am 21 now and my life is going well. 
My old Bishop from Normandy came and took us out to lunch and brought his 3 sons but they didn't want to be in any of the pictures. We had a great time! He is the best!

Then that night, some of the YSA members threw me a fun little party! We had pizza and fruit and they made me a cake shaped like 21! 

They are so sweet, I really enjoyed my birthday. 

We even knocked Building 21! 

Classy right? 

Then on Wednesday we had Zone Conference and I sang a song, but I was really nervous so idk how good it was. But it was scary since I didn't get to practice that much and I didn't get to play for myself haha 
But I bore my departing testimony which is very strange to me. We each get a minute to say our testimonies and mine was about how much I have been able to change, and I know that it is only through Christ I have been able to do that! 
I feel very privileged and happy to have had such a great mission experience. It was sad to say goodbye to people since some of them I will not see again for a long time. Especially my trainee Sister Harris. She is so great, she brought me a teddy bear for my birthday present! 
It was awesome. 

Friday the STLs had a tradeoff and invited us to come get froyo with them and the Ocala 2 sisters. It was fun and we got a good pic! 

I am really enjoying my last few weeks and I am working hard. I hope y'all are seeing miracles and staying happy! 

Also, selfies...

Straightened my hair for church! 

Love yall! See you in 3! 
Sister Caton

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Week 74

July 3, 2017

"Missionary service is not easy, but it is infinitely worth it. Those who serve and return home with honor have established a pattern of living and serving that will bless their own lives and the lives of generations to follow." -M. Russell Ballard

Wow this week was awesome! 

So I said goodbye to my dear Sister Ridenour and much of our beginning of the week consisted of saying goodbye to people with her. Everyone will miss her! 
We were able to take a picture with one of our amazing investigators who is praying about baptism right now. We love her! 

 Then we went to transfers on Wednesday and the craziest thing happened! 
So this transfer, my trainee's trainee is training, which makes me a great-grandma on the mission!!! And lucky for us, we got a posterity picture! 

Sister Arns, my great granddaughter, Sister Winona, my granddaughter, Sister Harris my child and me! 

I just was lucky to have awesome posterity :)

Then I got my new companion, Sister Stailey! She is so great and we have been having so much fun together. Also, the quad lives on and we still spend a lot of time with our great STL's, Sister Heller and now Sister Heiner. 

So this week was 4th of July weekend and EVERYONE IS GONE. I couldn't believe how empty campus and all the apartments were. It was crazy! #collegetowns
So on Friday we were looking for service opportunities and we went everywhere looking and calling people. Then we got a call from the Salvation Army. They told us we were sent from God because they couldn't find any volunteers and they really needed some to help feed people dinner! We were able to go and help out and it was so amazing. We fed homeless people and it was really rewarding and fun. The lady who works there was also really interested in the church and she told us a lot about her life and how she has been searching for the truth for a long time. I invited her to meet with the missionaries and she said she would think about it and let us know next time! It was so great, I love doing the Lord's work. 

It was a good time. 

Then on Saturday we got to spend some time with the STLs again and we took another selfie at Tropical Smoothie. We needed a milkshake moment, but Sister Stailey and I are trying to eat really healthy so we got smoothies instead haha 

Those selfie skills. 

Then yesterday we were knocking and I caught a baby skink! It was awesome! It's kind of like a lizard mixed with a snake. Normally they are a lot bigger, I caught a big one once before but it almost bit me and I dropped it before I could get a picture. So this one was much better! 

He was such a cute little guy! 

So there's my lizard life for the first time in a while haha 

I am so excited for my last transfer. I have been feeling an urgency in the work more than ever before and I am very motivated to make this last transfer great! I am starting on My Plan this week and I am planning for my future and making goals and I love that stuff! 
I hope all of you have miracles in your life! Keep track of them! God is real! 

Sister Caton

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Week 73

June 26, 2017

"The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found." -Boyd K Packer

Hey Y'all! 
This week was wonderful! We have had a crazy one that's for sure. 

So remember our adorable Spanish twins? We had a miracle this week! Their mom has been relatively unsupportive in their coming to church and meeting with us, and last week, she called and said, "Are you still going to that church?" They said, "Yes." And she told them, "Well, do whatever makes you happy." 
So they accepted a baptismal date of July 22nd!!!! They are so excited because their birthday is that week! What a great present :) 
We also taught them the word of wisdom and they immediately accepted it and want to live it! Ah they are so amazing! 
We finally got a picture!

 They are literally adorable. 
They also came to church for the 4th time this week! They love the gospel and are beginning to understand it. 

Also this week we were able to meet with a less active who we are beginning to visit with pretty regularly. She has been doing AA and really loves it, and a few weeks ago she started step 3 which is trusting in God. She told us she had been pondering on this and heard a knock on the door- and there we were! Ever since then she has been coming to church and making progress. We love her, she is so much fun and she has been through a lot in her life. She gave us some hats that she made! So we had to take pictures haha 

 She is so great! 

Also I got to spend the day with another sister missionary while our companions went off to celebrate their halfway marks- pretty exciting- and we found some great people to teach! We had fun together and took a selfie. 

Sister Pennock!

Also since this week was transfers, our awesome district leader is going home and we got some great District pictures. The AP's showed up for district meeting and we all went to the best pizza place in the world- Satchels! 

Here's our district plus the Zone Leaders and Assistants to the President

Our 12 person table at Satchels! (I'm smiling in the other picture but not everyone was in it)

Then we had a great transfer dinner with our lovely senior couple, The Bookers! We love them so much. 

I'm just front and center all the dadgum time. I don't know why. 

So transfers is this week, and I am staying here in the Gainesville YSA! My companion Sister Ridenour is getting transferred to Mandarin and I am getting a new companion for my last 6 weeks! I can't believe it's my final transfer, but I'm glad to stay here where I love everyone and know the people :) 

Wish me luck, I know this next transfer is going to be a good one and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it! 
Love y'all! 

Sister Caton

Week 72

June 19, 2017

"Our Father knew exactly what He was doing when He created us. He made us enough alike to love each other, but enough different that we would need to unite our strengths and stewardships to create a whole." -Sheri Dew 

Wow this week was a great one! 
Sister Ridenour and I have been finding and teaching and it has been loco but awesome! 

So our cute little twins have been really progressing, and they came to church again! They are so awesome and they love the gospel. They have been praying about getting baptized and they love learning more! This week we invited them to ask their mom to meet with missionaries where she lives so that they might get her blessing to be baptized. They haven't asked yet but we will see! :) 

Also, our other investigator who we met last week is doing fantastic! She read some of the Book of Mormon and took notes! I have never seen that before but she did it! She wrote down all the questions she had and we were able to explain it and help her see. She is gaining an understanding and she is praying on a date to be baptized! She also wants the blessing of her parents in this and she is getting up the courage to ask them. She loves the gospel and she said something that just struck my heart. We asked her how she felt about all of this and she pondered for a moment and said, "Well, I believe that Moses parted the Red Sea and people walked through, and I believe in Jesus, so why wouldn't I believe in this? I believe it." The spirit just hit me. Wow. 

So we have also been teaching this Atheist man and it has been the most interesting experience for me. He is so logical and he approaches the gospel from the strangest place. He was raised in a very religious household and he realized that so much of what he was taught conflicted with itself. He was especially concerned with the teachings of hell, because why would a loving God send his children somewhere they could burn for all eternity in misery? He stopped believing in God and turned to what else he knew. When we went back for our return appointment this past week, it was awesome. We taught about the Restoration of the gospel and he was definitely intrigued, but at the end of the lesson, he says, "Well, if I ever need help reading this I will get in contact with you but I don't need you to come back and see me again." And I said, "Well, we actually teach a set of lessons to people, and the next one is something I really think you'll want to know, it is about Gods plan for us and where we came from, why we're here and where we're going after this life." 
He looks stunned and says, "Okay, so you've piqued my interest. What do you believe about that?"
And I said, "We can come back on Saturday and teach it to you." 
Haha he agreed. Then Saturday rolled around and we taught him the Plan of Salvation. A special spirit was definitely there and his heart had clearly softened since our last meeting. He tried to act very casual about it all but he had read the first part of the Book of Mormon and the whole pamphlet we left with him! 
As we taught him, the truths definitely touched his heart and he said softly, "I like this." 
He is starting to understand! 
We have another appointment for Wednesday :) 

Also this week I had a very neat opportunity. For Father's Day, some of the people in the YSA go to this place called Tacachale and we hold a service there for the people. Tacachale is a mental hospital. 
I was so scared to go there! I heard a few scary stories from the members and how weird it is and all that jazz. 
On the way there, we got lost and ended up driving through the tent city of Gainesville which is basically a place where homeless people live and it's super sketchy so that was cool! 
Then we finally got there and we go in, and it's this giant auditorium that was super echoey and creepy and all the mental patients were booing and making sounds. It was a little weird for sure. 
But then we sang some songs and talked and the people were getting up and hugging each other and smiling, and halfway through the first song, a tiny adorable old lady was led in and wanted to come straight to the front. She was making the biggest and cutest smile I have ever seen! 
She sat there and just smiled through the whole service. I felt a special feeling like I knew her and she was important to me before this life and I just had to talk to her. 
After the service we kind of mingled with the people for a few minutes, and she ran right out the door! 
I followed her and saw her standing by one of the vans outside. 
She saw me and waved and smiled so big. Then she crooked her finger at me and said, 
"Come here!" 
I came over and she said, "I like your glasses." 
I said thank you and then she hugged me around the waist! She was that short! 
I said, "It's so good to see you." And she smiled and then said, 
"It's so hot out here!" 
Hahaha but it was a special experience. I truly felt like she was someone that I knew and I had to say something to her because I never will see her again in this life. :) 

So good week! Miracles! 
Also, today is my companion, Sister Ridenours Birthday! So we have lots of fun planned! 
Love y'all! 

Sister Caton
A man hugging us at Tacachale.... doesn't count! 

Selfie after rain! Rained so much this week.

Sis Ridenours talk at Tacachale

Weekly planning selfie on Sis Ridenours iPad haha