Go About doing Good!!
July 8th 2013
Hello family and friends!
I hope you all had a great 4th of July! I was actually surprised how low-key the 4th of July is here. They don't allow fireworks but they do have a few big firework shows. Unfortunately they were all after 9 and since we live in a basement apartment we only heard them haha. We did go to the beach on the 4th to hand out flyers for our cultural activity coming up! So I had a great time getting a missionary tan line and enjoying the view of the ocean. haha.
Anyway, this week was full of goodness. Do you remember the Pen boys that I told you about? They are from Uzbekistan? Well they are getting baptized next sunday, the 14th! Along with another your boy. Emile! The elders have been teaching them so I don't know a ton about it but I am just so happy to witness 3 children be baptized by their less active (soon to be active) fathers. It's amazing "become as a little child" is such a true statement.
Another miracle...the elders were walking down the street when a girl, Juah, stopped them and asked if they were latter-day saints. When they said yes she got really excited and told them she was baptized back in Liberia but hasn't been able to find a church! So they hooked us up with her number we told her we would stop by on Friday. So Friday came and we had a member coming with us to visit a less active but she wasn't home. So we decided to try to see another less active member and the security guard at the gate asked us if we were there to see the lady in 203 and we looked at him funny because we didn't know who he was talking about. Turns out Juah lives in the same apartment complex as 2 other members! So we met her with her and found out her story...Be prepared with some Kleenexes haha. Juah was baptized when she was little and then at the age of 11 her parents sent her to America to have a better future. She is going to school right now at the college of Staten island and is majoring in like two or three different fields. She said she hasn't been back to Liberia since she came here but her parents have passed away along with 3 of her siblings. She hasn't seen her family for 16 years and 5 of them have died in that time. Wow, I get homesick and it's only been 3 months! What a humbling experience. She said her sister has been trying to tell her to go to church so she was so excited to see missionaries. She came to church yesterday and said "it's all coming back to me" and "the church is like my family here" It is so true!!! Ah, I love her!
So my dear friend Jessica is progressing so well. Our lesson with her last week was a little rocky. She is so set on the bible being "the bible" and had a hard time reading that joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth. So we did a lot praying, studying and fasting for her and of course the Lord provided a way for her to understand. Yesterday after church we asked 2 members to stay and visit her and they were so willing to answer her questions and help her with her concerns. She left saying "I feel so happy now! That's what it's all about!! It was incredible to see and hear the members teach her and say exactly what she needed. Missionaries are nothing without members.
Also, this week I had the wonderful opportunity to have an interview with President Calderwood!! I'm pretty sure he's going to be a General Authority one day haha. I'm sure every missionary thinks that about their mission president but I'm serious! He is so intune with the spirit. He helped me feel so much comfort. He talked about becoming forever changed "graze by grace". That is how Christ fulfilled his purpose on earth and that is how we will all fulfill our purposes on earth. It requires time which requires patience. And that is something I didn't realize I was struggling with haha but I know the Atonement will allow me to become more patient with myself and with others. I know that Christ lived for us and died for us and that He lives again. I know the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth and that it can answer ANY and ALL of life's questions. I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father. I kow He has a plan for our happiness.
I wish you all a wonderful week! Take care of baby Michael! Congratulations Mel!!! God be with you! I love YOU!!