Monday, September 2, 2013

Florida Skies & Learning About Prayer

Email from 26 August 2013
Florida Skies

Soulsbyville Skies, with fire!
Dear Family,
I hope everything is okay in Soulsbyville! Someone told us the other day about the fires in California, but I didn't know they were that close to home. I imagine Dad has a lot on his plate dealing with all the fallout in the ward...
As usual I don't have a coherent grip on everything that has happened this week, so be ready for a jumble of short blurbs of information!
To begin with, I will explain the lovely attached pictures. This is P, notable for her amazingness and last week's "Me quiero bautizar." She is awesome! And her member friend S is fantastic too. Apparently she actually served in our mission, and near the end of her time here her family moved into the area, so she stayed, and has been here for the year+ since her mission ended :) She is the one who really overcame any concerns. We had another member-present lesson that was amazing. It was one of the first times that I have had a problem with a low blood sugar during a lesson - and it was bad. I couldn't think straight in English, let alone teach a lesson in Spanish. Happily, our member A took over the whole thing by telling about her conversion story and Sister Ware and I were just background music... So basically P was very super prepared and everything fell into place. We answered some questions, assigned some good chapters in the Book of Mormon for her to read, bore our testimonies, and that's pretty much it. She got baptized on Sunday and was just disappointed she would have to wait a week to receive the Holy Ghost. She also invited a friend to her baptism and we are going to start teaching him!
I've learned some things about prayer this week. Number one, God answers prayers. I've seen over and over again that if we pray by the Spirit, with faith, miracles happen. We have to pray specifically and be willing to act on the answer we receive (with "real intent"), and then go and do. If we do our absolute best and it is in God's will, things really happen. Second, in terms of changing ourselves. Throughout my mission I have prayed for help in developing Christlike attributes, especially humility and charity. I realized recently that in order to develop these two attributes, I need to be focused on others. So rather than praying to develop charity and humility, I'm praying more for those I teach and for those around me. Really thinking of others first is helping me to actually develop, not just think about, Christlike attributes.
Another exciting investigator we are teaching right now is named J. He is an amazing person; he is very faithful, but feels that the church he was raised in has gotten too modernistic. He is housing an old friend from Cuba who became an alcoholic and would otherwise be on the street, and wants him to come to church so that he can change his ways. J told us the first time we met him, a couple of weeks ago, that he knew we were "real Christians" by the way we felt, our mannerisms, and our dress, because we respect ourselves and others. We told him that he could know our message was true by praying and he told us that he already knew our message was true. He lives pretty far from the church and doesn't have a license, so we told him we could get him a ride, but he wouldn't accept that, saying he would rather bike than become dependent on people taking him. He came to church this week and absolutely loved it, especially Gospel Principles class. He's getting baptized this next Sunday :)
Wish all people were as anxious to see us as
these dogs!
One amazing finding experience that I want to share. We're walking down the street at 8:45 last night when Sister Ware points at a house and says, "we should go knock that door." As we walk up to the door, we see a woman in the window looking at us and going to the door. She opens it and steps out, then tells us that it isn't her house but she loves Jesus and wants to know where our church is. We're rather startled but give her the information and get hers in return and invite her to be baptized. She quickly accepts it and tells us she knows God sent us there to meet her. Sadly she doesn't live in our area, but it was amazing to see the Lord's hand in preparing her for the gospel.
Mamey, a classic Cuban fruit. Tastes like
a mixture of pear and cake batter.

Anon, aka Cuban dinosaur fruit. It kind of 
tastes like cucumber-melon smells.

I almost forgot! Mom asked about whether or not we get fed. I'll just have to say yes. Last week we had stake conference, so the list didn't get passed around in Relief Society. But some kind and loving sister in the Relief Society passed the list around at the Elders' baptism, and people signed up for every day. And then a few people throughout the week thought the list hadn't been passed and gave us food. All in all we got fed ten times throughout the week. Happily we picked up most of the meals so we could space them out over two or three actual mealtimes :) Also, last night a random lady on the street gave us a box of (old) chocolates because she appreciated our work so much.

Also, in ward council yesterday our Bishop might have said the phrase "fuera del picture." Oh Spanglish :)
Waiting for mail.
I love you all! Sorry, mail might not get sent today because we're playing smashface at the church with our district this afternoon, but I will send more next week...

Hermanas Ware & Houghton, do get
to play sometimes!

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