Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Record Remains Untainted!

Sister Albrecht, P on his baptism day, with his member friend, Brother Gutierrez, who baptized him,
and Sister Houghton!

Dear family,
MY RECORD REMAINS UNTAINTED! I have yet to baptize any non-Hispanics!
P is second-generation Cuban. He speaks Spanish but prefers English. His son was baptized two weeks ago in the YSA branch, and when he went to his son's baptism he told the elders that he wanted to get baptized too. He hasn't wavered in that desire since.
As you can see from the photos I sent earlier, P was very very happy at his baptism. As we've taught him I've seen how prepared some people are. He knew what he wanted, he knew the way to get it (baptism), and nothing was going to get in his way. We're doing the 40-day fast for missionary work and P signed up so he's fasting today. When we taught him commandments he asked us for more- how he could live the commandments better. 
These past two weeks we have really seen Mark 16:17 come true. It says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues."
I told you a little about F last week. What I didn't tell you was that she had a smoking problem. But on Friday the Elders taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and she realized she needed to quit. On Saturday she struggled all day but didn't give in. On Sunday she woke up and she told me that night that even the thought of smoking made her feel nauseated.
P had some word of wisdom addictions as well. We taught him about the need to cut these things out of his life on our first visit. He was still having difficulties this Tuesday. But we taught him about being clean before God and he was ready to change. He told us he didn't have any desire to smoke or drink ever again.
We got a referral from the Spanish elders whom we visited on Tuesday. M had been wanting to change his life, and had already recognized the need to cut smoking and drinking out of his life. He gave us his cigarettes, his ash tray, and his lighter.
We left a harvest blessing last night with an older lady named E. She has Parkinson's, and has seen miracles in her health as she has had faith in Jesus Christ - she can walk and talk and her problems are minimal. She asked me to pray that she could accept the Lord's will about her health and continue to grow in faith. After the prayer she told us she knew that God had sent us and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. I taught her the message of the Resoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ about revelation and authority and she wants to be baptized. (I only say 'I' because it was all in Spanish... sadly we had to pass her to the Spanish speaking elders, but hey! We like baptisms!)
Sometimes we feel tempted to discount miracles, to say that they were achieved through strength of will or coincidence. And we usually do need to do all that we can before God steps in. But He really does provide a way for us to keep all of His commandments, if we are willing to. And as we missionaries have faith and our investigators witness it, they grow in faith and are able to cast out whatever evils are holding them back from eternal progress. So cool!
President Anderson gave us some homework last week in his email that has really been helping me to grow. Feel free to join in the experience! (the following was extracted from his email)
I gave some homework, for all of us, to study some faith scriptures, a passage every day, in our personal study, and to come to companionship study prepared to discuss how this passage can help your companionship’s faith. The scriptures are:
Alma 32 (Take 2 days)                       
2 Corinthians 5:7
Hebrews 11 (Take 2 days)                 
Ephesians 2:8-9
Romans 10:14-17
James 2:14-26
Jacob 4:4-7                 
1 Peter 1:8-9
John 5:44                   
Enos 1:6-8
John 12:39-42               
Moroni 10:11
James 1:6-8          
D&C 46:13-16
JST Genesis 14:26-36
Anyway, out of time now. I LOVE YOU A LOT! Send me mail! (please?)

Mission happenings?
Three people we were teaching for a while...
Yep, that's me. German heritage and all.

The District

Sister Dieste, who dressed up as Michael Jackson when we went to her house to eat

Happy with giant onion rings

Chilly Florida January?

Eliza's favorite meal?  Not.  But yes, she has eaten fish several times!

Sisters Albrecht and Houghton on the Bay!

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