Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Straight Into The Action

Eliza instructed us to celebrate Valentine's with pink and
chocolate chip pancakes.  We did.  So our picture
will have to do for now!
Dear Everyone,

Happy day after President's day! Sorry, I forgot to bring my SD card reader today but I will send pics of beachside baptisms and Valentine's day heart pancakes next week!

Straight into the action...

A was baptized yesterday! He is so cool. We have been teaching him for about 5-6 weeks and he took his time but he really understands. He is someone I really admire because he is so constant. He is solid! When he came up out of the water he had the most blissful smile on his face, and it was an amazing spiritual experience to see him baptized. He said afterward that he felt like part of the family now. And he is going to be an amazing member missionary - the second time we met him he asked for some pamphlets to give to his friends!

Last P-day our car got towed. I won't go into details on that, but we got the car back on Tuesday morning. So on Monday evening we biked down to our area, arriving at about 7:00. We prayed and picked a spot near the border to harvest. It is an area we wouldn't normally put as first choice for harvesting because there is so much diversity - Spanish, Creole, and English all mixed together. We would normally have left it to the elders assigned to those languages and waited for English referrals from them. A few doors yielded no results but we kept going.

We saw a lady outside her house and walked up to her. B was very happy to receive us, and after we were inside and she got a chance to look at our tags she told us she was so excited we had found her! She had been baptized in Haiti and was active for 5 years there before coming to the US. She went to the church for a few weeks in Miami before her ride moved and she lost all contact with the church. Shortly after that she married a member of another church and didn't try to find the church again because he wouldn't like it.

When we found her she was so happy! Her husband has been in a nursing home for a few years because of a stroke he had and their family has been wandering religiously. She hadn't seen elders (the ones she would recognize more easily) so she didn't think there was even a church in the area. The Creole elders are visiting her now and her two kids are preparing to be baptized this Sunday. What a miracle! A car being towed and praying for guidance on where to harvest and we found someone I could legitimately see as being the Lord's reason that we somehow don't have a Relief Society president in the branch yet in spite of having several amazing, capable, and active women available to fill the position. Wow.

Lots of other miracles too :) including powerful lessons with investigators and less-actives and divine guidance so that we were in the right place at the right time. Something that I really love about my companion is her willingness to listen to and follow the Spirit. So many times one of us has felt like we need to go see someone who wasn't on our plans, or at a different time, and we've seen that following the Spirit bears fruit!

Last night we followed the Spirit to visit the T family. They were baptized at the end of 2012 and were active but then had some health problems (including hospitalization, a premie baby, and back injuries) and hadn't been to church for months. I had never met them before. Many people would fall away and lose even the desire to come to church after such challenges. I've met some who feel like they can't come to church unless they're going to be able to come every week without fail (yes, that is the ideal but some take it a bit far...) so they just never come. But this wonderful family has been reading their scriptures every day and praying as a family and has been waiting for the day when they will be able to come. They know they won't be perfect, but they're giving everything they've got. I wish more people would copy them!

In my studies this week I was learning about repentance, or a change of heart. Something that I had noticed earlier in my mission is that we usually talk about hearts relating to what we love (Valentine's day being a prime example..). So repentance is really a change of what we love, or what we are willing to sacrifice for. The next day I was reading in 2 Nephi 9:30, which says, "their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god." What a connection! When we aren't willing to repent we are putting our hearts upon whatever is holding us back from repentance, and we are making that thing our god rather than relying upon God the Eternal Father.

Anyway, I love you all!!


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