Week of 28 April through 4 May: Bible Park, AKA the Promised Land
Hi all!! This week was absolutely amazing! Bible Park ward is phenomenal. I LOVE IT HERE. There are twenty-six apartment complexes and soooo many people from other countries! It is sooo cool! Just in this week, we have taught people from Iraq, West Africa, and several people from Liberia!! Isn't that amazing?!
We met this woman named Soe this week. She is from Liberia and she is a very strong Christian. That woman is also very passionate and can quote scripture like no other! She is amazing! We had Evelyn, a recent convert, come with us to her lesson and it was the more miraculous thing! Soe was not understanding the purpose of the Book of Mormon and due to her HEAVY accent, which is beautiful by the way, we were missing something. We could explain clearly enough to understand her concern. Well because Evelyn is from Liberia and could understand her, Evelyn was a huge help in aiding Soe and her understanding! Not only that but Soe and Evelyn were so loud in that lesson, it was hilarious! It was amazing! The Spirit was there.
We also met this woman, Veronita, who is from Liberia (whom Evelyn knows--everyone from Liberia here knows each other! It is amazing!). She feels that the message that we share with her is true, but she doesn't feel that she needs to be baptized again because she has already been baptized. We tried to help her understand the importance of the priesthood, but she wasn't understanding. It was very hard, but what we should have done was open the Book of Mormon and we didn't! SO next time that is what we are going to do!!
Also something that I have recently discovered that doesn't have anything to deal with missionary work is that I cannot stay still. REALLY bad. Something also completely unrelated to missionary work is that I had African food this week for the first time in my life and it was super spicy! But it was soooo good!!
Back to business. We met with Cisse (whom I have met before when I was on exchanges with Sister Hand last transfer) three times before he was baptized on Saturday! It was amazing! We had a few commandments left to teach him--like the law of tithing, the law of fasting, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc. And he committed to keep them all! Without even second guessing! It was amazing! He was pretty excited to be made clean at his baptism!! It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
We also had a mission leadership council meeting. It was fantastic! Basically what happens is the leaders of the mission get together and hear trainings by our mission president and his assistants, and his wife. It was amazing. My testimony of this gospel was strengthened tremendously. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. Something that President Toombs talked about while we were there was that if we don't experience trails, how will we ever grow? How can we grow if we never experience hard times. The answer? We can't. We cannot grow unless we have hard times. Jesus lives! I know it!
Love you all!
Week of 5 May to Mothers Day!
First off, Happy belated Mothers day to all the mothers out there! Secondly, it was so wonderful to talk to my family! It's crazy. It doesn't even seem like I've been gone! I'm grateful to know that families can be together forever!
This week was pretty busy. We had two zone meetings this week---since Sister Mata'itusi and I are over two zones of sisters, we needed to go to both. It was really good. We also got to go on our first exchange of the transfer with Sister B and Sister F. It was great! I stayed in Bible Park with Sister B.
But on to the more important details of missionary work. We met with a young woman, Princess, who is from Liberia three times this week and it was very much needed. We met with her on Monday and we needed to teach the first lesson again to help her understand the authority. However, things still weren't clicking for Princess so we drew it out and it worked!! We drew a little stick figure that represented Jesus Christ and drew out 12 more stick figures to show that Christ gave His authority to the 12 apostles. And then we continued to draw out how Christ established one church, but how after his death and then the death of his apostles the authority--the priesthood--was gone. And now we have all these different churches! Well, she really understood then! It was amazing! (Sorry for my horrible story telling and grammar).
On Tuesday, we saw Fanta and her family! Her mother, Annie, made dinner for us which was DELICIOUS and super spicy! In Liberia, they eat everything with this tiny little, VERY HOT peppers. Anyone who knows me knows that I love spicy food and that it doesn't bother me. Well, this spicy food made me drink about 2 liters of water. It was SO HOT. But it was soooo good. Sister Mata'itusi had one of the peppers on her plate and put it in her mouth, but luckily, Annie stopped her before she died!!! All of us were relieved and the kids, Fanta's children, were hilarious! Fanta is still set for her baptism on the 30th of May and two nights ago she set up her baptismal program! We are soooo excited!
On Wednesday and Thursday, we had our zone meetings and that was a great spiritual boost for all of us. We heard trainings on discouragement, conversion, gaining member trust, and how to help those we teach keep their commitments. I learned a lot. After one of the meetings, we went on exchanges and that went really well. Sister B is from Hawaii and she is an amazing young woman! She is just incredible. She has a strong conviction of her need to be out here on a mission! I love her strength!
While on exchanges, we went to see a man named Isaac, whose wife joined the church back in August. The missionaries have been teaching Isaac for quite some time, but we can't seem to find what Isaac is having troubles with. We brought a man from the ward, Brother K. It was just what Isaac needed. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ--faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, and enduring to the end. The spirit was in that lesson and I believe that we are another step closer to helping Isaac come closer to Christ!
We met with Zoe again this week (in last week's email I wrote "Soe," but it's actually Zoe). We asked her how her reading has been and she responded with a synopsis of the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. It was extremely impressive! She has such a strong understand of God and Jesus Christ, but not only that she understands the role of the Holy Ghost--as a bearer of the truth. He testifies to us and he can teach us! She has a very strong understanding of the Godhead! Amazing!!
There was so much more that happened this week, but these are the highlights and the miracles!
I love you all!!!
Week of 12 May to 18 May:
We had some really good days this week. What am I saying? Everyday is an amazing day on the mission! We had zone conference, exchanges, and a baptism! This zone conference was President Toombs's last zone conference, as well as many other missionaries. It's so interesting to see the change that comes from spending our time in the service of the Lord. It is amazing.
Here is some highlights from the week.
--We met with Fanta this week and she is still set for baptism on the 30th of May. It is amazing to see how ready she is for the gospel! I absolutely love her! She is just an amazing example to me of what faith means! She hasn't even been baptized but she KEEPS all the commandments--the word of wisdom, the law of tithing, you name it! She is absolutely amazing. We are so excited to see her get baptized. We asked her children if they could do the stanky leg and Fanta's daughter could and they all made me do it! It was terrible. And then they laughed at me. (If you are reading this and wondering what the stanky leg is, google it.)
--We met with Zoe this week again and it was amazing! I absolutely love her! She came to our ward Barbeque and it was so much fun with her being there. We were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation and she knew SO MUCH ABOUT IT! IT was absolutely amazing! The spirit was so strong in the lesson. She feels that the Book of Mormon is true. She is still very apprehensive about coming to church, but we are trying to resolve her concerns! She has an amazing new friend named Evelyn, who like Zoe is also from Liberia! Evelyn has such a strong testimony of this gospel it's just extraordinary!
--THEN. On Saturday, Michelle's mother--do you remember Michelle? all the way back from August? Well her mother got baptized on Saturday and it was amazing! Since August, she, her father, her sister, and now her mother have all joined the church! I think of the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, "Mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts!" It is so true!
That is all the time I have for this week, but remember that Jesus loves you!