Feb 4 (5 days ago)
I LOVE BEING AN AUNT! Madden is sooo cute I can't wait to meet him! :) Oh my goodness, thanks for the pictures I really appreciate it. Sister Wilson said you should send her the pictures next time because President Wilson's phone isn't as high tech :) and he's out of town, but thanks for sending them :) That is a crazy story! Nadine barely survived! And I bet Makena is a hoot with Madden. I am proud to be his aunt, he'll be an amazing priesthood holder one day :) The world needs more of them--hence two boys this month in our family :) nice.
So, first things first: my awesome new companion is Sister Topi. And she is from ALBANIA! Crazy no? She is soooooooo cool. She speaks 6 languages: Italian, German, Spanish, English, Albanian, and French. Anytime someone around us is speaking a different language I ask her what they are saying :) it's super great. She is an amazing person. I have never met a more spiritually in tune person before. She is so perceptive. Everything she says and does is so simple. She makes things so easy. She has such a strong testimony of Christ, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the Plan of Salvation. I have learned a lot from her already and it has only been 4 days. She joined the church in Albanian when she was 10 with her parents. They were sealed in the temple 5 years later. She has one younger sister. Her accent is great. Often times in lessons she asks me "What do they mean?" or "How do you say...?" She is the cutest. The words she uses are beautiful. She speaks so well from the scriptures and has such faith in the converting power of God's word. She always says, "lets share a scripture to make it convincable." and "this will ponder in their heart." I am so amazed and she has taught me to slow down and really reflect on the power of the Book of Mormon in teaching and relying on the Spirit and not my own knowledge. She is awesome. She loves giving knuckles--after everything we do or say she smiles and reaches out her hand to do "stones" haha I love it! And she LOVES the people. She has such great faith. I really hope I can serve her well.
Investigators. We are teaching lil' man (12) and he is going to be baptized in the next month :) He is awesome. We are really excited for him. We have been picking up a lot of new investigators and trying to help them progress. It's been good so far. We have an investigator who came to church with his son yesterday. he suffers from a lot of things and we have been trying to help him understand the Atonement and repentance. We are trying to set a date for his baptism this week. We also had a great experience the other day: We had an appointment fall through and decided to knock on some apartment doors. Sister Topi said a prayer for us before we went inside (which was a miracle we got in because it was a lockout) and she asked for us to find 2 people that would let us come back. So we knocked on a few doors and didn't see much success, so we kept going. We found one man named Abiy from Ethiopia who we taught about the Book of Mormon. He seemed genuinely interested in reading and praying about it so we scheduled a return appointment for tonight with him. Then we said another prayer and looked at the names on the call box and one of them stood out to me. So we knocked on it...no one answered...so we knocked again, a little more firmly and a woman answered. At first she was a little hesitant, then we felt prompted to offer a prayer for her family and home (we didn't offer a blessing, just a prayer) but we asked who she would like to include in the prayer and she said her mom and grandma. Her mom had cancer. So we offered a prayer and the spirit really was there. When we finished the prayer we asked her how she felt and she said she felt so good and said "Thank you so much, that really helped." We taught her a little about the Restoration and our purpose as missionaries. She told us to come back and share more with her husband as well. We scheduled a return appointment and will be going back to share more. It was a neat experience to see the spirit work on this woman.
Let's see...what else is new? Just the work is going forth. This transfer we only had 2 sisters, next there will be 17. Crazy. We really are trying to refocus on going back to the basics and our purpose. It's great teaching people, but without inviting them to repent and be baptized, they really are going no where. Something our President said in his weekly letter was this:
As I write this, we are enjoying the blessing of fasting and praying together as a mission.
It’s my prayer today that each of us will understand with greater clarity and certainty our
purpose as missionaries. “The purpose of the gospel is to cleanse people of their sins so
they can receive the Savior’s mercy at the day of judgment.” 6 PMG. Our purpose as
missionaries teach people how they can enjoy the Savior’s mercy. We invite, encourage
and guide God’s children to take those actions that will bring about the cleansing from sin
so they can receive the Savior’s mercy at the day of judgment. Those actions are faith in
Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy
Ghost. That is the process whereby we access the blessings of the atonement. There is no
People must repent and be baptized or they will suffer at judgement day. Then he quoted Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." I was taking a look around the library just now and looking at all my brothers and sisters who do have not been baptized and confirmed. OH MY GOODNESS! There is so much work to be done! This is a huge responsibility! I literally want to stand up and start preaching or something. I have been thinking a lot about our calling as missionaries. We have been set apart as personal representatives of Jesus Christ. I am here to do as Christ would do, be as he would be, say as He would say. I must be sanctified and cleansed if I want that same power and authority the Sons of Mosiah have. I know repentance is real. We can be fully healed through the Atonement. The 12 year old boy we are teaching said it best when he said, the Atonement is like a band-aid. It heals us an sometimes scars are left but only to remind us never to make the same mistake again. The pain disappears and we are fully healed. All of the inhabitants of the earth need to be relieved of their burdens. They need this message.
I love you family, hope all is well. Thanks for the advice and prayers. I am so proud to call you my family. Please continue to pray for this area and our investigators. They are awesome.