Have a Blessed Day

That is something that EVERYONE says here.  I love it.  We talk to people and before we walk away, even if they weren't the kindest to us, or wouldn't listen, they are sure to tell us to "have a blessed day" before they walk away or close the door.  It's kind of a joke among the missionaries and a lot of them say it in their phone's voicemail.  It might be one of the things I pick up from D.C.  :]

So, I forgot to bring the paper with all of the miracles from last week, so you'll just have to wait for those again, but I have some good news: we got 10 new investigators last week!!!!  Which in the English program here, is unheard of.  It's been quite the week.  I'll try to remember everything, but you may get some repeats when I write my email next week and include all of the blessings I wrote down every day.

We've had some GREAT lessons.  We taught Ishmael and brought our ward mission leader, Drew Richardson, who got home from his mission about 2-3 years ago, so he was great to have.  Ishmael's two friends were there as well and their names were Jonathan and L.J., which I kid you not, stands for Little John.  I tried not to, but I laughed so hard when he told me that.  I didn't think he was being serious!  But he was.  And his name's Little John.  Anyway, we taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation, and it took over an hour because they kept asking so many great questions! We used a lot of scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to show how they complement each other and how both are the word of God.  We also spent a lot of time explaining authority and how baptism is a necessary saving ordinance, not just an optional way to show our faith.  All three of them were having a hard time understanding that, which is interesting to me because it's right there in the Bible, but I think at this school they're attending, the professors are teaching them a little differently.  We also committed all three of them to read and pray to know that it's true.  It makes me laugh sometimes, how simple the gospel is, and how simple it is to follow, but people just refuse to do themselves a favor and read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  So if you would, pray for Ishmael and his friends.  They need a little push in their lives.

Another great lesson we had was with the Dyers.  They are the type of people I thought I'd be teaching when I heard Washington D.C.: white, wealthy, high class, educated, etc.  (They're also in their early 60's, just for future reference)  They've been coming to church for months with their neighbors, the Willis', but the Willis' didn't want the missionaries to teach them, for whatever reason.  But, on Friday night, both Sister Hazen and I felt like we should visit them, so we went over, and they were home (between their vacations to Costa Rica and Alaska) and they invited us in.  We'd met them before, and they are very gracious people, but we spent the first five minutes getting to know them until Audrey Dyer just asked, "Could you teach me?  We'll do a weekly thing for about an hour every week and could you just answer my questions and come teach me?"  AHHHHH!!!  Of course we can!!!  But then it gets better.  She said, "I really want to be baptized and join your church.  I just have a few concerns."  Which ended up being that her sister-in-law owns a coffee plantation and she's worried about what her friends might think.  And she's afraid she doesn't know enough.  Those are her concerns.  She's already living the Word of Wisdom (except for coffee), she gets the Ensign mailed to her, she's consistent at church, she's reading the Book of Mormon, and she's so ready!  She said her husband is on this journey with her as well, but he's just moving at a little slower pace. I have faith though, that they'll be baptized before the end of the transfer.  And they'll be solid when they do join.  She said that herself.  She said, "I just want to make sure I'm ready when I do this because it will be a commitment I make for the rest of my life."  And eternity, I thought, but she'll come to understand that.  Ah!  I'm so excited to teach them.  I'll keep you updated.

Rebecca (Giovana's little sister) is also doing great.  She read Alma 40 in the Book of Mormon, and we had a good lesson with her.  She's not scared of asking questions, and she has her own way of thinking, but she's open with us, so teaching her is a treat.  Giovana isn't as committed, but she's a single Mom, works all the time, and just has a crazy schedule, so it's harder.  But both are really interested and will hopefully be coming to church soon.

Mr. Ralphy

Malea was another miracle.  And a member referral.  She's so prepared and told us she wants to join the church, but she's sadly not in our area.  Her member friend is in our ward, but Malea's in a completely different stake, so we gave her up to another set of sisters.  They were ecstatic and I'm really excited for them.  Malea is wonderful.

A little story before I go.  A couple nights ago, our power was out when we got home.  And it was a pitch black, humid, 90 degrees in our apartment.  Bleh.  We luckily had a 72 hour kit with glow sticks and a flashlight, so we did our planning by the light of two glow sticks, got ready for bed, and then just laid there on our blankets, sweating.  It was SO HOT.  And I really am not complaining, by the way.  I have no right to when there are missionaries across the world who never have air conditioning.  But I was just laying there laughing at the situation when Sister Hazen ran into the kitchen, and came back with all of these packages of frozen food.  It was going to thaw out anyway, so why not use it, right?  But then I really couldn't get to sleep because Sister Hazen had a bag of burritos on her head, and I had a package of vegetables on my stomach, and it was hilarious.  Maybe you would have had to be there to think it's funny, but just imagine us laying there with frozen food all over, trying to cool us down.  Funny.

And I know I probably say this every time, but Sister Hazen is so great!  We just laugh all the time and we have such a strong companionship.  It's amazing what can happen when there's unity and love.  10 new investigators, for example.  And as a side note, they're all a different race.  I love it.  Brazilian, Filipino, African, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc.  It really is a different country here and I'm loving every minute.  

I hope all is going well for you and I love hearing from you all. I'll try to respond to your letters as soon as I can, but know that I pray for you (family and friends) often.  Have a blessed day!

-Sister Welch 

1 comment:

Vedel said...

I love the updates. When Katherine was speaking of the Dyers, I remember a sister baptized while I was in Shuri Okinawa who was a great and faithful member. She even became the seminary teacher for our branch. We were tracting one day and knocked on the door of a house at a distillery. She answered the door and it was then we learned that her husband owned the business and made alcohol. She had been found in an apartment complex and we had no clue as to what her husband did. She loved the gospel and was definitely faithful.