Monday, September 23, 2013

Shovelin’ and a Mulchin’, English Class, and First Baptism

Hello everyone :)

This past week was excellent in many ways.

Our Playground build day was exhausting but still fun. Sister Gledhill and I arrived around 8:30 am and were placed in the group to cover plastic on the building site, then shoveled and carried mulch. I have never mulched before and don't think I will ever mulch that much again in my life. What laid before our eyes before we began was barren ground and a massive pile of wood chips that stood at least 8 feet high, but as the day grew on, the pile went down as many people all shoveled and carried huge piles in large sheets of tarp. When we were getting closer to the bottom of the pile, a "little" group came to crash our party--camera crews, more people of Waltham, and finally the buses, where the Patriots and Revolution Soccer team came out. They split up and helped out with the whole playground. Although we did most of the work before they arrived, it was still awesome to work with them. It was a long day and good gravy I don't remember my whole body being that sore in a long time, but it was fine. Many people asked us missionaries who we were or more about what we did as missionaries, so it was neat being able to give a brief explanation of why we were there and what we do.

At the end of the day on Wednesday, Sister Gledhill and I headed to the Public internet center in the heart of Waltham to begin the English classes with the Elders. We all hoped up to 30 would show up, expecting about 10, but when we arrived, we noticed it was packed. At least 50 people showed up! It was a little stressful at first because we only had space for 30, but we sorted through who knew no English and who had experience so they could be in the right class. We had our first official class on Friday, which went very well. There were people from Egypt, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, and more. We taught them how to introduce themselves as we taught step by step to help them know how to say "My name is____, I am from _____, I live in ____, it's nice to meet you!" It was fun to see how thrilled a few of them were to learn the basics.

Sister Gledhill and I have been preparing for Pam's baptism for the past month, and her big day came up faster than we expected. Somehow everything ran smoothly and was ready on time. Pam is adorable and could not stop beaming the whole time. After her baptism and the closing remarks, Pam bore her testimony, but could hardly speak as tears flowed out as she expressed her joy and gratitude for everyone helping her out. I've never seen her cry before and we were all in tears. Although Pam is only 13, her strong, faithful spirit and determination to endure to the end has touched my life. I know the Lord loves her so much and is proud of Sister Gledhill and I along with many others helping her reach this point. She was confirmed in Sacrament meeting yesterday, which was also neat to watch.
Darling Pam: Our first baptism

The Beehives and Pam's close friend at her baptism
In closing for this letter, I loved the message that President Packard with us this morning. As part of the letter, he shared the scripture “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12) The following verse talks about charity. I've never noticed these verses before. President Packard explained how the glass in this verse is not a window, but a mirror. Paul is saying that understanding charity (or Christ) is like looking into a mirror that does not reflect well. We may not be able to fully understand Charity or everything about Christ, and we may not always clearly see who we are because we don't look like what we will become. However, as we follow Christ, we will take on His countenance.
President Packard also shared how Moroni explained it in this way: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Moroni 7:48). As we strive to become like him, we will see Him as He is, and how He sees us. Someday we will see who we've become as we stand face to face before Jesus Christ. Our reflection in the mirror will stand clear. As a missionary I feel I am often continually reminded of my weaknesses and am trying to measure up, but I know that as I strive to become like our Savior, I can trust that He sees me and every individual with abounding love. He is our advocate and anchor, our light that we can look up to. I hope this paragraph makes sense but I thought they were a few beautiful verses to think about.

Pam's baptism: success!!

Congrats Josh for your Eagle Court of Honor! Have an excellent week!

XXOOxoOxo (Hug hug. Kees kees. Little hug. Little kiss. Big kees. Little hug. Little kees.) 
Name that movie and you'll get a gold star. Maybe one word is off but oh well.

Love you so much,

-Sister Roy

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