Tomorrow are transfers. I'm staying in Cambridge, but is this already going to be the last one?...
Happy Birthday Mom! I know I already wished you Happy Birthday but here is another shout out for you.
Here are a few things I learned & was reminded this week:
- How to break open a lobster with its shell on. First, you wrap in in a paper towel. Next, you flick/hammer it with a spoon. Crack, then snap the shell off. Done.
-The weather here is very bizarre--warm some days, freezing the next, then repeat.
-How playing games with kids (thank goodness to Elder Moore for some ideas) to help them organize works miracles.
-How when you rely solely on faith in Jesus Christ, it frees you from doubt or worry.
-When you share the Book of Mormon through conviction and heartfelt testimony for it, people will feel of its truth, as it could increase their desire to read it.
We had some miracles happen this week. One of the greatest miracles was when we were able to get into a less-active's home named Nayanka that us and the leaders have tried to for months. Last weekend, Nayanka's brother and his wife came into town, so they set up a dinner for us at their house! Their family is from Guinea Bissau, close by Cape Verde. We had quite the fun ethnic experience, which I have MISSED! (We were exposed to a lot of cultures back in Waltham as well as with Yuri's family back in Plymouth.) When we arrived on Tuesday night, there were kids running around everywhere, the apartment was filled with the enticing smell of Cape Verdian cooking, and Portuguese Creole was being spoken off and on. Once Nayanka and her brother arrived with their friend Wayne, we all joined in for a carefree dinner. Paper plates were put out and a prayer was offered. Afterwards, we were free to scoop out as much food as we wanted from two HUGE pots that took up the whole stove--one full of a creamy sauce with chicken, sausage, kale, yuca, veggies...the other with corn on the cob and an assortment of seafood--clams, large shrimp and lobsters with their shells still on...it was a feast (but don't worry, I didn't have too much!) Here at the table, I learned how to break a lobster open, as there was some hammering action going on with metal spoons. After dinner, we settled in the living room for the lesson Sister Jones and I prepared on Elder Ballard's talk "Stay in the Boat and Hold On!" We all joined in discussion and the spirit was powerful, as it allowed Sister Jones and I to boldly testify of the truths Elder Ballard brought up. After all of this, we have a return appointment with them tomorrow and are hoping to help them feel comfortable coming back to church.
Since Sister Jones and I have been working as hard as we can to have a stronger Zion built between us and that we are trying to improve in ways we serve and work, miracles have been coming up. For instance, on Wednesday night as we were heading to a member visit, we had an incredible conversation with a lady named Tina on the bus. It ended up being a long conversation as she had so many questions she asked us. She was so engaged, and we ended up going waaay past our stop so we got her contact info. From that point we kept in contact, answering questions she had. She, in one day, already began reading the Book of Mormon we gave to her, as she felt the spirit when we bore witness of the truth it holds. She also noticed how many of the principles we had were the same Christian principles she believed. We set up a time to go to her home for last night with a member, where we solidified how what we would teach would answer her many questions. It did take some directions as her questions led to us covering a little bit about temples, tithing, families...pretty much the whole shabang as we desperately tried to keep it on topic, but all in all we taught the Restoration! While we taught, every now and then, she couldn't help but quietly say "Wow," in awe. She agreed to pray to know if it is all true. We are keeping her in our prayers and hope for the best!
Andrea's baptism this Sunday is also coming up quickly! We had another Doctrine and Covenants scripture study with her when she got off of work. It's been incredible to see Andrea change. She now holds herself up with confidence, as she knows who she is as a daughter of God. She sprints with faith, not looking back. I greatly needed to be reminded of her example that night, as a few nerves were kicking in about changes that may come up in just over a month. She has led the example to "Come to the edge, allow Him to push, and fly." She relies on her faith in the Savior as she is committed to keep going; she is never going back to her old ways in which she has improved. This decision she has made to change her life and ways in a whim, as she turns them to the Lord, shows her confidence and reliance in Him. It allows me to see how many blessings can be poured by continuing in faith and reliance in our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. Even when we feel uncertain what will happen, they are guiding and directing our path as we continue on according to their will.
The rest of this week was good, as we helped clean Evie's apartment for her baby that is due this week. We helped her daughter Odessa put her toys away, helped Evie rid old items, swept, mopped, and much more...it was a lot and Sister Jones and I were sure exhausted by the end but we were glad to help Evie prepare when she can't do much at this point! We also visited Al, who is going to pray if being baptized is right for him at this time. We had an awesome correlation with not only Julio and our Ward Missionaries, but also with our Elders Quorum and Relief Society Presidents and our Ward clerk. It was a great meeting as it focused on the individuals we are working with.
I hope you are all doing well. Continue to seek the Lord's help and guidance in every aspect in your lives, as that is what I'm trying to remind myself to do that as well. When we were studying D&C 6 with Andrea, which I discovered has to be one of my favorite sections, I loved just about every verse, but here were a couple that I would like to share...
D&C6: 20 “Behold, thou art ______, and I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.
21 “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not."
Our Savior is our light as we can look unto Him with faith and hope, relying on his saving and merciful grace.”