Dear Friends and Family, Hello ! Or should I say Hola? Becuase we spoke a LOT of spanish these week!
This week Pvt. Harland was baptized! (See photo) It was great. She was SO excited for her baptism. When I first invited her to be baptized three weeks ago, she practically volunteered as tears ran down her face. She had been meeting with missionaries off and on back home becuase her boyfriend is LDS. She came to basic training and after coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon, she just wanted to be baptized! She was just so happy on her baptism day! She said, "I woke up and thought, yay it's baptism day!"
She reminds me of the scripture in Mosiah 18:11, where Alma teaches the people what it means to be baptized. "And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." When we follow Jesus Christ we have joy!
This week we met a whole bunch of new spanish speakers! It was a blast! In preperation for a lesson with the spanish Elders, Sister Brown and I made the committment to only speak in spanish when possible for a day or so, wow did it help us! We went to teach a lesson with the Spanish Elders, becuase we were introducing Adela and Lupe to them, during the lesson (the restoration) I was able to understand 85% of it. It was amazing! I studied spanish during my meals this week and made a big effort to pray in spanish as well. It made a huge difference. Heavenly Father blessed us so much with increased communciation skills! It seemed like everywhere we went, we just ran into spanish speakers. We also made flan for Adela, it was fun!
I can do tough things! Conquering the Hill---------
This week, Sister Brown and I took our bikes out for a ride. In my last area, we went biking a lot more than we do here. We haven't spent time biking recently, because we have just been so busy with appointments and mainly with my asthma and the pollen, we haven't been able to-so we decided this week to just set time aside and go.
At first it was really fun, but then we realized that her bike didn't shift gear, so we had to do it manully using the chains. A small set back, but we kept going. At one point we were riding and we went down a hill and this came into my mind, I thought "wow, I have never gone this fast before on a bike on my mission...." then I thought, "wow,....this is going to be really tough to bike back up." And it was! At one point, I realized that I could walk faster than I was biking, that's when I knew I had a problem. I had made the mistake of shifting up instead of shifting down for the hill. I learned a vaulable lesson!
It was such a blessing to ride our bikes. We were able to meet so many more people. I know that when we go a little bit out of our way, that Heavenly Father will put people in our path for us to help.
Random Acts of Service------
Recently, we have been able to do random acts of service. We have helped pick of pruned leaves, mowed a couple lawns, help empty the trash, you name it. If we see it, we will try and help! The hardest part isn't the actual service, it's convincing someone to let us help! It is amazing to see the light change in other's eyes when they get help. I know that part of the reason that people loved Jesus Christ was becuase he was always serving.
By Small and Simple Things------
We have been teaching Floyd and Clara since March. Floyd is 80 and has been married to Clara for 8 years. Clara is a returning member. We love them so much, we have tried our absolute hardest to help them to come closer to the gospel. Last week Floyd gave us his coffee maker and this week he decided to be baptized! On Thursday, he told us that he would give us an answer about baptism on Sunday at church. That was such a long wait, but we had faith, we knew he would say yes! He was already talking about possible dates to be baptized on and now he is getting baptized this Saturday.
We asked Floyd how he reiceved his answer and he said: The Book of Mormon, us teaching him, coming to church, the members, the Lorenzo Snow:Prophets of the Church book, praying, and so on. It was a lot of little things. I know that it is the same way with our testimonies. That is is all the small little things put together that makes a difference.
"By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass." It is the small every day things that we do that makes a difference. You build a foundation, one brick at a time. I know that the small things we do add up. They really do! That is what it took with Floyd to know that this church is true and I know that it what it takes for us to be able to know as well.
When teaching, we always invite people to do these three things: church, pray, and read. Together they spell CPR, something that saves lives. I know that these three things are the foundation for a strong testimony, one that will stay firm when the hard winds of life come. (Read Helaman 5:12)
Will y'all focus on the small things this week that you do? I can promise you that if you do, you will be able to better discern if those small choices are building or breaking your testimony and you will be able to better fortify your foundation with good ones.
Sister Susan Anderson
P.S. President Holm always said something along these lines: "Your life is made up of a bunch of days. If you want to have a great life, have a great day!"
I haven't sent many photos recently, so this week I am making up for it and sending a lot!
1 Pvt. Harland right before her baptism
2 Sister Roundy and I with a helicopter from WW2 or Vietnam
3 Sister Brown and I infront of tanks