Elders in the CityThe work goes forward...
"We've been placing a focus on cleaning out our ward list and have been dropping by everyone that lives in our area. We knocked the door of a less active woman on our roster this week that neither my companion or I know. And, like often happens, the person that answered the door explained to us that the person we were looking for moved and no longer lived there. Someone grab the "That was easy button". Mark her name and let's get her off the list. Move onto the next one. Plenty more to go. Lots of work to do, not enough time. But, we struck up a conversation with Martha, the lady that answered the door. We have this amazing message that we wanted to share with her.
But like always, she was "too busy". We insisted that our message was precisely two minutes and thirty-seven seconds long. Nothing more, nothing less. Two minutes and thirty-seven seconds. After a split second of thinking, she gave us the O.K. Three quarters of the way through the Christmas initiative, Light the World, Martha started to cry. And cry. And cry. And the tears came harder and harder. And faster and faster. After a few moments, she had to excuse herself to go to the kitchen and grab some paper towels to wipe the tears running down her face. With a damp paper towel in her hand, a smile on her face, a tear running down her cheek, and a little "I can't believe this just happened" chuckle, she began to explain to us the moments leading up to our gentle knocks on her door. Her husband had been in the hospital for a week and they just received some news that they weren't expecting. She couldn't believe the news that she received that day. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know where to turn for comfort, guidance, or peace. But she turned to the Bible. She turned to the Bible for help. She picked up the Bible and read it for one of the very first times in her entire life. While reading, she poured her heart out to God. "Why are you doing this?" "How can you do this to me?" Her gentle prayers and pleas turned into screams and a one-sided argument with God. But somehow, someway, at the peak of her screams, she heard a gentle knock on her door. A knock? On the door? Right now? Who would it be? What would it be? What would it be?
Well, it was the answer to her prayers."
Sisters in Connecticut
Something cool that happened this last Sunday was that our investigator Eric finally came to church! Sure, he pulled up in his beater car with his slippers on, jeans, an American Flag T-shirt, and a big fat cigarette hanging out of his mouth, BUT HE CAME! (We made him put the cigarette out before going into the church don't worry) We sat by him, and yes, we were practically sitting in a cloud of smoke, and this little kid in the pew behind us coughed a little bit too. But it was one of the BEST Sacrament Meetings of my mission. The talks given were all on Gratitude and applied perfectly to what Eric and his wife Harriet are going through right now. Whenever we sang a hymn, he whispered to us afterward, "That was a really nice song I liked it. And these are really nice books for the music." After the meeting, Bishop came up and asked Eric how he liked the service and Eric said, "It was nice. Different. But I like this one better, it's more original. I feel like you guys do it the way it was first done. I used to go to St. Mary's but I it seems like other church's have just adapted their own way of doing things where you guys are original". Haha We were just sitting there grinning ear to ear like "Yuup." Bishop seemed pretty pleased too. The gospel principles teacher wasn't there, so Bishop invited us to teach. And we taught the Plan of Salvation. Eric did have to go outside to "get something from his car", (and one of our members said they saw him having a smoke break) but the coolest part was that he came back inside and participated.
Elders in Harlem
Sunday was a miracle day because we had 11 people at church, the greatest one was a family we've been working with. Germania, the mother, called us and asked for the exact address to the chapel. Then about 5 minutes before Sacrament meeting started we were standing next to the doors that lead to the stairwell and I saw the door open and Germania came out with a huge smile on her face and her kids with her. I was so happy to see them even though I was disappointed because her husband wasn't with them. The door opened again and to my surprise Miriam walks in with her two daughters! I was freaking out like no way!! Then the thought crossed my head "where's Flavio?" Again I was sad that he didn't come when Germania said " Flavio is parking the car and will be right up". The door opened again and he walked in and I really just wanted to shed tears of joy. I couldn't believe that they all came. We lead them into the chapel and they all sat down filling up the back row by themselves when I see a man walk in and sit down right next to Miriam. We introduced ourselves and he said he was Miriam's husband. We have never met him before because he is usually at work and has never heard our message but he was there to join his family at church. It was a wonderful day!