Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Happenings in the mission...


We love the good people who run the Stamford Food Pantry and love to serve there!  Missionaries have been faithfully helping on Thursdays for many years.  The few times I have been able to go the leaders always comment how wonderful our "young people" are and to please stop transferring them!  I was able to have a tender conversation with "Randi", another volunteer who recently lost her son.  She is grieving and searching for answers.  The Elders helped me share with her scriptures from the Book of Mormon.  As we read she looked at me and asked "may I have this book?"  To which, I enthusiastically replied "yes, and these elders can help you understand more about it".  She held it close to her prior to putting it in her purse. 



Shoutout to this guy!!  I captured an extremely rare moment. 
 He goes 24/7 everyday and functions on very little sleep.

Every May the Yorktown Stake hosts "Alma Academy" for the high school seniors in their stake.  The missionaries are called upon to help.  We met together at the East Side Chapel in Manhattan.  Each youth was assigned a full time missionary companion.  They had companionship and personal study and did some planning.  Then they went to work!  My girls were able to participate this year.
Later we met again at the chapel and the youth shared testimony of their experience. 
 The youth really connected with the missionary they were assigned and each had a powerful experience.  Some taught the restoration lesson on the street, others visited an investigator in their home and one taught someone in the hospital.  They prayed with people and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon. 
 The youth had experiences testifying of what they knew to be true.  
It was an awesome day!





























Following Alma Academy we headed up to The Bronx to the Kingsbridge Chapel where the Westchester Stake was hosting a mega mutual missionary night.  The youth recently visited Palmyra and the leaders wanted to build upon that experience by giving the youth opportunity to ponder what they felt and learned and how to prepare to share that message as full time missionaries.  Dave and I had the opportunity to each share testimony before they split up into groups.  As I sat in the chapel and looked out over the congregation I was filled with love for our missionaries.  The Kingsbridge Zone Elders and Sisters were in attendance. 
 It is a very diverse zone with missionaries from all over the world and all walks of life. 
 They are missionaries with deep conviction of gospel truths as they have seen miracles 
in their own lives and diligently worked to receive their own testimony.  

Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures as we had to hurry out so Dave
 could finish transfers before the calls to missionaries were made that night.







William loves transfer call night and having the assistants over.  We've been blessed to work with 4 great assistants this transfer as we continue to prepare for the transition of the mission this summer.



Dave makes all transfer assignments.  He ponders, prays, goes to the temple and seeks inspiration every time.  He never acts in haste or does what seems to make the most sense. He labors diligently.  I have loved my front row seat to this revelatory process.  I testify this is the Lords work.  We have seen miracle after miracle with the assigning of companionships and areas.





 On Sunday evening Maria Zapata was baptized.  Our family loves Maria!  She comes and cleans the mission home every week and has done so for 14 years.  We quickly became friends when our family first moved here.  Off and on we have had conversations about the church and at one point over 2 years ago I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon.  Nothing really came of it...so I thought.  Six weeks ago the sisters called me and said Sister Smith we are teaching Maria Zapata.  Then they shared with me that a few days earlier they were in her building to visit someone else.  When that person wasn't home they prayed to know who they needed to see.  They looked in their area book to find out if any former investigators also lived in the building and felt drawn to Maria's name.  Next to the notes it said "referred by Sister Smith".  When they went to her door she welcomed them in and they began to teach her the restored gospel.  She loves the Book of Mormon and diligently kept the commitments the sisters gave her. I'm so grateful the sisters were in tune to spiritual promptings.   It was a very special experience to witness Dave baptize her and speak the prayer in her native Spanish.  
He did a great job!



I was able to visit Maria in her home with the Hermanas 

This is Barbara Jean Kaufman.  Anyone who has ever served in Olmstead knows and loves Sister Kaufman!  She and I have become close friends.  I have learned so much from her.  She is resilient, faithful and full of hope.  She says the gospel of Jesus Christ literally saved her life.  Because of the joy she has found she shares the gospel with everyone and anyone who will listen.  We invited her to the mission home for Mothers Day lunch and then took her to Maria's baptism before driving her home that night.


I loved this picture William took of the NY Skyline while he was on the Brooklyn Bridge








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