Sent: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM
This week was so great!
On Tuesday night, our investigator, Marla, invited us to a women's retreat at the Catholic Church in Laborie. The closest thing I can say it reminded me of is a fireside. They had a visiting priest from Nigeria who was speaking about the gospel of Matthew. There was about a 30 minute section of singing and they did a rosary. It was an interesting experience because it made me keenly aware of what it would be like for an investigator attending our services for the first time.
Since Conference was later than our regular sacrament meeting, we were able to attend the Harvest Pentecostal church in Pierrot, where our investigator, Nazie, attends. We arrived during the "Praise and Worship" section. The set up when we got there was there was one main, female vocalist backed by four or five other vocalists. They had a drummer, a bassist, and a keyboardist. Everyone up there singing or playing in the band was quite talented. They had this one segment where they offered a prayer about tithing, then ushers held baskets up at the front so people could come up and put their tithes in as the band played a song about it. They also had another segment where people went around to greet and hug each other.
Marla came for BOTH Saturday sessions of Conference!! Ah, it was so great to see her there! She initially was planning on just staying for the first one, but she liked it so much that she stayed for both. Marla is incredible. Essentially, for some reason, she keeps running into people who tell her a lot of false things about the church. This past time, a pastor told her that the Book of Mormon is fake. She's enjoyed reading it, and she HATES it when people criticize other churches. So, because the pastor said that to her, she came to church two weeks ago, came last week, and was there for conference on Saturday.
It's also interesting to see how much attending church helps the progress of investigators. Since Marla came to church, the way she's been talking about her prayers have been different, the way she talks about how she's feeling is different. The Spirit is working on her. It's the same with Patrick and Waverly. And it is so, so beautiful.
We also recently started teaching a mother and a daughter named Andrea and Earline. We taught them last Sunday, then had a return appointment with them yesterday. Earline had read the Restoration tract, and we asked her if she had prayed about it. She said, "Yes. I believe it." Later on, she said, "You know, the other prophets are dead. It's time for new ones." AHHHH it was so great! We're seeing them later this week and I am so excited! Also, during our first lesson with them, we were sitting outside because it was so hot. Their cat, who was inside, kept coming to the door and mewing like CRAZY. Andrea kept saying, "Puss! Go back inside! Go back!" (PS, every cat in St. Lucian is called and responds to puss/puss-puss). It turns out that their cat was GIVING BIRTH during our lesson and we got to see NEW BORN KITTENS right after our lesson!
I received the package that Marcia sent me! I was especially grateful for the hair things!
Mom and Dad, I finally chose a favorite scripture. John 15:12-15. I emailed Marcia about the picture, so she should send it to you this week.
Phew! I am typing like a madwoman because I have so much I want to say! Now, let's move on to CONFERENCE! Who thought Elder Holland's talk and President Monson's closing remarks were foreboding and ominous?? We were able to watch Conference at the church via the wonders of the internet. It kept freezing though, so during choir and congregation hymns, we would be singing and then the music would stop, which was funny. I LOVED Elder Scott's talk, I cannot wait to read it! I also liked Elder Donald L. Hallstrom's talk - one can be completely active in church but inactive in the gospel. Elder Rasband's talk was touching. Conference seemed to focus quite a bit on families and forgiveness. I was also sad to see Julie B. Beck released! I've recently read several Ensign articles she's written and my, she is such a bold lady! David S. Baxter's talk was special to me, for a lot of our members are single mothers. Lastly, I enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk. Family values are not passé! So many beautiful and eternal benefits come from marriage.
Oh yeah! This week, we got to shell castor oil seeds!
We received our transfer calls a day early! Sister Dayton and I were driving to an appointment when the phone rang and I automatically pulled off the road. I am staying in Vieux Fort with Sister Dayton this transfer.
Family, I love you so much. I am so grateful, SO GRATEFUL, for you. Linda, I had a weird dream where I ran into you and Nick in the grocery store and you were like, "Oh! I'm glad we ran into you! We have good news!" You had had your baby like a moment before I ran into you and you were going home to show Mom and Dad (but why were you at the store...?) and you said "Luke doesn't even know yet!" You showed me your daughter and she was a little big for a new born. It was awesome. Also, I was still a missionary in this dream.
Sigh. I love being a missionary, family. But! It is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Teaching for teaching and teaching to enable conversion are very different - one is easy and the other is difficult! I know that the Lord is right here with us. I know this gospel is true and it is the avenue and the way we can achieve happiness! A happiness that is a foundation and isn't fleeting. Whenever someone says "oh, but you were raised in the Church...", I want to say "And you're lucky! Because I've got 22 years of experience with the gospel to give you that can help you."
Time to go!
I love you!