After the excitement of the baptism, this week seems to have been a fairly normal one for missionary work with some highs and lows.
Soeur Holt had the opportunity to watch the Restoration video with a couple of the people they are teaching. This highlights the calling of Joseph Smith to be a prophet. Monday evening we took cookies to Trinity and Charlanda; we watched the Restoration video together and they really loved it. We spoke more about how through prayer we can receive answers. With the lady who is preparing for baptism we watched the Restoration video together in Portuguese; it was so beautiful and the spirit was so strong as she expressed how she truly identified with his story. I recognise that it is the Lord preparing the hearts of the people we teach to receive this message. They visited her with Soeur Mirta and she is still so excited for her baptism and is sharing Mormon Messages that we showed her in Portuguese with her friends in Brazil!!
There were a number of different teaching experiences this week. With a new young man we got to know him a little bit and talked about the Book of Mormon… Dahana had asked us to do an English class with her and is was really great actually; it gave us an opportunity to laugh little bit more with her than just go through lesson after lesson… A lesson with another family where we spoke about how Christ established his Church when he was here on earth… Saturday morning was a good one we taught one of the people we had been visiting-his partner joined us and we had brought Soeur Aimee and Frere Charmant with us. We taught the plan of salvation and they loved the idea of the spirit world and Alma 7 for the atonement… We visited the Lazou family- really great lesson- we read together 1 Nephi 5 and took the time to get to know them a little bit more… On Sunday we had a lesson with a lady who Soeur Needs taught when she was here. She loves the sisters- her husband joined us and he has just returned from preaching in France- crazy intimidating but a good get to know lesson and the Book of Mormon. In his closing prayer the husband prayed to thank God for the angels that he had sent them and to make manifest if this is something that he and his wife need to adopt in their lives. Cool, huh!!
There were also a couple of visits to the hospital for Soeurs Holt and Atkins this week. One was to the young man who is preparing for baptism. We gave him some oranges; it seems he basically had a nasty cold and chest infection that is made worse by the fact that he was a heavy smoker; but he hasn’t smoked since he was admitted into hospital; so there is a good side!! The second visit was to the Vilbrun family who had their baby boy on Sunday. I hope that you can see all of the pictures- isn’t he cute!!
Soeur Holt shared some things from her study that help us understand the plan that our loving Heavenly Father has for us. As she studied Ether 2.24-25
“For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?”
As context, the people led by the brother of Jared are about to set out upon the sea. I pondered as to why God couldn’t just calm the seas so that the people of the brother of Jared could pass safely- why did they have to go through the storms. I think the question is answered in application to life’s storms that all of us go through- why can’t God just calm and take away our troubles. The answer seems to be that we need to learn and grow and he always prepares a way for us to come through (1 Nephi 3.7).
This, perhaps, links with another aspect of Soeur Holt’s study- the recognition that we all have weaknesses and moments where we’re not striving to become closer to the Saviour. She used a couple of examples: in Ether 2.14 the brother of Jared is told off for not praying,; in Mormon 3.12 he loved the people with all of his heart because of the love that God had given him but still he found himself praying without faith. I think these last two comforted me in the fact that the heroes and prophets from the Book of Mormon are real people with real weaknesses and if the brother of Jared can see Christ, even after showing these weaknesses, then maybe there is hope for us all yet.
Some great news- I received a package this week!! [there had been an issue with a parcel going astray] I loved it and I am sure Jesus did too, I had to laugh at that little note as I opened [someone had suggested that writing Jesus loves you on the envelope might dissuade would be light fingers]. Soeur Atkins loved her chocolate and sweets as well; but she has more self-control than I and she had half a chocolate bar left in the fridge whereas mine was gone that day!!
Love you all like jelly tots!!