Monday, July 8, 2013

I am staying in Manhattan!!!!!! Ahhhhh I could not be happier right now. They switched things up and called last night to tell us that we would find out transfers through email this morning. I was hyperventilating to say the least. But Sister Stewart and I will be staying here in the Manhattan First Ward and elders are also being put into our ward.

Okay this past week was so incredibly awesome. Hence why I was hyperventilating about transfers. I am just not finished in this area and there is so much work to be done! And miracles to be seen. Let's start out with yesterday!! Our fasts and prayers were worth it and we had four investigators at church! It was amazing. Felix came with Serenity and they LOVED it. Ahhhh it was thee greatest, being able to sit by them and feel of the Spirit and watch Felix as he was amazed by the unity of this ward and by the fullness that is in our church. The testimony meeting was so awesome and there were many powerful testimonies born that I know helped to strengthen Felix's testimony. We had met with him on Friday and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said that he has been thinking a lot about baptism and really thinks that is what is in store for him. He is praying about July 27th!! I love these people so much it is unreal. He was pretty worried when we were talking about dates because he knew we might get transferred soon and so he asked if we would be able to come back for the baptism. He told us that he feels so close to us and that it would feel wrong if we weren't there... ahhhh I love being a missionary!

Last week we also got to see Joyce again! :) And we taught the Plan of Salvation. It was very powerful to be able to testify to her of the Resurrection and that although she is deaf in this life, her body WILL be perfected, because Jesus Christ overcame physical death. She loves everything we teach her and is so open to learning. And she came to church also!! Sister Kroll is awesome and is so willing to help us teach and translate. Joyce was so happy at church and loved it.

Carlos is this big teddy bear of a guy from Ecuador. He is black and sooo awesome. We have just recently started teaching him because the sisters had to pass him over to us since he has a family back home. No complaints here. But we had Kabu (a lost sheep that just started coming back to church and is a PERFECT fellowship for Carlos) pick him up for church. Carlos was so outgoing and looooved church and all the people he met.

The ward was super stoked to say the least. There were investigators and less actives that attended yesterday and the ward was so welcoming and everyone was having a grand ole time. Gospel principles usually only consists of a couple people but yesterday it was PACKED and there wasn't even enough chairs ha. And lucky us, Sister Stewart and I were asked to teach that day. No lie, it was pretty intimidating teaching a room crammed full of adults, older and smarter than me. There were also some obstacles (translating for Joyce, language barrier with Carlos, and technological difficulties).. But it went well and the Spirit was definitely present.

So member how my new name is "Sparkles" according to Shawn? Well Mihoko bore her testimony yesterday about how missionaries have "sparkles" in their eyes. Just like Shawn describes. Shawn always tells us that we have this sparkle in our eyes that we know something she doesn't and she wants that more than anything. That is when we bear testimony to her that she CAN have what we have. And that is why she keeps meeting with us. But last week we had people say that phrase a couple times in one day and it really struck hard to me. Shawn was talking about the "sparkles" again and then we were walking home and ran into Tracy (recent convert in the single's ward who is majorly struggling). But we run into him ALL the time, no coincidence. He was talking about how hard it has been for him to follow all the commandments and asked us why we are always so happy and have a "dang twinkle in our eyes". We couldn't help but laugh and think of Shawn. But it is crazy how we don't even notice how much we stand out to other people! Anyone who accepts the restored gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ can have that complete peace and joy in their lives. And can have a "sparkle" in their eyes hah.

The Fourth of July here was crazy! Just a reminder, Manhattan is a college town AND a military town. They went wild. Fireworks alll week! And supposedly there are laws here too but no one abides by them. People were chucking fireworks around all day long. It was kinda scary riding our bikes and dodging them hahah.

We visited this less active lady that I talked about a couple weeks ago. Sister Crump is 93 and we ran into her outside one day and got talking, come to find out she is a member! She is hilarious!! But so lonely and lives all by herself.. It seriously broke my heart as we visited her because she just cried and cried when it was time for us to leave. She tells us that we are her babies and she loves us so much. Oh and she is literally like one of those grandmas in the movies. Aka smothers you with hugs/kisses and PINCHES YOUR CHEEKS. Real life.

We are also still teaching Roggar and Maria, two other students from Ecuador. We don't teach them together but they are both slowly progressing. Reading, praying, and we are working on the church thing..

I seriously love being a missionary! I have never been happier. It reminds me of this quote from the District- an elder says "I don't get why I'm so happy, like all the time... kinda weirds me out. Cause I am TIRED." Hahaha never been more tired but never been happier. My mission has been the greatest adventure already and we are so blessed to share what we know to be true. Jesus Christ truly does lead and guide this church today.

I love you all!


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