Mom Comment - A while back - two worlds met. A wonderful young lady that I met through work (Sister Jessica Turley) is serving a mission teaching the Gospel in American Sign Language. Elder Weber one week asked for ideas on helping a deaf member in Madagascar learn ASL so that he could go to the temple. Since then, Elder Weber and Sister Turley have been working together via Skype. I thought you all would enjoy reading this whole letter, but the Skype part is in paragraph 3.
Week 9.2 (btw, I have a lot of people on the general list, if you don't actually want my general emails will you please email me telling me that? No offense taken at all, makes my life a lot easier :)
Wow! What an amazing week! Just a brief overview for my digest readers: a plethora of new investigators, a new excitement on campus, amazing recent converts, branch fast, miracles!!!
Ok so to start off, this week I got to Skype with the Zernas! The deaf couple in the Philippines that we taught in the MTC! They are both baptized now and we are doing the new member lessons with them. I was sooooo happy to see them again. I love being an ASL missionary! So many unique opportunities. We also got to skype with Jules, the member in Madagascar that we are teaching ASL so he can go to the temple. Jules is the sweetest man and he gets soooo excited when we skype. I was talking to his missionary, elder weber, and he explained that going to the temple is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the members there, and a huge effort. I felt so spoiled. I use to go twice a week! And yet this man gets to go once in his entire life... It really put into perspective for me how much responsibility we have, those of us with soooo many blessings and temples close by. With great blessings comes great responsibility.
We met with Ivy again! She didn't come to church yesterday but she was there last week and that was huge! We talked about the Book of Mormon and read some of it with her so that she would feel more comfortable reading it on her own. I'm really excited to see her progress, we just have to be more persistent with her. I absolutely love her, she is so sweet!
On Wednesday we got to go with Michai (recent convert) to the institute in Georgetown. Sooo much fun. It made me really trunky though. I miss being with other students in an institute class. So that was fun and Michai and I got to chat a lot on the metro and such, it was some much needed bff time :)
Thursday was full of miracles! Michai, the most amazing recent convert, introduced us to about 7 of her friends who said they wanted to meet with us. So far we have met with three of them, and they all seem pretty solid. We had a lesson with Syretta, Shaneque, And April. They are all pretty open to it and Syretta is right there on the edge of being ready for baptism. She even accepted a conditional baptism! Which is huge!!! So we are really excited about that. We went to the basketball game on Saturday to support our investigator Zamica and to be more seen on campus and meet more people. Best finding activity we've probably ever done. We met so many people that said they wanted to meet with us and ran into a bunch of less actives, and had dinner with a huge group of non members and just talked about church stuff the whole time. It was the coolest thing ever!! Heavenly Father is truly hastening his work, and he has called the strongest people like Michai and Mark to help do it, they are so unashamed to share the gospel, they live their testimonies and share them often. It's an incredible example to me.
On Friday we went to the temple. I had a really neat experience in the celestial room. As I entered I looked around and saw all of my sisters, and instead taking some personal time like I normally would, I had this prompting to go talk to as many of them as I could, even if it was just a quick hug or a wink and a smile, just something to let them know that I love them. So I did, and I sat down next to a few different sisters and I just had this overwhelming peace and a remembrance of a promise Heavenly Father made to me in the MTC while we were in the provo temple. I had been really struggling and seeking comfort and as I had been praying for it, the most distinct voice said to me "comfort my children and I will comfort you". And as I looked up I saw one of my sisters crying, so I went over to her and hugged her and we talked and as I did, I received the most amazing peace. And again, on Friday that all came back to me, and as I sat and talked with these different sisters, I was filled with peace and comfort, and an excitement to be serving them.
I am so grateful for temples, and for the opportunity that we have to use them often, and to save our ancestors, and to have that time of peace and reflection, and closeness to our Heavenly Father.
Yesterday was amazing! We had our Super Sunday, which means deaf members in the surrounding area, all come to the branch (most don't come every week because it's a 1-2 hour drive for some of them) and we had about 85 people there! Including two of marks non member friends!!! Tyler and Mike! They were super involved in the lessons and kept talking about how much they loved it here and wanted to come back! I'm so pumped :) And our branch fast was focused on finding ways to make our branch become a ward. So many bore their testimony about how excited they were for this and I think everyone caught sight of the movement of hastening the work. I am thrilled to see what happens in the next few months before I leave.
This work is rolling forth with our without us, so let's hop on and do our part. This is why we are here at this time, this hastening of the work of salvation is our responsibility. Find ways to share your testimony in the day. When someone asks how your weekend was, tell them about church! Or if you went to the temple recently, or invite them to ward activities, or bring them a care package, or a cake, just be close and involved with the people around you and they will start asking questions. We have an incredible light that we need to let shine and bring people closer to Christ.
I love you all so much. Seek missionary moments is week., if you pray for them, they will come :)