Hey everyone! Whatcha sayin?
This week, I spent a lot of time studying charity. Everyone always tells me it's the hardest Christlike attribute to obtain and then maintain, and I guess I never really understood what they meant until I really studied it. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it's so important for all of us to have charity! So this week, I really focused on trying to obtain some more charity. I think something I struggle with is truly loving people I don't really see eye to eye all the time with. Christ truly loved and accepted everyone, regardless of background or personality or any of the things we tend to focus on. So as I've studied charity more and more, I've realized more and more how important it is for us to have! And even more, how hard it really is to be charitable at all times! I realized that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really do love each and every one of us completely, regardless of our imperfections. I also realized that when someone insults or hurts the people I love, I get upset and hurt! So when we hurt those around us, and we are anything less than charitable, we are not only hurting the people we talk to and interact with, but we are also upsetting God. And I don't know about you all, but I don't really want to upset God. So I'm working on my charity! As I've worked on being kind and patient and understanding and loving towards everyone all the time no matter what, I've realized something. The scriptures say charity never faileth, and man oh man is that true. When you're nice and genuinely loving to someone, they are so much more receptive to the truths you teach. They want to listen, and they want to keep their commitments more! Charity rocks. I know I'm far from being perfectly charitable all the time, but that's okay. Because God doesn't demand perfection, He only demands progression.
Okay, so what happened this week? Let's see....
After emailing, cleaning, and shopping for food, we took a bus downtown and went to the straw market to do some souvenir shopping (family- keep an eye out for a package headed your way sometime soonish!) I got some killer deals because you can bargain there. I've discovered that being stubborn is a really good thing when bargaining. Because once I decide I don't want to pay more than five dollars for something, I don't pay more than five dollars for something. Which means I got three different items that were priced between 15 and twenty dollars for three to five dollars each. Woohoo for stubbornness! After p-day ended, we went down to the beach to do some street contacting and to teach one of our investigators. Yeah, that's right. We teach on the beach. Ya'll can be jealous ;) Our bus driver on the way home was named Gary! We love Gary! He gave us his number and told us to call him whenever we need a ride because he loves Jesus. Hahahaha you meet some of the funniest people on missions.
Tuesday we walked a lot and taught a lot of people. We ate dinner at KFC, and I accidentally ordered the world's largest, most disgusting fried chicken sandwich. So that was a bummer. But I ate the bun and the lettuce so that was good! hahahah. Then we went to AJ's house and we had a water fight with him and Jervance. So please know that in the pictures below, I am not sweating. I am merely soaked in water. I don't know why my shirt and hair are the only things that look wet in the picture, but Sister Rampersad and I were both pretty soaked. But then it started POURING rain, so we got completely soaked through anyways haha. We walked to a member's house, and before she would let us in she made us dry off with towels on the porch! It was so funny. She and her husband took us home, and in the back seat of their car was a bottle of sparkling cider! We started talking about how much we like sparkling cider, and when we got home, they insisted we take it! So... we had a party involving sparkling cider and sugar cookies that were a little funny looking but pretty good tasting. (I may not have the whole baking skills thing down to an art yet. Oops.) Also on Tuesday, it was Lisa and Andrew's son's birthday... and you know what that means! It was time to flour the three year old! Woohoo happy birthday!!!
We had a fantastic district meeting combined with the elders on the Book of Mormon. Holy moly I love that book so much!!! We watched Elder Holland's talk from like 2009 on the Book of Mormon... every time I hear or read that talk, I get goosebumps. The Book of Mormon is true you guys! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to the trueness of that book. After district meeting, we walked and bought some giant hot dogs again, and then we walked a while up the road to the area a lot of our recent converts live in and spent the rest of the day teaching our those boys!
Thursday was Bahamian Independence Day. Which meant pretty much everyone was at the beach all day... so we only were able to see a few people and we just went contacting a lot. Then in the afternoon, we got to collect vines and pinecones and leaves and stuff for a service project! Apparently Nassau has a forest... it was almost like being back home! Hahahah I just loved it. Then we went back to the church for our weekly branch correlation meeting, and we were a little bit early. So we walked over to Bamboo Shack (a little stand that sells the best burgers and fried chicken in the world) to buy dinner. What happened next has officially been titled as our Bamboo Shack Burger Blessing.
We were standing in line counting our various dollar bills and pennies to figure out what exactly we could order. Since we were walking, we didn't carry a lot of money with us and we had already used most of our money for the day on bus fare... so we were pretty darn broke. A lady behind us heard our conversation, and went up and paid for our meals. When we started to protest, she told us that she needed to serve us because we're doing the Lord's work and she knows she'll get blessings from helping the Lord's servants. Hahaha it was such a blessing!! So we got her number and stuff and hopefully we'll be able to meet with her some more! And that is the story of our Bamboo Shack Burger Blessing.
Friday morning during studies, we got a phone call from our branch mission leader saying one of the members of the branch had passed away. It made for a rough morning, but we all started to talk about it and we just realized again what a blessing it is to be a part of this church! We don't have to be heartbroken forever when people die, because we know that we can see them again after this life! We have a knowledge of the plan of salvation, and if that is not one of the greatest blessings our Father in Heaven has given us, I don't know what is. We did weekly planning, and then took a bus to the church for a meeting with the sister training leaders over skype. During the meeting, we got a call saying... wait for it, wait for it, wait for it.... OUR CARS WERE READY!!! We were about to bus to the car lot when a member of the branch pulled up and offered a ride. So we got to the car place, hung around for an hour or so, and pulled out of that parking lot with the nicest car I have ever driven in my entire life! I feel so spoiled, but we've already seen the work improve because of the car. It's such a blessing to have it... we are able to see so many more people every day because we can get around the island so much quicker! Yay!!! We realized that the scriptures talk about the Lord blessing those who cheerfully and patiently endure their trials... while not having a car really wasn't that big of a trial, it was hard at first and there was some complaining and whining. However, after a few days we realized complaining wasn't going to change anything, so we started looking for all the blessings that come from walking! By the time we got our car, we were singing hymns everywhere we went and I really don't think I'd ever been happier in my life than I was the last few weeks while walking. And... the minute we stopped focusing on when we were going to get a car and not have to walk anymore, guess what happened? We got a car! See? Blessings.
Saturday, we went to teach AJ. We were teaching the 10 commandments when all of the sudden our branch mission leader whips out this awesome thing he does with his hands to remember the commandments in order. I will never forget any of the commandments again. Haha. We taught a few more lessons, than went to find some of our recent converts and investigators, who were all conveniently at a young men's activity at the Dinkelman's house! It's was great! We didn't have to track them down all over the island haha. The Dinkelman's fed us a little bit of dinner, and then we went out and taught lessons for the rest of the day! Part of those lessons included marriage proposal number...8? 9? 10? I've lost track. Hahah men here crack me up.
We woke up and got ready, and then went to PEC at the church! We get to go to PEC because there's not actually any elders here, so we're the next best thing they have haha. Then we went to sacrament... I had to speak again! I spoke on hope this time... I talked a lot about a talk Uchtorf gave in the April 2013 conference. It was so good! You all should look it up. We taught young women's again, and then that was church! After church, we drove to the dinkleman's house one last time... sniff sniff. They're moving back to the states this week! I'm going to miss that family so much! They're all amazing people and I just love them!! Then we went and taught two of our investigators, and had a fun lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some of our recent convert boys.
I'll just leave you all with a quote from President Uchtdorf for the week. I love that man, and I love this quote!!
"Isn't it wonderful to know that we don't have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don't have to wait to cross the finish line to recieve God's blessings. In facet, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light. The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn't matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father... the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but assuredly as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come."
I love you all so much! Have fantastic weeks, everyone!!
No, that is not sweat on me. It is water. And no, my arm is not around AJ. It is resting on the pole behind me. This is AJ (investigator) and Jervance (recent convert)!!
Look at our new car!!!! Isn't it sick???????