Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Faith replaces fear!

Hey ya'll! Okay so this email might be on the longish side... I apologize for that. 
We were in a lesson this last week with an investigator. He was saying that He didn't know if he could make all the changes necessary to become a member of the church. At first, I was frustrated. He's told us that he knows the church is true, so why can't he just make the necessary changes? Then I started to really think about it and understand where he was coming from and I realized that I am the exact same way. I resist change when I'm comfortable with where I'm at. But then I realized something else- change is the only way to progress! 
A lot has changed in my life over the last year and a half or so. I've graduated high school, moved out of the house, started college, and now I'm living on a little island in a foreign country surrounded by people I've only known a few weeks. And I'm starting to realize that my life isn't the only one that's changing. Most of the things and people I was comfortable with when I left home probably won't be there when I get back. At first, I was having a really hard time with that. I was kind of like our investigator... I was content with the way things were, so why did they have to change? But now I'm comping to terms with it. God puts changes in our lives to provide opportunites for progression. If everything stayed the same, nothing would ever move forward. 
I was studying the story of Alma this week. At first, he was just a guy hanging out in King Noah's court. I'm willing to bet he was pretty content with his life- I mean, I would be if I were friends with the king. But God wasn't content with where Alma was at. He saw the bigger picture, and He knew the potential Alma had. So he sent his prophet Abinadi. Abinadi went and preached and prophesied to King Noah and his court- and Alma listened. Something sparked his interest in the things Abinadi was saying. I think He realized at that point that He could become something way more than what He was already. So he decided to make a change- a pretty big change too, I would say. And I'll be that there were times during that changing process that Alma was pretty scared. Wouldn't you be scared if a king had just cast you out of his court and sent people to kill you? But at that point, Alma already knew that the changes he was making were for the better. he had faith in God- he trusted that the Lord had put him on the right path. "And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart." 
If Alma would have resisted the changes the Lord was trying to help him make in his life, what would have happened? Well... not only would he have robbed himself of all the blessings the gospel can bring, but he would have robbed literally hundreds of other people of the blessings the gospel can bring. Because Alma listened and had faith, at least 450 people were brought to a knowledge of God. God saw Alma's potential and he gave Alma an opportunity to reach that potential! I'm realizing now that change is scary and hard. But faith replaces fear. When we have faith in God, we can trust that as we counsel with him in all of our doings, He will direct us for good. God sees the bigger picture. And sometimes change is just a necessary part of that bigger picture :) Okay so I hope that made sense haha. On to the week!
This week was short! I seriously feel like I just emailed everyone yesterday.
Monday we spent the afternoon at Paradise Island on the beach and shopping in the straw market. We found a cute little place that sells delicious snow cones for a dollar, and just had a jolly good time :) Then we spent the evening with the Eyers family! We played "Mormon Jenga" for family home evening and they ordered DOMINO'S! Woohoo it was so fun! 
Tuesday we had some fantastic lessons with members. We've been working with a kid who's a prospective missionary, and we had a lesson with him on Tuesday. We talked about Christ and watched the video of His resurrection. Man the spirit was so strong in that lesson- he told us afterwards that his desire to serve a mission is a lot stronger now than it was before and it made us so happy! 
Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning... which was fantastic. Sister Bailey is a wonderful district meeting and teacher :) It was also a wee bit chaotic because skype decided to break and the elders needed to participate in district meeting so we had to just pass the phone around on speaker and have district meeting over the phone. Hahaha oh bahamas. How we love you. That night we had a meeting with President Ferdinand. He was helping us identify some less actives to start working with. We're going through the branch directory and he's telling us names. I mentioned a name and he looks at me super serious all of the sudden and then says "Sister Oman. Don't bother with him. He's a gangster." I don't know why but Sister Bailey and I found that so funny. We had to just stop the meeting for like five minutes and go in the hall because we were laughing so hard. I'm pretty sure I was sore for like three days because I laughed so hard for so long. Hehehehe. 
Thursday was a really really good day too! We had a bunch of spiritual lessons with people and a ton of prayers were answered in that day. You guys. Read the scriptures all the time. Heavenly Father uses them to help answer your prayers and direct your paths... The scriptures really are the word of God! 
Friday we had weekly planning and then we went out to teach. We stopped by to get the mail and I had two packages waiting for me! (Shoutout to Erica and Mom and Dad!) Don't worry mom... I'm not opening my birthday package until next week :) So that made for a fantastic lunch break. Then we went and taught a bunch of lessons to the most wonderful people in the world. Our last lesson for the evening was in an area with a lot of dogs. We parked the car a few blocks away from where we were supposed to teach because we were a little early so we were just going to go street contacting. Which was all fine and good until a dog saw us and decided to bark at us a lot. Which scared the living daylights out of us so we sprinted to our appointment. That may not have been our best move because the dog started running after us. Oops. So anyways we run and run and run and we get to the house and the front door is open so we just run right in. Melda, the member that was with us, totally biffed it and sprawled all over inside the doorway. So after Sister Bailey picked her up, there was room for me to run in. I ran in and slammed the door and then we all just collapsed on the ground laughing because our poor investigators looked so confused. They had all just been sitting in the house talking when three girls come running in while screaming really loud. I mean, I'd be confused... wouldn't you be? Hahah but it's okay because we all love each other. So lesson learned... don't run from barking dogs. Yep.
Saturday we got permission to start studying creole in the mornings after studies because so many of the people we teach are creole speaking! Woohoo! Also we're starting an english class this week... so exciting! We had some really really powerful lessons with people. One especially stuck out to me. We were visiting a less active who doesn't really speak much english. And our creole is still severely limited, so we were kind of at a loss as to how to communicate. All of the sudden, Sister Bailey pulls out a pamphlet and has him read something about the atonement. Then she flips to the part where it talks about taking the sacrament. And then I jump in and asked him if he would be able to come to church the next day. He sat there crying for a few minutes and then looked at us and just said "I coming church. I coming." The spirit is a universal language! It doesn't matter what language we speak... as long as we teach lovingly, the spirit will be there to help everyone along! The church is true!
Sunday was a typical Sunday filled with the spirit, the sacrament, and wonderful lessons! We got home and we thought the other sisters weren't home yet...their car wasn't in the driveway and the house was dark. So I'm unlocking the door and we walk in and flip on the lights and they both just jump out of no where and start screaming. I seriously think my heart stopped. It was so scary man! Hahahahah but then we all had a good laugh and went to planning! Good day, good day. 
I hope you all have great weeks!!! I'm sorry this email was so long... I just had so much to say! I love you all so much and I miss you all! 

Sister Oman
Us at the foister building! (It's really called the cloister but we call it the foister because it's super foisty.) Foisty=  a british word meaning old and smelly and dirty.

Disney cruise ships! These are a really common sight around downtown. 

A random mural that we found in downtown last Monday. 

My delicious enchiladas that i made up the recipe for. They don't look very appetizing but they were AMAZING. 

And Sister Bailey and I with our goombay! We love goombay yes we do! I wish you could all try it... someday! :) (Please ignore my bright red face. I was a wee bit sunburned to a crisp.)  

And the lizard's name is William. William hangs out around one of our recent convert's houses sometimes. William and I don't get along too well... he's scared me a few too many times for his own benefit. But it's alright. I'm learning to love him. 

The pig's name is knuckles. Erica sent him to me. (Thanks Decker... I sure do love you :) 

And today is Sister Judd's birthday so we floured her this morning! 

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