Sorry again about not being able to e-mail more yesterday. By the time we finished the surprise service project that came up and got showered and everything, we were already having to run to dinner and so we barely had time to even say "I'll be on tomorrow" and even then we were still pretty late to dinner cause of traffic. But anyway, enough about why I couldn't e-mail before, I should probably just jump into the e-mailing today while I still have time because we have a ton to do but we also have a TON to report on from this past week!
So first off, I have to say that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT IS SAY IN THIS E-MAIL is going to be an April Fool’s joke! It may sound like it because of how incredibly awesome and miraculous a lot of it was, but it all really happened! "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me, but behold I say unto you..." It's not! haha! So! Here are just a few of the MANY miracles from this past week.
We started out the week with a dinner/lesson with one of our investigator families that we've been teaching, well actually it's not really an investigator family. It's really just one big pretty darn active member family with one non-member fiancé in the family. But still…so we visited with them and had a great time together and then almost the entire rest of their Family Home Evening was spent in discussion as they found the best and closest date possible for their daughter and soon-to-be-son-in-law to get married so that he can get baptized and they settled on April 23rd!! So we're super excited for them and sure that everything will go great for the whole family! (also I'm going to need to start saving up money for a plane ticket back over to Hawaii in about one year from that day because they are excitedly working towards getting sealed in the temple almost exactly 1 year after the baptism!) :)
We were down at the pink building (the central hub for Marshallese all over the island and especially right here in Waipahu) and were trying to have a lesson with one of our recent converts, J, when slowly but surely, one at a time, we had youth and children from all over the place start joining in. We normally just have lessons outside at this table in the courtyard at pink building and sure enough, by the end of the lesson we had around 6 kids listening intently, some members, some not, it was great! We went back quite a few time throughout the rest of the week and just from that one lesson we now have got about 3-4 new investigators/less-actives to add to our teaching pool!
We have had so many lessons this past week that we even had to split with some of the other elders so that we could be in two places at once! What is extra special about all of this though is that it seems to be pretty much all new investigators/less-active families that we've never met before, so that coupled with the already large teaching pool we have has kept us SUPER busy which is not just a HUGE blessing but honestly a miracle as it has really stretched us and helped us to be patient, but diligent, and to be strict with time, but also to still be flexible and always make time to serve others. (Such as yesterday! haha!)
What a blessing and miracle the true priesthood is and how great it is to be able to be worthy to use it at all times. We have had to give multiple blessings to different members throughout the whole week including one to someone's son who was admitted into the hospital in pretty bad condition after having two consecutive seizures. We are all very hopeful that he will recover. Still it was remarkable to see the faith and strength of his young father as he called upon his Priesthood leaders almost instinctively for assistance and they then contacted us and we went to give the priesthood blessing he was requesting. We also had another chance this week to use the priesthood in a VERY special way, but I will save that for last! :) haha
We spent every single second of our weekend either being spiritually fed with the wonderful messages of hope and faith that were delivered over the pulpit at general conference, or sharing that message with others and helping them to be spiritually fed by the words of Christ contained in our message as missionaries. It was such a blessing to be so busy on those already very spiritual days! Because of the time difference, conference starts VERY early in the morning for us, but even from the first rays of sunlight we were already all over the place trying to fit in all the appointments we had! In fact we taught probably close to half of all the lessons we taught for the whole week in just those two days alone!
Among the many wonderful lessons we had in those two days was a lesson with one of the young girls we just baptized a while ago (E) and her mother. In that short time we spent with them we found out that not only was A (the other girl that got baptized with E) and her family still going to church even over in Spokane but that E's parents would be more than happy to start taking the lessons too and that they want to start coming to church more consistently as well! So we're super excited about that!
We also taught some of the other people we are working with over at a place called Jack Hall housing, one of which has a baptism date set for the 16th of this month!!! Technically she is still set for that day but we did have a bit of a sad/scary moment when her father shouted in a slight sort of rage that that she will not be taking lessons with us anymore! We were startled at first, but his other older daughters assured us that he just kind of gets like that sometimes and will be fine in a day or two and that he will probably still let her keep talking to us and be baptized on that day. Still it was quite scary for a while and still makes me a sad to think that things may not work out to at least where I will be here to see her baptism, although I am positive that no matter what, this girl will get baptized sooner or later, she is very smart and sincere and has a strong testimony as does her older sisters who help her in the lessons! :)
WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS PAST WEEK!!!!!! :) I know, you're probably thinking, "WHAT?! Another one?!" Because that is exactly what I was thinking and still kind of am thinking even after it already happened! haha! So long story made as short as possible, we have this investigator named J. He has been taking the lessons from missionaries for about 8 years now (possibly even longer I think). He comes to church pretty much every week, is married to an active member and her whole family is super strong in the church, and he's had the lessons probably well over a couple dozen times... in fact probably a LOT more than that! But anyway, so we went over to his house this past Monday night just to kind of visit with them and see how things were going, and as we started we saw from the very get go that something was different. He had this sort of smile on his face that made it clear that something had changed.
So anyway, we went on to share a lesson about temples and sealing families together and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, as if he had been holding it back the entire time, he just blurts out "Friday!" We stopped almost mid-sentence and looking at him said... "What?" and he repeated "Friday! ...I want to get baptized this Friday!!" We weren't sure what to say! Of course we weren't going to say NO though! haha! So we frantically scrambled to set things up and guess what? IT HAPPENED! He got baptized this last Friday!!! :D It was amazing! It truly was a miracle!! I still to this day don't know exactly what caused him to have a change of heart, but all I know is what he told us. Simple enough, he said "after you came on Saturday to set up the appointment for Monday, a date just sort of popped into my head and I though, hey, that's when I am supposed to get baptized!" So he did! What an awesome example of faith and of acting on the promptings of the spirit without hesitation!
The baptism went great and what made it even batter is that now they too are on track and VERY excited for one year from now when they too will go to the temple to be sealed to each other and their four children for time and for all eternity!! :) (as a bonus he actually works with and is great friends with the investigator who is getting baptized in a few weeks that I talked about in Miracle #1 so they will probably be getting to go to the temple about the same time next year which is WAY exciting!!! :D)
Anyway, thank you for everything you guys are doing and for your wonderful examples of faith to everyone you are surrounded by! I hope you all have a fantastic week! Thank you again for everything and I wish you the best of luck in all of your respective endeavors!!! I love you all like crazy and miss you a ton! Stay strong, carry on and don't forget to be AWESOME!!! :)
Bar yokwe eok!!! :)