Friday, January 9, 2015

Transfer 11 week 3

What a blessed week. Truly we have been so blessed in every aspect this week! To begin, we had to run some errands at Costco after zone conference and someone bought us a Costco Pizza. Yummy! While we were waiting for it to cook, a woman slipped a $100 bill in our pocket and whispered in our ear, "get yourself something nice for Christmas." And walked away. We're not allowed to accept money, but we are grateful for her great faith and sacrifice. The money went already into the general missionary fund. Then today we were grocery shopping for the next few weeks and the member before us paid for our groceries! And to top it all off, when we went to Cafe Rio for lunch, a man gave us each a $25 gift card to Cafe Rio. So many blessings that we have room not enough to receive them. That's only the beginning; our investigators have been booming!

A few months ago the missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone were temporarily closed due to ebola. And we have been working with the missions there to use our resources to continue to teach the investigators and referrals there. So Sister Taito and I have been teaching our fair amount of Africans recently, not just the ones in those two countries though, a good amount in Nigeria and Kenya as well. We were going through our area book yesterday looking over our African investigators when we found a former investigator taught by another sister who went home quite a few months ago. We felt prompted to call him immediately, and so we did. He answered! (which is pretty rare) and he is still very interested in being baptized, but he has just moved and lost contact with the missionaries. And now we are teaching his family of 6 as well. Another blessing of this week! I truly love teaching Africans, because they are in a condition of humility and in-tune with the spirit to see that this will bring them happiness by coming closer to Jesus Christ. Their names also crack me up; some of our African investigators names are Promise, Sincere, Eyo, Kulu, Konah, etc. They're all great!

Another blessing of the week was yesterday when we called one of my outbound investigators, Christine Mountcastle. Christine is an absolute character and has a great desire to be baptized! The only problem is that she has been trying to quite smoking for 3 years, and has not been successful. Another major problem is that she is living with a man who she is not legally married too, and because of financial reasons it is hard for them to get married. So we were working with her to quit smoking so that when the time does come, she is ready to be baptized! So we give her and Mark a call yesterday, and she is so excited to talk to us. She continues on to tell us that she has officially quit smoking! She smoked her last cigarette almost 4 weeks ago, and went cold turkey off the nicotine patches she was using. And she feels great! She said that every time she even sees a cigarette now she feels like throwing up. Hey, if it works right? So we are super happy for her and this big step in her life. She has desire like no one I know to come closer to Christ, and is working to do everything she can to be baptized. I am so excited for Christine, what an angel.

This week I also saw 5 dear people; Sister Rodrigues (one of my companions from Portugal), Elder Jake Kelly, and my parents and sister! My family got to come to sacrament meeting yesterday with me and then joined President and Sister Poulsen for Music and the Spoken Word. They will be returning back tomorrow for a tour and lunch with my companion and I. What a Christmas treat. And just the other night I was out on the square with one of our recent converts when I ran into Elder Jake Kelly! I have known Jake every since I was born, and it has been so cool to see how much he has changed throughout his mission. The poise and dignity he has developed in his mission has brought him to the great missionary he is today, and I cannot wait to see what he will accomplish in the next 6ish months left in his mission. I am truly so proud of him. So many times you see missionaries go and return with little or no change, but this Gospel is all about change! And if we expect our investigators to change, we must as well. There is nothing like the refining you can receive on your mission, if you let it.

That's about it for me this week. But I truly am so grateful to be on my mission for another Christmas season. Blessings are raining from above, and my eyes are open to see them. What a glorious time of year, a time to recommit ourselves to more closely follow our Savior and learn and feel of His divine role. The Savior lives, and His influence and spirit is all around us. I know that this is His Gospel, and that through it we can receive more happiness and joy than imaginable. Let us all be embraced in His love and spirit this Christmas season.

I love y'all and wish you a very merry Christmas.

Sister Brock

P.s. This week I will be giving my departing talk in our mission sacrament meeting; I truly cannot believe it is time already. 
P.s.s. I am a bit late, but I sent out some Christmas cards just today. Please forgive me for being so late!

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