Monday, April 13, 2015

50 - Will-is-ton's of Fun!

It's been a good week. You know why?

Because this sweet African family was baptized!!! Kossi and Valorie!! YAY!!!

They actually moved to Williston from... Montana I think, and French missionaries taught them everything in Montanta, but they moved here right before they were able to get baptized. And of course, we couldn't just take their word that they'd had all the lessons, so we taught the lessons to them again in English. There is a little bit of a language barrier, but they know it's true and they are faithful in church attendance and in just, living a Christ-like life.

We met with them everyday this week, just to share a short lesson with them and to go over the baptismal interview questions with them. And the one day we didn't meet with them, we saw them at Walmart picking out clothes for their little ones to wear for the Sunday of their confirmation. So heartwarming!

Awesome Fellowshippers!
And these crazy people! How awesome are they!? 

Kossi didn't have a car, and their family didn't go to general conference because they don't have a computer at home and we couldn't find them a ride to they church. A few days after Sunday we get a call from Kossi saying in his thick accent, "Thank you, thank you so much! I'm so blessed! Me and my family! We have car! Thank you! We so happy! My family! We have car!" What!? Their fellowshippers, when they heard they couldn't come to the church just because of lack of transportation, they loaned them a car! Their buying their son a new car or something, so it works out that this car is getting used now where it otherwise would have just sat there, but WHAT!? CRAZY!

And we prayed for blessings for them... and then they got robbed. Not horribly, but, what the heck, guy who robbed them!? This good sister was supposed to go to a lesson with us and then she texted saying 'I have to cancel, we just got robbed.' What!?

See, they run a little one floor hotel and this guy tried to steal the money out of the vending machine in their laundry room, which is always unlocked. Luckily he only got away with like eight bucks. They saw him on the security cameras and walked in on him robbing the machine and he begged for them not press charges because he has kids and his wife has a spending problem. But this sister is a bit of a spitfire and she wasn't going to let him get away with this life of robbery. She tackled him like three times... shouldn't be funny but it is anyway. He did end up getting away unfortunately, but he didn't have a weapon and so no one got hurt at all.

The next day we bought her flowers and pepper spray. Good Stuff.

But aside from that craziness, It was quite something, preparing for their baptism, asking Kossi and Valorie if they had a preference of songs or pictures on the programs, actually making the programs and making sure we had all the people to do everything at the baptism, scrabbling to find a pianist, making sure baptismal records were filled out, finding white jumpsuits that fit them, having to keep in mind that it takes more than an hour to fill the font and you aren't allowed to leave the church while it's filling, all sorts of things that I have ever been involved with before! 

And the picture on the program that they wanted is the most awesome picture ever!

On the day of their baptism it was kind of crazy- the power just went out when we went to go fill the font! But it came back on after an hour or so. And tender mercy, there was a baptism of an eight-year-old in another ward earlier that day and we thought they would have drained the font, but they didn't! Yay! So the water was still there amidst the power outage and was still very warm.

Both Kossi and Valorie gave prayers, and both of them said prayers at the baptism and were so thankful for this new start and for this gospel so it can bless their family! And Valorie is much more comfortable with French and we told her she could totally say it in French, but she was so concerned about the fact that people wouldn't understand her. Both of our jaws dropped as she began her prayer in English. I have never heard her pray in English before. She didn't want people to not know what she was saying. It was really special.

We had another lesson with, I'll call him Pedro, and is still doing awesome. Last week we taught him the plan of salvation. He wants to get better at knowing the 'signals from God.' So we taught about recognizing the spirit. He shared an experience where on his Netflix account a film was on the recently watched (it was his siblings account) and it was something about God, things that matched what we are teaching, and he knows that God guided him to move up here and that God wanted him to meet us to learn about the gospel. Very prepared!

This week we also went to Zone Training Meeting (ZTM). I've never had to travel so far to get to ZTM until I came to Williston. We had to drive two hours to get to Minot. We left at 6:00, just before the sun rose, and the journey there was an experience to me worth having.

We were driving along highway 2, and every two minutes we would see one or more of these things moving up and down and up and down. 

I knew I was going to the oil fields, but I didn't realize how literal that term was. 

These things are literally scattered across the grassy plains surrounding Williston. 

We saw 48 of these things by the time we got to Ray, 40 miles away, and then we saw 34 more until we were 80 miles out of Williston, then we didn't see any more. 

It was truly a sight though, these things, so strange and almost beautifully ominous. 

I think of the Dr. Suess book, "Are you my Mother?" and instead of the little bird going up the the crane thing he goes up to one of these pump jacks. 


And then, because it was morning, we got to see some awesome fog! 

So beautiful!

And when we got to Minot for ZTM, two awesome Elders were there! 

Elder Davis, on the right, was one of my first zone leaders. 

The other one was Elder Schneringer, who I actually saw on the transfer train here, and I asked him:
"Where are you going?"
"I'm goin' home."

He finished his mission, and now Elder Davis is training someone from Chandler Arizona, Elder Pettingill on the left, and next transfer is his last transfer. So I got to hear his final testimony, as is customary in ZTMs. I feel so privileged. It was really neat.

And then last but not least...

Hamlet and Will...Best Buds!
At ZTM they gave me a package that Alyssa sent to me as a late birthday present! 


It's Will! 

From the same video game that Hamlet is from, and the character that I would be when Alyssa and I would work on writing our crazy story together! SO AWESOME AND CUTE! Best late birthday package ever!! And how fitting that Will is in Williston. lol

They are inseparable.

Also, being as we cover two wards, 6 hours of church is a lot of church.. BUT! The work is great. Till next week!

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