Wednesday, November 18, 2015

56 - Absolutely Golden

ATTENTION! 
THE MISSION OFFICE ADDRESS IS NOW:

Sister Hannah Sanderson
North Dakota Bismarck Mission
101 Slate Dr #7
Bismarck, ND 58503

The mission office will be all moved over come June 8th. So start sending your mail to this address today! President and Sister Anderson are already moved in here, so start sending your mail to this address today!

It's weird seeing the new mission office address and having it be the same zipcode as the address I had in my greenie area, as well as on a street name I recognize.

We are moving out of our two room apartment and into this.





What "this" actually is is the spare room you could say at this motel/hotel called Maddocks's.

Remember back when Kossi and Valorie were baptized? And I talked about these members being awesome and loaning him their spare car for awhile and how they also ran a hotel and got robbed, not horribly, but it was still not cool? Well that's who we are moving in with! The room is the only upstairs room and it's separate from all the other rooms and yeah! It's gonna be awesome! So start sending mail there too! haha.

Some things that I never got to mention that happened last week:




I got this sweet shirt that is so awesome! 

The first week I was here we watched general conference with this recent convert and her cutest-thing-ever daughter, Brooklynn, that has cystic fibrosis, and I bought a shirt and the proceeds go to helping her out! YAY!




And there was another cool story about resolving concerns from last week.

You remember Kossi and Valorie's baptism not to long ago? Well what happened is they moved right before they got baptized and so they actually got baptized into 1st Ward, so we only saw them in passing. 

Well now I serve in 1st Ward, so I get to continue teaching them! YAY!

So I went over to teach them, with Sister Barrett, and Kossi was really struggling, and is still really struggling. 

He wants to find a better job than just working at Papa John's, but he's not having luck because his ability to speak English and have people understand what he's saying is not very good. So he was just venting to us, very very frustrated, and I did the best I could to comfort him. We expressed our love and concern, shared a few scriptures, and left him Ether 12:27 to read. But before we left, Valorie asked us to come back tomorrow because she had a question. We wondered what it was.

We came back the next day to see Valorie and she had questions about baptisms for the dead. The elders did say that they taught them that just recently. So we pulled out the Plan of Salvation visuals and started explaining it that way. Though she was still confused, trying to communicate her question, which is difficult with English not being her primary language at all, and she kept talking about dead, and in Africa, and people calling people and seeing people, and selling and buying and we assured her that there was no money used to do things in the temple, only tithing used to build them. And she nodded at that, but she still was trying to explain, and finally it clicked!

"Oh! Voodoo? You're afraid that what we do in the temple is voodoo?"

"Yes! Yes!"

Oooooh! Wow, yeah, that would be a concern! I'm so glad we figured that out and could clear it up!

Now for this week. 

We were notified of this one person who hadn't been taught in awhile and who was called on the phone by the elders and they set up an appointment and then the person was actually in our area. So we went over there and she kept the appointment! Yay!

It was actually the first ever sisters in Williston (Williston has had sisters for almost a year and a half) that taught her.

And I know both of these Sisters! Sister Gogan is on the right and I served with her on her last day as a missionary while I was in Bismarck, and she is such an inspiration to me because of how she acted on her last day, that Bismarck just felt like her new area. And Sister Iono (I know I'm spelling it wrong...) was Sister Stephens trainer. She served in the same zone as me when I was in Bismarck, and Williston is actually where Sister Iono was trained.

It's surprising that this lady was still here in Williston! It's cool though because she's actually moving in the middle of June, and we got the address where she is moving to, so we can send missionaries to her down there. Super inspired!



This week it also rained really good which was cool!


And also this week, some major highlights:

On Thursday our Philippineo investigator fed us a Philippineo feast! 


It was SOOOO good!! 

And THEN! 

SHE WAS BAPTIZED!!!

YAAAAAAAY!!! Her husband is an active member, has been forever. She started meeting with the missionaries a little over a year ago. She was catholic and after the first lesson she said she never wanted to meet with the missionaries again. She dropped the missionaries for awhile, but she still came to church occasionally, and then it was more. They even named their now four-month-old baby Ammon after the Book of Mormon character for crying out loud. Two months ago she did NOT want to be baptized, because she wasn't ready. A big worry was her family, going against them. But then, and it wasn't a switch of a button, nothing necessarily triggered it, but all of a sudden she decided she really wanted to be baptized. She felt different when she came to church and when she read the Book of Mormon. And when she told her family this, they actually supported her! And now she has been SOOOO excited!

During her baptism the opening song was "I am a Child of God." And she started crying, and I've never seen her cry yet, and I was conducting the music darn it! So I was up there almost crying, ah! The spirit was so strong! And her husband gave a talk and he's so happy, and when she came up out of the water she said thank you to everyone and ah! It was so spiritual and just, yes! It was awesome.

The next most exciting thing this week! 

We were trying formers and on Monday, Memorial Day, we knocked on this one door and the person who used to live there moved, but this new family from Africa just moved there and WOW! There is a mom and she has two girls ages 2 and 4. The dad works a LOT so we haven't been able to teach him and see where he is at, but we had a lesson with the mom and her two girls and brought a recently returned sister missionary with us and the mom is SO receptive to the gospel! She knows it's a sin to not be married and to have kids and they've actually been working on the paperwork of getting married. She wants to come to church, wants to be baptized, speaks English very well, though we gave her a Book of Mormon in Swahili and she says she can read it in less than a month and she is so excited! She didn't come to church because she got called into a job interview, but she was sad she missed church and yeah! I've never met somebody more golden! Wow!

We invited her to the baptism, and she was so excited! But she didn't come... And she was so excited to come to church... but she didn't come. We went over to ask why and she didn't come to the baptism because she couldn't find nice clothes for the kids and she didn't come to church because she had to go to this job thing. I suspected to was things like that, aw. But it's ok! She's going to read the Book of Mormon all this week and share her testimony when she sees her husband!

I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!! Her name will be Golden. haha.

This week we will be spending the week days out our area. Monday through Friday. Because it's Zone Training Meeting and Sister Barrett has to do all sorts of things and I will be in a trio with the Sisters in Minot for some of what she has to do. Five days is a lot of time not to be in your area. But the Lord is taking care of the people there and providing a way for us to be here. Fellowshippers are such a wonderful thing, especially concerning our investigator who is an older women who really had a lot of questions answered the other week when she was taught the plan of Salvation, who is wonderful friends with the members who were at that lesson and they are bold member missionaries, teaching simply and powerfully and she told us we can't meet this week because she is taking this time to give up smoking, and her member friends are going to be a wonderful support for her! Wow!

So things are wonderful. This has been a wonderful week! Till next time!

P.S.  Here are some AWESOME pictures of this member who has a hawk!! What!? He let us feed it before dinner. This was actually taken before we figured out our areas, so he's not in the ward we are serving it turns out, but, it was so awesome that we got to see his hawk while we still could!

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