Monday, May 28, 2012

May 21, 2012 Letter

This week we were had a lot of appointments to go to. The week goes by so much faster when you have a bunch of people to go and see. We are so excited for the upcoming baptisms that we have. The only thing that seems to be standing in our investigator's way are rides to church and or jobs. It is really hard to come by good jobs here apparently so all our investigators are starting to move. We are doing our best to find jobs for everyone. Kind of difficult but we will figure it out.
We taught a lot of really amazing people this week. There was one man that we met while we were eating lunch at a recent convert's house. His name is Jose. Jose speaks Spanish (go figure). Jose approached us after lunch, talking about how he wanted to change his life. We like starting conversations like that. We spoke to him shortly about the gift of repentance and how the Atonement can change every aspect of our lives. We set up a return appointment for the following night. We had a very spiritual lesson with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited him to build his faith through prayer. At the end of the lesson we had a prayer with him. He prayed, asking that God would help him to overcome his addictions and that he would be able to come to church with us the next day. Well, he came! It was awesome. He had gotten a ride from one of the Hispanic families in the Branch. What was even better about him coming to church was the fact that a brother from the High Council, who lived in Ecuador, just happened to be visiting that day. This good brother was Jose's personal translator for the whole day. It was great. We spoke with Jose this morning and he said that he was going to be there every Sunday from now on. Turns out that he knows a lot of the recent converts in the Branch and has already asked them if we can have the lessons in their home. Amazing.
We got to see a lot of little miracles this week, but it is always those big ones that you enjoy the most. We had the opportunity to give Sister Gamble a blessing this week. Her health has been very poor lately. She was suffering from cancer a while back but had since recovered. She has been under a lot of stress lately and apparently the stress induced a hernia. Thursday May 17, 2012 she went in for surgery. She asked us to give her a blessing right before she went into surgery. Of course we were more than happy to do that. What was really cool about it all was that we had enough time to sit down with her before the blessing and just read scriptures for an hour. We figured that we had to do our studies in the morning anyway and we might as well include Sister Gamble. She definitely appreciated it. After the blessing we adjourned back to the waiting room and proceeded to plan out the rest of that week. We waited there all morning and into the afternoon to make certain that Sister Gamble pulled through. Not that we can do much from the waiting room but, Sister Gamble had asked us to stay so we did. Never conducted a planning session from a hospital before, but it worked out alright. We got to talk to a very nice lady about the Gospel while we were at it. The head of surgery would constantly peek her head in and ask us if we needed something. She has to be the nicest lady that I have ever met. Finally after a couple casual conversations and banter back and forth she asked us, "So what church are you all from?" Perfect. We had a short little discussion there, maybe a minute or two and said that we would love to come back and talk with her sometime. She was more than happy to have us back. After that wonderful little conversation she had to get back to work. We proceeded to plan. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was almost 1 o'clock. We had an appointment to go to at one and Sister Gamble was still in the recovery room. (aka- No missionaries allowed) We felt terrible, but we had to leave if we were going to make it on time. As we were walking through the hallway, there was our good friend. The head of surgery. She said in a very worried tone, "Are you leaving?!" We told her that we did and explained the situation. She said, "Well would you like to see her before you go?"...well...of course we would. Off we went into the restricted area to see Sister Gamble. She was so thankful that we had stayed the whole time and that we got to see her before we left. She was a TROOPER! 2 hours of surgery and she was awake for the whole thing. She was released from the hospital just a day later and we got to see her last night. She said, "You have no idea how thankful I am that y'all stayed there the whole time. I definitely felt your prayers. I just wanted to let you both know how much I love you. It meant so much to have MY missionaries there with me. I knew that you would be there." Miracles happen every day here. It is a beautiful thing. Can't wait to see what happens with the head of surgery.
We visited the Marshallese church on Sunday after the Branch meeting. It was really amazing to see their place of worship. They meet in an old boat garage that they have converted into a chapel area. We got there after they had already finished, but we got to stay and talk with a couple of our investigators. We are starting to teach some of the people that attend there, but we are still in the process of getting translators. Once we get passed that road block everything will go very smoothly. 
Sorry, got to go. Love you much.
Elder McNinch

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