Wednesday, May 9, 2012
May 7, 2012 Letter
**Disclaimer...may bring tears to your eyes so keep the tissue box close.**
This was one of the most spiritual weeks of my entire mission. I don't even really know where to start. I guess that we will start with the biggest miracle of all. Last week we were on bikes. (miracle that I survived). So you remember that lady that we found from the Marshall Islands? This is the coolest story ever. We have this senior missionary couple that comes up here to work every week. They help us with all of the new member lessons and less actives in the branch. They came up this past week and told us about an amazing contact that they had.
They were in Walmart looking for a pair of shoes for a service project when they were contacted by a man from the Marshall Islands. He said that he was a member of the church back home, but had since not gone to church. He told them that he wasn't aware that there was even a church here. The missionary couple then asked him where and if he was going to church. He replied that since he didn't know there was a church here that he decided to start a church of his own. He and his friends and family from the Marshall Islands get together every Sunday to have "church". It was just a year ago that this man got his "preaching license" and the congregation became a recognized church in the community.
The senior missionaries of course asked if they could go and meet everyone that attended and invited him to come back to church and see how he felt. They set a return appointment for this coming Saturday and left. After the couple had told us the story we were dumbfounded. We teach a lot of people from he Marshall Islands and heard that there was an Assembly of God church here that was all Marshallese. We have been looking for this Marshallese pastor for months. We had no idea that he was a member though! We asked the couple where the man lived. They responded that he lived on the north side of Broken Bow on Cherry Lane. I said, "Cherry? Are you sure? I don't think that there is a Cherry lane in Broken Bow." They responded that they didn't think so either. They had gone looking for it and weren't able to find a Cherry Lane anywhere in Broken Bow. I thought to myself for a second and then said, "Pretty sure that there is a Sherry Lane though. In fact some of our investigators live on Sherry. Let's go by them and see if they know this pastor."
So off we went. We got to the house that we played volleyball at the week previous and asked the less active lady if she knew this pastor. She told us that it was her brother and that he lived in the house right next door. Amazing. So we talked to her about coming to church and inviting her brother to come with her. She happily said that she would attend with her family. I was floored. We asked more about her brother's teaching. She said that he teaches from the Bible and the Book of Mormon every Sunday and that there were 60-70 Marshallese people that attend every week. Most, if not all are non members. We then asked her where the church was. She said, " We hold our meeting in the Assembly of God church in Broken Bow. The people in that church are nice enough to let us use their building for one or two hours every Sunday." This whole time we have thought that they were an actual branch of the Assembly of God church, but turns out that they just let them use the building. Miracles are real. We are going to start meeting with this group of 60-70 every Sunday. I always wondered why we couldn't be like the missionaries in the Book of Mormon that saw such great miracles and had scores of people join the church. I cannot wait to tell you how everything plays out with this group of people.
Sunday we had 8 investigators at church, 3 of whom are new investigators from this week.. All of whom are Marshallese. We had a wonderful testimony meeting. One of the Marshallese recent converts went up and bore her testimony. It was amazing. There was not a dry eye in the room. After the meeting we went to the home of the 3 new investigators and talked to them about the meeting. One said that she absolutely loved the meeting. She asked how they picked who would go up and speak. We simply told her that anyone who wanted to go up, could. She said, "Oh really? I was going to go up there but I didn't because I thought that it was just for members." We told her that she was more than welcome to go up and bear her testimony in the next testimony meeting. She then asked if there was a translator for the Marshallese people who attended, and said if there wasn't that she would gladly help translate. We of course said that we would appreciate her help in translating. She then said, "Oh wait, do you have to be a member to do that?" Before I could even answer the question she said, "Speaking of which, how can I become a member?" Wow. Umm...Wow. Well...you're doing it right now. We explained the process and talked about a day that all three of them would like to be baptized and become members of the church. Amazing. I have never seen so many prepared people in all my mission.
There were so many wonderful and spiritual experiences this week. I have so many stories to tell but I am not quite sure if I can write them. I would have to ask the people who are involved if I can share their story. Some are just so personal and spiritual that I do not know if I can really describe them in an email. I will try to talk to y'all about them next week after I get their permission.
Speaking of next week, I would love to Skype on Mother's Day. Plan on me calling at about 8 o'clock Sunday night. I don't know what time that will be for y'all but pretty sure that y'all can handle figuring it out. Wish that I had more time to write but, alas, I do not.
My companion is getting transferred so I will have to stay the night in Mt Pleasant, Texas and wait for my new companion to arrive tomorrow. I love all of you so much and want you to know that I miss you terribly.