Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Baptism! Yeah!

"We met with our investigator every day this past week to prepare her for her baptism.  So before church, we came around 8 am (church starts at 10) to prep for the events to follow the block. We turned on the font to start filling it. We then went to sacrament meeting. Halfway through we went and turned it off, and noticed it wasn't quite full so we kept it filling. In the middle of Sunday school the following hour, Sister Pitt motioned to Sister P and asked "shouldn't the font be full?" so we went and checked it. Even though it was filling, the water level had gone down. We turned off the water. We figured it was probably something that had to do with the plug, so Sister P took off her shoes, hiked up her dress, and waded into the font to fix the plug. It looked fine and so she scooted it around to see if that would fix the problem. We didn't turn the water on, just so we could see if it would sit in the font and not drain. Following Relief Society, I mentioned to our ward mission leader that something was wrong with the font. He opened the accordian door, and looked in. There was less than six inches of water sitting in the bottom of the font. So he rolled up his pants, went down and noticed that the chain for the plug was stuck under the rubber circle that sits over the drain. He fixed it, stuck a brick on top of the drain, and turned the water back on. So as we're helping our investigator get ready, we're trying to figure out how to help the font fill faster. In most African countries, they fill buckets and pots from the faucet and fill their font that way...so that's what we did. While two of the elders went to our apartment to pick some things up (including my talk that I had to give and forgot this morning), two other elders and a couple of Relief Society sisters carried big pots of warm water from the kitchen to the Relief Society room and dumped them into the font as it was filling. I believe in the story of the five loaves and two fishes, and I think Heavenly Father helped us fill the font. It usually takes about an hour or so to fill a font. It took us less than 15 minutes to fill the font. What a miracle (: The baptism was perfect. The song went well, my talk went well, everything fell into place, but most of all, the spirit was incredibly strong. She is a brand new person. She came out of the water a totally new being. She will get the Holy Ghost next Sunday, and we are so thrilled!" 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Scriptures, Prayer and Chocolate

"So we had zone conference Tuesday, and it went incredibly well. We learned a lot from president about the patriarch and the matriarch of the family, it was totally a side topic, cause a couple of elders asked some questions. My song went really well, and I had a lot of compliments on it. I sang "I stand all amazed" and played it too. Our zone leaders now call me Alicia Keys."

"As missionaries, we have studied about the last week of the Savior's life, and how incredibly difficult it was. Before the miracle of the resurrection happened, he had to die. You can't get much worse than that. As missionaries, we have also seen the last week of being a gentile, before stepping into the waters of baptism, and how incredibly difficult it is. Satan is after you the whole time. Stupid adversary, it drives me insane sometimes, especially as a missionary, when your investigators are doing so well, but they are struggling so bad."

"Our investigator is totally going through this. Caty- that scripture you sent me in your letter this week (D&C 58:2-5) could not have come at a better time. It was divine, the day I opened that she was struggling so bad with the influences of her life. So bad in fact, that I almost had an anxiety attack over it. At this point as a missionary, and as a disciple of Christ, I would do anything to provide her with the blessings of eternal life, and seeing her struggle is one of the hardest things for me right now. This week's forecast: lots of scriptures, lots of time on our knees, and a whole lot of chocolate for the three of us. I have finally discovered what being a missionary is all about, and I think I have even tasted of the bitter-sweetness (80% cocao) of charity. True, Christ-like charity. Holy Wow."

"So as for now, I am "pressing forward" as she says to us often. She is a very strong example of what true pioneer women were like. In church yesterday, a sister gave a talk about being pioneers of the gospel in our families and our communities. I could tell our investigator loved it, especially when she talked about being the first in your family to join the church, and how much strength that takes, and how much of an influence she will be- it's only the beginning to bringing her family to the Gospel and to the Savior himself. Keep her in your prayers, and pray for her to be strong. I seriously can't wait for her baptism- it will probably be one of the most spiritual things I will experience on my mission."

Monday, May 12, 2014

"EW. Elders."

"Welp. Transfers were last week. The day of transfers, I was told that I got to go to Charleston to the transfer meeting. I was pumped. I was so thrilled- I was going to see so many sisters that I hadn't seen in a while! Well, we get to Beckley, and Elder Morgan, the zone leader there I think, said "Sister Peck, will you and Sister S stay here in Beckley? we will be back to pick you up and take you 45 minutes away in like, 4 hours." So they kicked me off the transfer train and my trip to Charleston quickly ended. LAME. But I spent the day with one of my favorite sisters out here, so it ended up being ok. I actually served with her on a transfer day in Christiansburg waiting for our new companions. If we don't get to serve a full transfer together, at least we served two days with each other (: We literally piled into a truck with 4 elders (with permission of course- it was just super weird. The whole time I was like, "EW. ELDERS." in my head.) and went to Taco Bell to get something to eat (fast food before 1 PM makes me sick so I didn't eat till lunch). Me and Sister S went to a pizza parlor for lunch while we spent 4 HOURS in Beckley. We met a lot of funny people, and handed out 4 of our 6 Book of Mormons. It was a lot of fun. At four, the elders picked us up (again, we piled into the truck...EW.) and we went to pick up our new companions."

"My new companion is Sister P from Riverton. What a powerful 5 days she has blessed me with. She has taught me a ton of really neat lessons about charity, and about how numbers aren't everything. She really opened my eyes as to what missionary work is all about. I have vowed to always strive for true charity with everyone I come in contact with. I will now teach as the Savior taught. I now see numbers as blessings- when we truly act as the Savior did, and love the people we work with as the Savior did, and worry about the things he did, and teach as he did, etc, the numbers will come on their own. We will be blessed with numbers for our efforts. I love this lesson of missionary work (: "

Press forward!
D&C 42:61 (what has become my personal scripture)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

3 Transfers in the Same Area? Could it be?

"Holy. Week. of Miracles."

"...but first, transfer info...I am STAYING IN BLUEFIELD!!! I prayed that I would get to stay and see our investigator be baptized (May 18th, by President Pitt himself). My prayers were answered. I got a call from President this morning saying that the reason she has progressed so much is because of me. I have been so blessed- I have come to see her as an older sister. She means a lot to me. I realized that because it's so hard for her to open up to others, that she should have someone to open up to. So when I opened up to her, she opened up to me. I feel like the past sisters that taught her treated her like a baptism stat and didn't actually take the time to get to know her. I freaking love her. She has changed my life, as we have helped change hers."

"My new companion is Sister P- One of the three sisters I went to High School with. She is so nice, and I am really excited to be serving with her! Sister E is going north to Philippi. She is transitioning an area from a senior couple going home to a set of young missionaries. She will have the nicest apartment in the entire mission. I'm a little jealous. She isn't excited to go, but this is what we felt we should pray for, so although Heavenly Father answered our prayers, we are still experiencing humility in accepting God's will."

"Our other investigators are doing great. Our investigator's friend, came to church with us on Sunday. It was so great. She had a great time. My song on Sunday didn't go the way I thought it would haha- I thought I was singing one song, but then it changed cause it couldn't be played, and then I tried another song, same thing happened, so I ended up playing a piano solo from my Marvin Goldstein book. I played "Our Savior's Love."

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Like driving 75 mph through a car wash"

We got a letter from Elizabeth on Friday. Here is an update.

Her investigator is doing well. Her new baptism date is May 11. Transfers are May 8. "I'm praying the Lord will let me stay here for another transfer so that I can see her make covenants with Heavenly Father. (What, I have feelings for Bluefield now?!) I have absolutely come to love her. She's like the 3rd older sister I never had.(: LOL But I love the heck out of her and would do a lot to see her be baptized. she has worked so hard & changed so much."

Last week she had a district meeting in Wytheville which is about 45 minutes south of Bluefield. After the meeting they went to Denny's for lunch and she ran into her aunt and uncle in the parking lot. They live in Charleston, WV so they were a long way from home. She called it a tender mercy. These are her words about what happened next. "About 10 minutes out, the overcast skies turned into serious rain clouds and lightning broke through the clouds. It started to rain, and got heavier and heavier as we drove down the freeway, trying to avoid the run-ff and spray from passing tractor-trailers, and large trucks. The rain got worse and eventually my wipers were on full blast, and the lines on the road disappeared. The large white truck in front of me started to sway and I too started to drift. It was like driving through a car wash at 75 mph. I was praying so hard, I knew Heavenly Father would protect us. I prayed that I would make it to the East River Mountain Tunnel (Google image it) cause once you make it through the mountain, the climate changes and it was possible it wasn't raining on the other side. With the hand of the Lord, I was able to find and stick by the yellow line and we made it to the tunnel - low & behold, it had just stopped raining on the other side of the mountain. I am really grateful that we were protected while driving through the eye of this huge spring thunder shower. Plus it was really cool (:."