This week has been an amazing experience to be a missionary! I love it so much!! What I love about Canada is that every day is so different from the next and is never boring. Let me explain 5 hours of my life in one day this week.
Sister Duran and I went to a dinner appointment with a family in our ward who is from Mexico. We arrived and everyone was gone but grandma….Grandma is visiting from Mexico for the next 3 months and speaks no English. We tried so hard to communicate with her and did pretty good! We were proud of ourselves J The next appointment we went to was with the Liu family who aren’t active anymore. The Liu's are Chinese and understand bits of English but can't speak it very well. We brought the Guam's (who thankfully speak Mandarin Chinese) with us to translate. I would say about 95% of the lesson was in Mandarin Chinese ha-ha. After we answered their questions about the gospel, we then left to our last appointment for the night. We arrived at the Felipe's home to teach them. They are an amazing family! The parents are from Brazil and speak Portuguese and have 3 of the cutest kids. Good thing the husband was able to translate Portuguese for us to his wife who understands only bits and pieces of what we were saying. After the night was through, I told Sister Duran, "You know, I thought that I was coming to Canada as an English speaking missionary. I would have never thought or imagined that I would try to speak Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese all in one night." We just laughed. I love being a missionary in the Canada Toronto mission, it is the BEST!!
So Johan, He is doing amazing! He is really progressing so much. Yes, he has had some of the hardest battles at home with his sisters and brothers, but he is still trying his hardest to find the truth of the gospel for himself. His Word of Wisdom problems have improved so much! He came to church yesterday coffee and smoke free that morning. By the end of church, we told him he was 12 hours free! It was hard for him but as we showed him how strong he is, he wants to continually do better! The last part that we believe will convert him to the gospel is his testimony in Joseph Smith. This week we will really focus on Joseph Smith and help him gain his own testimony of him! He is amazing. I love Johan so much! Last week, we were able to set a date with Johan for baptism for November 15th! We are so excited to be meeting with him this week and really help him progress and help him with his own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.
This week has been a week of service! We were able to rake many people's lawns, rake an apartment complex's yard for a non-member, helped a member with moving some things, and helped another lady with her stairwell that leads to her basement door. The other two sisters and two elders came and helped with this project. We had to dig and take down this rock wall that lined the 10 foot wall down to the doorway. It was physically exhausting but we did it J I love service because "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)
I had a really tender experience yesterday at church. Let me start by telling you a little about the Felipe's. When we were ‘finally’ able to come to their home and teach them a lesson for the first time, Brother Felipe just began to cry and cry after my testimony. He then began to tell us that he was so sorry for not answering the doors to the other missionaries in the past and how stubborn he was towards us when we first met him and just thanked us that we never gave up on him and his family. He then said that he knows the church is true and wants to change his and his family’s life starting now! He was just so humble and loving towards Heavenly Father. He then said that he would love to have us come over and teach their 7 year old daughter who will be turning 8 the beginning of November and help her get ready to be baptized.
The story does not end there. Brother Felipe showed up to church yesterday and sat by me. During fast and testimony meeting he leaned over to me and asked if you have to be an active member to bear your testimony? I said "No. Anyone who has a testimony can share it..." I saw him think over those words and he began to cry and after a minute he stood up and went to the pulpit and bore his testimony. He began to thank Heavenly Father for answering his silent prayers and how his prayers were answered by two sister missionaries knocking at their door and loving him before he even said anything. He knows that the church is true and cannot wait to get back into church with his whole family, his wife, daughter, and two sons—and to come back to Christ!
I had the strongest feeling come over me that words can’t even describe. I felt in my heart that this is what missionary work is all about--bringing others unto Christ. Whether it be by reactivation of a family, helping investigators to develop their own testimony, service, or simply just sharing the gospel with others every day. I knew in that instant, while Brother Felipe was bearing his testimony that he was changed. His family will forever be changed. I will always hold this experience near and dear to my heart.
“Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of my Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that I must build my foundation…which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if I build I cannot fall.” As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am constantly reminded this. I know that in this world we live in, it can be dark. Stand with the Lord in all that you do. Stand with Lehi and Nephi in following the Lord. Stand with Alma and the sons of Mosiah. Stand with Abinidi when you feel that you are alone. Stand with Mormon and be a soldier in today's world. Stand and keep building your foundation. You are strong!
|Learning how to use chop-sticks and enjoying sushi with Sister Durans!|
Until next time...