From court house, hospital, companions, raining cats and dogs--I would say it was a great week!
First, here is Sister Coleman describing the court experience in her own words, she is hilarious. Enjoy!
"So I don't know if any of you recall, but when I was serving downtown Toronto I got parking tickets daily because you literally can't park anywhere downtown. So anyways, one of them was unjust and the man who is over our cars in the mission office told me to file for a court date.... So I just did what he said to do and then I got a letter in the mail the other day telling me that I had to come to court..... I have never experienced court so we didn't really know what to do so we just thought we would show
|In Toronto-24 lanes of traffic--no Kidding!!|
up and see what happens..... After driving in Toronto traffic for a few hours and saying many prayers.... WE FINALLY ARRIVED!! We walked in and this most giant, muscular terrifying man of a security guard told us he needed to look through our bags. After seeing that the only weapons we were carrying were weapons of truth and light (aka:Book of Mormon, pamphlets, pass along cards) he let us go in. We walked into a tiny cute little court room full of people speaking every language BUT English and we just sat and waited until they had all stated their cases and pleaded guilty and what not... Everyone seemed to have a script well memorized and I had no idea what to say or do. Everyone would go up to the judge and bow... (it's very English ruled over here ha-ha). Anyways after he announced the full name of the church and asked me how I was associated with the organization I was so excited to declare that I was a missionary for them! A real Abinidi/Noah experience eh? But no it was actually really lame and he just said that I was free to go, no charge, no questions asked and then we went home and did missionary work J It was a good outcome.”
She is hilarious J I didn't know really what to do but just sit there. It was so weird! I am glad I had a chance to see busy Toronto and that I am assigned elsewhere!
I want to share a really neat experience this week that just brings me so much joy as a missionary and fills me with purpose and love.
So there we were--Sister Coleman and I--after dinner we felt that we should drop by a referral’s home that we received last month that we have been unable to make contact with. After dropping by and they weren't home, we started to walk down the street next to where we were. As we were passing by, in the far corner of this small dentistry parking lot, a lady got out of the car. I told Sister Coleman that we should go talk to her, so we did. As we walked up to her, we began talking to her and she is just this cute lady in her 60's who is so hip and happy J We asked Donna what she was doing that night and she said she was visiting her 91 year old uncle who is in the hospital across the road. "Does he need some singing to uplift his spirits?" I asked. She began to smile and just said, "You can come with me and visit Uncle Del, I am sure he would love more visitors." And so we did! We began talking with this old man in his hospital bed and he told us some of the coolest stories of when he was in World War II, his 'banjo-ukulele', making moonshine in his basement, making miniature wooden boats, and his life. Yes, one of the coolest, red-neck, older man I have ever met. We laughed and then he brought up stories of when they would jam out to music, him and Donna's brother, and she got teary eyed and then said how her brother passed away eight years ago, and just looked down. It was so beautiful to testify and tell her that she will see her brother again someday and that death isn't the end. After we finished talking to Uncle Del, we were walking back to the parking lot with Donna and she said, "You know sisters, I just need to ask something... Is it true what you said in the hospital? That I will see my brother again someday?" We smiled and said yes. She just began to pour out her whole heart and told us how after he died, how she felt so guilty. The poor lady... I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her she is okay. Before we did that, we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and read some stuff from inside with her and she was so touched. I told her, "Donna... I KNOW Sister Coleman and I were meant to meet you. Heavenly Father wants to help you in your life with what you are facing... It was not by accident and that you mean a lot to us." I will never forget her. She took the pamphlet, our number, and said that she has to finish renovations in her home and other things of stress in her life right now. Before we left, she said, "You are right... Maybe God knew that I needed more in my life and I feel this might be it. When the time is right... I will give this number a call and give everything up for what you have shared with me." We departed by giving her a giant hug and she whispered in my ear 'thank you'. I know that she will accept the gospel someday.
We got on our bikes that morning and headed off to a potential investigators house. Just before we were leaving their house, it began to rain, and it just came down. The next 30 minutes, we were riding our bikes in a flash flood coming home! People driving past us gave us the craziest looks J I couldn't help but put a big, giant smile on my face and wave to them. When we came back to the apartment soaking, I said to Sister Dayton, "When will we ever have a time in our life where we will be riding bikes in the rain like this while sharing the gospel?" We laughed and smiled about our exchange. It was so fun.
This past week, I have been thinking a lot lately about the Apostle Peter and his missionary work. Before Peter saw the resurrected Savior, he had a lot of fear in his heart. When he stepped out of the boat on the Sea of Galilee and walked on the water towards the Savior, we see the beginnings of great courage and faith. "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." Later, only a few hours before Christ was taken prisoner, Peter said, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I," After Christ prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times that very night, he proclaimed, "If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise." Peter was one of the closest friends of the Savior, but when the maid approached him and said, "Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth." Fear overtook him at that critical moment. Mark goes on to describe the events that night of Peter--he later wept and agonized over that betrayal. With a broken heart, he pleaded with God for forgiveness. BUT, From the moment Peter saw the risen Christ, he was transformed. He was a different person. He became a true leader. No longer was he afraid. From that moment, he boldly testifies of Jesus Christ. Peter fearlessly spoke wherever he went! Any trace of the old, fearful Peter had by now disappeared (in what Dieter F. Uchtdorf would say), "...in the magnificent refiner's fire of that Easter morning." AH! I love Peter! Now you may ask, "What does this have to do with me?" It is everything! It is the core of my calling! When I wake up in the morning and put on my nametag, I declare to the world that I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like Peter, I have taken upon myself the name of the Lord and the great responsibility to spread the happy and glorious news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the hymn...
"Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,...
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand." [How Firm a Foundation, hymn 85]
That is the Savior's calling out to each of us! I am so grateful for the chance to serve. Truly... It is a refiner’s fire that cannot be described. My goals are:  to dedicate work and will to Him  work hard and depend on the Lord  have faith, be obedient, and continue to fear no man!
Until next time...