Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'd Do Anything (Oliver Twist) - May 19, 2014

So, in missionary phones we have the address book organized by amis, members, potentials, missionaries and lessactives. The name of the person is preceeded by A if theyre an ami, M if theyre a member, P if theyre a potential, etc.... There is no greater feeling than changing the A to an M.

This weekend, Steve's name changed from A Steve to M Steve. His baptism was phenomenal. In fact the whole weekend was pretty remarkable to say the least!! There were about 20 people at the baptism, including Margaret, some missionaries, members, and the first counselor in the mission presidency and his wife. It was small, yet powerful. There had been a priesthood activity that morning, so Steve got to the chapel at 10 for that... stayed for lunch... got ready for his baptism... got baptized!... then we all stayed for a fireside by the mission presidency counselor, which was of course on how to be better member missionaries. Then, this guy named Drew Hemsley, who served here as a missionary 4 years ago, came to visit with his family! The 8 of them, one of the most beautiful Utah Mormon families in the world, came to eat at the chapel with us. Steve stayed with us and had a fantastic time meeting his first American, Mormon family. I dont think their timing could have been more perfect. he was able to see this incredibly strong family who has been raised with the foundations of the gospel. He saw his future.

The following day at church, Steve arrived an hour early to meet with the branch president. He
received the gift of the holy ghost at the beginning of sacrament. It was a beautiful scene. Steve cried as he hugged the branch presidency. He told us later that he could feel his countenance changing as Frere Menardin told him to receive the holy ghost. They then welcomed him to the branch. They put the chair back in its place, Steve came back up front, and he received the priesthood. The branch president cried as he confirmed him a priest. Steve then took his place behind the altar, and minutes later, he blessed the sacrament for the first time. We had a big branch meal after church, and because there was so much food left over, we ate again yesterday night together with the Paxton/Hemsley family. It was just an incredible weekend filled with love :) Steve's life was changed, and honestly, my life was changed as well. My whole mission is worth it now.

I loved being with the Hemsley/Paxton family this weekend. I just soaked up every minute. I forgot what an American family is like... I fell in love with them, and they invited me to come stay with them as soon as I got back to BYU. Their 11 year old daughter, Emily, has a lovely little voice, so we sang a duet together during sacrament. Soeur Paulo and I also performed a musical number during the baptism. Our talents were doubled this weekend. I don't know what I'll do if I ever have a companion that doesn't play the piano...WEIRD.
We had some other great things happen this week as well. We were able to have a fantastic RDV with St├ęphane about patriarchal blessings. I was able to share a strong testimony about the power of the priesthood and the love of the Lord seen through our patriarchal blessings. No dry eyes during that lesson... Him, and Carole, the member helping, left with a determination to get their blessings in the near future. A man named Ahamadi, who we had contacted, called us during the week and told us he was finally free to see us! It was awesome. That doesn't happen very often. Counting our miracles. We had a wonderful lesson on the BofM. He seems pretty solid already. We are going to see him later this week :) Margaret and Jonhse are still on the right path... Slowly but surely!!
Yesterday was a lovely day. We had a about 4 free hours. We went out to find old amis and find some new amis, seeing as our elect had been baptized the day before... Things started out well. We ran into lots of great potentials, finally finding people that would stop to talk to us. We even randomly ran into one of the old amis we were searching for!

We walked down by the river, where people were basking in the sun with their beautiful families. We
spotted one and ran over to share our message of joy and happiness! We began talking to a couple and their children. As soon as we said the name Jesus Christ, the father began to make a scene. He yelled at us and told us to never come back. My heart sunk. We smiled, and bid them a nice day. We headed to the next group of people, not far from the first family. Again, after we said the Saviors name, the head of the family began to yell at us, even louder than the last man. He couldn't stand the idea of scum such as us speaking of such things near him. The park became a bit quieter as the strangers around us watched. My smile faded partially. We again bid him a nice day and continued on our way... Instantly my mind turned to the Lord. It turned to His sacrifice, to His love, to His infinite atonement. I felt his cross upon my shoulders. I felt the hatred he received from others. Though it was sad to be rejected, I learned yet again how much the Savior did for us. Soeur Paulo and I rejoiced together at the idea of being His missionaries! It made me think of a scripture I had read early in the week. 1 Nephi 21:16 Says "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." The Lord has given us His all. Our all is only a small repayment for His all. I am grateful for the opportunity to bear His name over my heart. I am grateful for His love and strength that carries me through every moment of every day. I'd Do Anything for him :)

I love you all. Have a blessed week!!
Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Beeny

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