Hello Everyone! Just thought I would begin by telling you that I am the luckiest missionary in the world right now. But really. This week has been truly amazing. I'm excited to tell you all about it!
But first, It's great to hear about everything going on back at home. Crazy to think Haley's gone to Montana, and with Bonnie Stowell too! I was good friends with her in Junior High! That should be fun. Congrats to Casey as well that she made it on Student Council! That will be really fun for her. Mom, I'm glad your surgery went well. It's also way cool that you met with her Mission President! I love President Sederholm and I'm looking forward to being able to meet with him in the years to come.
Let me know who got their mission call [to Denmark] that Haley knows! I would love to email them and talk to them about it!
Now, about this last week...We were blessed this week with so many miracles.
To begin with, we met with T***** twice this week. He's getting baptized this week! At both of these lessons we had members which were both good for him and the members. All the members that meet him just love him. We also planned with the Elders Quorum President to send him Home-Teachers to meet him this week. We're excited to get the last things set in place for him to be baptized on Saturday!
We were able to meet with A*** P******* this week. She just has a lot on her mind. But she really wants to come back to church. She watched the Joseph Smith movie we gave her and she loved it. She also agreed to call her previous Bishop to send her records over here so we can assign her some new home-teachers. We really hope that we can get the ward as involved as possible with her.
C****** is a really great black guy from America we met with this week. He was a previous investigator but he went to Hong Kong for a few months so both Ældste Mogensen and I had never met him before. He teaches martial arts here and has had a long religious history. He was way fun to talk with and fairly open to our message. Basically, he's willing to hold any commitment we give him, but he doesn't believe he'll ever convert. We'll see if we can fix that.
At the end of our lesson his ex-wife called. She's an extreme atheist and hated any of the religious people he had brought over in the past. But she had a lot of extra birthday cake from her birthday that needed to be eaten, so he asked if he could bring a couple guys over to help with it. She said OK. He was so nervous the entire ride over that she was going to freak out when she saw our name tags, but actually, she really liked us! We had a really good, long conversation with her. Hopefully we were able to help with her negative feelings she has towards religion.
|Easter at the Bishop's Home |
(Unfortunately, neither the Bishop or his wife are actually in the picture)
We were down in Svendborg to eat a members (Lan Li) house and she had invited a friend to meet us. Lan Li asked Ældste Mogensen to pray for the food, but also that her friend would learn of the truth of the Gospel. They said amen, but then Lan Li turned to Ældste DeMordaunt and had him repeat the process in prayer. Amen again, and then to another member, Lan Li asked if he would use his Priesthood to help her friend and asked him to pray for a third time that her friend would accept the Gospel. Now that's what you call bold!
After some food and discussion, they learned that this friend has had some encounters with evil spirits. She was Vietnamese and you hear a lot about these Spirits from these people. While we were in the midst of a conversation though, she started shaking and crying. She started looking very scared and the tears just flowed down her cheeks as she begged us to help her. We were so confused. I had never seen anything like this before. A priesthood blessing was administered by Ældste Mogensen and Claus, and the evil spirits haven't been back since. She even came to church the next day. I still really can't believe that that happened, but I'm glad we could help heal somebody from these evil spirits.
This is the greatest miracle of this week and maybe my mission. Let me begin by saying how grateful I am for the Spirit and for members who are ready and willing to help in this great work of salvation.
It all started with an appointment we were going to have with T*****. We invited JJ to come with us to meet T*****. On the bus ride over to our appointment with T***** we got a text from him saying the doctors came to see him and we'll have to wait an hour. So we turned to JJ, asked if he needed to go, but he said he could wait.
While waiting he had the idea to visit this Greenlandic lady named A***** who was a potential investigator. Luckily (or was it really luck) we had gotten off at the bus stop to discuss our options which was right next to her apartment. Apparently, Ældste Mogensen and Ældste Merrill contacted her on a bus a long time ago and had brought JJ to meet her because, well, JJ is also Greenlandic so that's way cool. Unfortunately, she never let them in. So we had the idea to have JJ start the conversation by speaking Greenlandic with her as soon as she opened the door. It worked! We were in.
When we walked into the apartment it just stank with the stench of alcohol and smoke. We walked into her living room to see 8-10 opened cans of beer sitting on her table. She expressed how she hated that she drank so much, but she was so depressed that she's become addicted. She continued to drink throughout this appointment. We asked her if she was religious, and she said not really. When your dead, your dead. Her Grandmother was religious though and taught her some things.
She then told us that she had read a little in the Book of Mormon that Ældste Mogensen gave her a long time ago, so we got out our books and thought we would talk a little about it. We started reading the introduction with her and then we got to the part where it says, "The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come." As soon as we finished that line she just burst into tears. We waited in silence for about a minute as she cried, and then asked her what she was feeling. She said, "Whenever I read in this Book, I just get the feeling that somebody somewhere loves me. But I don't know who it is." We then testified to her that we knew that God loved her and that he was reaching out to her through us and through this book. We told her that if she wanted to start a new life, give up drinking, and truly find peace in this life it would be through Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong and she was so touched that we wanted to help her so much. She said, "I never thought that there were people in the world like you. I thought they were all selfish and cruel. But you're not." She agreed to see us again the next day.
We came the next day, again with JJ, and she wasn't home. We decided to go visit a less active instead but he was too busy to see us. On our bus ride back we decided to stop by one more time. And guess what? She was home! We began talking about prayer because she said last time that she would pray. She was really nervous to pray because she had prayed one time before to receive help to stop drinking and she was struck blind for a few hours! She said it was a sign to her that if she continued down this path she would be lost. We then taught her about the Restoration to show her the contrast between her spiritual blindness and the light of the Restoration.
When we recited the First Vision, it was silent. We waited for a couple minutes, and again, asked her how she felt. She said she needed to believe in God. She agreed to pray, but she didn't understand that we wanted it to be allowed, so when we all knelt she just started praying to herself and we prayed that she would get an answer. She started balling again during her prayer, but when she was finished, she looked up just bright and smiling. She said it felt really good to pray. We then offered her a blessing to help her stop drinking. During the blessing, JJ said, "Jeg befaler dig at blive helbredt!" [translation: I command you to be healed!] It was powerful. Right before we left she went to drink again from one of her many beer cans, but right as she put it up to her lips, she set it back down on the table and said, "I can't swallow this."
We invited her to church, and she said maybe, but she wouldn't promise anything. I personally believed we wouldn't be seeing her there. But she came. She actually came to church. She had read the pamphlet twice that we left her and went through all the questions at the end. She read that she needed a dress so she went out and bought one. She missed her bus the Sunday morning so she paid for a taxi to drive her over to church. We had no idea any of this had happened until after Sacrament Meeting. The best part, she had only had one drink since that Thursday we gave her the blessing where before she had been drinking 15-20 a day. Only once. She truly is a miracle.
I feel so privileged to be able to help people like this. I saw so many miracles, big and small this week, and I know that God is helping us with his power to bless the lives of others. How blessed our we to be able to be a tool that God uses to heal the sick and the blind, the afflicted and the powerless. I am filled with gratitude as I think how lucky I truly am to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I love you all so much! I hope your upcoming week is just fantastic!
P.S. - I attached a picture of the room where we had church in last Sunday in Svendborg. Svendborg holds a sacrament meeting once a month down there and they needed me to play piano. It's in a nice, little room we rent out, but the spirit is so strong there when us few people meet.