Monday, October 6, 2014

Week #7 - I love Florida!

HELLLOOooo family!

SO, let's get the obvious out of the way. The humidity in Florida is nasty, but wonderful! I love it here! I already have a dandy tan line on my feet from my shoes and expect that it will only get MORE dandy!
Flying to Florida was even more exciting than actually being in Florida. On the plane I sat next to a wonderful gentleman, Gerard. He is a very strong Catholic but loves to talk about Jesus Christ. We talked for 3 HOURS about the gospel. It was my first real life gospel lesson as a missionary. I taught about the Restoration, the godhead, a little of the Plan of Salvation and a LOT about the Book of Mormon. As soon as I explained what the Book of Mormon was, how it is another Testament of Jesus Christ and did not replace the Bible....he wanted one. I located an English Book of Mormon and began explaining parts of it. When I told of the account where Christ appeared to the Nephites as well as to those in Jerusalem, he wanted to start reading immediately. I showed him the related chapters in 3 Nephi and wrote down all of his information. My first referral :) He is for SURE going to be baptized. I think about him all the time and wonder if he has accepted the gospel. A term in this mission is "elect". People who are baptized are either elect when we find them or become elect through our teaching. Different way of using the term but it is SO true. Gerard was one of the most elect I have met since being here, besides Marco and Carolina.
Speaking of baptism...I HAD MY FIRST ONE! His name is Marco and he is amazing. He is from Panama. He believed that my companion was an angel because of the amazing ways the gospel had changed his life for the better. His sister, Carolina, has a LOT of fire and spunk. She is has had a hard life. The more we teach her, the more the gospel and the atonement chips away at that brick wall.
My companion/trainer is Hna McAfee. She is from Kearns, Utah and says she isn't a true Utahan because "Although I was in Utah, I was not of Utah". She loves all the people here (Blacks, Latins, Polynesians, Panamanians, Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Jamaicans, etc....guys, I could easily speak/hear 4-5 different languages in a day.) She is very animated and gets very excited, has a TON of energy, and never really stops talking. She always has such a fire and enthusiasm for the work. Each time we go out, WE WORK HARD. I have no doubts that we will be able to live up to the President's expectations of us. Hna McAfee has had some REALLY hard companions. So when President assigned me to her, he said, "You are WELCOME, Hna McAfee; I expect big things of this companionship and for you to be the power couple of this mission!" Talk about PRESSURE?  I am so ready! I love this work and love these people!!
Our district - getting ready to head our separate ways!  Go forward with FAITH!
Our mission has a program called, Harvest Blessings.(kind of like tracting) We ask if you can pray with them and with permission, we their home and the people within. EVERYONE WANTS TO PRAY! I have been able to offer many Harvest Blessings in Spanish. I still don't understand ANY Cuban, but I can understand my companion and most others. Not bad for end of Week #1! Everyone says that my Spanish is surprisingly good but I know that it is only because I pray for the gift of tongues with every single prayer I can.

A very happy reunion!
Elder Morgan is my long-time friend from Spokane, who is also serving in Fort Lauderdale.   He asked for my trainer to take extra good care of me and to watch out for me.
He is a wonderful friend! What a gem!

One miracle that was WONDERFUL this week occurred last Thursday. I was exhausted from jet lag, change in area, and mostly just the stress of starting in a new place. I kept falling asleep during studies, zoning out when Hna M was speaking to me, and just being overall very distracted. I was trying very hard to be the joyful, focused missionary I wanted to be but...I just couldn't. My body would not let me. I was very frustrated and when we went out to go Harvest....I did NOT want to get out of that car. But I remembered that the times when we want the least to pray, that's when we need to the most. I turned to Hna McAfee and said, "Please pray that I will have the energy needed to speak with these people and that I can be joyful and able to share the true message of this gospel." We prayed before getting out of the car and I put all of my faith into those words. As we stepped out, it was like I had just gotten out of a refreshing shower. I was awake, alert, happy and EXCITED. I don't get excited super easily. We walked to the first door and I felt like with every step my feet were on top of my Savior's, every word I spoke was His. Each Harvest Blessing touched their hearts deeply; more importantly, it touched mine. I knew that the Lord was watching out for me and that I was not alone. The Savior is so real and He loves these people. I am recuperated...and ready to hit the ground SPRINTING.
Hna McAfee is gift from above. She is exactly what I needed in a trainer and we work extremely well together. She helps me overcome my fears regarding the language and pushes me to be better all the time. The Fort Lauderdale Mission has a saying. "If you aren't EXACTLY obedient, you are NOT a Fort Lauderdale missionary!" I am so excited guys. Exact obedience brings miracles; I will have many for you next week!!
Hna Lake

No comments:

Post a Comment