OUR 11TH GRANDCHILD WAS JUST BORN YESTERDAY!! OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED AND REDEK IS HERE SAFE AND SOUND. MOLLY AND BABY ARE FINE! WELCOME, DEAR NEW LITTLE PERSON, TO OUR FAMILY! ISN'T HE BEAUTIFUL!
When we skyped with Redek's big sister last week, I asked her if her Mommy was going to have a new baby soon. She said, "No, Nana, I am going to be the Mommy. It is going to be my baby."
Just had to record two amazing stories this week. This is my journal as well as our blog!
One was shared at church today. A woman that looked to be in her 60's spoke and said that when the missionaries first taught her, she didn't know how to read. She felt the spirit as they taught her about Christ and read to her from the book of mormon. She asked them to teach her how to read the words and they went through some short simple verses pointing to the words and showing her how to sound them out. She said after the missionaries left she prayed to God to be able to learn how to read the book. Every time they came she would learn more words and with practice she was able to understand most of the words. Some of them are still hard for her today but the church changed her life. Eleven years later; today, she had written her own talk, read some verses and testified that the Book of Mormon (the first book she ever read), is from God and that Christ has directed and led her life ever since that book came into it. Afterward, she showed me the paper she had painstakingly and with perfect effort and precision written the words she chose to speak. When I asked her about her life, she said her husband was mean and selfish and knew how to read but would not teach her. It didn't matter though because God, the missionaries, and the Book of Mormon opened her eyes and understanding to how much Jesus Christ loves her. She loves the church, her brothers and sisters, everything about the church and is so thankful to be where she is today.......able to write a talk and read most of the words of the book of mormon. She has read it three times. It is a very slow process.
Have you ever thought about the blessing of being born in a part of the world where your parents made sure you learned to read? Can you imagine living until you were 60 years old not knowing how to read, completely dependent on other people to tell you what the signs all around you say, unable to read sweet saving words from God in the scriptures?
The second story is the conversion of the first counselor in the stake presidency. He is a testimony of what we are trying to accomplish here in Trinidad. He was 19 and was at his sister's house. The missionaries had recently been by to teach her and left a Book of Mormon which was on a table in her house. This young man noticed it, picked it up and since he had been playing basketball with a friend at the mormon church for awhile, decided to ask her about it. She said he should take it if he wanted to read it. Later, noticing it laying in his house, he had a feeling he should pick it up and read it. He read the introduction, the testimony of the witnesses and the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He immediately felt that he should get on his knees and pray to God to find out if the book was true. While doing so, he felt a very strong feeling even stronger than before, that confused him. His parents were both Presbyterian, but not practicing. He went to his Father and explained what he had felt and his Father told him to do nothing, that it was a cult. He told his friend with whom he played basketball about the strong feelings and asked him what it meant. His friend said, "well, it means God was answering your prayer." He asked," what does someone usually do after they feel the Book of Mormon is true from God." His friend said, "well, I guess you should have the missionaries teach you about the church of Jesus Christ." "Oh. All right," was his response. He said he did not like the missionaries at all. Everything they said seemed to be memorized and they didn't answer any of his questions. So after the missionaries left each time, he and his friend would talk about what they said until it made sense to him. He finished the lessons, was baptized and within three months was inactive. He said it was just too hard. He said he hated being the center of attention, having people ask him questions he didn't know the answers to in public meetings, was terrified that someone would ask him to speak in church, didn't have any idea what they were talking about most of the time and it was easier to not go at all. A friend he had met at church kept calling him to come play basketball and do things with other young people. She is now his wife. He came back to church, served a mission which changed his life, and is now an amazing man who serves in the Stake Presidency. He said the truth of the Book of Mormon and his mission changed his entire life.
Today, I taught three young men in the Aaronic priesthood during Sunday School who had no teacher and were sitting in a class by themselves. They were great young men and so grateful when I said, I would love to be your teacher today. The Spirit led our discussion from one scripture to another as we studied together. It was an amazing experience.
Serving a mission is soooooooo awesome.......such a privilege!
Sorry there is so much writing and so few pictures this week!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!