Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 32: In which Yolie receives a witness, Paul gets a tour, and we start teaching Brenda.

[written 2 Jan 2017]

Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles

Happy New Year, dear family and friends! Estoy muy agradecido por la opportunidad que tengo hoy para compartir unos pocos milagros que hemos visto en el secundo barrio de Othello aqui. Pues, no son pocos, realmente. Me han mostrado que la mano del Señor esta moviendo en estes dias. ¡Que grandioso es el llamamiento nuestro como misioneros!

I am very thankful for the opportunity that I have today to share a few miracles that we have seen in the Othello 2nd Ward here.  Well, they aren't just a few, really.  They have shown me that the hand of the Lord is moving in these days.  How grand is our calling as missionaries!

So, thus passes yet another week. However, this week was different from any other. Personally, I have seen more miracles and more progress in others this week then any other time in my mission. It starts with Nikita and Yolie. Despite her accident, Yolie was able to come to church yesterday! She also prayed about the Book of Mormon, and she got an answer. She knows it's true, and she knows the Lord wants her to be baptized. A family here, the Clays, have become good friends and have helped Yolie and Nikita a lot as they continue to learn about the restored Gospel.

We also talked to a really cool guy named Paul! He used to be looking into the church, but had to go to another city for a while. He came back recently, but sadly not into our area. However, we learned he was moving to a completely different city in a different mission the next day, so we got permission to teach him some. We showed him around the church building, and he was super excited! He said he was now super interested in looking into the church more, and wanted to attend church in his new city. He told us his address, we told him where the nearest church would be, and we then let the missionaries there know about him.

However, there was another miracle this week that was truly amazing: we met Brenda. To save time, I'll copy parts of this (rather lengthy) story from another letter (sorry!):

On Tuesday, we met Brenda and her family. Her previous husband was a Jehovah's Witness, but she did not like their beliefs. She had, however, heard really good things about the Mormons. Tuesday afternoon, she walked to our meetinghouse on the other side of town to try to find someone to help her out. She also wanted to start going to church with us. Finding no one at the first meetinghouse, she then walked all the way to the opposite side of town (past where she started) to the other meetinghouse. On the way, she chanced to run into a bishop from a different ward in the park. They talked, and he referred her to our bishop. He then helped her out a little bit to be able to get by, and invited her to church Sunday. 2-3 hours later, and to her great surprise, we knocked on her door. We had never heard of her before, and no one had told us about her trip just a few hours earlier. It was clear that the Lord had something in store for her. She had shown great faith and determination in her efforts to find us, and but a few hours later, we found her.

We have since been teaching Brenda and her family. A few days later, Brenda and her 10-year old daughter, Crystal, decided that they want to prepare for baptism on the 28th of this month. They later talked to the bishop of our ward, and they came to church Sunday. Crystal has so many questions, and they're all really, really good! On New Year's Eve, they had gone to a party at the local Nazarene church, and the church tried to convince them to attend there this past Sunday. However, they said that they had promised to go to the Mormon church the next day, and they would then decided which they liked. Sunday, Crystal said: "I want to go here next week." In our last lesson yesterday, Crystal expressed that she wished we could have "Mormon church" every day. After talking with the bishop, Brenda also wants to stop smoking now. They have a lot of potential.

Thus was our week. More people are progressing in the Gospel than I have ever seen before! Truly, the Lord is pouring blessings out on this area that there is "not room enough to receive them." I feel so blessed to be a part of it here with Elder Steadman! I feel indescribable joy when I think of it.


Elder Adams
[Questions from Editor Mom]
0. Your last transfer was a short one.  Are we back to 6 week cycles, now?  Do you know when the next one is?  Last transfer was 5 weeks only, since the church has a flying blackout around Christmastime. To make up for it, this current transfer will be 7 weeks long, ending on Feb 1. Following that, the normal 6-week transfer cycle will resume.
1. What did you do for New Years Eve & Day? - Well, we made cookies on New Years Eve and delivered them (with short messages) to people we knew. We also had a really cool lunch with a member of the 4th (Spanish) Ward, Hermano Ramos.

2. How are you?  Are you still staying warm?  Are your shoes still holding up? - Yep, I'm still doing great, and I'm staying pretty warm! The gloves I came out with actually have a big rip inside for some reason, so while I can still use them, they are starting to die. I don't know how they got it, I promise. Don't worry, though, they still keep my plenty warm. I just have to be more careful. My shoes are also holding up.

3. Have you done anything lately to win the "Worst Guy" award? - Um, give me 30 seconds to check with Elder Steadman. (...) Oh, yeah. In his words: "You gave me a freaking upper respiratory infection. Yeah, that's all." So, I guess giving Elder Steadman my cold?

4. Send pictures, please! - Oh, fine. I'll try to get to it today.

5. How can we help you? - Give the Elders there hot chocolate in my honor. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I mean, you can, but you don't have to. Keep being awesome, and for reals, try to go out with the missionaries when you can. I know you've got a busy schedule, but we reaaally like members who want to go out with us a lot and are pretty willing to. Best if you can give them times that are generally best for you. Read your scriptures? I don't know, but those all seem like good things
And now... pictures!


P.S. I am displaying the picture of you. See?!? See?!? :-P




Love you!

Elder Adams

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 31: In which I Skype with my family, Yolie asks for baptism, and we touch people through carols

I suppose it's probably time to email again...

(written Dec 26, 2016)

¡Buenos dias, todos! Quiero escribir un poquito en el idioma de espaniol hoy. Tenia una opportunidad ayer a hablar con mis padres y mi abuela. Fue un placer, realmente. Solo hay dos veces que tenemos para hablar con nuestras familias cada año.

Good morning, everyone! I want to write a little bit in the Spanish language today. I had an opportunity yesterday to talk with my parents and my grandma. It was really a pleasure. There are only two times that we have every year to talk with our families.

So, anyway, this week has been super full of miracles! It was really amazing. Julian came to church again! We also finally taught an amazing lady that we've been trying to meet with for a while. Her name is Rosa. We met her a few weeks ago doing service, and she seemed pretty awesome. We later saw her walk into an apartment near where we live, and made a note to go try to visit her. We went by a few days later, and she seemed super interested in talking in the future. The problem was, we couldn't find a time when she was free to meet, because she's really busy. It's extra hard because we need another member with us if we want to go inside (which we do in this weather). That's because she's a single mom and there's a rule for that both for safety and because we don't want to give any bad impressions. However, we finally found out when she can meet! We went by Tuesday with a member (whom we miraculously found), and she was really amazing. She has been looking for a church to attend here, and was super interested when we shared with her the message of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She was super grateful for the Book of Mormon, and when she looked at it briefly, she said it looked really cool. She's also excited to read something in Spanish, since she hasn't been able to do that for a long time. We're going back tomorrow.

We also finally taught Claudio a little bit, and we're going back soon! It's super exciting, and he's quite interested. He had never heard of the Book of Mormon before, and was really interested in the little bit we explained of it.

Finally, there are Yolie and Nikita. They are super awesome! We've been teaching Nikita for a while, and she is reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it every single day. Her mom, Yolie, hadn't really kept many commitments when they were taught by the missionaries before. However, we taught Nikita a ton this last week. We met on Sunday and Wednesday and taught her, but the coolest lesson was Friday. We went by their house with a member, and we were able to teach both Yolie and Nikita.

As it turns out, Yolie told us that for a very long time she has felt that God has been wanting her to be baptized, and asked us if we could help her out. She really, really wants to be baptized. She wants to do whatever she can to prepare. She told us she wants to be baptized on February 11th. Nikita, even though she was earlier hesitant to have a day set for baptism, was ready to agree to that day. So now, both of them have agreed to be baptized, and they both really want to enough to prepare for it properly. They realize it's a big commitment, and we're all so excited for them as they continue to prepare!

Finally, we caroled a lot on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Bishop Risenmay and a former bishop of the 2nd ward really helped make Christmas for some of our coolest investigators. It was awesome to see. Thanks to them, they had presents and will have plenty of food this season. It was really cool to watch. On Christmas day, we had lunch with Bishop Villarreal. Also, upon hearing that we didn't have a dinner set up, some of the members here also invited us to dinner. I was completely stuffed by the end.

As a missionary, the thing that touched me the most this Christmas was when we caroled someone who was formerly looking into our message. They were so touched, since they had been having an awful day.  She had been complaining about how awful a day they were all having, and talked back whenever we said Merry Christmas. However, after caroling them, she sincerely said: "Merry Christmas. Thank you for making our day a lot better than it was."

Well, I hope you all have a really amazing New Year! I love you all, and I hope you all enjoy this wonderful season.


Elder Adams