Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Week 39: The Miracle of Air Conditioning

I have to be honest. 
We had a lot of amazing things happen this week. 
But the best was definitely when the Smith's were able to get us an air conditioning unit. 
I am so incredibly grateful.

New companion
Sister Banaña is absolutely AMAZING. I am so grateful for her motivation and desire to make miracles happen. Sometimes she's totally scared to do something, but she does it anyway because she knows it will help her to be a better missionary. She loves the Book of Mormon and isn't afraid to share her testimony. 

From a logistical perspective: She is from the Philippines but has lived in Brooklyn for five years. She is fluent in both Tagalog and English. She wants to study graphic design. She did 3 semesters at a college in the Bronx. She has 4 siblings - 3 older sisters and a younger brother who is also working on his mission papers.

Happy Fourth of July!! Today... is our independence day! 
As a missionary, we had a normal proselyting day. It was definitely an interesting way to spend the holiday - none of the usual outdoor picnic with a late fireworks show. 
BUT. There was a different perspective. In the Book of Mormon, this is considered the promised land. And being a missionary, you have a whole new appreciation for religious freedom. Being with Sister Bill, Sister Lwin, and Sister Banaña from different nations of the world, I have learned an even greater appreciation for the freedoms and luxuries we enjoy here in the United States (especially air conditioning). I am so grateful for those early settlers and leaders who made this country into the nation of freedom that it is today. I love America, and I love this gospel!

What we did do that day: normal morning studies, weekly planning, then a rocket launch! We talked about the principle of obedience, how this is the promised land where the Restoration of the gospel in the last days occurred, and how we need to have faith to go to farther heights. Then our regular zone meeting (BELIEVE in the promises of the Lord!), met with one of our less-active members, grabbed Jimmy John's for dinner, and met two new investigators! 

Miracles of the Week

CarlyCarly is one of our recent converts who hasn't been to church since a few weeks before we came into the area. We have been calling, texting, awkwardly stalking, knocking the door, and working through her roommate to try and get in touch with her these past few months. No luck. 
Saturday we had a few minutes before our next appointment, and I felt that we needed to go see Carly. We knocked on the door, AND SHE FINALLY ANSWERED!! Oh my goodness I almost cried I was so happy. We got a return appointment set up, and later she asked if she could feed us that day, too. The Lord truly is in charge, and He never forgets His children. 

Shando: We had a fun experience this week with them. Their neighbors downstairs told us they had moved and no longer lived there, and then Shando's mom wouldn't answer her phone. We were freaking out. Turns out they just spent the holiday weekend with her mom in Bountiful. That was a HUGE sigh of relief when they showed up at church yesterday. 
On the bright side, Maki (Shando's older brother) is showing more interest now! He has been pretty against the church until now, and so we are going to start teaching him as well! Hopefully he and Shando can be baptized on the same day :)

GenerallyThe area is doing really well. The ward mission leaders are working more closely with us, especially this past week, in helping us to get members out to lessons with us. They are doing visits with us and starting to even set up appointments for us! The members of the wards know who we are and that we want to help. I have been able to really see a mindset change these past few months as the members have grown more excited about missionary work and sharing the gospel. It is an exciting thing to be a part of the hastening of the work!

Teaching Lesson 5

I love Preach My Gospel. I love the miracles that follow as we fully apply the principles in that book. The First Presidency recently made a change so that we teach lesson five - the Laws and Ordinances, more commonly known as the new member lessons - before baptism as well as after. This allows us to teach about Priesthood and Auxiliary organizations, like the Relief Society, Youth, and Primary, the importance of missionary work, temples, family history, eternal marriage, service, and continually enduring to the end before they are baptized, setting the expectation for continuing on in the gospel throughout their whole lives. 

I know that we are going to continue to see new and returned members stay continually active as they learn about and recognize their role in continuing to stay true to the gospel their whole lives! I was able to help teach a youth lesson yesterday about covenants and ordinances. I know that we will be protected and far happier as we do those things that allow us to keep our covenants - our promises with God. I know He blesses us as we do that. see Alma 47:5-18. Think of the mountain as the temple!

The gospel is true! Fasting and prayer in faith brings forth miracles. Families can be together forever, if we live according to how our Heavenly Father has asked us to live. This gospel is meant for us all to return to live with our Heavenly Father and be eternal families. I know the Plan of Salvation is the plan of Happiness. I know He loves us. I know the Atonement is real. I know Jesus Christ lives and loves us! I know that as we turn to Him and rely on Him, He will help us through all the trials of this life. 

I love you all! Remember to smile and expect miracles!

Sister Holbrook

PS Mr. Frederickson (the old guy from UP) lives in one of my wards. But he goes by the name of Bro. Prescott and he teaches Sunday School. And he used to be a baptist preacher. He's great :)

Our first companionship picture! Sister Banaña is the best :)

Our district with our Fourth of July rocket! Elder Meza, Elder Carillo, Elder Lopez, Elder Jensen, Sister Banaña, me, Sister Bill, and Sister Lwin! #districtbforever

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