Sister Kanani was able to see the first person she and her companion have taught from beginning contact baptized. From her email on 30 July 2012: “T. was baptized on Saturday!!! . It was amazing. She was so excited and to see her come out of that water... She was so bright and excited. And her confirmation on Sunday was beautiful. Thankfully the Ward is opening their hearts to her and really helping her out with CJ and such during Sacrament and things. I know that as people talk with her they will fall in love with her. You just can't help it.”
The following week they were able to have another baptism. This woman has a sheep farm and the Sisters have been able to help her out some of the work. They have even had the opportunity to “tatoo” the sheep (mark them on their ears for identification, similar to branding, but with ink in place of a hot iron) and trim off some matted wool. These are sheep raised for their wool, not for food.
One woman that they have been teaching has been coming to Church, Book of Mormon Study, and Relief Society activities. She has even given a referral to a woman she met in a store with whom she had started talking about Christ. That person wanted to meet with the missionaries. Sister K. writes: “E. has really picked up in reading the Book of Mormon. We fasted with her from Saturday to Sunday to give her a spiritual boost to quit smoking. She also came to Church and to the baptism. She had plowed through Jacob up to Mosiah 15. She is reading every time she has the urge to smoke. She might not have been ready in May but she is ready now. She is so excited about the Gospel. It was a really neat experience in Relief Society on Sunday. Our Ward is putting on a King Benjamin speech event next month. Basically someone will memorize King Benjamin's speech and recite it to the ward who will be sitting in "tents" and dressed up as Nephites. Our RS president was announcing some details and E. leaned over to me "I just read about him!" It was just a fun experience.” And, “ E. now hates the taste of cigarettes because they leave a funny taste in her mouth. Fasting really works, it's amazing.”
“We are still doing our best to find people. Our mission is now really focusing on working with members so it's going to take a while to get used to it but it's going to be awesome.” In another letter, Sister K. wrote that it is very much the “theme with President P. That we should stop categorizing people we know and meet into member/ less active/ non-member. They are all people that we are able to help come closer to Christ.”
At transfer time, Sister K. found that she was being transferred to Waterford, CT, about an hour southeast of Manchester. “I'm excited to go but at the same time it is heartbreaking. I hadn't realized how attached I had become to so many of the people here. It's even harder when the people start to tear up as you tell them. But it will be good. Someone in Waterford needs me.” In her first email from Waterford, she reports that things are going superbly with her new companion. Waterford is a lot smaller than Manchester. It's still only one Ward, but the towns are closer together and smaller. New London, which has a larger population, is in the area and has two Spanish speaking Elders assigned to that area specifically.
She also reports that the members are awesome. She and her companion have an apartment in the home of members. He is the Ward Mission Leader and she is the Ward Relief Society President. Very convenient for working together.
Sister K. suggests two challenges: “I think something that has really helped solidify our companionship is that each night we say at least one miracle that happened that day. This usually leads to a very long, wonderful discussion. I would challenge you to do this as well. It's much like a gratitude journal, but better because it's sharing it with someone. [Miracles are] Just small things that are blessings in our lives.”
“As another challenge, for anyone who may be reading this, would you look around at who you could lift spiritually and do something for them? It doesn't have to be big, but just do it. Love them and allow them to feel the love Christ has for them through you.”
This week is going to be super epic and awesome. I love all y'all!!!