Monday, December 31, 2012

Hump Day

Friday, 28 December, was Hump Day!  Sweetie's daughter and granddaughter were in town so we didn't celebrate but I did clean out our shower drain... well tried to, it was quite the project.  Sweetie. finally had to come in with a plunger to clear it all out. Surprisingly plungers are amazing at that kinda thing.  Who knew?
Oh, the best part of Hump Day?  Zaria has a baptismal date!!  It's set for the 3rd of February.  We are slightly concerned that she and Eric won't stop playing house until they understand and commit to living the law of chastity.  And, I got to talk with Sister S. because she had a huge part in starting to teach Zaria.  

Saturday morning we went and cleaned up a less active's front yard before the snow came.  And boy, are we glad that we did!  We got over 8 inches that night!  All missionaries in Connecticut were told not to drive around after 4 pm because of the roads being crazy.  Pops still took us out to Chili's to celebrate Hump Day though.  It was a fun time.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MA-Boston Mission Christmas

Sister Kanani and Sister E. will both remain in Waterford for the next 8 weeks, at least. There are mixed feelings, but there is a lot of work to do still.

The Mission President hosted Christmas devotionals on two separate weeks. Sister Kanani was able to attend the Temple and then spend time with other missionaries in the Boston area. Packages from home were sent ahead of time so that they would be there for each missionary to open. Most received letters and pictures from home.

Christmas Day was spent with several different families eating, sharing gifts, and teaching.  One family gave the Sisters huge packages of Lifesaver candy because they had been their lifesavers.

 And, of course, time to call home. It was WONDERFUL and Sister Kanani looks great!!!  There was a small bit of trouble with the Skype video transmission at first, but all worked out.  She was able to talk with her mom and dad, her grandmother, her two sisters and one of her nieces.

One of the gifts sent from her home Ward was a huge "Ward hug" signed by the Ward members.

And, what Sister Kanani called a miracle of the week:  “Bob passed the Sacrament on Sunday.  I didn't realize that he was going to until about halfway through the opening of Sacrament. Then I looked up and saw him sitting on the front row.  I almost started to cry.  I just felt so much joy at seeing him use his priesthood worthily.  It made it all that much better because he passed it to Stephanie, who took it for the first time since going inactive.  And to me who was sitting next to her.  It was an amazing experience and one of the happiest of my life.  I wish every moment could be like that.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

December - Week 2

Transfer notices are this week.  So far the P & S W's have voiced that I can't leave until after Christmas and the R & C W's are praying that I don't leave just yet.  Mind you, the next transfer is in 8 weeks. I don't know how I feel yet.  If I don't get transferred I might spend at least the next 12 after that here.  We were told on Thursday that all of the English Sisters will be training in February.  So there are at least 13 English Sisters coming out then.  
The irony in that:  I was just thinking that I can no longer serve anywhere longer than a year, unless I stay in Waterford.  Heavenly Father will probably keep me here just because I thought that.  lol.

Exciting happenings this week:

We went to church services at St. James. We were invited to the celebration of Father Michael's 15 years of ordination, so we went.  It was pretty interesting.  I had forgotten how different the services are. But the people we work with at the food pantry were really happy that we went.
The second thing that was exciting was that a few of the St. James people came to the Ward Christmas party!!!  It was really just a dinner with some lights for decorations, but they still came!!  Meaningful contact with the Church is what counts.

The third exciting thing was that Bob Austin went to the Temple to perform baptisms for the dead on Saturday!
It was just an amazing experience to be a part of.  Not to mention that Sister S. was there so it was even better =}  But Bob was just glowing with excitement and peace.  It was a wonderful experience.  

The Gospel is amazing and I love the joy that comes from living it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Transfers, Changes, & Growing in the Work

Transfers in November found Sister S. leaving for Boston and Sister Kanani staying in Waterford. It has taken some time to adjust to the changes that come with a new companion, not only for Sister Kanani, but also the members, the people at St. James, and the contacts. Sister C. has served her whole mission in the Boston area, which is often referred to as "the city." Areas where Sister Kanani has served is referred to as "the country." Sister C. came with a whole set of great ideas that she wanted to implement because it had worked for her in the YSA Wards where she served. This has led to some frustration for everyone since Family Wards are typically very different than YSA Wards, not only in the demographics, but also in the resources. Missions are a lot about changes and growing and this situation has plenty of opportunities for growing.

A few days before Thanksgiving, the Sisters helped Stephanie sand and paint the walls of her bedroom. Sister Kanani said that "it was a lot of fun and Stephanie shared that she has regained her testimony that this Church is the only true Church. Yay! Progression."

On P-day last week, "we went to the Submarine Base in Groton to go to the Nautilus submarine.  It was awesome.  It was even cooler to look across the fence to the Base and think that Grandpa was trained there.  Subs are tiny and I am glad that there are people who can serve on them, and that I don't have to."

A couple of experiences from this week:  

"We had dinner with the W's.  We had a lovely discussion on what their family needs and how they can start scripture study."

"On Saturday we went and helped rake some leaves for a member's neighbors.  It was a lot of fun.  Frustrating because Sister E. has never raked leaves before but good because service is always good and a lot of people saw us doing it and planted some seeds.  Then we helped out with the Community lunch that St. James puts on every 1st Saturday of the month to help out the people who don't have food.  There are some people there that I just want to take to the Church and teach.  They look so skittish and timid and scared.  I just want to teach the Gospel to them and help them have hope." 

"Then we meet people like Heidi that make me want to yell in frustration.
We were trying to contact a referral down in East Lyme, usually a pretty nice town, when we met this woman.  She seemed pretty nice and everything.  She made some off-comments like 'I didn't know Mormons could be stylish,' and 'I didn't know Mormons could wear perfume.'  Anyway we gave her our card with our number on it and as she walked away she yelled, 'I bet dollars to dimes you won't call me back!'  
'I'm pretty sure we will!'  I yelled. 
 'I bet you won't!  The least you could do is give me a ride!'  She was going to pick up her 13 year-old son.
'I'm sorry we can't give rides,' I yelled back, because she was a good 70 feet away.
'NOW YOU'RE GETTING IT!'  she yelled back ever so rudely.
Oh dear...
While we were trying to contact some members, we got a call from a CT number that we didn't have programmed.  I quieted it because I didn't want to deal with craziness at that point but when we got home we called her.  Sister E. put her speaker phone and, yes, Heidi was crazy.
She yelled at us for 30 minutes calling us liars and charlatans because we wouldn't go see her right then.  And that we didn't give her a ride, and because we had appointments and were trying to make one with her on Tuesday instead of right then.  'GOD DOESN'T MAKE APPOINTMENTS!'  And that we were trying to sell her something.  I think my favorite was 'Go take your paycheck and something-something(she didn't say anything bad, I just can't remember what she said).' 
'Ma'am, we actually volunteer to teach people about Christ.' I was talking by then.
'You VOLUNTEER to make God's appointments?  You're charlatans and liars.  You don't really care!'
'I'm sorry that you feel that way. I hope you have a blessed day and that Heavenly Father continues to bless you.'
'She hung up on you.' says Sister E."  

With the new influx of missionaries to the MTC, some of the transfer times are being adjusted in December. News arrived that transfers will be the week before Christmas instead of the week after. The wonderful family that have the apartment where the Sisters live is not happy about this. They have grown to love Sister Kanani and was looking forward to her being around for Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Janna & Bob

In October, Sister Kanani and Sister S. began to visit with Janna & Bob. Janna has been a member for 7 years and Bob has been "looking into it" [the Gospel and the Church] for that long. It was only recently that he really started to take a deep interest in it.  They have been teaching lessons to them both for a few weeks. He called the Sisters on Friday, 4 November and said he wanted to be baptized on Janna's birthday, which is November 11th.
Because of the whole Mission volunteering in the Mormon Helping Hands clean-up, this presented a bit of a scheduling challenge, however, it all worked out. The Sisters left the clean-up project early.

Sister Kanani's wrote: "We had to leave early to get back in time for Bob's baptism.  Which is the best one that I have had on my mission.  Everything went smoothly.  Bob was so touched by the Spirit.  There were lots of people there, a lot of non-members were there.  It was a good baptism."

There have been some great experiences with Bob since he was baptized in November. “Bob was ordained a Priest and invited us to be there for it. It's the second ordination that I have been a part of in my life so it was really special.” 

"Did I mention he just got a package from his step mom with his dad’s family history dating all the way back to the 1700s?  I love blessings of the Lord.  Someone in Bob's family is anxious for their work to get done!"

Bob also was able to go with his Stake to New York as a volunteer in the ongoing Mormon Helping Hands clean-up from Hurricane Sandy.

His family and friends have noticed the positive changes he has made and is making in his life. He has been discussing ways to be able to talk to his neighbor about the Gospel.