Thursday, January 2, 2014

29 December 2013 -- Week after Christmas

Christmas Dinner, hahaha....
   Ok so wow I learned and felt a lot this week. Kurt and Mark passed their baptismal interview with flying colors. They are adorable! They were so nervous. They have such an incredible spirit about them. They are so willing to follow their Savior and do whatever he asks. They are great examples to me. Joseph and Jericho are the other brothers that were set for Jan. 4th but only Joseph will be getting baptized. Ahh, Break my heart! Jericho is so sweet but he won’t pray and he doesn’t answer our questions at all. Something is wrong, but he won’t tell us what it is. So he will not be getting baptized yet, despite his desire. We will continue to teach him though and encourage. When we were there at their house teaching Joseph and going over the baptismal questions we were teaching about prayer and Joseph just broke down in tears... he felt the spirit very strong, probably for the first time in his life and it was a beautiful experience for all of us. When we left his house which is wayyyyy out in the Boonies, we ran into Jericho. He was standing over his father. His father was laying half way out of the sugar cane field in the middle of the pathway drunk as I have ever seen a person. He was laid sprawled out on his stomach with his face in the ground...Ahh.. my heart hurt so bad. How grateful I am for the Word of Wisdom. Jericho was standing over his father and spoke to us as if this was a normal occurrence and I just wanted to cry. 
THESE ARE MY BOYS!!!! How I love them

   Ok so we had another crazy experience with this drunk guy. We were teaching these families of a bunch of little girls and two teens in this house made of sticks and so little protection from the outside. He just came into their house and could barely stand. He ran into the wall and fell over and was a wreck. All the kids ran toward the back of the house while one of the older sisters was screaming that she would call for the police... yet another man who this was obviously a regular occurrence for them. I was sitting on the floor by the door and he came in and ripped off his belt and his pants fell to the ground and he was waving his belt like a mad man. No one was laughing. Sister Turtal held the kids in the back and I kind of pushed him out the door and wrapped the chain so he couldn't come in. It was pretty scary but I know we were protected. He ended up leaving finally and just walking down the street. I am so grateful that our Father in Heaven looks out for us.
Me and Santa
 Again, another crazy experience happened this week. It was Saturday and normally we study first and then go out but we had met some kids on Christmas that specifically asked us to come Saturday morning. The whole morning I was feeling blahhh! I didn't know why I just knew something was up. We went to this neighborhood and the kids said that they were busy. So I felt super dumb at this point and Sister T and I decided to visit our other investigators that were nearby. So we did.... they were busy! AHH! What is it? I could not figure out what I needed to do or why we were there or why I had this weird feeling. We were walking back and Sis T decided to take a different route. 15 ft down this different path and we ran into a house with a bunch of people outside. And it was the weirdest experience. We just kind of stopped right in front of their house and they stared at us and we were so caught off guard. Almost like we didn't see the house till our noses were touching the front door. Without us even saying anything they invited us in their house. Two seconds later we see a casket inside. Ahh! Once again! My heart dropped. Turns out their father had died Dec 22, their mother had died the year before and now there are 9 kids living alone there. Wow... The caskets always have glass at the top and so we could see their father was still pretty young. 
    So we ended up sharing the Plan of Salvation with this family and they were really happy to listen and they said they felt happy and wanted us to come back. We really hit baptism hard and they understood that it is so important. The oldest brother is really receptive, and he is gay, so we are going to have that challenge to face. We are excited!! I know that it was 100% the Lord’s will that we were there at that house. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is in charge and despite our many, many weaknesses and sins He still can use us as tools in His work.
    Anyway, I am learning so much. I am learning that ... more feeling, the reality of the true statement taught to me by Sister Murphy that “there is no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone”. I am learning to love this work more and more as I strive more and more to focus on my purpose and focus on my Savior. How I love the Book of Mormon, because I come to know my Savior through those pages and the Spirit. I love being a missionary!
 Sister Ralph

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