Monday, November 11, 2013

The Strength of the Members

Liebe Familie,
I do not know why, but this keyboard is an American as opposed to German one. So if I mess up the y and z, no judging. Also, I cannot find the apostraphe and quotation marks, and I honestly do not remember where they to be found are. Anyway, I am really trying harder than usual to write this email.
We had an incredible zone conference this week! The next one is not until February, so I had to give my testimony... It made me so sad! I love zone conferences! They are seriously one of my favorite things! We learn so much and leave with such an excitement and motivation and knowledge for doing this work. We talked a lot about members in this one, and it was awesome. Members are where it is at! We definitely saw that this week.
On Wednesday, we were at the home of a less-active member with Monique again. It was just awesome as usual. Monique invited the other mother to bring her daughter to JumpIn the next day with her and her little boy - from the conversation, I am gathering it is a children playplace. Anyway, they are just becoming the best of friends. Monique drove us to our next spot afterwards, and she told us that she had never even met the other mom before she came on joint teaches with us, but that she really loves her and is so grateful for this friendship that she has established. It was also great because the other mom has really started progressing so much more since we started bringing Monique. She volunteered to say the closing prayer, and in it she said, Thank you for sending the sisters to me, and that they are helping me come closer to you. 
The next evening, we were at the home of an older-ish couple in our ward. A former investigator of the elders (who had dropped them based on anti-Mormon material, but was well-established with this family) just showed up and cooked dinner for us all! It was so cool for us to see that they had remained friends, and hopefully he will still come back as he sees that our love is not conditional. But wait! It gets better! So Bari, the Persian guy that Sister Brinck and I found who is also an investigator of the elders, contacted the elders on Sunday to see about meeting next. They told him they were very busy and could not meet until Friday. He got very upset at the idea of having to wait until Friday. So Elder Morrill called this family and asked if we could bring this investigator. They, of course, agreed, and it was a lovely party. One thing our stake president encouraged us to do at zone conference was to leave the members alone with the investigators. We kind of did that during dinner (with a group of 10 people, it is very easy to get multiple conversations started), and it was so wonderful! The member couple really befriended Bari, and they were even more thrilled to greet him on Sunday at church. 
Then Friday night, we visited the Dacksons with Judith. We asked if Frau Dackson had been reading in her Book of Mormon, and she confessed that she had had a hard time finding the time. So Judith (just like Monique had actually also done in her lesson) said that she was a mother, too, and suggested ideas for time. Frau Dackson recommitted herself to reading. She was the one who worked three Sundays a month from 9-12, ps. So we asked if this was a Sunday she had off. She told us that she actually does not work at that bakery anymore. God has a sense of humor, folks. You see, her job was to clean the floors. But this bakery randomly had no mops. She would come home so exhausted from cleaning bakery floors on her hands an knees for three hours. She also said she realized that she should not be in that much pain on a Sunday - Sunday is for worshipping God. So, she quit. Judith made all sorts of wonderful arrangements for Frau Dackson and her children to have an enjoyable experience in church. She could not come because she wound up having such a bad headache that she could not walk! She was so apologetic when she called usSunday morning - she said she wanted to come so badly, but she could barely speak! She is so cool, and she was so excited about church next week!
Then, on Sunday, Maria C. came to church!! We were beyond excited! She was a little late - she came during the sacrament. But she really liked what she saw. Again, the members were awesome. The young mother who was sitting kind of by us - they were on our row, but a few seats away - scooted right over next to her and quietly talked to her answering her questions and simply making her feel welcome and comfortable. Maria really liked it and said that she should bring her boys next week - they would definitely fit in! We stood to sing the intermediate hymn, Come, Come, Ye Saints. Maria started crying. She later told me why. She said that not only was the music powerful, but she could see that even when we sing, one can see that the family is of upmost importance to the church. The husband will hold the hand of the wife, or put his arm around her. The children all come close to help each other share the books. I had never noticed that before, but it moved Maria to tears. 
After sacrament meeting, I thanked the member for being a great fellowshipper. She excitedly told me how it was not a problem at all. Then she also offered to come on joint teaches with us to her! Seriously, these members are awesome!
Well, that should sum up this week. I love you all and hope that you never forget how much you are loved. (Romans 8:35,37)
Sister Stephanie Reid

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