Hola Family and Friends!
I've had some pretty interesting experiences this week and feel blessed to know that we have a loving Father in Heaven who knows all that is going on with our lives. First of all, we met our new ward mission leader, Marcus Stevens. He is a little soft spoken, and felt overwhelmed at the call at first, but boy is fired up. His wife is expecting and he owns a trash company, yet he seems willing to put in the necessary time to make missionary work in the Wilmington 2nd Ward most effective. There was an older man in Newport on a street we felt we needed to tract who was getting in his car. I got the feeling that we needed to talk to him, so I ignored it the first time...Something we humans are too good at. Then we said a quick prayer before getting out to tract. He had driven off and pulled up again as we got out. So I said to myself, "Alright, I get it, we'll talk to him." So we did. And I tend to be pretty overbearing...surprise, surprise...and I just like to get a gospel principle in there, see if they'll bite the bait, and ditch if they don't. He didn't seem interested, but Elder Taylor saved it when he asked about the huge RV in his driveway. So we got talking and talking and talking. Found out he is 88, fire chief and director over like the state of Delaware for a while. He's pretty high up in the rankings. Married for 66 years then caught his wife last year sneaking out around 2 am with another man just last year. Really? 66 years...clearly she doesn't understand the whole enduring to the end concept...amidst other things. Anyways, really nice guy, practicing Quaker...kinda shocked me. I have met my first Quaker. Wanted to ask him for some oatmeal. We have a return appt this week, so we'll see where that goes.
I also met my first pretty legit false, or anti-christ this week. A man called us over to him. Pretty drunk, but he was saying that he is a prophet and that he is God and Christ. There is no Christ, all this bologna. (Thank you Oscar Mayer for teaching me how to spell that correctly). So it was a little frightening, but we quickly turned and went to the car and drove off.
I believe I mentioned Knicoma and Tamara last week, but we were teaching them last Monday and at the end of the lesson, Tamara was like, yeah I'll read and stuff and be ready for my baptism on September 16th...I paused, jaw dropped, and had to clarify what I heard. Miracles do occur. Missionary's dream to hear an investigator set their own baptismal date without even being invited yet. She knows so much about the church b/c her mom is a member in the other ward. It's awesome to see her teach. She and Knicoma got in a tiff yesterday after Knicoma got home from church, and they aren't talking for now...so we don't know how that'll all turned out. But God is a God of Miracles. So..I don't doubt that they will both come around.
Xavier didn't make it to church today and was supposed to be interviewed this week for baptism. So, despite our best efforts his date will have to be pushed out. But I'd rather him really be ready than jumping into the water with no idea what he's getting into. I agreed with him that this can all be overwhelming at times, but Christ is with us every step of the way. I hope and pray like nothing else that he takes this leap of faith. He knows it's true. He knows he needs it, but apathy, laziness all that take a toll on these people. I have really come to love the guy though. He has a special spirit about him.
We also helped clean up a less active member's house. He moved into a four story like 6 bed room house that had to be fumagated for bed bugs this week. I wanted to take pictures, but that would have been kind of rude with him there. It was sad. We swept, pine sol'd, bleached, threw out, cleaned and you still would not want to live there. The basement is dark, wet, moldy, dingey (sp?) and literally all the trash and clothes and baby car seats were wet and moldy. Probably should have been wearing masks...but it was fun anyway. He has two sets of twins and a ten year old. The twins are like 1 and 4. The mom is kind of MIA, not interested and lazy. But it was heart warming to see 8 or 9 priesthood holders working together to better this brother's life a little. We were also told by a former investigator that a guy got shot point blank in the head on Read Street where we park our car when we work at the soup kitchen's on wednesday. So that's fun.
But all is well. I am learning and growing and changing "line upon line, precept upon precept." Sister Cynthia Gutierrez gave a testimony that has always stuck with me and I shared it with members last night. There is space between the atoms that make up the cells of our bodies. When we are following the Spirit, making and keeping covenants, living a Christ-like life, then that space can literally, physically be filled with the light of God. That indeed may be why some people have a "glow"about their countenance. This relates to 3 Nep. 12:14-16. Let your light so shine. Don't hide it. THe world needs it.
Love you all,