Oh what a week it has been! I feel like I say that every week though. I have noticed that the mission days and hours and transfers just become blurs and you have no sense of timing. It's bizarre, but everything goes by so fast. So yesterday we had the chance to meet our new mission president, President Gary Anderson and his wife Pam. They are both outstanding people, come from Hyrum, UT with 3 kids and 11 grandkids. When they walked into the chapel to meet the Dover and Wilmington DE zones, I had been playing prelude music on the piano.
After the opening hymn, Sister Anderson got up and thanked me for the prelude music. I had improvised on "I am a Child of God" and she got choked up because it reminded her that she has a loving Heavenly Father, always watching over her. I felt so blessed to be an instrument in the Lord's hands by bringing the Spirit through my music. I love it. I think there's a reason I was sent to a land of many pianos and the world's largest pipe organs :)
Anyway, President Anderson emphasized that he wants to do all he can to help us be successful, work with the members and have NO REGRETS on our mission. I love that. I do not want to go home thinking I could have done more to help the people of this mission. Gah, that would just eat me alive. I am excited that he is excited and ready to work and they both just seem so loving and full of testimony.
Elder Taylor and I have been looking for opportunities to serve in the community because our Bishop doesn't want us tracting more than 6-8 hours per week. So with the Spanish Elders, we met a man named Carlos who works at the local Latin American Community Center. Super nice guy whose brother is actually a returned missionary in Ecuador. His sister is now taking lessons. Carlos help set us up as teachers at a local church for the LACC. So my comp and I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) once a week friday mornings. I absolutely love it. I don't know why, but teaching is so rewarding, dad now I can see why you taught Koreans. It is so awesome to see their faces light up when they begin to understand more and more english. One woman named Brenda (from Mexico) wrote down her goals in a few short paragraphs. Here is a little excerpt:
"My goals is work of teacher and have a big family to be happy living in the United States...I want learn to drive. My husband says You Can. My life is beautiful with my husband."
For some reason, the Spirit washed over me and I just smiled as I read this sweet, humble page. It was humbling to know that in a small way, I was an instrument in helping her find greater happiness in this country and hopefully find Christ. Ahh, it was such a beautiful moment.
We had record amounts of rain in June and another tornado warning last week. Don't think it touched down, bummer. Today after we went by the post office, I got the distinct impression to go see Frank, who we were pretty sure dropped off the face of the earth for a while. So we walked a few blocks up to his house and knocked on his door. Miraculously after about 4 weeks of not seeing him, he was home. So we stopped by and said, "Ya know what, you guys stoppin by, makes me want to quit smokin again. I'm gonna do it this time." So hopefully he will get back on track and continue to draw closer to Christ.
On another note, can't remember if I mentioned Xavier last week. He is a black young man in his 20's who has been looking into the church, taking lessons and stuff for a few months. We set his baptismal date!!! August 4th, and he seems most serious and gung ho out of all the people who are progressing, which is a whopping 3. But 3 is better than none. Xavier made it to church this past Sunday and loved it. He was dozing off the entire time but would not his head every time he recognized principles being taught. So his eyes were closed, but he loved it and his faith grew. Between Priesthood and Sunday School we lost him, only to find out that he had gone outside for a smoke break. Classic. Made me laugh. Gotta love the guy. Sacrament meeting is last for us, kind of a drag for everyone, and he had to go before that, but at least he made it and the members were very welcoming and friendly to him. He continues reading and praying and increasing my faith that the Atonement of Jesus Christ changes people
I was reading in 3 Nephi 27 and in verse 14 we are told that Christ wants to "draw all men unto" him. By "all men" He does not mean, just the Mormons, just the Jews, just the Catholics, yada yada. He means all of God's Children. He sacrificed His life for each of you individually. I know the Atonement is real only because I have used it in my own life. I love helping people come closer to Christ through service because I could be doing anything from securing fiberglass insulation underneath a member's house to teaching english as a second language at a church. We are helping people know they have a Heavenly Father who is aware of them and loves them.
I love you all and appreciate your love and support. Thanks for the people you are and the influence you have had in my life.