We had a rough start last week as Elder Allred began throwing up shortly after emails and had a bad migraine. So we stayed in the remainder of P-day. The next morning the clouds were dark and ominous and a storm was a brewin'. After about an hour and close to an inch of snow here in lower DE, we got a call from the Zone Leaders that the whole mission had to park the cars for the day to keep us from any snow accidents. But it was another recovery day for Elder Allred, so I used some of the time to study, update the Area Book, clean the apartment (which had been done sooo well by Elders in the past..)etc.
Transfers ended up being on Thursday and Elder Rabe got transferred to Reading, PA. The mission theme for this year is "Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, FEAR NOT" or the Year of No Fear. At the end of the transfer slideshow was a beautiful, peaceful picture of Christ with that scripture caption at the bottom. I was filled with renewed strength as I thought of doing missionary work not as I want to do, but walking hand in hand with the Lord, serving as he would have me be.
And the missionary drought we've been experiencing is slowly but surely being cured! We received a promising referral from church Headquarters which we had been praying for for weeks. Her name is Rachel, from Ghana living with her brother and his family here in Smyrna. She had Mormon friends in Africa that she'd go to church with and they'd ask her when she was going to join the church. Her response was always "I'll do it on my own time!" Well she sought us out and when we taught her and her niece the Restoration, the Spirit was there and prepared her to accept our invitation to be baptized. We're so excited with the prospect of bringing that family unto Christ! What's interesting is the sisters serving in Smyrna had been praying to bring more African American families into the ward... and here we are!
The other success story so far is the Gibson family that was baptized here in Smyrna in 2010. Then they moved to NC and lived there until moving back in september. But they hadn't been coming to church until we sought them out a few weeks ago. They have 5 teenage daughters that could not look more different. The oldest is 18 down to 13 and then they have 2 8-year old twin boys who have not been baptized....This family is golden. But there's more. A family friend from Liberia is living with them now, non-member, and has come to church twice with them now. He took one of the teaching manuals home and was just reading out of it...who does that? Most members don't even do that. But we visited them on Friday after district meeting and dinner with a wonderful senior couple. We asked Joseph what he thought of church and he said "I loved it, I want to be a full member of the church!" We were stoked. And he is just eating it up. So our efforts and less-active work have not been in vain. Our God truly is a God of miracles. "Inasmuch as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials and your troubles...and be lifted up at the last day." Alma 38:5 I know this to be true as I have seen it in my life and just this past week. Just trust Him!
Elder Jake Robins