Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Humbled but Happy!
We have had a very busy, tiring, but amazing week. We finished our interviews after 8 full days with 8 different zones getting to know our missionaries better. They are wonderful young men and women with such a desire to serve and be obedient. We had specialized training where we taught the new missionaries more about the work and then Zone Leader training doing more teaching. I fixed lunch for 25 on Wednesday and 22 on Friday. I just finished making 16 sack lunches for our departing missionaries going to Ellis Island to see the STatue of Liberty while touring the island all day. We are going with them so it will be a first for us. We are excited to finally see her after living in America all our lives. We had a wonderful experience today at church. We went to East Orange Ward to see one of the baptisms. We walked in the chapel and there were only chairs. It was a very nice chapel, just no pughs. Everyone was black except for the missionaries and one woman. The first counselor in the branch presidency had dreads! Amazing. The brother who said the prayer came to the pulpit and said, Let us pray! Then said a beautiful prayer. I think he was a minister before he joined the church. The branch president was an amazing man with a beautiful voice and a beautiful spirit to match. The speaker was a man named Brother Sims. He called the branch president the pastor and told us he had been a full blown athiest who did not like organized religion in any way shape or form. He talked about the preisthood of God. He had been to many churches and they could never answer any of the questions he had. He went to an LDS ward and said there was something that just stood out. There was no foul language. There were families, believers, working men who were working together to try and improve themselves. They were showing him by example. It took years to mold me but it finally worked he said. He said he got to see many saints of life doing the same thing over and over. He travels and saw the same thing all over at the LDS wards where men were presiding with their priesthood and respecting the women in their wards as well. He said it happened in no matter what LDS church I went to. He said, I am not suppose to have pride , but I am so proud to be part of this church and have this priesthood. The closing prayer was said in Spanish. We went to the baptism following and the service was in French/Creole for a woman from Haiti. In that ward there was Spanish, French, Portugeues, English and when they sang everyone sang in their own language. It was simply amazing. Never have I seen anything like it! We felt so humbled because we take the church for granted when we have it so easy every day of our lives. The Spirit that was in that building was one I have never felt before. We are in a foreign country here. People wear whatever they want I suppose. We had suits, levis, shorts, pant suits, you name it we had it there and it didn't seem to matter. They were very kind to us and were so happy we were there. Oh do I have alot to learn. We are off to see Lady Liberty tomorrow and hopefully have a break from fixing food for awhile!!! Ha! Our first set of zone conferences start on Wednesday and go through Fridays. Busy and continue to be beat! Love to all and miss you terribly. Love, Jon and Bonnie