So I know that i titled this email sweet feelings of the spirit but I have to share what has probably been the funniest part of my mission so far. We had just left Harold Rogers house and we could tell that it was going to rain pretty soon and rain super hard! We were trying to hustle our way to our next appointment so we wouldn't get caught in the rain. Well, we didn't make it... and it was one of the bigger rain storms we've had! Elder Allen and I were under like the corner of this roof just hanging out waiting for it to slow down. I was thinking to myself... what would I do if I were back home and it was raining this hard. Well I would have been running, sliding, jumping, splashing, laughing and I may or may not have clothes on. However, since I am a missionary I figured that might not be too appropriate haha! I still thought about running in the rain but I had tons and tons of paper and there is no way I would sacrifice my scriptures for any amount of fun. so we sat and waited... BOOM... all of the sudden this 5 year old came flying around the corner of the house BUTT NAKED! haha!! I was laughing so hard because I was literally just picturing myself doing that!! Sad that my thinking was the same as a 5 year old... but I am still working on it haha! As he ran by us at a full sprint I lifted both my arms and cheered him on!! He gave us a loud scream of freedom and threw a double fist pump into the air! haha Elder Allen and i were laughing so hard! I know that bobo was feeling as free as ever. I'm glad too that I could live the experience through that kid without having to get sent home from my mission haha! Seriously made my entire week.
My weird thought for the week.. when it rains the roads turn into like flash flood streams... so I thought to myself... what is the best and fastest way to spread the message of the restored gospel to everyone. Well... We need wax paper pamphlets that I can fold into paper boats and just let them sail throughout the roads of sierra leone haha! I'll try a demo this week and let you know how it goes. I might end up just reteaching myself to do things the Lords way or the Hard way... but we'll see;) haha!
So I had one of the sweetest lessons about repentance this week with a member who has been going less active. His name is M*** and he had a very strong desire to go on a mission but he has been getting in with some pretty rough friends. It all kinda started when he asked me if it was possible to be baptized twice. I knew immediately that we would be talking about the Atonement and I love nothing more than a spiritual lesson about the Grace of God. I could tell that he was hurting spiritually. he said that lately he has lost the desire to pray and that he even felt weak when he would pray. He said that God hasn't answered any of his prayers like he use to. I remember what Bishop Larsen told me one time. He said that whenever we stop praying... everything else will start to fall apart. Morning and Night prayers are so important. I could just see weight just pushing down on M*** and I bore my testimony about the joy that comes when you repent. I am just an emotional guy because I felt the coolest surge and tingle throughout my entire body as I talked and I was struggling to hold back tears. I had an impression to read a scripture but I didn't have one in mind. I straight up just flipped open my scriptures and the first verse I read was EXACTLY what we all needed to hear. it was D &C 20:5-6. I was blown away at the immediate response Heavenly Father sent us. We are never done repenting... the question is have we begun repenting and are we willing to continue to repent. The times I have felt the power of the Atonement the strongest is when I was humbling myself before the lord and repenting. If we fall away from the iron rod... we can always come back.. it is hard... but it is worth it. I wish I could explain in words the joyful feelings I felt as we talked about repentance. If you had asked me in high school, I would tell you that repentance is scary... but now... There is nothing sweeter.
I made brownies this week... :)
Harold Rogers and Alusine Johnny were baptized this Saturday!! YAAYYY!! I don't even know were to begin with how awesome it was. I'll start with Alusine. We called him like 5 times on Saturday morning and we were getting a little nervous when he hadn't shown and he was 10 minutes late for his own baptism. He has been really really struggling with some trials in his life and has felt like there is no hope, no light, and he just hasn't been able to push through this trial and be happy. He met all the qualifications for baptism and has really really wanted to baptize. He finally showed up and the second he walked into the chapel his mood changed from how he had been the past 2 weeks. You could just see that he was very nervous and he even said in his testimony that he was a little scared to be baptized but he knew it was what he needed to do. The instant he came out of the water I have never seen a bigger smile or happier person. He told us that he felt like he was a whole new person and that he could just leave all his problems in the past. HE WAS SO HAPPY! However, my favorite part of the day and probably my mission so far was being able to baptize Harold Rogers. He wanted to walk by himself to the font so he could do his part. It probably took him 10 minutes but he did it all just using his crutch. He is half paralyzed on his left side. Dad, I know you could help this man I just wish I had some of your gifts of healing. Anyways, I was able to pick him up and carry him into the waters of baptism. We put a chair inside the font and tried to attempts with it but it wasn't working. He wanted to stand just like Alusine so we gave it a try. He when down and I was able to give him a big hug to bring him out of the water. I felt quite honored to be the first one to give Harold a hug in his "new" life. I had some help to get him out of the font. I put his left arm around my head and got him out. his left arm is the one that doesn't work so when I set him on the ground he had me in a killer head lock that he couldn't control! hahah! I was laughing so hard and I had to squeeze my head out of his accidental death grip! It was really the coolest experience ever. I may or may not have double fist pumped just like the boy in the rain when I was in the bathroom changing haha! I was SOOO Happy!! I love the feelings of true and everlasting Joy!! Missions are so sweet! I definitely was filled with the spirit and I know that I can have more experiences like this if I work hard and stay obedient!
Don't ever let Satan get a grip on you. He wants more than anything to make you sad and unhappy. If you are having a hard time in your life.... turn to God. Say a prayer. Heavenly Father is sitting and waiting in heaven to give you what you need. I love my Father in Heaven.
Also, take advantage of the Sacrament. I wish I had understood the significance before my mission a lot better. Every week my favorite moment is when I get to take the bread and water. Why? because I feel so happy. I don't have to think about anything else except my savior.
Shout out to all the people who are thinking about serving a mission... DO IT! It is the best thing for your life.
quote I liked from Elder Gherkins "Mission is not the best 2 years of my life.... It is the first 2" I am learning how I really want to live for the rest of my life.
Oh and I finally can teach full lessons in krio now!!! I can talk like a 3rd grader... woot!!! haha
love you all hope you have a great week!!
Elder Crandall the Vandal