The place we were emailing at yesterday was pretty sketch and the power is so inconsistent in Sierra Leone that we weren't able to finish emailing. So I'm sorry I had to make you wait a whole day mom;) haha!
My companion and I have really been working hard and doing our best to sift out the wheat and the tares. There are sooooo many people that will sit down and listen to you just because they like to hear the word of God... I don't think I have met a single person who doesn't believe in God while I've been here..but Sadly, once they hear it.. they have no intent on following it. We have found some of the sweetest investigators lately and they have a real desire to follow Christ. My Transfer news comes this Friday and I am really praying that I will stay so that I can finish teaching these people and witness their baptism.
Two of these investigators are named S**** and I****. They live at the same house and are both married. They are both around 26yrs and have 2 kids each. S****'s husband has been in the U.S. for the past 5 years and she is only in contact with him every so often. He is studying.. but it sounds more like he is "staying" to me. I don't know if I could leave my family for 5 years... 2 years is Long enough haha! I**** is married to a Muslim who doesn't treat her the way a man should treat his wife. He disappears for months at a time but when he is actually at the house they never talk. Both I**** and S**** are the smartest women I have met while serving. I wish you could feel the spirit that was there when we taught them about Jesus Christ easing our burdens. I wanted to cry for them and all I could think about was how I wish I could lift some of their weight... However, I realized that teaching them the Gospel is the only way I can help them in their lives. Giving them anything else would be a temporary fix. The Gospel of Jesus Christ Literally Heals deep wounds and scars that could be filled no other way! It is the Eternal fix.
My favorite Law of Chastity lesson was with I**** and S****. We gave them the pamphlet and asked them to read it before we came to teach them about it. They read through the whole thing and even wrote questions they had. This is rare for my mission. Normally when we teach the Law of Chastity it feels as though we are just giving them a list of things they shouldn't do... but with I**** and S**** they really understood the principle behind the commandment. The first thing S**** said was "I wish I was able to learn about this earlier in my life... all the problems that I have are because I didn't obey this commandment when I was younger." They were able to see the truth behind the blessings that come from living a clean and pure life. We then tied it into temples and explained the eternal blessings that come from being worthy to go to the temple. I felt the spirit so strong. I can not explain how grateful I am to be sealed to my family. It brings a sense of reassurance that can be given no other way. Even though S**** and I**** have very difficult marriages... they are beginning to feel and know that the Savior can take away any pain.
Prayer day was yesterday and it was very interesting. It is the end of Ramadan so muslims all dress up nice and do a big prayer together. The thing that I thought was interesting was how even though it is a muslim holiday... Everyone celebrates it. I think all of our members did something to celebrate it.. haha.. I guess everyone wants to enjoy a good time when it comes around! The Africana (clothes) that they wear is so dope! When a person dresses nice here they call it Bluffing.. So Bo town Bluffed Big time yesterday! I am gonna try and bring back as much africana as possible when I come home! I'll add a picture of Some Africana my companion bought!
Something that has been on my mind lately is how easy it is to be a hypocrite. Missionaries teach all day everyday about how to become christlike... but the real test is applying it to yourself. I want to be changed. Whenever we ask someone to do something... we better be willing to do the same thing ourselves. Whether it be praying to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God... or cleaning the dishes you used for breakfast. Do we talk the talk.. or do we wakka the wakka?? There is a quote in Preach my Gospel that says, "You can't convert someone beyond your own conversion" So if missionaries stop progressing... then investigators stop progressing as well. I challenge myself this week to see from other peoples points of view!
We received the Liahona's for May, June, and July this last week. I LOVE modern scripture! Every night this week I have been catching up on all the conference talks! Listening to conference is great... but studying conference is better! It is impossible to read a talk given by the prophet or one of the 12 apostles and not smile! They have so much encouragement, love, and advice for us! One way to keep your spiritual level high is by reading the Liahona every month! I love the feelings of the spirit:)
By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I have never realized the impact of doing something before being asked until as of late. If you want to put a smile on someones face... serve them before they ask for your help. Also, give someone a compliment... and watch them smile!! It is a very small thing... but it makes a very big difference.
Sorry for all the random thoughts! but I wanted to share one last experience I had while in a tri-monthly interview with President Ostler. The second we started talking the spirit was so strong! I have been very interested in personal revelation lately so I asked him how I can better recognize my own revelations. Heavenly Father speaks to us in the quiet times. Sometimes we don't realize that the thoughts that are coming to us are not our thoughts. The Holy Ghost puts thoughts in our minds that if we heed... we will experience miracles. If our lives are in line with the Gospel, then our thoughts slowly become Heavenly Father's thoughts. I said a couple of prayers this week that I asked a specific question.. when I finished... I just waited and listened to my thoughts. I received many needed answers while doing this.
President Ostler reminds me so much of my dad.The spirit really can radiate off a person. It made me wonder if I give that same feeling to my investigators when I teach them.
I love you all!
Shout out to my favorite Nephew!!! Happy Late Birthday Bud!! Keep on keeping your parents busy with all your energy!! You better be able to say my name by Christmas!! I love and miss you!!
Also, Shout out to Papa Bear and Cleo! Congrats on your Talks in church. Pops... I heard you were out of this world powerful. I hope I grow up to be like you! Thanks for all the love and support you give me. Give 'em Heaven! (classic Steve Crandall Quote)
Elder Crandall the Vandal