I had my own little eye opener to how deep and intricate Heavenly Fathers Plan can be for each of us. I was driving in the car with Elder Barrick... yes... THE Elder Barrick on Exchange just thinking about all that has happened. If Heavenly Father had appeared to me himself 7 months ago and told me that in just 7 short months I would be in Palmdale California on exchange with Elder Barrick having the time of my life I probably would have laughed and patted him on the back thinking he was completely joking! haha Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor... but not this time! haha
Elder Barrick and I caught up on some old times and tried speaking Krio to each other pretty much the whole day! I have lost almost all of it so it was nice to pick some of it back up! We are hoping to get together for a lunch sometime this week and make some Casava Leaf or should I say SAKI!!! WOOT! Salone brought lots of great stories and laughs... but I know that Bakersfield is bringing lots of growth and applicable experience. We both agree that we needed to be here and it makes me so happy to see him enjoying it as much as I do. Alma 17 explains exactly how I feel:
Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
So I had the best fast and testimony meeting I have had on my mission so far. We had some investigators there who have been before but have never seen testimony meeting. The very first girl that went up to bear her testimony didn't even poke above the podium. She bore such a sweet, sincere, and adorable testimony. The second she said amen... there was just an explosion of hands clapping in the back! haha Oh it reminded me of sacrament meetings in Salone. They quickly realized that we don't clap but they are so cool that they just laughed it off:)
Then, a little girl named Analise who was sitting right next to me wanted to do it to. She was so excited but nervous to go up and do it. Finally she got the guts up and went up there with one of the sister missionaries. She stood in front of the microphone silent for a little bit and then expressed how much she loved her mom and family. She then stopped and started to cry... not a cry that you would think a little kid would normally give... She was feeling the Spirit and I'm sure she wasn't use to it. She then pushed through the tears and feelings she had and thanked Jesus Christ for dying for her so she could be with her family forever. Geraldine (her mother) was in tears. She has just recently been coming back to church since we started meeting with her. I have been praying that she would have an experience with the Spirit that would not let her look back to her old life. This was the experience I was hoping she would have. The Spirit does amazing things for us... but the overwhelming feeling I know it brings has to be the best part. It was really sweet to see the bond between Geraldine and her 2 daughters as they sat in their seats and cried while holding each other. Children have a greater effect on people than you would think.
I was reminded how much I love the Law of Chastity this week. It has to be my favorite lesson to teach when the Spirit is present because it brings such a pure and clean feeling. Everyone wants to go to heaven... and on top of that... everyone wants to be in heaven with their family. Living the Law of Chastity is the only way to have a happy family.
Shout out to Papa and Cleo, that is so cool you got to take a quick trip home and share your love with those at home. You 2 are the best missionaries ever!
Love Elder Crandall the Vandal