Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Laramie Letter #1

I feel like so much has happened this week. We've met about a million people and are having a difficult time keeping our four wards straight. We've had some opportunities to teach and have found (with member's help obviously) 4 new investigators this week. There is one particular family that moved here from Kenya about 5 months ago that I've fallen in love with. M, L, and M, Jr. took notes while we taught them the Plan of Salvation and we have an appointment this afternoon to teach them the Restoration. They are so sensitive to the spirit, it's incredible. They know we are messengers from Heavenly Father, they said so. They also said that we are the first white people to come into their home :) that made us laugh.
We volunteer at Salvation Army thrift store downtown almost daily. M the owner is hilarious! She is so optimistic and loves the missionaries. There are several of us that just rotate through each day. There is usually at least one companionship helping her out every hour during the day.
We have our district meeting on Thursday and we made goals for the next 6 weeks that we will all be together. I got up and just wrote "ELE" on the board. "Everybody Love Everybody" (Monica I thought you'd appreciate that) :) I've heard a couple people quote it since then and I smile every time. Such a simple solution to almost every problem if you ask me.
We've been trying to teach an older man that we only knew as Mr. C until recently. It's been hard to catch him at a good time, but finally we were able to sit down with him. He loves the Book of Mormon and takes it to all his church meetings to show people what they are missing. He wants everyone in the world to read it, especially the people in his home country. I told him that we were working on that haha. Well, we briefly taught him about where the Book of Mormon came from and I invited him to be baptized. Have we taught him about the Priesthood? No. Have we taught him about anything really?.... No, but it felt right, so I did it. Mr. C didn't hesitate. "Yes! I would love to be a Mormon," he said. However, he promised his wife who has passed on that he would be completely loyal to her and to her faith. We talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and got him to agree that when he was too tired to go to his church meetings and share the Book of Mormon with them that he would be baptized. He feels that if he is baptized that they would be able to throw him out of the meetings, but as a member of his congregation, they have to listen to him share the teachings in the Book of Mormon. This man is amazing. He has been in his profession for about 50 years and recently "retired" although he is still the editor for a scholarly journal and has been asked to work on publishing a new edition of one of his books. He has written over 20. He gave my companion and I each a book and a fan from his country. I had him sign mine and look forward to reading it in a year or so. If people just open up their minds, and read the Book of Mormon, I know the promise is real, that they will come to a knowledge of the truth. It is the most powerful Book on this earth. 
Sunday was pretty busy. We went to a meeting in the morning for Sherman Hills (our family ward) and then attended Sacrament meeting with them at 9am. We then went over to the institute to listen to Elder Rhodes of the seventy give the Sunday School lesson. That was incredible. He spoke about obedience, truth, and the spirit. Heavenly Father protects us by giving us commandments to live by. He gives us the spirit so that we can know truth for ourselves. We read Doctrine and Covenants 93:22-25 together and talked about the Savior's definition of truth. It was really powerful. After that we made our way to Relief Society where we were asked in the doorway, "Hey sisters, you wouldn't mind teaching the lesson would you?" "Sure when?" ".......right now?" So we taught the lesson on tithing. Earlier in the week, a member of the Cheyenne Stake Presidency started the meeting with his testimony and I decided to do the same thing. After brief introductions of ourselves, I bore my testimony of the Savior, of our Heavenly Father, and Their goal for each one of us as their beloved family members. I know that everything They ask us to do is truly for our benefit and every promise They make will come about through obedience. The lesson went well and we had a lot of participation.
So everybody goes over to Grandma's house to sing hymns on Sunday night. Grandma Thompson is the sweetest woman, but if it is your first time attending you have to sing a solo. WHAT! I've never sung in front of anyone like that. I went with my current favorite and sang "Lead Kindly Light" and don't really even remember it but I did it! A rule of Grandma's is that you have to sing the whole song no matter what. When it is time to go home for the night, we always sing "Abide with me" and say farewell. I loved feeling the spirit there. Grandma's house has a beautiful spirit.
My knowledge of who my Savior is continues to develop and increase. I already have felt Him comfort me so many times since moving here. I know He is there and that He truly cares about us. I know it. President Brown continues to impress me. He really has Christ-like love for all of us out here and it is inspirational to see and feel. We were able to have interviews with him earlier today and it was cool to just sit and get to know him better. He is great.
Oh, we live right next to a Hospital's helicopter pad so I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was in a war zone... It was wild, ha-ha.
Mail from Mom, Brandilyn, and Leshelle came at very inspired times. Thank you.
Love and miss you more than you can imagine. You're in my prayers every night, usually by name, but sometimes I am so tired that I cluster the family together :) please understand.
Sister Rashauna Hoer 

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