Hope everyone is doing well. Canada has FINALLY warmed up and Sister Hoffmann and I couldn't be happier. This week has been jam packed but I'll just share a few of the highlights.
* Yesterday we went and visited a 86 year old women, who can't get to church anymore, so we have a priesthood holder come and bring her the sacrament. Her name is Shirley, and she is the most "with-it" 86 year old I've ever met. Her mind is still so sharp, and she was, and still is, a professional piano player. And watching her play the piano is one of my most favorite things. Anyways, before we gave her the sacrament we had a super deep discussion about the Plan of Salvation, as she needed some reassurances as she gets (in her own words) "closer to the other side." And it was a great experience for us, as missionaries, to confidently answer all the questions she had about what happens after death. By explaining the plan, we gave her comfort and peace by helping her understand what happens to us and to our spirits after we leave this mortal life. After we taught her, she was very calm, and more than ready to receive the sacrament. And we watched as a humble priesthood holder, who was maybe 20 years younger than her, kneel and bless the bread and the water for her to partake. It reminded me of the story Elder Renlund shared in conference about how individual our relationship is with the Savior,
"A friend of ours in South Africa shared how she came to this realization. When Diane was a new convert, she attended a branch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of the chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane was disappointed but said nothing. Another member noted the omission and mentioned it to the branch president after the meeting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.
A priesthood holder came in. He knelt down, blessed some bread, and handed her a piece. She ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and handed her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, “Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me.” And then, “Oh, He [the Savior] did this just for me.” Diane felt Heavenly Father’s love.
Her realization that the Savior’s sacrifice was just for her helped her feel close to Him and fueled an overwhelming desire to keep that feeling in her heart, not just on Sunday but every day. She realized that although she sat in a congregation to partake of the sacrament, the covenants she made anew each Sunday were individually hers. The sacrament helped—and continues to help—Diane feel the power of godly love, recognize the Lord’s hand in her life, and draw closer to the Savior."
The spirit in that room with Shirley was so strong and I felt how much our Savior truly loved this woman.
* Here's miracle. We have this investigator who travels a ton. So he was out of town and didn't come to church, so we dropped in to see him after church. Then his girlfriend comes in and we explain what we do and she mentions that her kids haven't been baptized so we tell her that's why we're here: to prepare people to be baptized and to help them learn more about Jesus Christ and God. So she says it's a good idea, she gives us her phone number and I programmed it into the phone while Sister Hoffmann wrote it down (last night we realized we had different numbers). But then we get back to our apartment at 9pm and Sister Hoffmann texted and said, "Hey Caroline, it's the missionaries- it was really nice meeting you, hope you have a great day!" Then we get a call from the number and it sounded like a younger guy. And he says Caroline is his girlfriend and we were like what the what?!?!? (because our investigator is older so I'm like oh my gosh what is happening and I'm trying to contain myself laughing) and anyway too many details, and not enough time to write but, turns out this guy's girlfriend is obviously a different Caroline, who lives near us and he lives near our investigator. And he's 18, and just recently got involved in religion. And as we're on the phone putting all of this together, we both come to a conclusion, that this misdial wasn't a coincidence at all. I told him it was a sign and he was like "yes! This totally is a sign!" So he agreed to meet with us this next week to talk more about our message. Sooo people, in conclusion, coincidence is NOT a thing. God is REAL. And He works in a lot of funny ways.
Here's a family photo of us and Mike <3 <3
* ALSO, really quick, a BIRD ran into our window this last Thursday, and we thought it broke it's wing. So of course, we took the poor thing and started taking care of it, made him a little home in a shoe box, gave him some crumbs and water, ya know the works. And we planned to take him to a vet after a meeting with the other missionaries in our district. But, after I said a prayer, to begin our companionship study, and to bless that the bird would be able to heal, the bird started FLYING AROUND OUR HOUSE. And after I managed to catch him, and bring him outside, he just flew away. Sister Hoffmann and I are convinced it was the faith that we had in my prayer that healed our little bird friend, AKA Mike. SO, everyone, FAITH WORKS.
Okay, I have to go now. But I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Remember that God loves you, and so do I!
Close up of our handsome faith-healed bird before he flew away