Hey family! Thanks so much for all the emails. Carson, I'm super happy for you that you got to bless the sacrament for the first time yesterday. That was definitely a very spiritual experience for me every time I did it. I enjoyed it. Sometimes I wish I got the chance to do it more often. I don't think I got to do it with Dad for my first time so that just makes it even more special. It was also a really cool experience to get to pass the sacrament to all the people in the ward that can't make it to church because of health issues. It's hard right after church because you're hungry and a little tired and you want to get out of church clothes, but it's worth it.
As for this week the big news is that by 5 o' clock Surinamese time tomorrow, we will be in a new apartment! It's been a long time coming, it's definitely taught me to be patient with things. I'll be sure to take a picture of what our study room setup looked like before I leave. As you can guess, it was quite crowded. Also, the first sacrament service in Commewijne is going to be held in this Sunday! Everyone is pumped, the group leader has been called and we are going to help him with setup this Wednesday or Thursday. Because there are only a small group of people guaranteed to come, church is two hours instead of three. Hopefully now that we are going to be moved in we will see the work just sky rocket.
This week was a crazy one. A lot of appointments that we had made with people fell through. Which was a little frustrating but we took it as the Lord trying to lead us to someone who is truly prepared and there were some cool experiences!
One of them was when we went to a guy named "M." We had made an appointment with him on Tuesday which did not work out and so we tried him again on Thursday. He turned out to be a really cool guy. We taught him about the Restoration and he had several good questions about it. He was asking stuff like how is the priesthood given, who is it given to, all that stuff. Best part of the lesson was at the end when we asked if there were questions and he just said, "Well no, it just seems like the ball is in my court now." It's little things like that that tell you someone is ready to act, which is sweet.
Another cool moment was when we got to go to the new group leaders home. He asked if we could share a quick message with him and his family and then he would take us to a couple of family members and friends that he knew in the neighborhood. It was sweet! We met them all and set up appointments with them. It's cool to see all the excitement members are having about the group getting started. It gets all of us excited as well.
I've been thinking a lot this week about how it has been going trying to start up this new area. It's hard sometimes because besides two or three families the only people you have to visit are the ones you find. A lot of the time you make an appointment with someone and then when it comes time for the appointment they bail and come up with an excuse. It's frustrating, but it's all part of the fun of starting up a completely new area. It makes me think about how a lot of other prophets and missionaries started their areas. Ammon came into his new area and simply served and loved the people. The sons of Mosiah went and taught the Lamanites and almost turned back it got so hard. Alma gave up the judgement seat and the comfort of his own home to try and call the church to repentance. In all of these cases though the Lord had something prepared for them, Alma found his companion Amulek, the sons of Mosiah and Ammon had the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, it would have been easy for them to say "This is too hard" and just turn back. But they didn't. They knew the Lord had something for them and they stuck to it. I think we all experience that at some point in our lives. We get thrown into a new environment and it obviously gets too hard and the temptation is to just give up, but I like what I heard Elder Buehler tell an investigator this week. "There is little growth in a comfort zone and there is little comfort in a growth zone." I know the Lord has something prepared for us whenever he calls us to do something that is new, uncomfortable, or foreign to us. It's been a fun lesson to learn that and I'm still learning a lot about the truthfulness of that.
Thank you guys so much for all the emails! Have a great week!
P.S To explain some of these pictures: McDonalds never fails to deliver and as you can tell by the picture, I was impressed with their new idea of adding the tomato sticker label to their chicken mac.
The next one is a house the sisters found in their area. Nicknamed the "Smurf house" haha good stuff.
The last one is a picture of probably the best mango I've ever had. Most mangos here are very stringy and you mostly suck on them. This mango though was perfect. Wish you guys could have tried it.