I had another great week! Actually that's every week, but that's missionary life! Lots to tell you today.
I am staying in Steilacoom transfer #3 now, and staying with Elder Schaffner! We were both hoping to stay together, we have a lot of fun, get along easily and work hard together. We help each other to be more obedient. I have learned a lot from him. I hope this transfer we can continue to grow and learn. I think we will. Sister Stucki is staying, Sister Tingey is on a plane to Brazil right now, and Sister Sandau is coming here (I knew her from my MTC district!) We are super excited for this next transfer, we're hoping a lot of things will line up.
Unfortunately, Haopeng and Tiffany were not baptized on Saturday, mainly due to them not having time to get their marriage license. We hoped and prayed and worked as hard as we could, but perhaps it was not the Lord's will. I learned this week, that despite all of our efforts, energy, prayers, fasts, or pleas, sometimes God says "no" ha ha. His will is done, even if it is different from ours. I feel that maybe Haopeng and Tiffany need more time, and our purpose is to baptize them so that they can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which they may enjoy the rest of their life. I want to make sure they are ready to receive that important gift and responsibility. That being said, we will work to have it as soon as possible. We talked to them Saturday night and they said they will try and get the marriage license as soon as they can. It's hard with their crazy school schedule.
I also learned that humor is the best escape valve to the pressures of life. This week was a difficult and stressful one, but we had such interesting and humorous experiences throughout, I really can't explain them all. But I am grateful for Elder Schaffner and other missionaries who remind me that this is God's work and He is in control, and if I'm doing my best, I do not need to worry. So laugh a little, smile and think on your friends and family and run with patience the "race" that is set before us.
I've been changing a lot, I think (It's hard to tell). As each transfer passes, my numbers have gone down and down ha ha. From Bremerton booming to Raymond miracles to Steilacoom settling. Even though I'm working as hard, if not harder, than I have in my mission. It's becoming very much a part of me, and I'm being a missionary now instead of just doing missionary things. I think, hope, pray and fast that I'm becoming who God wants me to become. It can be very hard to tell though.
Thanks Dad for sharing your experience giving a blessing. I feel I should share two experiences I had this week. On Friday night we decided to randomly visit a recent convert family. The mother has been very sick and it has gotten worse so that she's nearly bed-ridden. We shared a short scripture message with her and her three kids. Funny enough, at the same time we visited a nice man from Catholic Community Services was also visiting. We made sure to share a Book of Mormon scripture ;) but after he left, we asked if there was anything we could do for her. She requested a blessing. She is not very active in the church, but encourages her husband and family to go. She had never received a priesthood blessing, only seen one of her children receive one once. I gave the blessing and felt the power of God come over me and speak through me. I agree, Dad, it is a wonderful experience for all, and humbling that God trusts such great power and authority in an imperfect servant like me.
The next day, we visited Rebecca with one of the priests (they all got called as Ward Missionaries which is awesome). She was in obvious pain, and much less talkative. She has a lot of problems with her health, and so does her whole family. We also shared only a brief scripture message. At once, the thought came clearly to mind mind, offer a blessing. But for a non-member, I hesitated to say it out loud. At that instant, Elder Schaffner turned to me and mouthed "a blessing." Recognizing this as my confirmation of a prompting, I quickly nodded and we tenderly explained priesthood blessings. I asked if she remembered the stories in the Bible when Christ would lay his hands on others and heal them. She said those were her favorite stories. I testified that that power and authority was back on the earth and if she requested, we could give her the same kind of blessing. She did request one, and we blessed her. The same feeling came over me and I could tell the Holy Ghost was guiding my words. I was surprised at what I was able to bless her with. I prayed afterwards, privately, that the blessing would heal her, despite the weakness of my faith. That it would work by the perfect power of God and according to her faith.
On other note, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. Washington is a happy place.
Thank you everyone for your prayers for me and these investigators. They are being answered, I assure you.
We all got to volunteer at a Methodist soup kitchen. It was a great service opportunity. I worked in the back washing dishes with a super sprayer, you would have been proud mom.
Also, thank you mom for the Snickerdoodle cookies!! They were most wonderful. Good job Matthew applying to BYU! I hope you get in! Keep up the diligent studies Charlotte and Claire, they pay off. And thank you McKay and Allyson for watching after Annabelle. Keep up the missionary work mom and dad. I love you all!!!!!!
Hebrews 12:1-2 (we are running with patience the "race of life". As long as we keep going, Jesus Christ will help us and we will win)
Ephesians 2:12-14 ("I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Amazing Grace that saved a wrench like me" I get to sing that with the whole mission tomorrow!)
We've been reading the New Testament together, we're in Luke 11, and these are some NT gems I've found :)