Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Most Delightful of All Mission Weeks!

Goodness GRACIOUS, I don't even know where to begin with this email and this week. It's truly been the greatest week of all my mission life, with more miracles and tender mercies than even this group email can contain- and the baptism of our dear friend Henry, AHHHHHHH!!!! It was the single greatest moment of my life, and I'm still ridiculously weepy about it all even as I type this...man oh man, it was just the best. Henry Edwin Tamba is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I didn't know I could experience so much joy- my sweet Liberian is a member of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! It doesn't even feel like real life, and I am just so grateful for the opportunity I have had to teach that lovely man and prepare him to be baptized. I'll tell you all about it in due time, don't even worry...but his baptism was definitely the highlight of this most gorgeous week of all time. Life is beautiful and God is good- we are so blessed to know what we do! 

Alright, let's do this thing. We kicked this perfect week off by pday-ing away, the usual...and chilling for a minute with our bestie Audrey Orozco- the dream!! We ate popcorn and watched a movie (approved, of course- don't worry!) and hung ten on recliners- such a magical pday! 
pure perfection! :)

After all our tomfoolery, we headed out to teach the masses. We tried AJ first, and Sherah came along, and then ended our night by teaching Henry- the best! We taught that adorable little man every night this week and it was the happiest time.  On Monday, we went over the baptismal interview questions and taught follow the prophet- that lesson is totally becoming one of my faves. It's the greatest! It makes so much sense, and I love watching Pres. Monson's most recent conference talk and feeling the Spirit just ooze into the room- the truth is truly undeniable. Henry immediately testifed that Thomas S. Monson is a man of God, and that he knows he is the Prophet- it was amazing. Henry is amazing!! 

On Tuesday, we had an early morning lesson with Cheska, the super cool new investigator we taught at the Orozco's last Sunday- the best! We went over the Restoration and she struggled a bit with the Priesthood- she's been raised Roman Catholic her whole life and I think we rocked her world with that lesson. Yikes! But, we scheduled a return appointment for Wednesday...and we ended up teaching Cheska everyday this week, too!!  I'm learning that teaching people everyday is the secret to life- it's amazing how much faster they progress!

We also had to clean out our sweet van Bertha on Tuesday- such a tragedy. BUT, we're going to get a new car tomorrow- hallelujah!! It was still sad to part with Bertha, but we took a farewell picture and said our goodbyes...and learned in full that cars aren't waterproof, haha. So many life lessons are acquired from missions!! 
cleaning Bertha. ):

We tried out peeps in the afternoon hours of Tuesday and taught a nice man named Scott about the Restoration before heading off to dinner- such a party! We ate with the Kauffmans and was such a lovely time- love them!! We ate yummy spaghetti and had snow cones for dessert- they have a SNOW CONE MAKER, AHHHHHHHH!!!!  It was the greatest thing ever, man oh man! We also shared follow the prophet with their fam and my heart nearly exploded with Kauffman love- they're just the best!

We finished up our Tuesday by teaching our good man Henry- such a lovely time! The Smiths came along and we went over the ten commandments and temples...ah, Henry just brings so much joy to my life. He's the greatest!! 

As we taught away, our investigator AJ strutted through Henry's door- AHHHH!!! So, we taught AJ right after our lesson with Henry and got a return appointment for Wednesday- tender mercies of the LOOOOORD!!!! 

And so, we totally taught AJ on Wednesday and it was the loveliest time. Love him! We first thing in the morn prepped for Henry's baptism and took a media hour and then ran off to AJ's, where we ate crazy Liberian food and taught him the Plan of Salvation. The best! We found out later that the mystery meat of the crazy Liberian food was goat- AHHHHH!!!  It was pretty good though, haha. I do love African food!! 

But anyway, AJ was a bit dubious about the Plan of Salvation...it was a tad disheartening. BUT, he committed to come to Henry's baptism- and he totally came, yahoooooo!!!! He's a cool cat. 

After AJ's lesson, we taught Cheska- the best! We chatted more about the Restoration and answered her questions about the Book of Mormon and it was sweet. Love her!

And THEN, our BFF Audrey swung by Cheska's and we hightailed it to Travis'- the greeeeeeatest!!  I've missed that hooligan of ours! When we pulled up, he was casually leaning on his car, reading the Book of Mormon and smoking a cigarette...ah man, he's such a hoodlum! We read some scriptures together and talked about the Atonement- and he told us that he knows it's all true but he's not ready to quit smoking yet.  We've got a plan up our sleeves though, don't worry...Travis will get baptized yet! It was a really good lesson, and Travis was so honest with us- the best! I just love becoming friends with your investigators and loving them- it changes everything. Travis is just my fave! 
Such a hooligan! :)

Audrey took us out to Qdoba after that most lovely lesson and I almost sobbed with joy- I love burritos so much!  I forgot for a sec, haha. It's the Lord's food!! 

We ended our night by trying the masses and walking around town- and teaching Henry, yahooooooooo!!! Love that guy!! We also casually ran into Almaz on the way over to Henry's and scheduled a return appointment for Saturday- the best! Such a good Wednesday!! 

On Thursday, we weekly planned for a minute and then taught Rodeen- I love her SO MUCHHHHH!!!!!  She cooked us chili and we taught her about the Gospel...and the WHOLE time, she chatted about her baptism- it was the COOOOOOLEST! Ah, Rodeen. Such a lovely woman!! We invited her to Henry's baptism and she TOTTTTTALLY came, huzzzzzah!!! I think she has more of an answer than she's ready to admit- Rodeen is going to be baptized SOON, I can just feel it! She's ready!! 

We tried our peeps and biked around town after that most gorgeous lesson with Rodeen...no luck. So, with a bit of despair in our hearts, we biked on over to the Orozco's to followup a referral- and they ended up inviting us over for dinner, yahoooooo!!!  Ah, the Orozcos are my FAVES. The best!! Audrey went out teaching with us for a minute to Rolly's and then we raced back for fajitas- goodness, they're the greatest people I know, those Orozcos! 
(so much biking.)

Rolly's lesson with Audrey went really well- I love that man! He's the best! We talked about baptism and invited him to Henry's and read Alma 36...and he came to the baptism, YAHOOOOOOO!!! It was the greatest! 
Rolly and Joe!

We finished up our Thursday by first teaching Cheska about the Plan of Salvation and then racing off to the church for Henry's baptismal interview- such a crazy night! Cheska had oodles of questions about the Plan of Salvation but most of them involved how she could be baptized for her grandma- it was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and Cheska wept while admitting that she's starting to get answers- AHHHHHH!!!! This gospel is just so true, and it's incredible to see the lives of those I love change because of it. The best!

And then, it was Friday. We had district meeting in the morn and then a lesson with Cheska right after- such a party! We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and talked about the gospel- it was sweet! Her boyfriend in Dickinson skyped in and testified like a pro and the Spirit was so strong again- just the best! 

We ate some lunch with Sherah following that gorgeous lesson- I missed our home girl! She's doing good, and I am still obsessed with her- such a party to hang ten with her for a minute. Love her! 

We tried our peeps once more and did a bit of street contacting...and then we were off to dinner with the greatest woman I've ever met, Martha Stewart- such a party!! She actually lives in our building and just started coming back to church a few years ago...she's straight up amazing. She moved to Grand Forks a month ago for work, loves the gospel, and fed us spaghetti and cheesecake- it was the best!! We taught her the Restoration, because she kind of got thrown into church and doesn't really know the doctrine- her first calling once she was active was Relief Society President, man oh man! She's just the coolest, and we scheduled another appointment for next Friday- I'm so jazzed to be working with her! She wept through the whole dinner, especially as we testified of Christ, and told us that it was a miracle that we found her- man oh man, Heavenly Father is so good to us!! Martha is the greatest!! 

We finished up our Friday by teaching Henry about eternal marriage- it was the best! Bro. Buttars came along and we finished filling out his baptismal record...man oh man, I still can't believe this week really happened. It's too crazy!! 

On Saturday, we taught Teddy and Almaz with Bro. Dickson about the Plan of Salvation, chatted with Cheska about the prophet, and ran off to the church to prep for Henry's baptism- AHHHHHH!!! We finished the programs and downloaded videos for the changing times and filled the font...and that truly is the sweetest sound in all the world. We finished weekly planning on the foyer couches just to hear it and weep a bit- life is truly amazing. God is truly good!  I found myself all day on Saturday in awe of His goodness and grace- through Him, Henry was baptized and we were able to prepare him. It's amazing! 

Also, making programs is SUCH a dream. Man oh man!

The baptism itself was so lovely- the ward made it so beautiful and almost all of our investigators came. My heart nearly exploded with love!! Henry's white pants were a bit too long, Grand Forks water in the font was a bit green, but the Spirit testified throughout and it was pure perfection. We all ate cake afterwards and Henry just glowed- I've never seen him so happy. It was beautiful! I feel like I stared at him through the whole cake eating experience and through all of church on Sunday- he doesn't even look like him anymore! He is truly a changed man, with the name of Christ written on the fleshy tables of his heart. It's amazing! The gospel is true!!
We love Henry! 

Ah, such a lovely Saturday. We ate dinner with the Hutchisons after the baptism of the century, such lovely people, and trekked back to home base, street contacting all the while- a perfect day! 

On Sunday, we taught Teddy and Almaz again, watched our dear Henry get confirmed, and taught Cheska about the temple at the Orozco's- such a lovely Sabbath! On our way back home, we casually ran into Safee and AJ...and they both committed to be baptized, AHHHH!! Life is crazy here in Grand Forks!! We even had a rogue potential who we taught about the Plan of Salvation outside her house a couple weeks ago wander into church today- crazy, crazy!! Life is too good to be true!!!

Ah man, such a gorgeous and lovely week- truly the best week ever!! I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for all you do- have the greatest week! I adore you!!


Sister Robinson 
also, here's a random bra we found whilst biking. The best! :)

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