Monday, November 16, 2009

St. Petersburg Week 7

Hola! Un ultra marvillosa semana!

I Don't know where to even start... but im going to try!

While tracting on our bikes the other day we went into a neighborhood that looked like it might have a few Hispanic people, but who we found was a little old lady named Jane. I would guess she is about 85 years old or more, blind, but the most adorable thing in the world. We talked to her for a little bit on her porch and we are going to keep returning back to read to her out of the Bible. Her husband just passed away. This will be a great experience. She is only Enlish speaking, but this is such a tender mercy. I am so excited. There are so many different aspects of missionary work, such as just showing kindness to this little old lady.

Remember Eddy? Well, he is on date for DEC 17th!!! Yay!!! We taught him this last week and he really likes how he feels now. I had the privilege of doing a Bible study one on one with his wife (inactive) while Hermana Murray taught Eddy. Well, she felt very comfortable with me and told me some of the struggles her family was having, and there was a lot, some very serious. This is a huge step for Eddy. A huge lifestyle change. But I know that the gospel will bring their family closer then it ever has. I left this lesson a changed person. I have had my struggles with family experiences that I wish I never had while growing up, but listening to her made me so grateful for family. Even more so, for my future family. That I truly can have a home where the spirit dwells and is safe, where the world can stay outside and it doesn't have to brought in. MOSIAH 2... let our homes be facing the temple. Always! Eddy's son Levan was baptized yesterday. :-)

[Note: A few weeks ago, Hilary asked us to send her a few pictures of the Sacred Grove to share with a woman that they were visiting. We visited the Sacred Grove as a family shortly before Hilary left for her mission. As requested, we sent her a couple of photos to share with the woman. Hilary asked the woman if she would paint a her a picture of a “special place”, but didn't tell the woman what the place was. Below is Hilary's report on what has happened since she asked the woman to paint the picture.]

So remember Peggy with the Sacred Grove picture? Well, yesterday Hermana Murray and felt like we should stop by for a visit, so we did. It was amazing. She let us right in with a huge warm smile. She took us back to her painting room and said, "now I don't have it all the way finished, I have a few touch up things to do..." When I walked in to that room, and saw the painting, it felt like I had just walked into the Sacred Grove. Honestly, the spirit was so strong and I was in awe at how much the painting looks exactly like the Sacred Grove. Even more so than the pictures I provided. The way the light goes through the trees is just... awwww, I can't even describe it. the best part was how she was describing how she felt as she was painting it. She has no idea why this place is so significant, I just told her it was a special place to me. She said, "This painting is different to me. I really really enjoyed painting it. It feels so warm, how the light comes through here, it is like God is shining through the trees.” She said more but isn't that amazing? She could feel the spirit. Little did she know that God really did shine through the trees there. I have prayed my heart out that she would feel the spirit of this amazing place, and she has. We spent about 25 minutes talking about religion. She believes everything that we do up to the restoration of the gospel. This is the same lady that didn't want to have anything to do with us at the door step and pretty much told us to bug off. Now she is saying, "You girls remind me of my granddaughters." So sweet! I didn't know I would get "another" grandmother out of this.

We have soooo many amazing potentials right now that are just maybe one lesson away from having a baptism. We visited Li on Friday. It was her daughter's first birthday. We met her husband. He was very nice to us. I'm glad that we met him so he could see that we are normal people, and he will be more likely not to intervene with her baptism. Li has soooo many questions. being a devout Catholic. We have to keep on our toes, which is really good. It's just a little more difficult to try and express your feelings in Spanish the way you want to, but it is great!

We are teaching another man from Guatemala! He is just amazing! Soooo ready for baptism. He is here for two years to work and sends the money home to his family. On our return appointment he was so excited that he had the lawn chairs ready for us outside and was eagerly waiting for us. So cool. We are teaching him tonight. He accepted a soft commitment that when he knows it is true, he will be baptized. He recognizes the spirit so I'm sure it will be soon. He wants to take a picture with us tonight and send it to his family so they can start learning in Guatemala!

The first night I was here we moved the Equiluz family, and this last week they had a house party and the Elders came and blessed the home. Can I just say that the Hispanic culture is so much cooler than we are? Sorry, but it's true. ;-) A lot of their member friends from Tampa came and there was A LOT of food. When we walked in (because we were a little late) they all were like, "Hermanitas!! Yay!!" and all stood up and clapped their hands. They support us sooo much! It is like that every time we come over to one of their homes. I love them sooo much. Every other Monday we have a family home evening, or "Noche de Hogar" with the Spanish group and it is definitely a highlight for the week. They had dancing and everything. It was so hard to not get up and start dancing. especially with the salsa music. I couldn't understand hardly anything the music was saying, so that wasn't a problem, but I have to admit that my feet were sure tapping as I sat on the couch! I cannot wait to come back here and have a fiesta with them after my mission is over.

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

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